We can't leave January without facing the incredible wisdom of those who are at the end of their life journey here on earth. If you've never read Bronnie Ware's work, I'd highly recommend it! Our American culture typically pushes away death, dying or end of life issues. Let's be real--It makes us uncomfortable. It's not pretty to think about and yet, we all have an expiration date!
At the beginning of the year, I like to the pull this list from the Regrets of the Dying and grade myself on the previous year. Let's talk about the big FIVE...
Evaluate your life. Make some changes. Press forward and take some action!
1. I wish I had lived a life true to myself. The expectations others hold for us can be a heavy burden. Going through our life carrying the wants and dreams of other people can cause so much internal conflict. I remember working at a University Career Counseling Center and sitting with a young man who had zero interest in going into medicine. His family saw a different future for him. The anxiety and conflict were palpable. Having the crucial conversations with loved ones is hard, but living a life true to yourself is priceless.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard. Being a business of ONE it can be so tempting to always be working. Having a business and clients that I love makes it tempting too. But at the end of the day, what's most important to me? What kind of feeling do I want to leave my family with? At the end of the day, ask yourself....why am I doing what I do?
3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. Ouch! Are you a people pleaser? If you're anything like most of us, you find value in taking care of people, of knowing the answers, and of helping. But do YOU ask for help? If you need a break or rest is it OK to ask for it? What's one thing you need help with right now? This one can be tough!
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with friends. The older we get it seems the harder it is to make friends and stay connected. I was recently reflecting on how we are so busy that we have to make an appointment to talk with our friends. We literally have to get on their calendar. When did it happen that getting an unexpected phone call seems so unsettling? Having deep soul to soul conversations definitely puts deposits into our social life account. Who is in your close friend circle? When was the last time you had a heart to heart with them?
5. I wish I had let myself be happier. Are you always waiting for the other shoe to drop? Brene Brown calls this foreboding joy. No, we can't be "happy" forever, but why not enjoy the moment? I mean really let go and enjoy the moment. There's so much life to be lived. It's only when some of that life is stripped away due to health problems or some other circumstance that we look back and regret those chances we didn't take. What's holding you back from living a happier lifestyle?
I hope I've given you some things to think about as you head into 2022. Hug your people, make the phone call, dance like no one is watching and do more of what you love!
As your health and wellness guide, I'm not only looking out for your food and exercise needs. Your mindset is just as important as your physical health!
Comment below and let me know which of the top five you'll be focusing on this year.