40 Soul Lessons

Happy Thursday! Today, I turn 40. In honor of this milestone, I’m sharing 40 of the soul lessons I’ve learned along the way, in no particular order:

  1. Life is about ebbs and flows
  2. Not everyone will like you
  3. Find people who do
  4. You are enough
  5. Listen to yourself
  6. Yoga and meditation are the keys to presence
  7. You can accomplish anything you put your mind to
  8. You will fail. It is not the end of the world
  9. Don’t compare
  10. Don’t judge
  11. Enjoy the grass on your side of the fence
  12. Everyone has their own battles to fight
  13. It is better to fail miserably at your own path than to do another’s perfectly
  14. There is no rule book- challenge who says
  15. What goes around comes around
  16. You can’t please everyone
  17. Start with yourself
  18. You can’t place your expectations on others
  19. Let go
  20. Trust you are all you are meant to be
  21. Forgiveness is a gift for the one offering
  22. You have a soul purpose to being here
  23. The truth does not offend
  24. Treat your body with love and kindness, it is the only one you have
  25. Live each day as if it were your last if you want to witness the sacredness present in everyday living
  26. You are not in control, enjoy the ride
  27. You are perfect, whole, and complete
  28. How you do anything is how you do everything
  29. You are a rare gift to this world; treat yourself with the utmost respect, kindness, and endearment
  30. Reality (life experiences) is neutral; it’s your reaction to it that produces suffering
  31. It is okay to make a mistake; that is how you learn
  32. People can change
  33. Where you are is exactly where you need to be
  34. There is a gift in every situation
  35. Continue to try new things and challenge your comfort level; that is how you learn and grow
  36. Do not take things personally; it’s not always about you
  37. Always do your best and let go of the rest
  38. Live your life from your heart, filled with compassion, gratitude, and love
  39. You are loveable
  40. All you have is this moment; the past is gone and the future hasn’t unfolded yet


Soul Lesson 2: You Are Perfect, Whole, and Complete

“I am the primal seed within all beings, Arjuna: the wisdom of those who know, the splendor of the high and mighty.” ~The Bhagavad Gita

You are perfect, whole, and complete.
Your body is an exquisite masterpiece molded just for you.
Your mind is a wonderful puzzle meant to tantalize your senses and awaken your deepest desires.
Your thoughts provide the seeds to nurture your greatest potential.
You don’t have to prove anything, justify anything, give up anything, take on anything.
You don’t have to shut down to protect, overextend yourself to be accepted, give yourself up to be loved.
You are a gift to this world, a rare gem to be cherished.
From the day you were birthed into this world, you had a purpose… to learn to shed the layers of armor… to expose your heart… to love and be loved… to remember.
You are perfect, whole, and complete.

Many of us were conditioned to believe (all my perfectionist friends, this applies to us!) that there were parts of us that were unacceptable. These messages received through culture, religion, family ties, school, etc. taught us to compartmentalize ourselves, disconnect from the aspects of ourselves that were “unlikeable”.  Overtime, and with reinforcement, we began to buy into the concept that there was something inherently wrong with us.

Last week, I explored the concept of agendas, the result of operating from this perspective. When we feel unacceptable or unworthy, every encounter with a fellow human being, will be tainted with an agenda to hide that defect in order to receive the love we so desperately want.  Every experience becomes colored from this past conditioning and prevents us from living the authentic lives we deserve to live.

Do we just throw in the towel? Give up? Quit? Play the blame game? Stay asleep? No! We learn how to wake up, to watch without judgment where we buy into our unworthiness, and how it affects the decisions we make.  It is through awareness that we can let go of what no longer serves us, embrace who we are at our core and celebrate our inherent nature~perfect, whole, complete.

For this exercise, you will need:

  • Journal
  • 20-30 minutes

Answer the following questions in your journal:

  1. Do I believe I am perfect, whole, and complete? Why or why not?
  2. What areas do I feel I am lacking (ie. Professionally, physical appearance, intelligence)?
  3. Can you remember how far back you’ve felt this way (ie. elementary school, college, more recent)?
  4. What would it mean not to have to prove, justify, or overextend yourself to be loved? Do you believe you are a gift, a rare gem to be cherished?
  5. What would you have to give up to believe question 4?
  6. What would you gain if you believed question 4?


Soul Lesson 54: Ask And You Shall Receive

Do you believe things happen to or for “other” people? Do you believe good things couldn’t happen this lifetime? Do you believe you don’t deserve nice things, vacations, etc? Where did these thoughts come from? Do you write out your goals? Do you dream daily? Do you know your deepest desires, your heart’s greatest longings? How do you know where to direct your energy without writing these concepts down?

One of the common themes I continue to hear from the AMAZING speakers from The World’s Biggest Summit is: ASK. Source is here to support you. For many of us, the guilt of asking for what we want keeps us stuck. What if by asking for what we want/need it helps us fulfill our life’s purpose (dharma)?

Setting goals helps to focus and harness our energy in a more purpose-full way:

  • Right click the below picture
  • Print and cut to size
  • Write out three goals that you want to fulfill
  • Tell someone your goals (this helps with manifestation & accountability)
  • Keep this with you to remind you the direction you are moving

Soul Lesson 99: 99% Practice 1% Theory

“Practice and all is coming.”~Pattabhi Jois

What does it take to wake up and actively participate in life? What does it take to pick up the pieces when something doesn’t go the way we had hoped? What does it take to let go of what has been done and cannot be undone? What does it take to realize we have been hooked, triggered, and are now operating on auto-pilot mode? What does it take to be remember we are perfect, whole, and complete?


In the yoga sutras, practice is explored in the following three sutras:

  • 1:12: Practice and detachment are the means to still the movements of consciousness.
  • 1:13: Practice is the steadfast effort to still the fluctuations.
  • 1:14: Long, uninterrupted, alert practice is the firm foundation for restraining the fluctuations.

Practice seems counter- intuitive  to the quick fix approach saturated in today’s culture. The quick fix approach breeds comparison, judgment, and inadequacy. Practice is a more gentle reminder that life is a series of ebbs and flows. At the heart of practice is the reminder that it about the journey, not the destination. The quick fix approach wants the result, yesterday. Practice yearns for learning and growth. Through practice we begin to witness the conditioning that keeps us stuck (samskaras) in limited beliefs and awakens within us the potential to become the person we already are. The quick fix wants someone else to do the work for us. Practice teaches us that all the wisdom we need exists within.


Soul Lesson 10: 10 words to live by

Don’t judge, don’t compare, give up the need to know.

These words, shared by two of my favorite life loving friends, Maria & Bill, have resonated deep within me. These words should have been pulled off the infamous Everything I ever learned I learned in kindergarten poster.

Don’t Judge: A great story from my bff Tara Brach (okay she may not be aware we are bff’s but I go walking with her every morning… okay, she may not be next to me but in my ipod, but still.) Anyways, back to the story: A woman, in an airport buys a coffee and a package of cookies and sits down to read her newspaper. She takes a cookie and realizes the gentleman sitting across from her reaches for a cookie, as well. She is startled but says nothing. She reaches for another cookie and realizes the gentleman, again, goes for a cookie. She is becoming incensed but still says nothing. When there is one cookie left, the man breaks it in half, takes a piece and leaves. The airline calls her name for the flight. She gets up, beyond seething. She cannot believe what a jerk this man is. She reaches in to her purse to grab her plane ticket and finds her package of cookies. Don’t Judge.

Don’t compare:  Has anything positive ever come from comparing yourself to others? It hasn’t for me. When I begin the downward spiral of comparing, I might as well be sitting on my couch, Al Bundy style, with a Jumbo size buttered bucket of popcorn, Milkduds, a salted pretzel, and a 75  ounce coke. That’s how disgusting, heavy, and unhealthy comparing can feel.  When we compare, we step out of the flow of Source and into the path of ahamkara (ego). We see ourselves through shoulds, expectations, and a limited and distorted perspective.  What does that mean? We stop acknowledging the countless talents we were gifted in this lifetime. According to Leo Babauta, of Zen Habits, in Life’s Enough: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others,  “being able to look at your own strengths, and see your true value is so important.  It’s actually one of the keys to success, because without this ability, you will be unmotivated, and won’t believe in yourself.” Don’t compare. You are enough. You are beautiful. You have gifts to share.

Give up the need to know: Isn’t it strange that we concoct all kinds of weird rituals, lists, and plans so that we can know, for certain, our future? The last few years have shown me, we know nothing. How many people do you know that have lost their jobs, houses, hope? We create these stories, walls, barriers in the hopes to fend off the inevitable, the permanent, believing in the end we are invincible. Countless energy is spent planning for a future that may or may never happen. When we give up the need to know, we keep ourselves grounded in the present moment. This is the only moment each of us really has. Embrace it.