I’ve been writing down some of the lessons I wish I knew during the difficult moments… the anxious periods with panic attacks and a crippling fear of being judged, the lows I never thought I’d find a way out of, and days when I couldn’t see another option than being shy and insecure.
I’ve noted down fifty of these lessons now. It’s become a sort of letter to my younger self and a guidebook for the future. I started writing it on a good day, but since then there have been wobbles. I’ve reviewed what I’ve written and noticed which words I need to hear most. I wanted to share some of them with you. You can read the others I’ve shared so far here.
You don’t need to know all the answers now. If you don’t even know what’s for dinner, let alone what your next career move is or how you’re going to make everything work out, it’s okay.
There are seasons for rest and for work. For energy and for introspection. For exploring the world on grand adventures and cosy days at home with a hot chocolate by the fire.
Sometimes hibernation is required before anything else is possible. Sometimes it takes laying dormant for months with a barely-there heartbeat before the snow thaws under a spring sun and crocuses emerge from the barrenness, breathing life and growth and abundance into the world and into you.
Feel the whispers deep in your body and read the patterns. Rest your tired eyes, weary mind, and short temper. Nourish yourself now, not later. Soothe your spirit until you are ready; until you feel your tank filling to support the lifeforce inside you.
As you replenish yourself, notice the energy and life and eagerness return to you. Head deeper away from your home to explore the natural world around you. Start writing a book for no reason other than to create a fantasy world. Shovel the vegetable patch to ready your garden for planting time.
Know when it’s time to move, explore, and enjoy the thrill of being alive. But until then, there’s no rush.
Life is cyclical, and so is your energy. Let the seasons of your body, mind, and soul live out their natural rhythms. Tune into them: pivot your life around their whispers and, above all, stop to heed their call when they shout.
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim. For escaping from dreary London to a small medieval Italian castle where beauty, warmth and leisure weave their spell.
The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim. For paying attention to what’s most important, slowly and gracefully.
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. For a story of joy, courage, and dignity in Honolulu in the 1890s.
How to Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh. For mindful reflections on the art of slowing down.