19 things I learned in 2019

To be honest, still learning.

1: Everything is okay, even when it’s not okay.

We are okay. We are better than okay. We can breathe in, we can let go, we can live, we can let ourselves be not okay or okay. We can move through it all flowing or resisting. We can get through the expected and unexpected. All of it is life. All of it is a gift, maybe even a blessing.

2: Desire is powerful.

Also, scary. It is a force to be reckoned with.

3: Honesty is difficult.

It’s most difficult to be honest with ourselves. But we can only be as honest with others as we are with ourselves. What if we were more honest? With ourselves, with others? What if we gave honest answers? What would open up? What would change? What might happen? Worth considering.

4: Not all feedback is of equal value.

Some people give good feedback and deserve your attention. Some people don’t.

It’s a good idea to learn the difference. (If they’re not in the arena with you, fighting and sweating, risking and trying, you don’t need to listen to their feedback.)

5: Every experience has a gift in it.

Gratitude helps us release fear and resentment long enough to see the gift and accept it.

6: Staying where I feel confident is a way of hiding.

If I want growth…

If I want connection…

If I want the freedom to be real and open, I have to quit staying where I can feel closed-off and confident.

I have to open up to the experience of vulnerability. This does not sound fun. Often, it is not fun. But always it is worthwhile.

7: Everybody wants to dance

(in one way or another) but almost everybody is afraid to start dancing.

8: It’s worth the risk to make the first move.

9: The path is not and never has been clear.

We set out with a map and supplies and good intentions and things get weird, fast. We’re just trying to figure it out as we go. 

10:Emotions are terrifying.

11: We are not broken.

The biggest lie we believe is that we can be damaged, wounded, broken by the pain or hurt we walk through.

With that idea, we have to be so careful not to get hurt, not to take too big a risk. We are afraid of being broken, and we are afraid of what it takes to be healed.

What if we could see pain for what it is? An experience, an emotional state, something that washes over and through us but is ultimately finite.

We are infinite.

The finite does not, cannot have power over the infinite. It only appears that way when we believe it.

12: When you’re alive, you’re in the unknown.

Today, as every day, I stand on a precipice and look at a world that is mostly hazy unknowns. How honest I am about that is up to me. How I feel about that is up to me. What I do with it… Yep, up to me.

13: Success is not usually what we think it is.

14: There is no external authority.

The authority in which I walk determines both my experience and where I end up.

The limits, the possibilities, the path I carve out of this wilderness of today depend on what I believe about myself: do I have a right to set my own course?

Do I walk in my own authority? If so, anything is possible. I can grow, and my world can expand as I grow.

But if I believe in any outer authority, imposed, predetermined, structural, then I limit myself to the prescriptions and rules of that particular authority: it tells me what I am capable of giving, what I deserve to receive, what I have a right to accept.

15: Change is terrifying.

But also beautiful.

16: I gotta give what I want to receive.

Also, the clearer and bolder and more consistent and unwavering I am in what I want to offer, the sooner I find the match, the faster and easier it is to filter out what doesn’t match.

17: Sometimes you have to go in blind.

You have to make a risky move, step into the dark.

The map is not the territory. The plan is not the experience.

You learn by doing. And doing means some amount of messing up, flailing around, being seen, maybe getting hurt.

18: There’s always a way to open things up.

There’s always a secret entrance. There’s always a sign if you look hard enough.

19: Awareness is power.

Those who do not learn the rules of power are easily manipulated by them. Some truths are painful to learn, but it’s better to learn them and walk this world with awareness.

20: As within, so without.

Like, for real.

21: All at once, everything changes.

A single move can reverberate into the furthest reaches of existence and change everything.

The only limits are the ones we give ourselves.

Okay, that’s more than 19. It was an intense year.