40 Things to Learn, Explore and Master Before You Turn 40

40 Things to Learn, Explore and Master Before You Turn 40

Read times: 10-minute read

1. Establish close friendships

You only need ONE. Someone you can be honest with, seek comfort from, laugh with. You may have one friend for each of your needs, and that is OK too. So long as you can be yourself around your friends, you need this by the time you’re 40

2. Drop shame

Shame is an emotion that is inflicted on us by others – we are shamed for something we say or do, and as a result we decide we are ‘bad’. Seeing a therapist is a great way to explore your shame – whether it is around money, your body, your career, role as a parent, etc – as it will help you unpack. After you have unpacked, start revealing these things to your close friends, and watch your shame melt away.

3. Heal attachment wounds

If you have disordered attachment patterns, meaning you can’t connect well with others without feeling anxious, avoidant or a combination of both, then it’s likely you have an attachment wound. This is something that can be worked through in therapy, and the result will be closer friendships, healthier relationships, and more connection to the people in your life in general. 

4. Psychedelics

I have tried a few, and they were life-changing. I wouldn’t do them on your own, but in a therapeutic setting with qualified professionals that can guide you through the material that comes up for you, absolutely. 

5. Learn to lift weights

Lifting weights strengthens your nervous system, which is the most important system of your mind and body. You only need to go 2-3 times per week to see the benefits so if you haven’t tried it, get to it!  

6. Master a healthy diet

This is a process that can take years, as junk food is so addictive and widely pushed into our lives starting in childhood. Junk food is also a common self-regulation activity, so when uncomfortable emotions come up, we stuff them down with food. Eating more healthfully can improve your overall wellbeing, and help you identify when you are reaching for junk out of nutritional deprivation, or for emotional support. It will also protect you from a large number of lifestyle diseases. 

7. Learn to self-regulate

Self-regulation is about maintaining a healthy equilibrium in the nervous system. If you have mental health issues, it’s likely you don’t self-regulate well. By widening your tolerance over time, you can take in more of what life has to offer, and not live your life dependent on prescription drugs or food, alcohol, exercise etc to self-soothe. 

8. Find a ‘calm’ place

A country, a place in your yard, a small town, whatever. Mine was the South Coast in my 20’s, then Byron Bay, then Ubud in Bali, and now it is Mullumbimbie and Brunswick Heads up in northern NSW. The second I arrive there, it’s ‘me’ time and I am calm. Find this place for you. 

9. Find a ‘calm’ thing, person, outlet

This might be a pet, a friend, partner, painting class, hobby. Something you can just grab that will help you find peace in a short period of time is the goal here. 

10. Identify what you need to feel balanced

This one ties into the above – what things do you need in order to feel well? Is it good food, a partner, your kids, a business, a weekly massage? What makes you feel good, and how often do you need it so you continue to feel good?

11. Work out how much money you need in order to be happy

You don’t need $1million in the bank in order to be happy, $50K/year might not be enough either. Do you need to own a place or are renting ok? Do you need that extra $20k if it costs you your weekends and evenings with your kids? Do you need 6 bedrooms,  or is two enough? Work out what you actually need, and pro tip – the more self-regulated you are, and the healthier you are, the less money will appeal to you as a path of becoming ‘happy’.

12. Write down what you’re afraid of, and free yourself from it

If you have a fear – eg people – that impacts your daily life, work through it. Get a therapist, identify its origins, and work through it. I had a fear of doctors, mainstream medicine, small spaces, the dark, and people. The people one was a problem, so I worked through it. The small spaces though? Not so much ruining my life. 

13. Work out how much time you want to spend working per week

Are you a 30-hour girl, or a 50-hour girl? How many hours are you actually happy to work each week? Once you work that out, you need to come to terms with the kind of lifestyle that allows you to lead, financially and personally. THe key is to find a balance here. 

14. Are you working to live, or living to work?

About that work life balance again. Is your work your number one priority, that makes you happy and sets your soul on fire? Or is your family that for you? You can’t really have both without a lot of hard work, so it’s likely you will need to choose one or the other as the dominant focus. 

15. What area of your life are you happy to take risks?

Taking risks builds character, so finding a few ways where you can push the envelope is great for building self-trust and opening new doorways for yourself. 

16. Love your BODY

You only get one body, and it’s highly likely you were not gifted with the ‘perfect’ one according to modern-day standards if you’re reading this. Come to peace with yours and no matter what it looks like, aim to take good care of it. 

17. Find and experience true safety with another person

Safety is a place you can settle into with a person, without any fear. You should not be anxious when they’re not around, or terrified that they will abandon you. You should not be wondering if what they said yesterday is the truth or not. Safe people are transparent, honest, open, consistent and, well, safe. If you can’t find this, find a therapist and work on your attachment wounds. I did this and it’s paid off big time. 

18. Find authenticity

This is who you are, to a core level, when no one is watching. Who is she, and how can you bring her out into the open safely?

19. AUTONOMY

This is knowing yourself deeply enough that you can say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to people and things without doubting yourself. 

20. Stop watching the news. It’s full of shit

No discussion needed. 

21. List all the things that make you, YOU

All your traits, likes, dislikes, needs, wants, desires, characteristics. Write them down so you can begin to get to know yourself. This one helps with authenticity 

22. Enquire into your mental health issues

Do you have a mental illness? Ask questions. It’s likely it’s caused by your childhood, your food choices, alcohol, chronic dieting, poor relationships, working in a job you hate. I say this from personal experience by the way. Ask questions, as when you do this you can start to free yourself from the traps of your own mind, which can be held in limbo by a drug, but not ‘cured’. 

23. Enquire into your physical health issues

This is the same as mental illness. There are many reasons why you may be riddled with symptoms that lead you to be diagnosed with a health condition. There are also many ways to unravel a health condition. Not all of them, but many of them! Start asking questions – what can I change, what I am suppressing, how am I feeling towards myself? These are great places to start. 

24. Explore the idea that you are more than just your mind

You are an energetic mind with an electrical field that extends over 1 meter outside your body. You are 99% empty space. Your body holds onto everything you have not ‘digested’ throughout your life. You are not just a mind, your mind is merely an interpreter. 

25. Travel somewhere

Get out there and look at new places and cultures. It will open your eyes to how lucky you are. 

26. Live alone, be alone, experience life alone for a little while

If you’re never alone, you can never get to know yourself. If you are afraid of being alone, you have attachment issues, and these can be explored with a therapist

27. Cut back your socials

Social media is a breeding ground for insecurity, anxiety and depression. Studies have proven this to be the case. A fame lottery, where they choose some people to ‘make it’ on the platform is how it drives people to obsessively interact with the platform. Additionally, it hijacks your brain’s reward centre, making it harder for you to concentrate for periods of time or build a life in a way that is aligned with your authentic self. 

28. Stop comparison and competition

This one is most fueled by social media, but it’s important to recognise that you are your own person with unique skills, attributes, features and potential for contribution. Comparison is the thief of joy, and competition is essential to a point, but make sure you’re competing in a way that brings you joy. 

29. Align yourself

Alignment over hustle, every day of the week. Hustle is what they want you to do at the expense of your relationships, personal satisfaction and happiness. Get to know yourself, then align yourself with your dreams and desires, and go from there. The only exception I would add here is, once you’re aligned, it’s OK and sometimes totally natural to hassle your ass off for a while

30. Surrender

Nothing authentic comes from pushing all the time. Surrendering to the natural flow of life will lower your anxiety in the long term, and help you find what is aligned for you much easier

31. Research corporations. They rule the world and it’s time you know this

Most corporations have the same people in their boardrooms. This means, there is no real competition, the money lands in the same hands. Buy local, don’t believe media hype nor the PR stories that are crafted to take your money. Corporations want one thing – your money. If they take your mind, well that’s called neuromarketing, and they’re doing that too. 

32. Take a break from your phone, it’s destroying your ability to concentrate 

Everything on your phone is designed to hijack your brains reward centre. Keep it on silent (ensuring emergency contacts can override), and maintain your brain. You will be thankful when you don’t lose yourself to devices designed to connect you. Choose when you want to connect. Take back your control. 

33. Stop alcohol

Alcohol is a numbing agent. If you need a nightly numbing agent, you probably need to take a good look around you at your life choices. Are they wholesome? Do they light you up? Is your lifestyle making you happy? It’s never a bad idea to ask yourself these bigger questions. 

34. See a somatic therapist

Best. Thing. I’ve. Ever. Done. Research Somatic Therapy, and hire yourself a practitioner. 

35. See a therapist. It’s not shameful 

For almost all people, therapy is helpful. You don’t need to have a mental health diagnosis in order to justify seeing a therapist. They are there to give you an objective view of yourself, in a safe and loving way. If you don’t feel quite aligned, are struggling to manifest what you want in life, or find yourself riddled with uncomfortable feelings, see a therapist. They’re awesome. 

36. Learn to embrace uncertainty

This one is new for me, as I like to be in control. You can’t control other people or most outside circumstances, so surrendering (point #30) and going with the flow makes life much more palatable. 

37. Let go of overthinking

You cannot think yourself out of a problem, and most of the time, your brain is just trying to make sense of things in order to keep you safe. If your childhood was full of sunshine and rainbows, this is fine. If it wasn’t, then it’s likely that your thinking machine has it out for you. DOn’t overthink. Surrender, and if needed, find a therapist. 

38. Start a journal 

Just something to write in. Brain dump, write what you’re grateful for, what your dreams are. Write whatever you want. I have written 400 pages since April last year, it’s been great. 

39. Learn about parts – IFS

Your brain is made up of multiple parts, each with different characteristics, skills and feeling states. Learning about IFS has saved my life in a way, as I had many ‘parts’ that opposed each other – one that desired a loving relationship vs one who was afraid of connection. One that wanted to binge eat vs one who wanted to starve itself. Getting to know them, and bringing them all together has created a coherence in my life that I never knew was possible (I did this with a therapist, by the way!). 

40. Start having honest conversations

Honest conversations are how you connect with people. Release your shameful moments in a safe place. Speak your mind. Ask for what you want. Set boundaries around what you do and don’t want in your life. 

Bonus!

  • Ditch your masculine energy. If you’re a woman you were designed to flow with the waves of life. You are not a structured money making machine!
  • Set boundaries (all of the previous points will help you with those)
3 Spiritual Philosophies that Inspired my Healing

3 Spiritual Philosophies that Inspired my Healing

Read time: 4 minute read

I thought I would share something a little different here, as I am currently up in Byron Bay working on my own healing. 

It is really easy to get lost in a sea of ‘spirituality’ in this modern day, with gurus everywhere and biohackers teaching us how to ‘overcome our biology’. 

I’ve been there, done that, and been down every rabbit hole, but at the end of the day, the only way to free yourself from your discomfort or dis-ease, is to change your perspective from one that believes that your genes dictate your health and reality, to one that suggests that the human body is powerful, and you have the power to overcome anything. 

Which is a scientific fact, by the way. 

The fastest path to health and healing is a slow one, it requires working through layers of conditioning until you reach the core, and only then will you be completely whole and free. 

So, on my journey, I learned of three philosophies that really landed for me, and steered me away from the new-age clutter and towards a truly liberating healing journey. They are each unique, but ultimately they say the same thing. 

1, You are a diamond stuck in black muck

I learned this one from my homoeopath. Imagine you have a glass, and this glass is full of black muck. Underneath the muck, is a diamond. That diamond can only be revealed if you search through the muck, and the muck is ultimately your ‘stuff’. Your beliefs, huts, pains, conditionings, unhelpful habits and behaviours. 

As you work through each of these layers, the black liquid becomes lighter, and you start to reveal the diamond (your authentic self) underneath. 

  1. It takes 7 years to make a Shaman 

I have always resonated with the concept of a shaman, but did you know it takes 7 years to make one? 

A shaman is the medicine man of the tribe, whose job is to keep everyone healthy, happy, and connected. If someone shows signs of disease, the Shaman will identify the root cause – whether emotional, spiritual, psychological, or physical, and clear that person’s system back to wholeness and health. 

If the shaman tries to do this, but has not worked on his own ‘stuff’, he cannot be a clear vessel or receive a clear message around what this person needs in order to heal. The message will come through, but it will become entangled with the Shamans. 

So a shaman goes through the process of clearing their own trauma, so they can be a clear vessel and transfer healthy messages without attachment or projection from their own field. 

And don’t be fooled by a new-age Shaman who just likes to call themselves one. A real Shaman has undertaken a harrowing journey to become an effective healer. 

  1. Be like bamboo 

I went to a presentation by Eckart Tolle (author of A New Earth, and The Power of Now), and his wife took a yoga class prior to the presentation. Her energy was jaw dropping to me – light, free, almost like a ghost. She was there, and she was powerful, but she was also ‘not there’. 

Kim Eng suggests we need to be like bamboo, which is hollow, and light. She spoke about how we accumulate energy throughout our lives that isn’t properly metabolised, and how it becomes ‘stuck’ within our bodies. It makes us heavy, unhealthy and reactive. 

With all that energy stuck in the body, new life experiences bounce off it, making us confused and tired, not knowing what is ‘ours’ and what is other peoples. So to feel whole, we work through the stuck energy, and become hollow, so that we can be a clear channel for our own lifeforce without any interruption. 

So, three philosophies, all saying the same thing. Free your stuck energy, and you yourself will become free

Alignment over Hustle

Alignment over Hustle

Read time: 7 minute read

Being in the business game I constantly see coaches and entrepreneurs talking (or shall we say bragging) about their ‘hustle’ – how hard they work, how many hours they put in, what time they get up in the morning, etc. 

Is hustling really all its cracked up to be? How does it apply to life in general?

Lets compare the two… 

Hustling is a masculine energy; it’s about pushing, controlling, forcing, and working things into place. It’s about doing whatever it takes. It’s a cognitive (thought-centred) process, where you observe what others do, think about how to beat them, and strive to outwork. 

Aligning is a feminine energy, where you lay goals out, and ensure they’re congruent with you personally. It’s about bringing who you are, and what you want to do together, so they can work along side each other. Sounds like the winner already, right? 

I think it depends on the level of success you want to achieve in that particular activity, and the kind of person you are, but assuming we are all women here I am going to propose that you get aligned, before you hustle. 

I learned this lesson the hard way, always working harder, longer, and more effectively than all of my competitors. Yes it brought me a lot of ‘success’ at the time, but it lead me down a pretty dark road to burnout, which left me back peddling in the end. So here I am making sure you don’t make this same mistake!

I learned that simply working hard wasn’t enough. I needed to bring alignment into the mix. 

Alignment + Hustle = Success

Success is not just about beating the competition. It’s about liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. We can thank Maya Angelou for that quote. So before moving forwards you need to have a pretty good idea of the goal posts you’re aiming for.

If you simply want to feel happy, then alignment is literally all you need. If you want to excel however, you need to hustle once you have your aligned and your goals are in place. It’s a constant push and pull between the two energies; we align, then we hustle, and repeat this process over the long haul until our goals have been achieved. 

How to apply this ‘alignment over hustle’ principle 

In general nutrition/health/weight loss goals, you align by making sure you’re losing weight for the right reasons, and that you are using a method that works with your body. That is enough to get you great results. The hustle comes in when you’re partaking in a competitive sport such as bodybuilding, or wanting to lose that extra 5% in the end. 

In training/exercise, you align by finding a training regimen that you enjoy, is at your experience level, and is well balanced. Working with your body, and not overstepping your physical capacity, is essential. You hustle when you want to excel, after you have laid the foundations down

In business and at work, you align by working out what you want to gain from your business, regardless of outward ‘success’ markers. You hustle once you know why you are doing what you’re doing, and where you want to end up.

In relationships, I believe alignment is really the only thing you need. If you have to hustle someone to be your partner or friend, or hustle your family to do what you want, they’re probably not your people.

Finding alignment, with yourself and your goals

Finding alignment means finding out who you are on a deeper level. Remember that finding alignment is essentially a feminine energy, and feminine energy is PASSIVE. It works better when it’s aligned first. 

STEP 1: You have to get quiet. Take a break from the ‘noise’ of the outside world. Meditate, go to the beach, or sit alone in your favourite café. Tuning out the outside world is the only real way you can work out what is going on for you, on the inside

STEP 2: Ask yourself some deeper questions; is what I’m doing making me happy? Do I have a clear goal? Am I energised, or exhausted? Do I feel supported, or isolated? Be honest with yourself here. 

STEP 3: Work out what you can let go of, and what to focus your attention on. Work out how you are going to ensure you don’t get caught up in other peoples ‘hustle’, and stay aligned with yours. 

Simple, right?

If you find yourself cringing at the idea of this whole suggestion, it’s a sure-fire sign you need to do a lot of work in this area!

Without alignment, we risk losing connection with our deeper wants and needs. We risk going a million miles in the wrong direction. We risk never discovering, or losing sight of our own unique gifts and talents. We also risk burning out and having to backpedal, which in itself is extremely stressful. Been there, done that.

Jen x

Creating a New Years Resolution that Sticks

Creating a New Years Resolution that Sticks

Read time: 10 minute read

 

Hi all,

I got such a good response to my recent business change announcement that I thought I would start my blogging early! With the popular topic of…

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Personally, I don’t set them. Not in the traditional sense anyways. I tend to opt for introducing changes to my life whenever I feel they’re needed. I used to be an avid believer/setter of new years resolutions though – from getting a summer body, quitting alcohol, junk food, or coffee, to quitting being treated like crap, etc.  So I know a thing or two about why these kinds of ‘resolutions’ don’t work. 

As much as we want them to, patterns and behaviours don’t go away just because we decided. They are way more complex than that. 

So why don’t they work?

In short, we are highly programmable and habitual beings that act unconsciously, most of the time. We are the result of everything that we have witnessed and experienced throughout our lives up until this point. The habits and behaviours we exhibit are ingrainedin us. Yes we can choose to change, but without the right approach our mind and body just goes on with the same old pattern it is used to.

We often get insights about what we want to change. They’re like visions toward a more powerful, wholesome you. That’s all they are though. these insights are not powerful enough to make us actually change. They are there to plant the seed

True change requires effort, persistence, self-awareness, and patience. 

Lets take the ‘I will never drink alcohol again’resolution as an example;

You set the intention to change your habit of consuming alcohol. You have identified that you’re using it to calm down or numb, and you don’t want to do that anymore. You are tired of being that person who relies on a drink, and want more self-control. 

1st January passes, and you succeeded! Good job. 

2nd January passes, and you succeeded again! Even better 😉 

3rd January passes, and maybe the 4th, 5th, 6th.  Still going strong. 

As you continue with it, you begin to feel a little restless. You’re not feeling great. It’s Saturday night, your friends are drinking, and you don’t want to be left out. Maybe you had a fight with a significant person in your life and you’re struggling to settle the emotional stress that lingers on afterwards. 

You think, to hell with it! I love alcohol, alcohol loves me, everyone else is doing it and I’m not technically an alcoholic, so – it’s okay. You justify to yourself why this needs to be a part of your life again, instead of sticking it out for the long haul like you promised. 

Once the initial drink wares off, you’re disappointed. Why cant you do anything right?

Because the alcohol, just like every other habitual behaviour or addiction has an emotional connection along with itWhether it’s belonging, numbing, relaxing, feeling like a queen, avoiding boredom, it doesn’t matter. There is an emotionalreason behind your need for alcohol, and your body/mind will make an excuse to bring it back in. 

Unless you deal with the emotion, or the reason you’re doing what you’re doing,you will constantly revert back to it, justify sabotaging it, and go back to your old ways. You’ll still feel bad about it on some level, but you’ll wait until the next significant time or date, before you decide to try again.  

So the key to understand here is that your emotions drive your choices, and they are more powerful than your decision to change. 

What’s the solution?

The first and most powerful way to approach a resolution is….. DRUMROLL…. to deal with the emotion head on. Given the fact that this is a confronting idea and out of my scope of practice, I’m going to suggest a method that is much more practical. 

I recommend that you choose a theme, or statement for the New Year, and nut out some practical ways to approach it. So here is how that works; 

STEP 1: Choose a theme 

A theme is like a blanket-statement, written as a commitment to yourself. It can be as broad or specific as you like. Here are some examples; 

  • “I commit to finding two things that I am really good at this year”
  • “I commit to taking good care of myself”
  • “I commit to finding a new career path”
  • “I commit to engaging in frequent physical activity”
  • “I commit to educating myself about self-love and self-mastery”
  • “I commit to making time for myself and learning more about who I am”
  • “I commit to making new friendships with people who _________”,
  • “I commit to embracing all aspects of myself without fear” (that’s my one for 2020)

Overthinking it? Simply put, your theme should be whatever floats your boat and bugs you the most about yourself.From here, you need to set some clear boundaries about how that may look. So taking the example of ‘I commit to taking good care of myself’. Here’s how it looks;

STEP 2: Write down your ‘WHY’ * This is the most important step *

If you have no reason for the goal that comes with an emotional drive, there is no reason to change. Your why should be the emotional benefit that you gain by honouring your commitment to yourself. 

STEP 3: Write down all the ways in which you believe you aren’t doing this. 

  • I eat takeaway every night. 
  • I am constantly exhausted but haven’t looked further into it
  • All my friends are into partying, and aren’t healthy
  • I am dependent on coffee. 

These are just examples, but write down literally everythingyou do, that you feel is incongruent to the statement ‘I take good care of myself’. Make sure you write down what youwant, not what you think it should look like. 

STEP 4: Brainstorm the things you can introduce into your life to counteract these incongruent habits you have

  • I will eat home-cooked dinners 4 nights per week
  • I will see a health practitioner once per month and implement what I can in relation to my fatigue
  • I will seek out new friendships with those who are interested in health and fitness 
  • I will limit cut my coffee consumption back by 1 shot per day. 

STEP 5: Assess whether they are achievable, and come up with a game plan!

Grab your list of commitments, and ask yourself, as you go down them individually, if they feel achievable for you. If they don’t, or they feel too full on, then reduce them a little. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure. Remember if they intimidate you, they’re probably good choices. Change is nevercomfortable

You may need to enlist the support of a friend, your family, a professional, or sign-up to a group, etc. Do whatever you need to do to get the ball rolling. 

So that’s it. You need to spend a little time on it, but it’s sure to get you headed in the right direction. 

Why this method works; 

  • It’s positive, and all change requires a positive drive. 
  • It’s not too specific – there is room for movement and growth
  • You’re likely not to fail, thus avoiding the ‘I’m useless’ trap
  • You can approach it with bite-size chunks depending on your comfort and speed
  • You can revisit it throughout the year, add more commitments underneath it, or change directions where needed. 

Word of warning:Don’t get caught up thinking that if you don’t commit to ‘quitting’ a bad habit cold turkey that it won’t go away. Small steps towards change allow the process to occur more organically. You let go completely when you’re ready, rather than ripping off the band-aid in one go. 

So, that’s it! Sorry its not an easy solution. True change is never easy!

If you found value in this, please share. It takes a couple of hours to put together good content, so the more people who get to benefit from it the better! 

Jen x

Emotional Attachment

Emotional Attachment

Read time: 4 minute read

Inner peace begins the moment you decide not to let another person or event control your emotions. 

To be emotionally involved in something means that you care. It means that you FEEL. When you’re a sensitive human it means that you feel everything, including the things you don’t want to feel – like injustice, deception, etc, even when they have nothing to do with you directly.

I used to get emotionally involved in basically everything. Especially work, because I love it and I feel it as if it’s an extension of who I am. Because I was so attached to it I would find it hard to deal with issues relating to my business, including clients who move away, drama between team members, or women not getting the results they were after, even though this wasn’t through any fault at my end.

I would find my emotional reactions to these challenges effecting my confidence in myself and my abilities, and I learned that this was directly linked to my self esteem. After talking to many other business owners (females) I learned that we all shared the same difficulties.

So, in order to overcome this, I learned all about non-attachment – which is staying emotionally separate from outcomes, people, situations, places, and this applies to all areas of life. When you’re not attached emotionally, you are freed from those painful feelings that can be tied to them. Although surprisingly, you still get to experience all the good stuff!

Start by asking yourself important questions when you feel upset about something that is happening in your life – why is this effecting me? What does this mean to me? Is this happening BECAUSE of me? Quite often you’ll find it is not about you, and more about the other person’s internal struggles

So if you’re a ‘feeling’-based person, then learning to do this will give you better control over your emotions and I guarantee you will be happier. And you can remain happy even when unpleasant things happen. Which is awesome

 

 

 

 

 

Transformation is yours for the taking. 

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