10 Commandments for my 28th birthday

August 12th is my birthday and my 10 Commandments for my 27th Year (should read 27th birthday) got an overwhelming response so I thought I’d bring the format back and do a year check-in. Here are some (10) things I’m reminding myself of as I barrel into my 29th year.

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1. Don’t wait: Remember where I left it off a year ago? “Life is short, do the thing”? Well I’m kicking off this post with another version of that. Life is short, do the thing… and do it now. There is no need to wait to start; start that exercise program, start giving to charity (even if it’s 5$ a month, it’s still a huge contribution to support programs that represent your values and goes a long way), start that painting/journalling/improv thing. New beginnings are not only for the new year!

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2. You are doing good, and good-doing: When I was training for my half marathon in Disney World I picked “I’m doing good and good-doing” as my mantra. It was like an infinity loop feeding itself with action and goodness and today I impart that on you. This mantra got me through many early morning, long Saturday runs, sometimes in the freezing cold, but knowing that however fast I was running was good enough, and that I was doing it for a good cause was all the comfort I needed to encourage me through. (If this mantra doesn’t work for you, by all means choose your own!)

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3. Start somewhere, ANYWHERE: The journey of ten, a hundred, a thousand miles starts with a single step. If you’re going to get anywhere, you have to be willing to start from where you are, with whatever you have. This is a hard one for me because I tend to only like to do things that I’m relatively good at and get frustrated in my own idea of perfection. This can hinder anyone’s progress. You just have to start; start reaching out, start exercising, start a hobby. The amount of loneliness, or long road ahead, or blank canvas or whatever it may be can seem daunting, but as soon as you start you have taken a step in the right direction. This doesn’t mean there won’t be steps backwards, or scrapped canvases, but you have to start somewhere if you are going to move forward and get anywhere.

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4. Keep reaching: In an ideal world, if money and time and circumstances didn’t create any obstacles, what would you be doing? Now keep that in mind, and make every decision in favour of that dream. Of course we don’t live in an ideal world which I am well aware of so I do have a bit of apprehension about sharing this quote. I have a hard time with self-help books because so many of them preach that you can do whatever you want if you just try but this isn’t always the case. As long as you are keeping in mind the bigger picture, and making small decisions every day to support those goals you are on your way.

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5. Pursue your dreams: I have a dream of working in the charitable, humanitarian or philanthropic domain but I don’t have the credentials to go overseas or the qualifications to directly help people in need. What I do have is a degree in administration and I want to make it my life’s work to work in the offices of companies with these values (or at least volunteer for a cause I believe in on the side). I once went on a job interview and told them what interested me in the their company, even though I would just be an office assistant, was the values that the company held and the missions they were supporting. It was the first time they had ever heard that answer and it made me stand out as a candidate. You can achieve your dreams in ways you never imagined possible. Reach out in your capacity and keep your dreams alive.

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6. Have drive: Whatever you are passionate about, whether it be perfecting that waffle recipe on Sunday mornings, rallying people together for a good cause, or raising awareness on an important topic: it all starts with enthusiasm. My biggest accomplishments haven’t come from a know-how, or skill. I’ve figured all that out along the way. It started with an eagerness to be a part of something, to achieve something greater than myself. The term “nerd” is no longer reserved for techies and trekkies. It is by definition, “a single-minded expert in a particular technical field”. Be a nerd about what you love!

 

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7. Just do it: You can prepare all you want to, but there will always be things that catch you completely blindsided. You will never know how good you are or how far you can go until you try. I have confidence that we can figure things out along the way. A lot of life is trial and error. We learn from our mistakes and there are bound to be many along the way.

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8. Move forward: There is no comparison, to other people or to our other selves. I am a total suck for nostalgia and often romanticize times that were very hard on me and this can be unhealthy. Live in the present, and live for the future. What’s done is done and there is little we can do to change the past. So heed the moment, and strive for what is yet to come. Don’t look back unless it is to reflect and regroup.

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9. Live your best life: I believe we only have one physical life on this earth, but I also believe that within this life we are reincarnated many times. Did you know that your brain totally renews itself every two months? How can we be the same person we were a year ago, let alone yesterday? We learn from our experiences and change and evolve all within one body and one lifetime. So take from your experiences, forgive your past because you were a different person then, and reach for the stars. Yes, once can be enough!

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10. Heal yourself: Finally, self love. This is very similar to what I “preach” about loving yourself, but this time it is about healing. Only you can forgive others, forgive yourself, forgive the universe. If we are feeling wronged for any reason, it is not through being hard on ourselves or others that we will heal. We need to do so through unconditional and unwavering love and this has to start with ourselves. Take care of yourself. Do things for you and set your own goals and pursue what makes you happy. Don’t look for it in others. Forsure they can be helpful, but healing starts from the inside. Remember to be your own best friend.

There is a common theme here, and it is all about pursuing your dreams and what it takes to get there. I have dubbed this the year of reinvention, reincarnation, and restoration.

Love you babes,

xo

Ashlinn

 

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