Words of wisdom to my younger self

What would you say to your younger self?

I’m 39 for another few months but I’ve already been telling people for the last few months that I’m 40. Its funny, you’d think I’d be clinging desperately to the last vestiges of my 30 something years, but truth be told, I’m quite excited to turn 40. In the ancient mystical Kabbalistic tradition, you’re not allowed to begin your mystical studies until you turn 40, when you are deemed to be ready to pursue binah or deep understanding. I used to think that was a bit age-ist but now I think I get it.

Having survived and even enjoyed the whirlwind of this mortal coil for nearly 40 years, I like to think I have acquired some sense of deep understanding. For years I searched the ancient philosophies, modern psychology and the spiritual masters for truth. But it is only when I let go of the angst of my 20s and personal striving of my 30s, and turned within, that I found not the truth, but my truth. Which is what I was really searching for all along. Having resented the human condition for so long, I now accept my human as well as my being, to become fully present in my life. The yin and yang, the joy and the sorrow, the human and the being, together, make up the whole. And so it is with age and experience, reflection and learning that the light of deep understanding begins to flicker.

Last week, a friend asked me what I would say to my younger self if I had the opportunity. I quickly rattled off the first ten things that came to mind but since then, I have been thinking about my younger self and what she would really like to hear:

You will be ok. More than ok. I know because I am you and I am ok. So come into my arms, let your tears fall on my shoulder. It is now safe to let go.

Look around you. Feel, touch, smell and drink in your moments. Its only through being human that you can feel the exquisite pangs of boundless joy and deep sorrow.

Let go of the tightness and stress over what is happening now and your worries about what could happen in the future. You have chosen this lifetime to evolve. Even though it may not be clear to you, everything that you are doing and experiencing is just the way its meant to be.

Look around you. Feel, touch, smell and drink in your moments. Its only through being human that you can feel the exquisite pangs of boundless joy and deep sorrow. Yes, there is wrenching pain but there is also bewitching light, overwhelming love and unbelievable Beauty. You are here because you chose to experience it all.

Don’t be afraid. Your fears are clues from your soul to help you discover what you really want in life. Facing them is how you grow into your purpose.

You will feel at times that you are spinning faster than the earth would allow. That’s ok. Stop when you can and come back to your heart and your gut. Your feelings are the sign posts to your freedom. Listen to them carefully and follow your truth, even when it seems you stand alone. You are stronger than you could ever believe. Remember that no one has power over you unless you give it to them.

When things get tough, its ok to crumble. Then get up and keep going. Ask for support when you need it. Support others when they need it. Surround yourself with people who want you to be everything you can be. Do the same for them.

Remember that all you need is within you now. Trust that. Trust yourself. Practice following your heart, not your head. Your soul knows what to do.

When you give, do it consciously with all of your heart. Look after those around you but don’t forget to look after yourself. Listen carefully to your body – it will tell you how to remain strong and vibrant.

You can tell that you’re doing the right thing if your heart feels light. If it makes you unhappy, don’t do it.

You are perfect just as you are. Really.

I love you.

And now, as I gently cruise into the next stage of my life, I continue to open my heart and hope that one day I can turn back to where I am now with even more deep understanding.

What would you say to your younger self?

Jodie Gien

Jodie Gien

Jodie Gien is a committed mindfulness teacher with a longstanding personal practice of her own. Having worked for many years as a human rights and discrimination lawyer and mediator at the Australian Human Rights Commission and then as an executive coach prior to teaching mindfulness, she is passionate about fostering human potential. Jodie conducts training in mindfulness for corporations, staff and students in schools, parents, athletes and community groups. She also teaches private courses together with mindfulness coaching sessions. Jodie is an accredited “.b Teacher” for the Oxford University Mindfulness in Schools Project, an accredited Mindfulness Trainer with the esteemed Gawler Foundation and is an accredited Meditation Facilitator with Nature Care College. To find out more, visit Jodie's website or email jodie@mindfulfutureproject.com.

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