Thank you so much for all the comments and amazingly heart-felt emails you sent me last week as I celebrated my 50th. I had a wonderful trip to Minnesota and Iowa, had an amazing birthday, took some beautiful photographs (the one at the top of this post is probably my favorite—taken at a friend’s family’s farm in Iowa), received beautiful gifts and cards, ate amazing food at some wonderful and some quirky restaurants, and had some of the best laughs of my life with people I love. So far, this decade is such a slice of awesomeness—just as the one before it was.
On the afternoon of my birthday, I reported this on Facebook:
“I did not awaken on this, my 50th bday, to find I'd been instantly transported to "I don't give a fuck about what you think about my life," land (as I was told I would be). I actually think I might have been born there. “
It's true. I've been living in that land for as long as I can remember. It’s all part of the Moxie thing, in life and business—living, loving, working, and doing my life my way. As a wise friend said to me 15 years ago, I am subversive in all the best ways, meaning simply that I am not content to accept things, I must prefer them. And I change what is—I "subvert" what is, to make it better for myself, and often, for others. And while I’ve been that my whole life, it’s only now that I’m willing to stand up and claim the “subversive in all the best ways” moniker for myself. That’s the gift of truth I take with me into my 50th year.
I promised that I would return this week older, a bit wiser (if nothing else, that wisdom is in the form of what not to do when you rent a car!), and with more Moxie to share. The “subversive in all the best ways” is certainly part of that, and as I sat in the airport waiting to fly home, I started to reflect on things I’ve learned; really learned to my core. Today, I want to share five of those things with you. They apply regardless of your age, and, know this—you may need to grow into them, but I absolutely am convinced that you’re never too young or old to try them on for size.
Here we go:
1. Live your truth: focus more on what you think than what others think. In your life, your view is the only one that ultimately matters. Pay attention to your heart, for it will never guide you in the wrong direction.
2. Live your truth: your life, your way. Don't blindly accept the life you were given. Find out what matters to you, then live that. Do more of what you want to do than what others want you to do; your life is yours, and not your mama’s, your daddy’s, your pastor’s, your husband’s, or your BFF’s. Will some people likely be pissed by changes you make to your life? You bet. But as long as you’re listening to your heart, and living your truth, that’s what’s going to matter. Their pissed-offness ultimately won’t. Will some of them be unable to go with you on the journey your life is calling you to take? You bet, and that will feel sad, but you’ll meet new people who will be far better companions on your life journey. Promise.
3. Live your truth: listen to, and follow teachers, mentors, experts, and gurus only if what they share truly fits with your own internal guidance system. Those of us who share what we know, know well that although we’re smart and can short-cut your path around many things, if what we know doesn’t really fit with you, deep inside, you won’t be successful in any way that really matters. You won’t miss something if you stop paying attention to the “cool kids.” They’re only cool if they’re cool to you. If you check in with yourself, you'll know who they are.
4. Live your truth: create dreams and plans that are right-sized for you. If they're big, go for them in a big way. If they're not, again, listen to your truth, going inside, instead of looking outside yourself, as all the “dream bigger,” “play bigger” enthusiasts will only make you feel small and useless (when in doubt, refer to #3), if they're not big, flashy, or six-or-seven-figure producing.
Note that what you want for yourself can change. Be willing to step into something different when your heart tells you its time. A good way to know if it's time is to ask yourself this question: will doing this thing (or not doing this thing) impact my aliveness in a negative way? You want to walk away from things that negatively impact your aliveness, and run toward things that positively impact it.
5. Live your truth: remember that there are no life or work police who will come take you out if you do things “the wrong way.” So do them your way—whatever that is.
Live your truth. Work your biz. Love your love(s) and love your life. Do you. Be you.
And that, my friends, is Moxie, which can be yours at any age.♥