On Saturday I turned 24. I had so many mixed emotions about this day. About entering my 24th rotation of the sun and also reflecting on what my year being 23 has been like. I had expectations of what “Today” was going to be like and the universe gently reminded me that sometimes your expectations and preferences are not meant to be met. It was slap in the face for my ego. It got me thinking about everything I have learnt in the last 12 months about life, relationships, money, minimalism and of course giving up shopping. So today as I celebrate another year on Earth, I thought I would give you some lessons I learnt in the last 12 months.

1) Everything is a choice, I’ve said this in a few posts over this year and it is number one on my list. Because it is, and sometimes you cannot control what happens to you, but you do get to choose how you respond.

2) Less is more, We live in a world that is constantly bombarding us with the message that we need more of everything and these past 12 months, I’ve learnt for me its the opposite. I want less clothes, I want less choices, in forgoing the need for more and opting for less, I have a wave of calm and freedom from it.

3) Listen to your gut, It is right, every single time.

4) Meditation is my grounding tool, I could not live without Vedic Meditation. I learnt this about 18 months ago and it has been my personal knight in shining armour. It has reduced my anxiety, stress, fatigue and overall grounded me daily to help me be the best person I can be. I cannot recommend it enough and also recommend you learn from Jacqui Lewis @ The Broad Place she is a phenomenal teacher, mentor and all round awesome human.

5) Spend time and money on things that give you joy, This year has been about cutting back, but what I have done is spend more time, energy and money on things that bring me pure joy, like food, exercise, time with friends & family, reading and writing. I don’t regret this choice one bit.

6) Most things we own, we don’t use or need I have parted ways with at least 30% of the things I own this year and still have so much stuff hanging around the house that I don’t use or need.

7) Focus on who you need to be each day rather than what you need to achieve, I used to make the to do list, set my goals for the day, week, month or year. And constantly found myself falling short of achieving these and feeling disheartened. So instead I focus heavily on who I need to be TODAY and day by day I refine who I am being.

8) Money is renewable, time isn’t, I used to put so much emphasis on money and not on time. This has definitely changed in the past year.

9) Its okay to see a therapist, I’ve seen a therapist on and off for the past 10 months and it has helped me let go of the past and embrace myself more. Sometimes the best thing for you is to talk about all your problems or thoughts with someone who doesn’t know you.

10) Being uncomfortable is where the magic happens, oh baby it is. Every time I jump into the freezing ocean even though my ego and mind are saying DON’T DO IT. I feel the fear and the discomfort and do it anyway. Do it more often.

11) Sunrise is frickin mind blowing every single time, watching the sunrise has been one of my all time favourite past times this past year. I’m in awe of watching the world wake up each day. The sun dance on the ocean, the bird sing and the trees rise and the world slowly start to move again.

12) Laughter must be practiced daily, its now a daily non negotiable, as life happens so fast these days

13) You need to feel gratitude, I used to sit there and write pages and pages of the same things I was grateful for, but until recently when I shifted my gratitude practice did I actually start to feel it and do I feel that my experience of gratitude really shift.

14) I reserve the first hour of my day for me, when I do this on a weekly basis (it doesn’t always happen) I find that by spending an hour for me, fills me up and allows me to be a better person, a better girlfriend, a better friend, a better worker and more creative. I usually like to meditate, journal, watch the sunrise or exercise.

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