Do you remember your first kiss? How about your first job? Maybe the day you finally passed your driving test? First concert? The first time you rode the bike?
There are certain special moments in our lives that become so deeply memorable, it’s as if they become engraved in our souls. Many of those memories are our first experiences.
In our younger years, we tend to do a whole lot of learning. We are risky, adventurous, energetic and eager. We try new things without hesitation. Some of those decisions turn out great, some not so much (like that lower back tattoo your mom didn’t want you to get, by the way, you were right about that one mom.)
This is why so many people refer to their younger years as the good old days. (to my younger readers, role play with me, pretend I’m talking to the older you;) Just because we may be getting older, it does not mean we have to stop trying new things, it shouldn’t mean we have to become old, stale and boring.
Learning a new skill can feel overwhelming, I know. The idea of doing something I’ve never done before used to scare me half to death. I was petrified of failure, which is why I stuck to my familiar and comfortable routines. I cautiously spent my time doing what I knew how to do well which inevitably became old and boring.
One day my sister gave me one of the greatest gifts of all time (thanks, sis). She recommended a book that completely changed my perspective. The book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carole S. Dweck, Ph.D., showed me that within each one of us lives incredible potential to develop our unique talents. It also taught me that fear of failure is the reason most of us won’t pursue our passions, follow our dreams or even follow through with our goals. I learned that all successful people have failed at one thing or another but always find the courage to get back up in the end. This book inspired me, motivated me, and ignited a fire of curiosity.
This new perspective got me thinking: what else can I be good at? What can I master? What hidden talents can I tap into? Is there more out there for me to learn and love?
This became somewhat of an obsession for me. Since reading the “Mindset” I took up art classes, turns out I’m not bad at drawing. I had no idea. I also took on playing the piano. While I’m still no Mozart, I did learn a few songs that light up my heart with joy whenever I play. Turns out I’m not terrible at piano either. In order to challenge myself physically, I joined a martial arts class which made me a stronger, more confident and more resilient me than I’ve ever been.
If you told me two years ago that I would be studying martial arts, I would have laughed out loud. Today it is not only one of my favorite hobbies but is also an important part of my identity.
This new adventurous and risk-taking me is someone I did not know before. These days I actively seek out new learning opportunities and I am always up for a new experience. I’ve learned that there is no better feeling than mastering a new skill. The excitement, the happy juice that flows all over my body when I learn something new, is exhilarating! This excitement is exactly what we need to keep us young at heart and filled with passion and purpose.
Today I can’t believe that for so many years I’ve allowed my fear of failure to prevent me from learning all these amazing and exciting skills I cherish today.
How about you my friend? What are you really good at? What would you love to learn? Is fear of failure holding you back? Do not allow fear of the unknown prevent you from learning new skills.
Have you ever wanted to learn another language? Or maybe learn how to dance salsa? How about picking up an instrument or playing a new sport?
Whatever it is that intrigues you, give it a try. Just maybe you are awesome at it?
I invite you to find out.
If you need a little motivation, pick up a copy of the “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”! As most things, you can purchase it on Amazon 🙂 buy it here
Sending you love, peace, and good vibrations, today and always.
With love, Alyana
This summer I got to enjoy a clear starry night with almost no light pollution. It felt surreal. I was captivated by their beauty and amazed at how many stars are available for our viewing pleasure each night but how rarely we are actually able to see them. Where I live, light pollution rules the sky, which is why I seek out places where the light has yet to take the throne.
One night this summer while camping on a beach I was inspired to write a few words that express my love for the stars. Today I want to share that with you in honor of summer, in honor of time, in honor of life.
Beneath the Great Unknown
There’s something special about gazing at the stars
No light pollution, city noise or cars
We smile as we get lost beneath the great unknown
No interruptions, no reception on our phone
The midnight chill dominates the air
The conversation’s steaming, feet are bare
We lie beneath the studded sky
Talking about what ifs and whys
We ponder about what the future holds
While the worlds greatest show, in front of us unfolds
Our ears are tuned into the ocean
And just like that, worry becomes a silly notion
I see the universe reflecting in your eyes
Childish, beautiful yet wise
Today we found a new dimension
A place of wonder, kindness, and intention
This moment we will forever own
A king and queen under the stars
swinging on their throne
With love, Alyana
If you share my love for stars, please help me share this poem with our fellow night sky lovers via your favorite social media link below!
Being a lover of poetry I glow with happiness when I come across a work that speaks in fluid rhyme and delivers a meaningful message. The poem Cookie Thief by Valerie Fox did that for me and I am excited to share it with you today. I won’t get into poem interpretation here because I want you to experience it yourself but I’d love to hear your thoughts on Valerie’s message and happy to share mine if you care to discuss. Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.
As always, sending you good vibrations and so much love!
The Cookie Thief by Valerie Fox
A woman was waiting at an airport one night
With several long hours before her flight
She hunted for a book in the airport shops
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene
So she munched the cookies and watched the clock
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye”
With each cookie she took, he took one too
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh
He took the last cookie and broke it in half
He offered her half, as he ate the other
She snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude!
She had never known when she had been so galled
And sighed with relief when her flight was called
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate
She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes
If mine are here, she moaned in despair
The others were his, and he tried to share
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief
thought provoking conversations
words that make me smile
all your little inspirations
sorry it’s taken me a while
to tell you how I really feel
about the things you do
the way your words can heal
just like I want them to
late night revelations
kisses in the morning
ignoring all the warnings
coffee by the bed
smiling ear to ear
your voice is in my head
fighting off the fear
tomorrow you won’t show
today is not tomorrow
hold me and touch me slow
one last time before I drown in sorrow
Do you have a best friend a best friend that’s either in your life now or in your childhood. Do you shout at your best friend? Do you call them names when they don’t do what you ask? Do you get defensive when they suggest a different way to do something? If your answer is no, then you know what its like to love someone with respect and boundaries. In many cases we treat our friends with more courtesy and respect than our partners in life. Because we must respect the boundaries a friendship requires we tend to regulate our emotional outbursts. Our partners however, don’t always have it as easy; we don’t always grant them the same amount of self-control. We get so close to our partners that, overtime, we take for granted the subtle boundaries that need to be in place to have a peaceful and loving relationship. Treat your loved one as you would your best friend and watch your relationship bloom.
“The happiest couples relate to each other with respect, affection, and empathy. They choose their words carefully, avoiding the most poisonous relationship behaviors-criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling – and feel emotionally connected.”
John Gotten, Ph. D., cofounder of the Gotten Institute in Seattle and author of 10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage
Love, peace and unity from Love Paper Pen