It occurred to me recently that twenty years ago I was 18 and going to college. I was thinking what words of advice did I get and what ones would I have liked to get. Here I want to focus on what I wish someone would have sat me down and told me, very seriously and yet emphatically to ensure I would listen, at that major crossroads in my life. Since no one did this, I’m preparing a list in case I ever am able to travel back in time and can deliver some learned wisdom to myself or maybe someone else will find them usefull.
– As soon as possible, marry someone for another passport, and possibly repeat after/every 5 years.
– Medical checkups are not to be postponed.
– Being a vegetarian is great and all, but…. cut out all that packaged processed veg food. Vegetables need to be 80-90% of your diet. Fresh and as raw and green as possible.
– Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. Everyday. Like you mean it.
– Learn to meditate as soon as possible. Take a meditation class every year. Meditate everyday.
– Being constantly pissed off not only is not interesting long term. IT WILL affect your health. Find creative outlets to stem its rise & let people enjoy you, not a simulacra of you that takes far too much effort, time, and energy to construct and project.
– Sarcasm is not a crutch. Do not fall back on this out of laziness. There is nothing wrong with a sarcastic outburst, but do not let it be your default response enabling you to deflect all your other emotions and become cut off from the world by it. Do not let it suffocate you.
– Stop hoarding stuff! You are not a boat and stuff is an anchor. If you insist on hoarding things horde experience and affection you can give to others.
– Give things away. If you do not use it, you do not need it.
– Dance as often and as fast as you can. Worry more about needing new shoes than that someone might point and laugh at you. New shoes are easy to get.
– Wear Clogs! Help end the shoelace industrial complex!!!
– Don’t postpone joy! Seriously, if you do not listen to anything else (and since I remember all too well the lack of listening I did, it sure seems possible) pay attention to this. Enjoying yourself is not a crime and should never be shelved to appeal to a need to SEEM more serious/stoic/important/wtfever. Find the things/people/cats/etc that bring you joy and embrace them, make music with them – even it none of you can play an instrument, stay up all night with them and bask in the dawn together, make magic and terraform your lives with bliss. It’s not terribly difficult, unless you fight it.
– Learn a musical instrument. No excuses. And start now, this instant.
– Stop acting like you can do everything alone. If any of us could do it all then there really would be only need to be one of us. The Tralfamadorians needed our entire civilization to be a simple point on a map home. Asking for help is NOT a weakness, but knowing you need help and being incapable of asking for it sure is.
– If you are not learning from or being inspired by someone and/or inspiring someone else everyday you are simply doing it wrong. Do not focus on what others should do to make them more acceptable to you, offer them things to help them fulfill their dreams, even when that simply means you have to distance yourself from them for them to soar. Never be a weight for others and always share the burdens of your friends and loved ones. And remember that just listening and being present is often all anyone wishes from you and is usually a more powerful act than levitating a mountain. Only act when asked, and listen carefully for this and ALWAYS provide the space for it.
– Always be the best friend you can be. Never help sublimate others’ desire to pursue your own.
– Fear is never an excuse. It surely can be a high hurdle to leap over, and often you will need the help of others (NEVER EVER EVER EVER BE DISCOURAGED IN ASKING FOR HELP), but life is better on the other side.
– Share and feel freely. Do so daily. Even when it is late, it is dark, and you are all alone, share with the universe. Call out your successes and hardships of the day. Keeping them deep within is not ever going to do you any favors.
– Live full of intention. When doing something, anything, let it be your everything. Focus brings clarity, clarity brings understanding, and understanding brings knowledge. If you veer off tangentially at any step along the way, your goal only becomes further away, and possibly unattainable. Any arrow flies when flung, but rarely strikes the target without precision. You are the arrow, but you are also your archer. Intention, focus, and will allows for success.
– If you hold on to things, people, ideas, anything too tightly your hands will be full and unable to hold anything new that presents itself. As funny as it may sound, you can never be blessed with a life full of abundance if your hands are full.