a quarter of a century, oh, & what a time it’s been…

Here I am on my 25th trip around the sun, reflecting on my journey thus far – letting this moment sink in. I’ve been flowing through a myriad of emotions the past few weeks but today I want to focus on gratitude, love & the restless stirrings of my heart. This birthday feels like a milestone to me… I’m really starting to fully step into who I am. This week has been beautiful, the sun has been shining, I have been able to (comfortably) spend time in nature. I can feel that spring is coming and after this winter, I am so so grateful for that. I am walking into a new season & a new year of hope, presence, light & peace in my heart. For my birthday this year, I want to share with you some thoughts I have been meditating on the past few months as well as some things I have been studying. Thank you for being here, taking the time to read my words & allowing me to share my heart with you on this journey of life.

here are 25 things I have been thinking about, learning, reflecting on & pondering…

little me reading the newspaper at my grandparents house – 1998
1. Stay curious. Always ask questions. Never stop learning.

Think back to your curious nature as a small child – connect with your inner child and bring that spirit of curiosity into your life as an adult. Humans are meant to be curious, it is part of our biology and our evolution. Question all of your beliefs and why you hold on to them. Question the meaning of life on Earth and what purpose you bring to this world. Everything has meaning and there is so much to learn and explore. Read books about anything and everything that peaks your interest. Spend time with people that are much different than you. Always open your mind to new ideas and forms of thought. Knowledge is power.

“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold.”

Bob Marley
2. Mother nature is a great healer.

She has a lot to teach if you are willing to listen. Spend time in nature. Walk with your bare feet on the soil and absorb the grounding energy. Close your eyes and listen to the birds in the morning. Feel the wind on your face as you sit by a lake. Life is all around us. The Earth is full of magic & peace that is available to us at any moment if we open ourselves to be still and listen.

3. Solitude is sacred.

Spend time with yourself. Take the time to get to know the deepest parts of you: your fears, your strengths, your weaknesses, your dreams, your desires. Self-awareness can really change your entire life, it transforms the way you see the world and how you interact with it. The longest & deepest relationship you will have is the one with yourself.

4. The present moment is a gift – be all there.

Mindfulness will change your life. I’ve seen it transform my thought patterns and heal parts of myself that I thought to be forever broken. The present moment is really all we have – it is all that exists. If you want to look further into the power of mindfulness I suggest you read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle or Be Here Now by Ram Dass.

“Where am I? Here.

What time is it? Now.”

Ram Dass
5. Spirituality is about freedom.

If your spiritual or religious beliefs leave you feeling shameful & scared – it might be time to dive deeper into the source of those negative emotions & seek the light. This year I have really started to define what spirituality means to me and it has freed my soul. Some days I do shamanic journeys, other days I sing the worship songs from my childhood, & every day I spend time in prayer/meditation. These practices are all vastly different but what they have in common is that I am creating space to commune with the divine love of the Holy Spirit. I am worshipping, I am breathing, I am healing, I am praying, I am being. It’s all about the soul & tapping into that source of unconditional love.

6. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Society is divided – especially in America. We are taught to fear our neighbor, to condemn the people that have views different from our own, to live in hatred & fear. These are all lies. The truth of the matter is that if we live in community & love – we (the people) have the power. Get to know the people around you. Nurture your community. Help the people that aren’t able to help themselves. Work together. Massive change starts with you & me.

7. Everyone has a story to tell.

You can learn something new from each and every person you meet. It takes courage to step beyond small talk and ask someone how they really are. Challenge yourself to have more honest conversations with the people around you from your family to the person that delivers your mail. Humans are more alike than we are lead to believe – we all have something in common. Storytelling is sacred – hold space for those in your circle of influence and listen.

photo from unsplash
8. Build a relationship with your inner child.

Nearly our entire subconscious operating system is defined through the conditioning we went though as a small child. From the way we act, our relationship with food, our thought patterns, our fears, to our beliefs about the world. It all originates from childhood. As children, many of us went through things we should not have experienced as children. We might not have been able to defend or care for ourselves as children but as adults, we can heal these wounds. We are able to show love to those broken parts of our inner child and we are able to move forward with love.

9. Make peace with your past.

Our present behavior is dictated by things that have happened in the past: from traumas to successes and everything in between. While it is essential to learn from our past, we must make peace with the things we have gone through in order to move forward. If you are upset with your past, what are you doing in the present to change the direction of your future?

10. Reignite your imagination.

Find ways to reconnect with the spirit of imagination that you harbored as a child. Spend time dreaming & creating. Every year I design a vision board with all of my hopes and dreams – big & small. It’s so fun to check in with my visions for myself & whether or not they come true, I know in my heart that this life holds magic in many possibilities.

“Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.” 

Don Miguel Ruiz
11. Every person is creative.

I am a creative person by nature but through my artistic explorations I’ve learned that creativity exists in everything. Every person has the innate power to create. We might not be passionate about creating art but there are so many ways to turn thoughts into a reality. Play with the spirit of creativity & an entire world of possibilities will open up to you.

12. Pave your own way.

It seems as though everyone is always telling you how to live your life, how to be successful, how to dress, how to act, how to be a “productive” member of society, how to be a human. As you grow up, you learn that the only one that can create your life is you. Everything you want & need is within your soul. Break free of the societal norms, create your own identity, figure out who YOU are & find that freedom.

13. Meet each person with kindness & love.

When we meet someone, there is no way of knowing what this other person has experienced or battled in their lifetime. Don’t take things personally. If a stranger meets you with anger – extend grace to them as we have no idea what is happening in their walk through life.

little me playing with my toys at my Omi & Opa’s house.
14. Everything happens for a reason.

I am a deeply spiritual person so I know there is divine reasoning behind everything that happens. Knowing there is a greater plan for my life brings me so much peace. The hard times in my life have made me so much stronger & the people I have lost allow me to appreciate the ones I still have. Take challenges and allow them to propel you forward. Trust in the divine. I have seen & experienced many miracles that remind me of the love in this world. Lean on God + your support system through the hard times + allow yourself to grow. Growth is messy but it’s important to trust the process without attachment.

15. Surround yourself with people of all ages & walks of life. Diversity is how we experience the gifts of humanity.

This year I joined a few women’s groups and it’s safe to say that these women changed my life. I was blessed with the wisdom of women much older than me, women from different walks of life, women with different spiritual beliefs, women of different races, women that live all around the world. The time I spent with these women has been a gift. We laughed together, we read books together, we meditated together, we told stories, we broke down, we lifted each other up but most importantly we healed + we encouraged one another in growth.

16. Find your “happy place” & spend time there often.

You could have one “happy place” or many but having a space to dedicate time for solitude & reflection is wonderful. My entire bedroom is very sacred to me and I spend most nights doing yoga on my floor or meditating in front of my altar. My altar is one of my favorite places to sit and reflect. It is full of little trinkets from my travels and sentimental items from loved ones who have passed. It is full of memories, crystals, books & the things that bring me peace. It gives me a space to rest in the present moment.

photo from unsplash
17. Spend time doing the activities you love simply because you love them.

I think it’s really important to nurture your hobbies and do the things you love with no expectations. I love painting & I love collaging but those things are only enjoyable to me when I freely chose to do them. Our society pushes people to capitalize on every skill & turn everything into a side job but I think that defeats the beauty of hobbies. Paint or draw or sing because you want to. You aren’t wasting time because you aren’t profiting off of something you love. Leave that belief behind.

18. Take frequent breaks from social media.

I could write an entire post about this but I have become really aware of my personal relationship to social media and how much it has played a role in my mental health & daily thought processes. These apps and sites are literally designed for you to become addicted and distracted – and they work. You start to subconsciously rely on this media and it starts to slowly reprogram your mind. It is a dangerous game and if you aren’t aware of the hidden agendas behind these companies you should really start to look into the reality of social media and the role it plays on our minds, bodies and souls.

19. Learn to accept your body as is.

I’ve come to the realization that the path to loving & accepting your body never ends – especially as we live in a society that heavily relies on appearances. It is important to accept your Earthly body as is. Yes, imperfections and all. To accept yourself fully is a challenging feat – there are good days and bad days. The goal is to have more good days than bad. Practice positive affirmations. Practice self love meditations. Keep a gratitude list of all the things your body allows you to do – focus on the positive.

“You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.” 

Henry Drummond
20. Find movement that you love & do it every day.

This year, I made a commitment to myself to practice yoga every day this year. I’ve done 30 day yoga challenges before but I am sticking with it for 2021. This practice has impacted me immensely and I can already feel my body getting stronger each and every day. Most importantly, I am showing up for myself. I am giving my body what it needs & in the process I am giving myself the physical & mental space to just be. Some days I struggle to get through the poses, some days I chose practices with extra fire to challenge myself, other days I end yoga early to practice some deep breathing, but every day I show up.

21. Healing never stops.

Healing is a process. Healing is not linear. You are never done learning or growing. Healing is a messy process – but in order to grow, we must give ourselves to gift to heal with grace. We might fall down again and again but we are only human. Show yourself love. In fact, if you are hurting, extend some extra love to yourself. Life is not easy & we are not built to be happy all the time. The reality is that we experience a myriad of emotions and when those painful emotions rise, we must rest & recuperate.

22. Forgiveness is powerful.

Forgiveness is a huge part of the healing process, it is all about letting go. People have hurt me – physically, emotionally & mentally but if I hold on to that hurt the only person that will still be in pain is me. We must let go. Some people I have to forgive over & over again when traumatic memories arise. When I chose to forgive, I am putting my heart & my healing process first. I am freeing myself & extending love to the deepest wounds within me.

photo from unsplash
23. To be vulnerable is to be strong.

Vulnerability is strength. Vulnerability is courage. Vulnerability is being fully human. No one is perfect and no one goes through life without falling apart from time to time. To be vulnerable is to acknowledge our humanity. When I am vulnerable, I open my heart & sometimes people have taken that opportunity to hurt me. I make peace with that possibility because vulnerability has opened my heart to countless deep relationships in my life. Vulnerability is a practice & it creates space for authenticity in your life – to be real & to be broken is to be human.

24. Embrace your emotions.

I am an empath, I am highly intuitive & I am a deeply emotional person. I have had countless people point out my emotional side as a weakness and I have only come to challenge that mindset in the past couple of years. I have realized that being emotional is not a weakness at all but rather one of my greatest strengths & superpowers. When I am in tune with my emotions, I am able to connect to the emotions of others – seen & unseen. My emotional nature gives me the ability to see pain in others & give them space for healing. I still have moments when I feel shame or embarrassment for showing my sensitive & emotional nature. I have to remind myself of my unique abilities & allow myself more room for rest when I am feeling emotionally overwhelmed.

25. I am always where I need to be.

I have been using this mantra for the past few months & it has created a spirit of radical acceptance in my life. I am where I am for a reason. The people I meet on my path meet me for a reason. The trials & tribulations I face greet me with valuable lessons. Be where you are – this life has so much to offer if you open your heart. Lean in to love & see what happens.

💗 thank you for reading & allowing me to share my heart with you 🙂 sending you lots of peace & lots of love on this beautiful day! – kendall 💗