1. I recommend sticking with it. In doing the thing that you say you’re going to do. In knowing that if it were easy, everyone would do it, and it is when things get sticky, difficult, interesting, that the real magic happens. In love. In work. In family. In the relationships we are forever trying to master with ourselves. You have to promise you’ll show up, and then do that, every day, for the thing that you care about. Otherwise, what’s the point? What’s the point in only giving 90%? Go all in.
2. I recommend crying. Big, ugly, fat sobs that come from the belly and last ten minutes or ten hours. Get it out. Release. Holding onto emotion that needs an out is cancerous. Permit yourself to feel it.
3. I recommend being the first one to smile. Not with expectation or demand, but just to do it. Because it is a bit scary, see, to go first. In anything. In raising your hand or saying the thing or in being seen. A smile shouldn’t be the terrifying thing that it is. What if they don’t smile back? What if they think I like them? What if they tell their friend that I’m weird? It’s a smile, guys. We should be able to smile at one another. I don’t much care to live in a world where we can’t meet a stranger’s eye. Do you?
4. I recommend eating an apple and taking a nap. You’ve probably just got low blood sugar and need an extra hour in the sack. You’ll feel better soon.
5. I recommend a morning routine. A gentle, considered, personal-to-you morning ritual that starts your day deliberately and purposefully. Play around with drinking warm water and lemon or black coffee, stretching in bed or on the floor. Decide on what time you’ll check your phone – first thing, still half asleep, or only once you’ve worked out, eaten, and showered? Consider lighting a candle every morning, and setting your alarm to your favourite piece of music over the BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP of an electronic. Do it every day for a week and see if it affects the rest of your day. It will.
6. I recommend asking yourself what worries you/scares you/intimidates you the most, going out there, and confronting that thing head on. Look it in the eye, examine it, circle around it and pick it up and really start to understand the monster you’ve built up in your mind. Make the unknown fear a known entity, and you remove its power over you.
7. I recommend loving. Him, her, yourself. Start it all from love. The alternative is too depressing.
8. I recommend having your heart broken. Real, devastating, how-will-you-ever-recover heartbreak, that rips you open and leaves you to bleed out dry. Because you’ll survive it. You’ll recover from it. And you’ll be better for it. Know what it is to try – really, really try – for something, and have it not work out. That is important and humbling and will be your making.
9. I recommend calling your grandmother.
10. I recommend putting the price of that new blouse into your savings account, and spending three dollars on new buttons for your old blouse.
11. I recommend learning how to make risotto, because there will never be an occasion where slow-cooking rice and drinking white wine in your kitchen will not be a healing, restorative experience.
12. I recommend giving out compliments like candy, and meaning them. Find something good to say, even about the co-worker who chews her almonds too loudly and spits when she talks. Cultivate the good. Search for it. Demand to see it.
13. I recommend being accountable. If it’s your fault, say so. It you didn’t do what you said you’d do, own up. If you’re avoiding doing that one thing: admit it. It’s all on you, baby.
14. I recommend making your own rules. Defining your own terms. What makes you feel more authentic and happy? Do that.