I decided to take a giant leap outside of my typical posting, which all of you know includes baring my heart and soul without apology. Today I was challenged to write a list or tutorial, and I thought simple rules would be relevant to everyone, regardless of where they are in life right now. Here are some words of wisdom I have learned in my (short?) 34 years on this earth:
1. Be Kind To Others and Yourself.
You don’t have to extend yourself too far each day to create a positive, lasting impact in someone’s life. I think so often we tend to be harsh critics of ourselves while approaching others with more compassion. But how often do we take the time – even a minute or a few – to pause each day and choose to be kind to someone who crosses our path? Today make an intentional effort to notice people – strangers and friends alike – and love them in the way they need right now. While you’re at it, love yourself with the same level of mercy you give to those around you.
2. Listen More Than You Speak.
This lesson is much more difficult for some than others. I happen to be one who talks and chatters more than I deliberately listen with my heart. Let’s challenge ourselves to truly listen – not just hear words, but to listen with the ear of the heart. Much wisdom can be obtained from listening with openness and without judgment.
3. Be Patient With Life.
Most of us aren’t exactly where we’d hoped, planned, or dreamed we’d be five or ten years ago. I certainly am not. Life truthfully is not fair. We get curve balls and interruptions to the cozy comforts we would rather have, but if we are patient with the process of navigating the kinks and obstacles, we will discover a wellspring of interior peace that does not falter when the tides and tempests rage around us.
4. Set Aside Time for Solitude Each Day.
Let’s face it – we’re all busy. I haven’t met one person in the past two years who has told me that they lead a laissez faire life. Our technological gadgets encourage us to be impatient and frenzied, seeking instant, rather than delayed, gratification. Most of us don’t know how our days pass by without much time to emotionally process our experiences, and then days obviously turn into weeks, months, and years.
Sometimes I take my dog for a leisurely saunter around the neighborhood, and it’s as if the natural world comes alive in my soul. Take some time to immerse yourself in something that refreshes and enriches your life – something quiet and conducive to reflection and rest. You will feel more centered, grounded, and enlivened to tackle the rest of the busyness of your life.
5. Never Give Up
A lot of people offer this sagacious advice, and it has indeed become cliched. But do we truly live the virtue of perseverance every day? How many times do we just throw in the towel when things get too hard, because we just can’t seem to press on? I know I have been guilty of this more than I’d like to admit. Perseverance has not been a strong suit of mine, and yet I’ve discovered – especially with this journey of building my blog and writing career – that pursuing your dream takes time. And there are a lot of bumps, curves, and roadblocks along the way that will frustrate your dreams. But don’t give up. Don’t give in to the committee in your head that distracts you from following your heart’s desire. Stay the course, and the reward will prove that the effort was worth it in the long haul.
Text Copyright 2015 Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.
Image Copyright 2015 “Stones” by Unsplash on Pixabay and edited in Canva by Jeannie Ewing.