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36 life lessons I've learned in 36 years ✨

Last Sunday I celebrated another year around the sun! It was a special one as it coincided with the Jewish New Year and me being 26 weeks pregnant. So many fresh starts, new beginnings and transitions have started and are yet ahead of me.

September has always been a time of the year when I pause to reflect back and connect with what I want moving forward. This year was no exception. So today’s email is inspired by my birthday’s morning pages, which turned out to be 36 life lessons I’ve learned in 36 years.

When I think about what was most formative about my 20s and 30s so far, I think about taking the journey of leaving the choir to learn the sound of my own voice. I think about how this journey has taught me to be brave, and for the most part, led me to do most things on my terms. And that’s probably my favourite thing about my life so far.

I've become really good at leaping. I’ve moved countries multiple times, changed my career path, built a full-time coaching business, and I try my best to keep doing new things that stretch my own perceptions of myself.

Uncertainty, change and fear have been my biggest, most constant teachers.

As I remain humble and open to many more lessons, insights and discoveries, today I’m sharing with you 36 life lessons that I’ve learned so far:

  1. If you want to do something, do it first and for all for you — for your joy, for your fulfilment, for your self-expression, not for anyone else’s approval.

  2. You already possess all the answers within you. You just need to access the part of you that KNOWS.

  3. There’s nothing more powerful than trusting your “hut” (heart + gut), it’s your greatest superpower.

  4. Don't look at your phone the moment you wake up. Take 10 minutes, even just 2 minutes, to connect inwards, check in with how you feel and how you want to feel before you plug yourself into the rest of the world.

  5. The most beautiful things in my life grew out of crossroads moments. Inflexion points that changed everything. Allow these moments to become opportunities to redefine yourself and steer your life in a different direction. Leverage your transitions.

  6. Clarity only comes when we are willing to ask the question and listen to the answers.

  7. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to do what you love. Don't wait to be recognised to share your voice. The biggest gift you can give yourself is to learn to validate yourself, first.

  8. What is true freedom? it's about finding our truth rather than being latched to someone else’s. It's the privilege most of us have, for the most part, to define for ourselves who we are, what we want and how we want to express it.

  9. But the ultimate freedom is our ability to know what’s going on in our own mind at any given moment without becoming it (lifetimes of practice).

  10. Stop waiting for a grand moment. Most of us don't get epiphanies. We only get a whisper – a soft nudge: ‘do that’ ‘read that’ ‘reach out to them’. That's it. That's the call. It's up to each of us to do the work of discovery, to connect it to an answer.

  11. There’s no greater feeling than being on your path. Not arriving, but BEING ON. On. Not next. Not towards. On.

  12. Our life is created around what we do, who we do it with and where we do it. It isn't created around what we could have done, whom we could have done it with or where we could have done it.

  13. You’re not obliged to stick to a career path, or any path for that matter, to justify the time, money or effort invested in it.

  14. Don’t let the idea of a ‘perfect plan’ hold you hostage. You don’t know the way yet, because you’ve never walked it before.

  15. No matter how much yoga, meditation or mindfulness you practice, no matter how many years you’ve invested in personal growth, there will be times when you’ll feel disconnected from yourself because you are human and life is ebb and flow. You’ll find your way back in again and you’ll be back a little wiser and a little more expanded.

  16. Make sure you fill up your life with things you love and are feeling called to do, otherwise it’ll get filled up by others, often with things that aren't meant for you.

  17. Jealousy can be a wonderful teacher. When we see something we admire in someone else, it’s because it’s a reflection of our own truth. It shows us what’s inherent in us but is currently unexpressed and wants to come forth.

  18. A helpful reframe for holding boundaries: by having boundaries, you show the people you love that it’s ok for them to have them too.

  19. People live in their own heads, they're focused on their own issues. If someone has the time/energy to think negatively about you it’s only because your spoken truth is triggering their own unspoken truth.

  20. There’s great liberation in developing immunity to other people’s judgments and opinions, and, even more so, in letting go of your self-judgement.

  21. Once you’ve made a decision, go with it. Turn the energy that would have otherwise been spent mulling over into making your choice fruitful.

  22. When you feel like things aren’t working out, you might think you have to do more, be more, strategise more… Often, what you need is less. Less noise, more stillness. Everything will become utterly clear from there.

  23. Even if it’s just for 2-min, do this every day: sit still, ground your sit bones, hands on your knees, spine straight, open chest, head forward. Create space to listen. That’s it.

  24. When you get an idea, write it down, write it down immediately. You won’t remember it later. Write it even when it feels silly, your ideas are precious gems.

  25. Yes, life can get busy and overwhelming. Do the best you can to lean into daily, simple joys: the evening light coming through the window, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the sounds of birds early in the morning. Moments that are often lost to a fake sense of urgency.

  26. Check-in with yourself several times a day, and ask yourself the most basic question: How am I feeling? The more you do that, the more agency you have over how you spend your days.

  27. You are your life’s biggest asset. There's nothing more important than your wellbeing.

  28. There’s no one perfect way to live this life. There’s ALWAYS a trade-off. It’s about choosing the sh*t sandwich you’re willing to eat, the one that allows you to live the life that’s most aligned with your values, priorities, needs, aspirations & desires.

  29. The answers to the questions about how to move forward in our lives are really simple. Don't underestimate the simple guidance you'll find when you slow down and turn inwards for guidance – trust, just start, go do it, do what brings joy – the truth is always elemental.

  30. There’s nothing a big gulp of ocean air can’t fix.

  31. What you want won’t come from bullying or saying mean things to yourself. What you really want will come from deeply listening to yourself and gently honouring what's lingering inside.

  32. Having mixed feelings around a decision you've made doesn't make your decision wrong.

  33. There are no wrong decisions — you’ll always either 'win' or you’ll learn a valuable lesson. Either way, you’ll keep moving forward.

  34. The soul does not put much stock in appearances. If your life looks good on paper, but it doesn't feel good inside, the part of you that feels like it's living someone else's life will haunt you forever.

  35. Time is not running out.

  36. Life is a series of experiences, of moments, strung together, you get to determine which of those moments are of meaning to you.

That’s it, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. To many more lessons & discoveries!

With love, Naama

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