Now, where were we?
Ah yes, life lessons from the twenty-something that’s got it all figured out.
Wait, is that me?
Don’t let the mature words & philosophical questions fool you. I do not have it all figured out. I know what makes sense to me. I’ve seen some stuff & had life kick my ass. I’ve got some good ol’ life experience to back up the advice I provide. But, I don’t have all the answers!
So, with that in mind. Here are the next five lessons that my twenty-five years on the Earth have taught me:
6. Don’t apologize for something you’re not sorry for.
Being unapologetic is a skill. A difficult skill. Especially for a Canadian who has had apologetic tendencies ingrained in her since birth. Sometimes being unapologetic can be taken as rude. (You can ask some of my ex-partners what they think about that). However, as rude as I may seem, I don’t believe in saving face for the sake of being polite. There are few things worse than an insincere apology.
Coming into my witchiness, I have had to deal with a lot of skepticism & I have found myself apologizing for who I am & what I do. As a woman, I have been forced to apologize for many things out of my control. Like, bleeding once a month. Do you think I wanted this?! It comes with the territory. And I will not apologize to the patriarchy for being a woman. To be a witchy woman is something else entirely. I have heard myself (and others) saying, “Oh sorry, this probably sounds crazy,” when discussing a tarot spread. Or, “Sorry, just gotta cleanse my crystals.” NO MORE. I am unapologetic in my witchiness, my womanness, my humanness!
7. Spend quality time with Mama Nature.
“You should spend twenty minutes a day out in nature. If you’re too busy, you should spend an hour.” I have no idea who said that. But, they were on to something good.
I talk a lot about self-care & being good to yourself. A large part of my self-care practice is surrounding myself with the beautiful things Mama Nature has provided. I am forever in awe of her work. While travelling, everyday life can be a bit overwhelming & anxiety-inducing. Who am I kidding, life is always overwhelming & anxiety-inducing. Regardless, my way of combating those not-so-good feelings (whether on the road or not) is taking a big ol’ breath of freshly photosynthesized air. Sometimes we forget to breathe. When picking a destination, I always look for the big patches of green on the map. That’s where I want to spend the most time. From the rich canopied forests of South Hampton National Park in England, to the incredibly diverse Botanischer Garten in Berlin, I have found myself in some pretty unbelievable displays of Mama Nature’s hard work. And they have always calmed me.
Living in a big (small) city in the middle of the prairies doesn’t always offer much in the ways of lush green forests, snow-topped mountain peaks, or breathtaking ocean views. But, we do have a lot of garden stores. And there is always room for a new green friend in my apartment.
8. If someone is talking – listen.
There’s listening to someone speak & being a regular human communicating with another. Then, there’s actively, mindfully, listening & responding to a soul who is speaking to you. In 2017, where many of us are staring at a screen 90% of the time, it’s crucial to listen to your fellow human & respond in a mindful way. Whether it’s a close friend, a stranger on the bus, your grandmother, or that coworker who only spews complaints; listen! And please, don’t interrupt. Not only is it a courtesy, but maybe you’ll learn something! Yes, it can be difficult. Excruciating, even. But, God forbid your mind opens up a bit.
9. Say what you feel before it’s too late. And it’s never too late.
This is a Jodie original. Thank you for the lesson, Grandma. Before I left my life in Canada to live in Spain a couple years ago, I drove out to visit my wonderful grandparents for a final goodbye & a little solace. I sat down with my grandma & had a good ol’ fashioned life talk. I had just turned 23 & I thought I had it all figured out. Holy shit. I did not. Jodie gave me a whole list of nuggets of wisdom that I wasn’t expecting. The most important to me was to say what you feel before it’s too late to do so. And it is never too late. Be honest. At the very least to relieve your own heart of what it is holding on to so tightly.
After hearing those wise words, I started telling people how I feel. Heart-on-my-sleeve type stuff (like, what I’m doing right now!). And, I am so much better for it. My heart has grown to let everyone in. I spread love & receive love in so many forms. Oh heart, glad to have you. And glad to have you, Grandma!
10. True growth comes from experience not age.
True growth. I’m talking about the real stuff. The life-changing stuff. The wake-up-one-morning-quit-your-job-move-to-another-country type stuff. That growth does not come from years spent in the same place, whether that place is a job, a city, or a relationship. No matter what age, true growth comes from being uncomfortable & sitting in that uncomfortable-ness. It comes from meeting & connecting with new & different people. It comes from exposing yourself to new & different environments. The world has so much to offer. I just want to shake people out of the bubbles they create for themselves. Get out there & l-i-v-e.
Part III coming soon.
With love ~ zz