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as you grow up, remember this:

every person on this planet will start and end life the same way. 

we all come into this world a blank slate; helpless and needy, ready to be formed, and we will all exit the same way. who we become is a product of our experiences, parenting, education, and eventually our choices. feelings of superiority (“I’m better/smarter/prettier.”) – or inferiority (“I’ll never be that good/smart/good looking.”) – are lies we tell ourselves. you are no less, and no better, than anyone else.

be kind to your body. 

your body is part genetics, part choices. your body is a miracle that works perfectly without a lot of supervision. it is durable, and tough, but it is not immune to brutality. like a beautiful car, treat it like crap, and you’ll soon see wear and tear. learn to thank your body for its loyalty to you; legs that move, lips that kiss, arms that hug. you only get one body. do yourself a favour and learn to appreciate all it does for you without asking.

there are no do-overs.

some things – like actions and words – are permanent. sometimes ‘sorry’ and ‘oops’ don’t cut it. rebel against it if you want to, but as the quote goes: “Thereare three things you cannot recover in life: the moment after it’s gone, the word after it’s said, and the time after it’s wasted.” 

i wish i knew who said that.
likely, it was my mother.
she was almost always right.

your parents are only human.

parents are essentially big children, and they are flawed like the rest of us. deal with it. if you were blessed with perfect parents, lucky you. if you have them on a pedestal, they might disappoint. if you feel like you are the adult at your house, be kind to yourself, learn to set healthy boundaries and plan your escape. you can choose to move on with love when the time is right. many of us have.

never stop laughing at dumb stuff.

i mean it.
fart jokes, weird faces and vulgar comedians.
don’t take yourself too seriously. 
keep at least one friend who will let you act like a complete nutbar.
don’t ever lose the light-hearted, yuk-it-up, young side of you.
deep, low, belly laughter is powerful medicine.

develop a strong moral code.

know your own value system; what you will and won’t tolerate in treatment.
know how you will ‘show up’ for others.
be incorruptible.
pride yourself on trustworthiness.
practice kindness. and neatness.
do what you’ll say you do.
do it because it’s the right thing to do.
be unwavering in consistency.  
accountable people inspire others and are solid leaders.  

learn to be still.

those of us born with a smart phone in our hands will never know a silent moment – even on vibrate. we are bombarded with messages day and night. flashing screens and dinging alarms, You Tube videos and instagratification will mean you are distracted and over stimulated, constantly seeking meaningful connection and internet answers to your questions.

stillness is where peace lives. learn to sit unplugged. breathe deeply and listen.
the only answers that matter come from inside, but you have to be quiet to hear them.  

fall in love with yourself.

what if the first person you fell in love with was you?
what if you loved your weird curly toes?
accepted the fact that you suck at math?
or treasured your ability to listen to others?
what if you put your dreams first?
forgave your mistakes?
welcomed your fears?
expected good treatment from others?
learned to self-soothe?

people who learn to love and accept themselves are happy, confident people. 

believe. 

call it what you want – God, Buddha, the Universe or Creator – just believe in a good and loving, creative power bigger than yourself.

the spark that makes your heart beat is the same spark that makes flowers bloom, raspberries sweet and lemons sour and is the magic behind why baby sea-turtles know how to find the safety of the ocean without their momma. it’s a miracle. and so are you.

let your light shine.

you weren’t born into this world to follow, conform or fade into the background. you were born with a unique gift to share in your lifetime. your job is to figure out what your gift is (you could have more than one) and then rock it like a superstar.

your gift might be physics, or gymnastics or it might be making others feel beautiful.
you might build beautiful buildings, whisper to animals or grow potatoes.
you will know your gift when it makes your heart full and happy to do it.

the greatest gift you can give to others is to be you.

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