5.2 Lessons Learned (Or Relearned) From My 52nd Year

5.2 Lessons Learned (Or Relearned) From My 52nd Year

I turned 53 yesterday, and going into my birthday, I took a moment to reflect on my 52nd year – what I learned (or relearned) about myself, life, love and leadership. And while I could likely come up with 52 lessons, I chose my top 5.2.

#1  All it takes to be a BADASS is one step at a time!
I am so proud of myself for hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! Let’s not kid ourselves. It was HARD! I not only embraced hard, I owned that mountain one step at a time, baby. And when I couldn’t breathe, I used it as a reminder to stop and smell the roses (or in this case, take a picture). The first step was to sign up. The second step was to show up. The final step was to go up! It was also smart to take someone with me who is as crazy as I am. Thanks, Evelyn! I am excited to see what else I am capable of. Stay tuned!

#2  I’ve never seen that before but I still knew what to do!
One of my favorite lessons to teach in class is the power of staying present and outcome-focused. I am so grateful when things show up in my classrooms that I have never seen, so I can practice what I teach. Some of the most beautiful moments in the classroom this past year were unscripted and touched so many hearts. We made a commitment to confidentiality, so I will keep it at that. The lesson I learned in those moments was to trust myself at the deepest level, knowing that the universe has my back. As long as I stay focused on my positive outcome, the answer will be there. While I knew that already, it was amazing to experience it at a deeper level. I am grateful for the powerful gifts I have, and it’s up to me to use them.

#3  Anger isn’t my color!
Wow! This one is harder to write about. However, it was a BIG lesson for me. Anger isn’t one of those emotions that I spend a lot of time in. Frustration, disappointment, sadness are more my go-to when the negative ones show up. This time I got MAD about something someone did. While I took a moment to process my feelings, I knew the issue needed to be addressed, so I jumped right in. And then realized I hadn’t really processed my feelings at all, and what came out in the moment wasn’t pretty. I hurt someone because I created stories about why I thought they did what they did. Of course, I found out it wasn’t anything like what I’d created in my mind. Thankfully, we worked through it and our relationship is stronger than ever. More questions and less assumptions were the key here. Always take a moment to ask “What else could it be?” or “What else might be going on?” And while being angry, or feeling any emotion, is absolutely ok, it was the relearning of the lesson on responding, not reacting, that needed to happen for me because I went straight into some old programming that was severely outdated. More work to do, and isn’t that a glorious thing?

#4  Learn the lesson and get back to living!
This is a follow-up to all of my lessons this year. I believe, and practice, that anytime negative shows up, positive is available. I look for the positive and then give my energy to that positive. When I fall flat on my ass like I did in #3, I do the same. I find the positive, even if it’s just identifying the lesson and what to do differently moving forward. And then … I let it go. If I keep beating myself up over what happened, no one is benefiting from that, especially not me. My energy that could be directed towards positive is still in negative because I am beating myself up. Learn the lesson and then expend your energy on the positive! Isn’t that what love would do? You would do it for another. Now, do it for yourself.

#5  Rest is essential to my good health!
If I don’t question my thoughts and beliefs along the way, then I will never know what else is truly possible. I’ve reworked a lot of my belief system over the years. However, I continue to learn that there is still so much growth possible. I bought into a belief a long time ago that I didn’t need to sleep much, and for years, I averaged 5-6 hours a night at most. I often wondered why I had trouble keeping my eyes open every afternoon. I’ve come to appreciate that when I allow my body the rest it desires (and deserves), as often as possible, I have energy all day. I’m now a 7-8 hours a night girl, and I’ve learned to listen to the wisdom of my body rather than someone whose body may be different than mine. When you get enough rest, your perspective on everything else changes as well, and I know, for me, I make healthier choices all around.

#5.1  Dance whenever you hear music, even if it’s only in your soul.

#5.2  Choose Joy! My favorite lesson and one I practice every day because it fills me up so I can give it away!

Thanks to you all for the love, joy and light you bring to my life. I am grateful and I look forward to another fabulous year of learning, growing and transforming together!


p.s. I am always here for you, and I always love to hear from you (barb@high5leadership.com).