Review: 12 Rules For Life

I just finished reading this incredible book and here are my thoughts.

The rules of this book are at the same time thought provoking, revealing and yet vaguely familiar. Almost as if these rules are truths that I have come to know through some combination of life experience, common sense, and my own observations of others but had not seen them all put into language in one place. Peterson uses examples from his life, his clients from his sessions as a clinical psychologist, literature, the Bible, history, and science to make his points. If you have ever heard him speak during an interview or a lecture, the text reads like he talks: precise, rhythmically logical, defiantly and uncompromisingly true. In a time when political correctness and spin stifle any opinion that makes us to face the uncomfortable and inconvenient questions, it is a daring but necessary act for this book to have been written. 

My personal favorite rule is rule number 10 which is “be precise in your speech”. As an avid student of languages I understand the importance that articulating an idea into words is. To formulate an idea into speech is to bring it to existence. It takes an unknowable and terrifyingly limitless monster and shrinks it into a manageable and approachable problem. Putting into language what is bothering you is the first step to tackling it because then you know what you are up against and can prepare yourself accordingly. Ignore a problem and refuse to acknowledge it in precise terms and you lack the ability to know what focus and direction needs to be taken to handle it. That is why journaling or talking things through with another person is so helpful to understanding what course of action to take. It is the act of identifying a problem enough to be able to articulate its being that is so crucial to being able to solve it.

To say that I recommend this book would be an understatement. It has given me much to consider when I look at my life and I have some ideas on where to start to improve myself. One area that rule number 10 applies is my relationships. I have known for the longest time that I am a people pleaser and attempt to avoid uncomfortable conversations (however necessary) at all costs and if I do bring up an issue I feel as if I do a poor job of articulating it effectively to even have been worth bringing up it at all. But, I want to change that immediately after reading this book because the alternative is more dangerous and tragic in the long term. If you read the book, what rule spoke to you the most and how do you see yourself implementing it in your life?

signature

Self-Discipline is Self-Love

I really love listening to motivational talks during my morning workout and this was a quote by Will Smith that made me reflect:

Self-discipline is the definition of self-love

The word discipline may have a negative connotation, but of we think of discipline in the sense of choosing long-term self-respect over immediate gratification, we can see how disciplining yourself is the same as loving yourself. Continue reading “Self-Discipline is Self-Love”

Minimalist Maintenance: Jewelry

The second part of this series is dedicated to cleaning out my jewelry and keeping only those pieces that I love to wear. I was determined to give away anything that I didn’t wear or had lukewarm feeling about, so I actually ended up donating about 80% of my necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Continue reading “Minimalist Maintenance: Jewelry”

My 3 Summer Self-Honoring Rituals

In a couple of weeks summer will be here, and while it may or may not feel like it where I live (you never know until you know in the Pacific NW!) I’m looking forward to partake in some of my favorite self-honoring rituals for summer.

If I could encapsulate the feeling of summer in one word it would be joy. The days get longer, blooms are exploding into their prime, and the radiant sunshine gives everyone reason to be outside and be active. Fittingly, play and work become equally important as we plan our summer vacations and find ourselves thinking of any excuse to leave work early. These rituals are designed to enliven and soothe the body so that I can continue enjoying the fair weather as long as it lasts.

Here are three of my summer rituals that I do to make the most of it:

Peppermint Tea Bath

Image result for tea bath

I enjoy this concoction when I’m feeling drained from the excessive heat. Especially during Ramadan when I’m fasting, I love taking this peppermint tea bath to help restore balance and energy. Peppermint is naturally cooling, chamomile is calming, and lavender is perfect for summer. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of peppermint tea or leaves
  • 1/2 cup of chamomile tea
  • 1 circular piece of cheesecloth
  • string
  • 4 drops of lavender essential oil

Tie up the tea leaves into a giant tea bag, taking care to leave enough room to allow the leaves to circulate within. As you fill your bath with hot water, drop in the bag and the lavender oil. Let your tea bag “steep” as the water cools down to a comfortable temperature. You may get tempted to stay in until the water gets cold, but dry off to a comfortable temperature and feel relaxed yet energized– not cold.

Take a Hike

Image result for seaside seattle

I am definitely not the outdoorsy type, but I still take time to release the expansionary energy that flows out of me during summer. Hiking doesn’t always need to be deep in nature; beautiful landscapes can be found in urban environments. My favorite spot is to walk down to the pier in Seattle during my lunch break and find a spot where I can enjoy a wide and far-reaching view. I’m fortunate to work in such a beautiful city so I love finding ways to make the most of it during the summer months. I focus on breathing deeply, feeling the cool breeze from the water, and feeling the warm sun from the sky. If you don’t already, find time to do some relaxing yet physical activity this summer in the big outdoors. It’s invigorating and balancing!

Fragrant Pillows & Handkerchiefs

Image result for citrus

This one is so simple: apply 4 drops of lavender essential oils to cotton cloths and slip them in your pillowcases. The lavender is cooling and calming, which is perfect for those warm summer nights. For a daily afternoon wake-up call when I find my mood slumping, I love inhaling into my white, embroidered handkerchief that has been infused with a few drops of orange oil. Any sort of citrus essential oil will perk you right up, so I invite you to find the one or combination of oils you prefer!

These are the a few of my musts during the summer because of how alive and happy they make me!

What are some of your favorite rituals?

 

signature

A Beautiful Life Starts With a Beautiful Day

A lot of times we catch ourselves thinking about how our lives could be different and about all of the ways we are trying to improve it to reflect our own self-expression. We can sometimes get carried away with all of the potentiality that we may cause ourselves to be unhappy with our current lives. It can be easy to fall into the mindset of asking ourselves, “When will it be my turn?” or “Am I there yet?”.

I’ll tell you a secret: You’re never there. There will always be something to yearn for, to keep you reaching. There’s no end point, until it all ends. It’s human nature.

To prevent this reality from burning me out, it’s crucial to take experience your beautiful life day by day. It’s certainly exciting to see your beautiful life unfold before you in big, dramatic ways, but most days aren’t filled with highly compelling events (despite what social media may depict). But this doesn’t mean that each day doesn’t bring its own little opportunities for joy and excitement.

For example, I can’t wait for the day when I can finally work from home without commuting to work for three hours a day. But until that day comes I use this time to listen to my favorite podcasts and audio books and boost my mood by singing in the car. I would also love to go back to living in France one day so I find ways to bring France to me. I listen to French songs, read French books, watch French movies, drink my morning café just like how I remember it was and enjoy French treats from a local shop that imports them. Doing these actions makes me feel as if I am living the life I truly want which puts me in a mindset of gratitude and positivity.

The life you envision for yourself will certainly be different, but it’s all about moving closer to the sensations that we wish to experience by finding ways to experience the same delight within the lives we have now. Doing so not only makes our lives shift faster in the direction we want, but makes the process feel easy and fun.

If you find that thinking about your dream life is making you feel overwhelmed and discouraged, then try to incorporate one new action into your day that will make you feel as if you’re already there. Like I said, there’s no destination so you may as well find a way to enjoy the ride one day at a time.

signature