My Commandments for 2012 (The Principles Guiding My Life)

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Friday, January 06, 2012

Here are my 33 commandments, if you will, principles guiding me through 2012. I landed on the number 33 accidentally--but I'm happy to accept that number as it's the number of years I celebrate being alive in 2012. :-)

So here's my message to me about how I want to live in 2012. What are yours?

1) MAKE YOUR HAPPINESS THE PRIORITY. Someone will always be disappointed, and you will always fall short of giving everything someone else needs. Do what you need to do in order to make yourself happy. All good things come from meeting that need first.

2) BE YOURSELF AND BE TRUE TO YOURSELF. Don't live someone else's life. Live yours, even when it's messy and imperfect. Be real about what being yourself looks like and what that is, even if it disappoints others, and even if it disappoints you.

3) SPEND TIME WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE: GO WHERE THE LOVE IS. You shouldn't have to force your way into anyone's life or into anyone's plans. Go where you are received with the love and warmth you deserve.

4) LIVE IN THE PRESENT. Learn from the past, make plans for the future, but be as unattached as possible to both. All that you have is right here, right now. And believe me, you don't want to miss it.

5) COME BACK TO CENTER; BALANCE. Balance isn't something you'll achieve and be able to step away from. It takes continual maintenance and cultivation. Keep at it.

6) TREAT YOURSELF WITH KINDNESS, COMPASSION, AND UNDERSTANDING. Speak to yourself the way you would a dear friend and offer the same softness, grace, and love that you would that person--nothing less.

7) BE YOUR OWN WITNESS AND VALIDATE YOURSELF. Others do not have the power to confirm or deny your feelings. You alone can offer yourself the support you're looking for.

8) TAKE BREAKS. REST. RECOVER. We cannot offer--time, assistance, energy--or be active at all times, or we will overspend ourselves. When you are tired, it is wise to honor it and make space to rest and recover.

9) INVEST LOVE AND ENERGY WHERE THE RETURNS ARE GOOD. The returns, of course, may not be literal returns. But it is unhealthy to invest yourself where help and love are not wanted or sought. And there are plenty of places/people seeking.

10) AVOID NEGATIVITY AND DRAMA. They do nothing to enrich your life. Enough said.

11) DON'T WAIT FOR PEACE AND HAPPINESS TO ARRIVE. MAKE THEM. Peace and happiness are not right around the corner, waiting for you just as soon as you get it all figured out and you do everything perfectly. They are found in accepting that you can't figure it all out and do it all perfectly--and that that's quite okay.

12) STOP EXPLAINING YOURSELF, YOUR DECISIONS, AND YOUR FEELINGS. It's a waste of your time and energy. The people who really matter don't need you to do it, and haters gonna hate no matter how strong your explanation. Just do what you know is right for you.

13) DON'T LOOK FOR HAPPINESS IN THINGS OR IN FOOD. It's not there. I promise. I've looked. A lot.

14) STOP BELIEVING IT'S NOT THE RIGHT TIME AND COMMIT TO DOING ONE SMALL THING. If you wait until you have all your ducks in a row before starting on your goals, you're going to be waiting a really long time. Things don't have to be perfect for you to get moving (and be successful).

15) DON'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK. IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS ANYWAY. Don't be so concerned with how others might perceive or judge you. Whatever opinions they have are a much better reflection of THEIR lives than YOURS anyway.

16) DON'T WORRY TOO MUCH. LET GO OF THE OUTCOME. Worry never changes what will happen. Acknowledge your fears or anxieties, make as much space for them as they need, and then practice (yes, practice) releasing them.

17) BE GRATEFUL, FULL OF WONDER AND AWE. Look at the world with a beginner's mind. Be amazed by what you see. Find things to be grateful for. There's so much, it's overwhelming. Be overwhelmed.

18) STAY GROUNDED IN WHAT'S HERE, NOT WHAT'S MISSING. If you look at the gaps, the holes, the mistakes, you'll miss the beauty of the bigger picture. Instead of fixing your gaze on what's not here, feel the comfort and joy of being grateful for what IS.

19) BELIEVE YOURSELF DESERVING. Because you are. Of good things. All the good things.

20) YOU WILL SOMETIMES FALL. GET BACK UP. ALWAYS GET BACK UP. It is inevitable that we will all strike out, miss, fail. Take a deep breath. Regroup. Get up by whatever means necessary. Sometimes it will be a graceful leap up, sometimes a labored crawl, and sometimes you'll pick yourself up one broken piece at a time. But do it, every time, no matter how hard.

21) REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT YOUR PROBLEMS OR YOUR SUCCESSES. These things will come and go, and as time passes, you won't even remember them. Don't get too attached. You are bigger than any one thing that ails you--and any one thing you achieve.

22) STOP WAITING FOR PERFECTION AND HONOR AND CELEBRATE, BE GRATEFUL FOR, WHAT IS. No one, nothing is perfect. Perfect is boring, anyway. Be grateful for the perfectly imperfect that IS.

23) ACCEPT THAT YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL AND RELEASE THE NEED TO BE. Control--the illusion of it, the striving for it, the struggling for it--all draining and exhausting and futile. You do not get to determine the way it all goes. There is beauty in the natural tide of life when you release into it.

24) LET OTHERS IN WHEN YOU'RE IN A DARK PLACE. Dark places can be scary. You don't have to go it alone. Despite what you think, there is a ton of love and support waiting to light it up when you're ready to let it in.

25) BE THE FRIEND YOU WANT TO HAVE. What you value in a friend, embody and give.

26) BREATHE. It is your refuge.

27) BE REAL ABOUT WHAT YOU REALLY WANT. Don't be afraid to voice what it is. Don't be fooled into thinking it's a cookie when it's usually something much deeper--and much harder to ask for. Be honest--with others and especially yourself--about what that is.

28) SHUT DOWN, DISCONNECT, AND HONOR YOUR NEED FOR SPACE AND PRIVACY. It is draining to be always accessible and always on. When you need space, take it, REALLY take it, and release the worry that others will think poorly of yourself if you do.

29) WORRY LESS ABOUT WHAT IT ALL LOOKS LIKE. Some of the best successes, some of the best happiness was born out of messiness. Don't worry if it's not all pretty, how others are perceiving any part of what you do, what you choose, or who you are, from the outside. What matters is your own perception from the full story, on the inside.


31) TRUST YOUR GUT, LISTEN TO BODY CUES. Trust that reaction that tells you when something ain't right--or when it is. AND trust your body and the messages it gives you--when to eat, when to stop, when to run, when to rest. It is wise.

32) OWN YOUR BEAUTY AND STRENGTH. There's something beautiful and strong in us all. Know yours and own it proudly.

33) DON'T PLAY IT SAFE. Take a risk, put it out there, lay it on the line. Be fearless.

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