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5 Universal Rules of Life

Because some things never, ever change. These are your truths. Here are 5 universal rules of life to remember as you’re on your journey.


Rule 1: What you cannot find within, you will find in nature.

The things we do on a daily basis to survive do not necessarily fulfill us— emails, meetings, getting from point A to point B— doing the work needed to create some sort of functioning, productive life. Though they may at times feel mindless, these activities are loud. Their noise depletes our energy and saturates the frequency of who we really are. We’re busy, stressed, forgetful; overstimulated.

The solution is found in removing ourselves from the chaos and retreating within nature. The best medicine involves getting lost amongst the trees. The earth allows you to carve out your own kind of space— peaceful, private, and sacred. This is your time to slow down, breathe in deeply, to delve into the privilege of not thinking. To be still and listen. The person you are when alone in nature is the real you. 

Rule 2: Nobody is putting a magnifying glass to your mistakes. Just you.

That awkward thing you said? Nobody noticed. That small mistake you made? Nobody remembers. That weird phase you went through? Nobody realized. The only person revisiting your bad moments and weird stumbles is you. Staying hung up on old things does not benefit any level of your life.

Release old thoughts and memories that no longer serve you. Let go of the need to replay situations over and over again in your mind. Make room in your brain for more important things to take up space. The past has no power over you. 

Rule 3: You’re anxious because you’re smart.

As studies have shown1, anxiety is what happens when intelligence meets sensitivity. You think, a lot, and therefore you worry, a lot. But you’re wasting your talents on stories that are poisonous and untrue. Anxious thoughts are lies disguised as purpose. They’ll tell you you’re unlovable and unworthy a million times over in a million different ways. It’s theater, and while your brain is good at it, you’re too smart to be completely fooled by the skilled drama.

Don’t believe the lies your brain tells you about yourself. The truth is forever and unchanging: you are more than good, you are more than loved, you are more than capable, and you are more than blessed. 

Rule 4: Choose to put yourself out there, again and again.

Giving up is not in your bones. Recoiling from a sometimes unkind world is natural, yes, but don’t allow yourself to stay away for long. Choose to remain gentle, willing, and bold. Don’t confuse societal expectation with personal joy. The first step in creating your own definition of happiness is becoming reacquainted with your own body, your own dreams, your own desires, and your own beliefs. You don’t need a permission slip from anyone to enjoy yourself.

Chase imperfect joy, soak up flawed moments, and accept both the question marks and the stumbles. When opportunities for love and growth appear, the answer is always yes. Honor your life by refusing to become afraid of the world. Your consistency is your driving force. Your self-love is what makes it all work. 

Rule 5: Purpose doesn’t always look like purpose.

Don’t get stuck inside unachievable, grandiose expectations. Having high standards is a good thing in moderation. Please don’t forget to be gentle with yourself, and that includes being gentle with your self-worth. Purpose can be vast and simple at the same time. 

Humans like to romanticize the story of purpose. The world tells us if we’re lucky enough to find our purpose— this singular, all-encompassing role that serves as the reason for our birth, for which we might spend our entire lives searching— then, perhaps, just maybe we’ll finally be allowed to be happy. But can you see the ridiculous lies? Can you identify the scam? There is no one reason for your existence. You are you for countless beautiful reasons and countless beautiful purposes, all of which add up to make you, you.

Your job is simple. Learn how to love, fully. Love your purpose, your presence, your name, and your values. Love the morning light and the moon. Learn how to love the weird moments, the unsteady moments, and the exhilarating moments all the same. Above all else, learn how to love yourself. You are worthy and you are purposeful. 

1Penney, Alexander M., et al. “Intelligence and Emotional Disorders: Is the Worrying and Ruminating Mind a More Intelligent Mind?” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 74, Feb. 2015, pp. 90–93., doi:10.1016/j.paid.2014.10.005.

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