tumblr_mdqmxjqKzd1rj9vppo1_1280 Today is my Birthday!!! Every year on my birthday I take some alone time so that I can reflect on my life and acknowledge myself for what I have accomplished and where I have grown. I feel like I have come quite far, especially this year! I remember feeling like I knew all I needed to know at the age of ten! haha! Each year I am more surprised with the experiences that have been handed to me and how I have chosen to handle them. I smile at my future self when I am 80 and the wisdom that I know I will have harnessed by then. I am in no way an expert in life but sometimes I feel as though I have lived many in the short time I have been here. I appreciate all life has given me, good and bad and it has in turn helped me to master some pretty important life lessons. In honor and celebration of my birthday, I want to share them with you! 1. Never take anything or anyone for granted- Unfortunately I have lost many friends and family very early in life. It is a constant reminder to let those I love, know how much I do indeed love and appreciate them. There was also a time where going to ballet class was a chore for me but after batteling rheumatoid arthritis, going to ballet class is a blessing and a luxury. I never take my ability to walk or dance for granted. I appreciate every step and never complain. 2. Never give up on anything or anyone you can't go a day without thinking about- When I was younger, I would numb my feelings with drugs and alcohol, even cigarettes helped me deal with forgetting people or things in my life that made me vulnerable. Laziness,procrastination,and depression inevitably followed. Now, instead of numbing myself I tune in and acknowledge what and why I'm feeling a certain way. Work through it with meditation, yoga, walks, chanting. Tune in and speak from my heart and fight for what I believe in. I have seen so many elders in my life, live with regret for giving up on someone or something and then live the rest of their lives struggling to pick up the pieces. Big reminder to let go of fear and ego and get back to love quickly. 3. Find something your passionate about and do it everyday-  A lot of us are not doing what we are passionate about for a living. That doesn't mean you still can't incorporate your passion into your life. Dont give up! A part of you dies when you don't have some passion inside of you. If you always wanted to be a professional baseball player then play on a league. Passion keeps the heart young and the soul happy. It gives purpose to all the mundane hard work. 4. Don't expect other people to make you happy- Only you have control of your own happiness. Regardless of who is in your life, even when you switch the players, the same unfulfilled depression will eventually come up if you are depending on them to make you happy. Unwavering happiness comes from loving yourself first. 5. Selfless not selfish- As a child I remember not being able to see past my own eye lashes. My world consisted of me, me, me. As a teen and even in my twenties this continued. Everything I was seeking to fulfill me and make me happy was temporary, dark, shadow, low vibrational energy. In turn I was very depressed. Becoming a Mother taught me and continues to teach me more and more about life and the true meaning and purpose. Marriage has also taught me that the pure joy I get from making my husband happy far exceeds any self driven happiness of my own. “A life not lived for others is not a life.” -Mother Teresa * When it's all said and done, it doesn't matter how much money you made or how many cars you have. What matters is how many lives you have made better, by just being in it.- Jesse Golden