Be brave. Roar into the wind. Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. On your deathbed you won’t be regretting that the mortgage isn’t paid, you’ll be kicking yourself for not taking more chances. Feel the full rush of freefall. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. The unknown could be the sweet taste of accomplishment or the intoxicating warmth of a kiss.
Be a rebel. Even in the small things. Open a packet of crackers at the end that says ‘Open Other End’. Drink espressos after midnight. Eat chocolate cake for breakfast. Summon your inner-Kevin Bacon and dance where you’re not supposed to. Wear kick-arse boots at least once in your life. Question everything. Question The System. The System does not always have your best interests at heart. Don’t even think about living close to the edge, live ON it. Where it’s sharp.
Be creative. Create for that sweet trickle of delight that you get from seeing something beautiful and fresh. Create as if no-one else is watching. Create without the expectation of approval. Get off Twitter, it steals all your creative thoughts. Take out all your ugly stuff, especially the stuff you can’t see, and make it into something exquisite. You will heal parts of you that you didn’t realise needed healing.
Let it go. Let go of anger. If you’re angry at someone, chances are you’re angry at yourself. Make peace with yourself. Let go of guilt and shame. They are greedy lies that will eat you. Don’t give them credit for things they don’t deserve. Don’t give them time. Open a window, fling them like garbage into the gutter. Let them go.
Be present. Let your thoughts unfurl onto a soft pillow. Let them have a nana nap. Stretch out in bed and do snow angels under the blankets just for the heck of it. Step outside and smell the rain on the leaves. Lie under a big tree and stare achingly at the sky. Curl into a ball and count your heartbeats until you get to infinity.
Be courageous. Have a backbone. Be a voice for those that are muted by fear. Stand up for what is right. Look around the planet and be aware of your luck. Entitlement is an an obnoxious boor who gatecrashed the party.
Be kind. Humility is strength. Generosity is underrated. Visit people who are lonely, let a car into traffic ahead of you, bake cup cakes for a friend, write love notes, let someone else have the last chocolate in the box, listen to an old person, give money to the poor without announcing it on Facebook. Let your kindness change the world. One deed at a time.
Be compassionate. Especially to children. They are not your enemy. Your wounds are your enemy. Be compassionate with your wounds. Cry for them. Give them chicken soup. Nurse them back to health.
Be gentle. Even if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Even if inside you’re on fire. Take a deep breath and say soft words. Stroke your lover’s hair. Randomly whisper I love you into your children’s ears. You’ll never be able to say it enough times. Nuzzle into their necks and feel their gentle spirits drawing closer yours.
Know yourself. Take yourself out for a coffee or to a movie. Hang out, fall in love. With you! Reach deep into your heart and ask it what it values, what it is good at, and what it needs. Then nourish it with respect and love and chocolate.
Be powerful. Use your power wisely and graciously. Never give it away like jelly beans. You need a full jar. Don’t give it away in your language, in the way you sit, in the way you walk. Because it’s not jelly beans. It’s your soul. Don’t apologise for it. Ever.
Be alive. Boldly step into your skin and know how outrageously valuable you are.
I wrote this list for myself. I hope I can swallow it. I’ll try. Click out of this screen and write your own list. Start with a blank canvas. Write anything you want.
Be alive. Your time starts now.