So I’m freshly 30 and I missed my self-imposed deadline, but let’s just move forward without any self-loathing. This is the second to last post in my series of 30 Things to Remember in My 30s featuring lessons for the mind, body, soul, work, life, and love. Please share your own in the comments section!
Mind – Meditate
I am a terrible meditator. I’ve gone to sessions where thoughts continue to bombard my mind and when I take sneak peak around, everyone seems to have reached bliss. What I needed to realize was that other’s ability to meditate didn’t matter and keep practicing.
The idea of meditation has been pontificated about so much that for many of us, it seems out of reach. For me, it’s hard to drown out the daily rigamarole with silence. There is so much noise, how do you mentally tune it out.
I’ve tried guided transcendental mediation with a repeating mantra a few times. It was always so hard to clear my mind of thoughts though I’d have passing moments of deep connection with my body and the universe.
Ironically, I found a website/ app for that called Calm.com. You select 2, 10, and 30 minute sessions of guided practice with your choice of natural sounds in the background. Perfect during a commute to work or when you need to tune out.
Meditators out there, please contribute any tips in comments.
Body – Get Outdoors
Nature is a beautiful and inspiring place. I’m so excited to adventure around the West Coast to get outdoors and experience the surf, sand, mountains and desert.
For me, being outdoors on a hike or bike ride isn’t just physical exercise, but provides a connection and appreciation for the physical world around us. After a hectic DC day, I would take a bike ride to release, recharge and take in a purplish pink sunset skirting along the Potomac River. It’s a space and place to be grateful and maybe a form of meditation for me as well.
Soul – Be A Tool (not that kind of tool!)
In India, Swamiji would always say that we are only tools or instruments in which the divine works through us. In the symphony of life, we each have our own talents and notes that we play and together make beautiful music, but those talents aren’t our own, they are given to us.
Sadhvi Bhagawati said that a microphone doesn’t boast about what a great speech it gave because the mike is simply the vessel through which the words were amplified. This lesson is really about ego. Ego distracts from the task at hand and disrupts the flow. I was very grateful to learn this lesson in India as it helped me recognize the value that everyone brings to the table and to respect that.
Work – Be Patient
We all get frustrated or have bad days when we’re working with someone who asks a stupid question and you want to verbally rip their head off. I was on the receiving end of this when I first began working and it destroys your confidence.
Resolute in mentoring instead of being masochistic, I tried to approach these situations with teaching instead of temper. Tearing someone apart may make you feel good to blow off steam, but it breaks down the barriers of trust and communications.
Being in PR, I want people to come to me with the good, bad, ugly and even stupid. It’s more time and more patience, but you’re in the loop which is the most important aspect.
No one is perfect though, see an example of my impatience of yesteryear here. Mom, I’m sorry for the swear words.
Life – Say YEP! Say Yes, Embrace Your Environment, and be Proactive!
Around 25, I felt stagnant with a wave of college friends leaving DC to travel abroad and settle in cities like San Francisco. I found myself so happy when visiting SF and always left a piece of my heart there. On one plane journey back, resolved to experience more in the place where I actually lived, I made three commitments: to say yes to everything, embrace DC and be proactive.
Changing my mentality changed everything. My friend Lucy and I started meeting new people in DC’s art, culture and music scene and found ourselves out every night. So now, regardless of the place, I try to say yes, embrace my surroundings and be proactive because you never know the adventures awaiting you out there is this wild world.
Love – Love Yourself
A wise 30 year old with gray hair once told me that you gotta love yourself first and foremost. A famous swami in India said that you cannot give if you are not full yourself. It’s advice that fills many self help books and that is because it’s true.
At times, I’ve forgotten it in the self loathing throes of a break up or lost myself in a relationship with someone else.
This mantra runs through many of the other lessons that I’ve written about from following your passions to looking on the bright side of life and doing your best everyday. Hopefully by being mindful of all the lessons, I’ll remember that I’m in a relationship with myself first and foremost and “you gotta love yourself.”
What do you think about the list so far?