It is never of any use to oneself."
Sunday is International Women's Day, a day when thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. I believe that as women much of our power lies in community and collaboration -- there is strength in numbers and we can all work together, share, and learn from one another!
In honour of International Women's Day I'm writing this blog in celebration of women and the special bond of sisterhood. I wanted to share an excerpt of letter I wrote to my little sister as she set off to live in Australia for a year. This is my greatest big sister advice about how to live the best life ever:
Be yourself: You are different than every other person in the world, so don't even bother trying to fit in. Just be you -- that's actually the best ever.
Cultivate confidence: Confidence is the ultimate superpower. Start with baby steps -- do little things that make you feel more confident and then watch how they grow!
Be fearFULL: Don't shy away when you are afraid -- feel the fear, and do it anyway because your greatest growth comes when you go out on those skinny branches.
Spend less time thinking and more time feeling: It can be hard to get out of your head and into your heart, but it is worth the effort.
Be the boss of your body: You only get one body. You can literally spend your life fighting it -- or loving it. You are in charge of your body, so keep it healthy and strong, and move it everyday.
Risk a lot for love: Although it may seem counterintuitive now, avoiding a broken heart is not a victory. (The walls you'll have to build to protect yourself from this would need to be impossibly thick and isolating.) Don't be afraid to love, and love, and love again.
Sometimes, you're going to mess up (and that's okay): We all make mistakes, but we have two choices for dealing with them: (1) gloss over them like they weren't your fault, or (2) acknowledge your imperfections, recognize that your self-worth is not tied to your performance, and understand that you can (and will) do better next time.
Say what you mean and mean what you say: Choose your words carefully. Don't subscribe to a way of speaking just because it works for others. Be specific, authentic, and real.
Apologize: Say sorry when you are, and genuinely mean it.
Keep learning -- always: You won't and shouldn't have everything in your life figured out right now. That's okay and normal. Be a lifelong student, be curious and keep learning everyday!
Don't try to fix other people: It's not your job to fix people. Tell people you care, but don't try to fix (and don't judge).
Let go: Forgive and don't keep revenge or hate in your heart because it will only eat away at you.
Practice gratitude daily: Be thankful for the big and little things. Don't fall asleep without making a request to your subconscious mind -- think of something you are grateful for right before you fall asleep and you'll have the best dreams!
People who judge the most are usually the most afraid: Folks that have the strongest opinions usually have something to hide or are afraid. Don't take these things personally. Have compassion for others, and just like the Buddha says, be the change you wish to see in the world.
Simplify: Steve Jobs knew this one, "simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains." This is absolutely true; don't overcomplicate things.
Being lonely or feeling alone is okay: We all do sometimes. Learn to be okay with just being with yourself. You are good company.
Learn how to shut out the noise: Other people will always give their opinions and advice, but learn to find that delicate balance of listening to others and trusting yourself.
Sing and dance: Sound is healing -- at least once a day, sing and dance like no one's watching.
Forgive yourself: Don't beat yourself up about the mistakes you make. Be kind to yourself.
If you don't know, ask: And if you do know, ask. Your mind (and what you think) will change, and that's okay. Never feel ashamed to ask questions. Remember, if you don't ask, you don't know and you don't get.
Go your own way: You are unique and on your own path. Trust your gut and do what is right for you and do what you want to do, even when that isn't what most people are doing. Not everyone is going to like you, but that's okay.
Never let anybody dull your sparkle: To be a shining star you must shine your own light. Don't let anyone or anything stop you, or dull your unique sparkle. You are a star, so shine brightly like they do!
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