Lesson No. 42: Be Bold

Happy Halloween! I love this time of year because it gives us all permission to be a bit more daring than we normally would be. Dress as someone we wouldn’t consider being in our everyday life, believe in the unseen worlds that we usually don’t admit we believe in, be louder and more enthusiastic than we typically are.

It’s all fun and games because it’s safe. It’s just this one night of the year, and everyone else is doing it too. Tomorrow we get to crawl back into our shells again.

But when I look at something like this tree, it makes me realize that we don’t need our shells. Perhaps we should choose a shell-less existence and just be free to be who we want to be. Every day of the year.

Look at this tree!

Fire. Burning bright. Strong and relentless. Proud, but humble. Passion.

Nature knows.

Just look at her glow!

Bold.

I think we should all be as bold as this tree. Bold in our decisions. Bold in our convictions. Bold in our ownership of all that we are and all that we choose to become.

This is our life. We should light it up just like these flaming autumn leaves.

Be unequivocally who we are. Not because we have no choice in the matter, but precisely because we DO!

We are who we decide to be.

Sometimes we lose sight of this because there are so many external forces pushing and pulling us every which way.

But there is an element of choice in everything. Even if it’s simply the choice of attitude—the small things sometimes make all the difference.

Lesson No. 42: Be Bold

This is our secret superpower. Our internal freedom. We should embrace it and let it glow! Our fire from within.

with truth and elegance,
Vanessa

PS–To witness my journey on a daily basis (pictures included!), be sure to follow me on Instagram @Vanessa_Bork

Lesson No. 41: Mirrors Only Have So Many Answers

Silly selfies! Everybody’s doing them. It’s quite the trend. A real sign of the times—the vapid and self-obsessed times, that is.

Or so the argument goes.

But selfies are far from new. And narcissism has been around for a while too.

So has this conversation🙄

Anyone else bored of discussing anything to do with selfies? Just me?

It’s no big mystery. We are self-aware creatures. Unlike some animals, when we look in the mirror we know we are seeing ourselves.

And thanks to our highly evolved, super complex, very intelligent (though alarmingly far from perfect!) human brains, this gets us thinking:

Do I look like other people? Better? Worse? Is this how others see me? What do they think of me? Am I beautiful? Is it important to be beautiful? If I’m beautiful, will others love me? If I think I’m beautiful, does that mean I love myself? What does it mean to love myself? How does that really work? Who am I actually? Does they way I look match who I believe I am? Does it match who others believe I am? Do others believe I am who I believe I am?

Only one way to find out.

Let’s put it on Instagram and see how many likes I get.

Surely that’ll prove how beautiful and loved I am! Or, perhaps more importantly, that I am indeed seen. Won’t it?

Lesson No. 41: Mirrors Only Have So Many Answers.

So we look outward—to other people for validation. But their feedback only turns us inward again. Do we like their opinions? Do we agree with their opinions? How does this change the way we see ourselves now?

And so the cycle continues. Self-awareness leads to self-exploration. (Which leads to selfies.) This is deeply human. And I don’t suspect it’ll ever change. So I think we’d all best get used to looking at selfies😉

with truth and elegance,
Vanessa

PS–To witness my journey on a daily basis (pictures included!), be sure to follow me on Instagram @Vanessa_Bork

Lesson No. 40: Cultivate Inner Strength

How about some Monday morning existential musings? That’s what people do on their way to work, right? Just me?

So here’s the thing. We are all alone in this life. Yes, we may walk side by side with those we love. But no one truly lives our life with us. Our human experience is ours alone.

Our life is our own entirely. It is our responsibility to make out of it what we will—and to ascribe whatever meaning to it that we see fit.

No one is coming to save us or make our decisions for us or tell us if what we’re doing is right or wrong. We’re on our own.

Some people find this depressing—even frightening. I, however, find it to be strangely liberating.

No one can ever truly break me because my life belongs to me. My life is what I say it is, and not what anyone else tries to make it. My life is my personal work of art—the living expression of who I am and what I believe in.

If I choose to take this responsibility, I can make my life my masterpiece. But I have to be strong—self-reliant and self-aware.

Lesson No. 40: Cultivate Inner Strength.

I am not alone. I am with myself. I am strong (even when I’m weak) and I can love myself. I will be okay despite whatever may happen around me. People and circumstances are constantly changing. But I can always count on myself.

I am one tiny little creature in a gargantuan universe. I am here for only a short time. And there are all sorts of limitations to what I can accomplish while I’m here.

But I choose to see this as a good thing. As a gift, really!

It would be so easy to feel defeated by these ominous facts. To be completely overwhelmed and essentially give up. It’s too hard. It’s meaningless. Why bother?

Remember this: restrictions force us to be creative. If you were instructed to make a meal, given a limitless budget and limitless access to different ingredients you’d probably come up with something really nice—but unoriginal. Because you’re not being tested or stretched. But if you were given only a handful of uninspiring ingredients to use, you’d have to put your thinking cap on. And if you genuinely got creative with it, you’d end up cooking something pretty memorable.

In this vast and crazy universe, you can create a life that is deeply meaningful. If you choose to do so. All it takes is a little inner strength, darling.😜

That’s where all the magic happens. Cease this beautiful opportunity.💕

with truth and elegance,
Vanessa

PS–To witness my journey on a daily basis (pictures included!), be sure to follow me on Instagram @Vanessa_Bork