34 lessons learned in life + love {and a special something for you!}

Wow, 34. It feels good.

Last year I did a post on my birthday sharing lessons I’d learned, so this year I decided to continue the tradition.

The past year has been full of amazing things that I’m extraordinarily grateful for - from starting a business to falling in love - it's been nothing short of one glorious adventure.

Here’s what I discovered along the way...

1. Only you can make it happen.

This is more than anything else is abundantly clear: nothing happens until you decide you’re going to make it happen. It’s all up to you. So you can either choose to sit on the sidelines and watch other people go and chase after what they want, or you can be part of it and experience life in full-blown colour: the way it’s meant to be.

2. You get what you want by being focused and disciplined.

Decide what’s important to you and what’s not. Put all of your energy into the thing that matters most and be disciplined enough to keep yourself accountable to your goals. Yep, it’s easier not to and make the excuse, then feel the twinge of guilt when you know you're not doing your best. By doing your future-self a favour now, you'll get where you want to be a whole lot quicker.

3. Love at first sight is a real thing.

I never believed love at first sight existed and thought it was only something that happened in the movies. But then I met A and from the moment met we just knew and have been inseparable since. I feel ridiculously blessed to have this much love in my life and count myself lucky every single day for meeting someone so wonderful.

4. Say yes to new adventures.

The more you treat life as one big adventure the more fun it becomes. Just be sure to enjoy the journey on the way.

5. Let go of negativity and things weighing you down.

Negativity is toxic. Being able to distance yourself from people or things that are not bringing you joy is essential for your own well-being.

6. Stopping to smell the roses is good for the soul.

I used to be one of those people rushing through life from one thing to the next and never stopping to appreciate the good that is here and now. Life is made up of moments that are happening right now. Slow down + savour them. These are what you’ll look back on and remember with a big smile on your face.

7. Be patient. The best things happen unexpectedly.

Everything you’ve done has brought you to where you are right now so trust you’re exactly where you need to be. It’s a waste of energy to spend time over-thinking, over-analysing or trying to rush things - let everything evolve naturally. Things have a way of working out as they should.

8. Life happens outside your comfort zone.

For us to grow we must experience new things that force us to dig a little bit deeper inside ourselves and stretch beyond where we are comfortable. Feeling stuck or trapped is a sign that you need to make some kind of change to move you past the situation you’re in. Rise to the challenge and take the risk - it’s absolutely worth it.

9. Don’t take anything personally.

One of my absolute favourite books, the Four Agreements really helped shift my thinking around this, because the truth is that anything another person says or does is a reflection of themselves and their own reality. Taking something to heart another person says or does is not productive because it has nothing to do with you - rather it’s about them.

10. If it’s not adding positive value in your life, get rid of it.

Life is too short to be doing things that are not lighting you up + making you happy.

11. Simplify. Un-do + let go.

I wrote back here my intention to simplify and over the past year I’ve made a lot of progress. I’ve bought far fewer clothes, only buy what I absolutely need  and have consciously consumed-less. It feels good to get rid off ‘stuff’ that’s weighing you down. Clean out your cupboards. Get rid of the clutter. Throw out anything you haven’t looked at or used in the past 2 years - you don’t need it.

12. Fear is an illusion.

Fear is an illusion and nothing more. Giving in to it and letting it have power over you is only holding you back from everything you want in life. I’m no where near perfect but I’ve become much more aware of it and and actively choose not to let it get the better of me. In every moment we can either choose to have faith in what will be or let fear take over - make the choice that will lead you to where you ultimately want to be.

13. Ditch bad habits. They’re only holding you back.

Procrastination; limiting thoughts; not treating your body with respect - these are all holding you back from creating the life you want.

14. Find out how you work best + rock it.

I love working from home but I’ve realised that creating a routine + good habits are essential for my productivity and beating procrastination. Every person works differently, so find out the best way you get sh*t done and embrace it.

15. Don’t settle.

Don’t settle on the relationship; the job; the career - or anything you know is not 100% right for you. You deserve the very best. So be patient, the right thing will come your way when it’s meant to.

16. Time is the greatest asset we have.

Guard it fiercely and use it intentionally. Make your time count, don’t let it pass you by and waste it on things that are not important to you or that are not aligned with who you are and where you want to be.

17. Go with your gut. Always.

Tuning in to your inner compass and surrendering fully in the belief it will guide you where you need to be is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself. Trust that your gut knows best - it won’t lead you astray.

18. Your primary relationship is with yourself.

All others are mirrors of it beaming right back at you. Take a closer look at those around you - if your life is filled with light, love and joy then your relationships will reflect this. What you put up with and tolerate is only a reflection of the value you place on yourself. You are worthy of all the love the world - don’t tolerate anything less.

19. Fall in love with yourself first.

For people to see the crazy, beautiful, spirited person you are, you need to see it, believe it and embrace it before anyone else can fully appreciate your magic. Be your own best friend and love yourself so you can invite the right kind of love into your life.

20. You get to create who you want to become.

It’s a pretty cool thing when you stop and think about it. If you don’t like who you are then you have the power to choose who you want to be. Everyday you get another chance to become the person you're meant to be. Don’t assign this power to anyone else or let the world around you dictate who you are. This is your choice and yours alone.

21. Worrying is literally betting against yourself.

What worries you masters you - don't waste your energy on things that will likely never eventuate.

22. I’m a sucker for Mud Honey smoothies.

Seriously, they are the bomb.

23. Living at the beach gives you the feeling of always being on holidays.

It’s the best feeling to be able to go for a walk on the beach during the middle of the day, breathe in the salty air and feel the sand beneath your toes. To me, being by the ocean means freedom and does wonders for my creativity. I feel crazy lucky to live in such an amazing spot.

24. My obsession with workspaces continues.

Way back when I had a bit of an obsession with workspaces and now that I’m working from home I’ve discovered a newfound love for them.

25. Living by yourself is a good thing to do.

I loved living in my own bachelorette pad - I learned a lot about myself, while feeling ridiculously luxurious at the same time. Having the freedom to do what you want, when you want, has its perks. I’d recommend it to anyone.

26. Reading is one of my greatest pleasures.

When I was younger I remember being a massive book nerd and loved losing myself in a good book. Over the years I stopped reading books because I never ‘had enough time’. But I’ve rediscovered by love of books and find it incredibly relaxing to read with a cup of tea in-hand + candle burning.

27. Creativity is in the art of doing.

Anyone can have an amazing idea but creativity is in the doing and making it happen. That idea you’re sitting on and can’t stop thinking about? Do it. There is no brilliance in sitting on the sidelines and waiting for the perfect moment to arrive.

28. There is no such thing as failure.

Everything you do is an opportunity to learn and grow. Dwelling on past mistakes and so called failures are a waste of energy. Move on fast and take the lesson with you.

29. Self-care is mandatory.

Taking care of you is necessary for your personal sanity. Work out what you need for you to show up and be the best version of yourself. My negotiables are getting enough sleep; fuelling my body with nourishing food and taking time out to do the things I love. When these are out of whack I’m no good to anyone, so I know it’s my job to make sure I'm honouring what my body needs.

30. Perfect the art of saying ‘no’.

See point above. Yep, sometimes for your own sanity you need to say ‘no’. Falling into the trap of feeling like you need to need to say yes to everything that comes your way is a sure fire way to leaving you drained and over it. Giving an affirmative ‘no’ means you’re only creating space for things that truly light you up, but are also aligned with your values and goals.

31. Passion changes everything.

Finding your passion gives you purpose and a reason for being.  Follow your passion, live it, breathe it, explore it and never give up looking for the thing that makes you come alive. When you find it you’ll know because you can’t stop thinking about it. Don’t ignore the subtle pulls - what you’re passionate about is your calling.

32. Let go of expectations and focus on what you want.

Forget what you think should be doing and do the things that light you up and bring you joy. You don’t need anyone’s tick of approval for your choices except your own.

33. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

When you’re drowning in overwhelm, stressed, stuck or just plain not feeling yourself: take a step back. Breathe. Re-centre. Sometimes giving yourself distance will lead you to the answer you’re looking for.

34. Just do you. The rest will follow.

You are perfect. Do your thing unashamedly. Quit following the crowd and measuring yourself against what other people are doing. The more you tap into you: the quirks, weirdness and craziness that makes you YOU, the more you’re going to attract the right people and opportunities in your life.

Much love + happiness,

Rachel xo