This time last year, many of my birthday messages and calls included something along the lines of “what an odd to have a birthday, we’ll celebrate in no time.”
Things are far from being “normal” again but I’m stepping into my 28th lap around the sun in a very different headspace.
First of all, I’m reflecting on it! This is the first time I ever sit down to really think through what this year meant for me, what it gifted me, and what I learned. Second, it’ll be the first birthday since probably my 17th where I won’t be drinking. Lastly, I’m opening up and sharing things, as I feel like I’ve aligned with a higher purpose and I think that someone could benefit from reading this at some point in their life.
Lots of things changed for me this year, personally and professionally. I closed up shop in New York City and I moved to Austin (with a 5 month layover in Santiago). I became a Product Manager. And much, much more.
So here are some lessons from 27....
This was my biggest takeaway from a spiritual retreat I’m just coming back from. For too long now, I’ve been playing the wrong game.
For me to maximize long term happiness and enduring life the way I want to live it, I need to tune in and make sure that I’m enjoying what I have going on and that I’m playing this for myself.
To truly tap into my game, I need to listen to my heart and not my mind.
The mind is noisy, it has many voices, memories, and opinions. The heart on the other hand knows the truth and it’s where passion sits. It’s the guide, the North Star.
I’m learning to trust my heart as it is infinitely wise. I’ll never be able to outsmart it or out grow it. The heart expands and it encompasses everything.
This is probably the biggest growth area for me. I heard it from multiple people this year and it’s starting to feel right.
My friend Parker has been a huge support for me here as he passes me some of his spiritual mentor’s wise words. My favorites are:
Most of my life, I’ve been very guarded.
As I’ve started to lead with my heart I’ve started to open up more with people I trust and connect with. It’s allowing me to live in truth and show up as I am. This is where I’m most comfortable, where I’m most at home.
Opening up doesn’t just happen in conversations, interactions or relationships. It starts with me.
I’ve been had to go into the depths and understand what holds me back from opening up. Understanding the discomforts I have and nourishing them. This audit has required presence, mindfulness, and moving with intention. It’s forced me to really feel in situations and diagnose them in real time.
I’m almost a year of meditating every single day, and I can’t emphasize the importance of it. I picked up journaling again and have been having remarkable conversations with myself on paper, without judgement.
I’ve cut drinking and other numbing vices in my life to allow me to really feel how situations make me feel. Some of these have been re-introduced as I am now more aware of them, but others are gone for good.
It’s funny to think that in a world where you can pick up your iPhone and in a few taps you can have your mom, your best friend, your grandpa, etc on a screen in front of you, we are so disconnected.
But we aren’t just disconnected from each other, we are also disconnected from nature, and most importantly from ourselves.
We are social beings and we are made to roam this planet.
Prioritize finding your tribe and connecting with people that energize you. Do things with people! I was very fortunate to be able to fly home to Chile and spend time with my family. I started sharing goals with friends which lead me to sign up for my first triathlon and to ride up to Farellones on my bike. I met amazing new friends through both the BECOME Mindfulness Program and Self-healer Mastermind.
Spend more time outdoors, get sunlight on your skin, go into cold water, take your shoes off at the park, breathe clean air. All of these things are energizing and good for your health. They allow you to tap into your primal being.
Talk yourself, tune into your breath, listen to the beat of your heart, and feel more. A lot of this was learned from others. It’s easy to run from discomfort and to grabbing your phone. But ask yourself, “What am I running from”? You can’t run from the truth, connect with it.
The modern world frames celebrations as a meal out, some drinks, etc. Workouts are often viewed as punishment to burn off the weekend or those celebrations we held.
This lesson came in while doing one of the Onnit 6 programs and I’ve been able to expand it way past workouts.
I feel like I’m on a good path. I’m aware of the tracks and I’ve started to get comfortable with the reality that you are never really lost and you just needed to go through that to learn the lessons that were meant for you at the time. Those experiences or hardships are just pushing your towards higher alignment with what is meant to be.