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If 2014 was the year of change, then 2015 will be the year of sifting through all that change and working to truly understand it. In the first few days of this New Year, I feel much more inclined to look back– not for fear of moving forward, though. Rather,  in order to be sure I gather up all those bits of knowledge and insight, and pack them deep inside my brain. And probably my heart, too.

On a flight back to the city last week week, I began to jot down the little bits. Bits turned to fuller thoughts, then actual ideas, and finally, lessons.  After about an hour of scribbling, the following 10 stood out:

1. Perfectionism is a freaking plague. It holds us back in so many ways. I personally have to fight against it constantly in order to just be myself. My paralyzingly desire to have others think I’ve always got it all together does far more detriment than good. Not to mention it’s an outright lie.

2. People are not inherently malicious or mean spirited. Most of us are just trying to do the best that we can (or know how to). Go easy on others. Forgive relentlessly.

3. And on that note, forgiveness is freedom.

4. “Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say.” This quote weighs so heavily on me. Say what you truly mean in the moment. You’ll be much better off in the long run.

5. It’s very important to spend a little time doing absolutely nothing every.single.week.

6. It benefits no one to feel guilty when asking for help. Ask for the help you need and accept it graciously. Then focus on ways you can help others.

7. Take the time. Take the time to really listen to others, to treat the people that deserve it most, to send that sweet text to an old friend, to tell people what a freaking good job their doing, to say thank you to your Mom a million bazillion times….the list goes on.

8. Accept the damn compliment.

9. Learn to go through, rather than around, the discomfort. It’s the real work, but that’s where the good stuff lies.

10. Self love might be he hardest thing. Ever. But we (I) must, must keep trying.

I’d consider it a huge feat if I could master even just two or three of these this year. But I’m gonna shoot for all 10, because as I also learned numerous times over in 2014 - you’ve gotta start somewhere.  xx Clara

Image via College Vintage, Source TFS

  1. Kate

    Thank you for this Clara - has real relevance in my life also.

    • Clara

      You’re so welcome!

  2. I definitely have problems with the perfection. Thank you so much for addressing that. I am just trying to go with the flow more and be honest with myself this year. Easier said than done.

    • Clara

      It’s an ongoing battle, for sure. My hope is that through awareness, its hold over me will become less and less. Hugs to you!

  3. La Torontoise

    Clara, thank you, a great list. Regarding Item 10: in my humble opinion, one should start from this one. The German philosopher A. Schopenhauer says “You can not love another person unless you love yourself”. I remembered this from my high scool classes in philosophy, and on multiple occasions in my life, this thinking saved me a lot of trouble.

    All the best!

    • Clara

      Thanks for commenting, Laurie! I’m so glad it was helpful.

  4. Sarah

    SO glad to have you back on my reading list:)

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  6. Jon

    Great post. Re #9, Winston Churchill agrees. He said “If you’re going thru hell, just keep going.” And Yoda said “Named your fear must be, before banish you can.” :)

  7. Thank you for sharing this! I love your list and appreciate you sharing it with us.

    I can honestly relate to all of them, but #4 and #5 are exactly what I have been thinking about just this past week. I need to stop debating what I’m going to say and how I’m going to say it, and just say it! There are so many opportunities missed or over-analyzed moments that pass us by, otherwise. I’m also really needing to be more productive with my “on” time, allowing for moments to unwind and actually do nothing. And that in itself is an act of #10, self love.

    Thank you again for sharing :)

  8. Ciara

    Wow, that comes from the heart. Great content, great writing - glad you’re back online!

  9. Hope your new year is good,. Love the life lessons!

  10. Deanna

    Having some significant similarities to you, I’ve found your blog thought-provoking (and the food posts fun). My interest is even stronger since your 2015 return, so with acute attention, I’m reading through new posts and am stuck on this one and how you would explain the the relationship/interconnectedness between #2/3 and #4. For example, I have no problem doing #4, but if I want to challenge myself and follow #2&3, how do I find the middle ground? I know that’s a heavy question, but any thoughts you have would be so appreciated.

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