It’s birthday time! What does that mean in adult years? I’m not entirely sure. I change my view on Birthdays every year. But one thing remains. It’s a time of reflection and renewed energy for the year to come. This past year has been one of many changes and lessons. In lieu of gifts and flowers (ha, that’s a joke..although if you already sent them, I’ll keep ’em), I rather share a cyber moment with you all and share my “sometimes” and “always” lessons from the past year. I hope it’s useful to some of you on similar life paths.  Alright class, here we go.

The lessons are…


1. You must separate to elevate.

There are things, people, situations, and habits in life that can weight us down. In order to grow and evolve, we must learn to release them, otherwise they become toxic. My rule of thumb is; if it doesn’t inspire, uplift, or support me, it’s gotta go. This can be stuff physically cluttering your space (not to shamelessly plug but, case and point, my current sale), or energies of people that drain you. We are creatures of habit. I noticed my pattern and am working on simplifying this process. It used to go something like this:

A. Realize I have to let something go.

B. Enter a period of resisting letting go, reminding myself of that one time when it didn’t suck. 

C. Reach a boiling point and trim the fat.

D. Feel light and free because of it, and wonder why I waited so long.

E. Enjoy the clean space.  

We put a lot of value in things and people filling our lives, and can feel down about what we think is missing. But, guess what?! There is great value in a peaceful, clear space. God and the universe wants to fill it with new blessings but the best way to attract it is by making room.

2- You will be your own hero.

No offense Enrique Iglesias, but I learned this past year that, aside from God (obvi), I can be my own hero. I learned to expect less from others, and raise the bar on myself. I really surprised myself with just how much I am able to take on. Some of my most challenging moments I took on by myself (another blog post, for another day). Rather than float around in a sea of self pity, I chose the route of self-empowerment. Facing everything head on, while adding a few extra to do’s along the way, I realized just what a badass I am. I graduated myself to super hero status. It’s not an ego thing, and I don’t need to prove it to anyone other than myself. It’s just a state of mind. Look at challenges as opportunities to let your inner super hero come out and make things happen!

3- You are going to be the villain in someone’s story.

As a recovering people pleaser, this one has been tough for me. When you start to make decisions that don’t involve putting everyone else first, and finally standing up for yourself, you will be someone’s bad guy. This happens in business and in personal matters. You can spend all your time and energy trying to let them see your side and how that’s not the case, or you can just let it be. I’m learning to let go and let God. He knows you, your heart, and your intentions. Don’t sweat it. Rock your fur, red lipstick, and embrace being someone’s Cruella De Vil if that’s what it means to not get trampled over. .


4- Let your intuition be your guide.

I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy if I had done this over the past year. I’ve learned the hard way that little voice inside my head always knows best. I let it down when I filter it with the “what if’s” (fear based thinking) and self-doubt moments. I spend a lot of time praying and asking the questions. I need to not rob myself of the opportunity to hear the answers I am asking for by trying to control my own thoughts. 

5- Accept imitation as a form of flattery.

I have vivid memories of myself as a little kid, coming home from school crying because other kids in class copied my pictures. This has always been a trigger for me. I don’t like comparisons and I don’t like being copied. I want to be unique and original. However I’m not a child anymore and need to be a grown up about this. It is inevitable that somewhere along the line of trying to inspire others through a public business, you will be someone’s blueprint for an identity they try to adapt as their own. Take it as flattery and know that if you are doing your job right, others will want to follow your path. 

6- Do your thang, no matter what others think. 

I’ve gotten some judgement in the past year, especially as I open up about personal matters, like I did in my blog post Salwa2.0. But here’s the kicker, I give no F’s because the amount of positive impact it had on way more women that have reached out to me in similar situations, has been absolutely worth it. I also lost a couple followers on my FB page when I shared my stillbirth blog post. Once again, I give no F’s. I am entering a period in my life where it’s way more important to me to be respected than liked. It’s not enough for me to just be known for my fashion (although I mean …it is pretty on point;) ). I want to make an impact and truly empower women. That requires sharing real life moments and connecting on a deeper level. Some people can’t deal. That is okay. I refuse to filter and water myself down. I just accept that I will not be their person. 

7- Love yourself.

I have made this a priority to master in the past year and can honestly say, although challenging at times, it’s the most life changing one of all. Self-acceptance and self-love is crucial to our well being. If you surround yourself with an aura of love, coming from your own core, you will start to attract the same in all areas of your live. Taking time to love, heal, and nurture yourself is time well spent. Someone else can come along later and enhance that, but your love tank (if you watch Housewives of OC, you’ve heard all about the love tank) needs to be self filled.

In conclusion, let me point out that I am a work in progress. Part of me writing these lessons down is to remind myself to stay on track. Hopefully by my next birthday, I will have mastered them and added on some more! But for now, Happy Birthday to me! I’m proud of my growth:) 

Thanks for reading! I hope you will stay connected.


Wearing Salwa Owens Atelier Custom. Photo by Anderson Gonzalez.

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