“7 Life Lessons From Around The World” by Grace Van Berkum, R.H.N.
As we often do during our new year preparations and celebrations, I have been thinking about life lessons I have learned over the years. Here is a compilation of some of my most prized lessons that I carry with me in my heart as reminders of what it takes to be a happy human. I wish you an abundant and loving 2018! May you live your truth and shine your love on everyone that you meet. xo
From being a nutritionist:
Eat life giving, prana-filled foods. You are a living person so eat foods that are alive to feel more alive. Eat raw foods at every single meal, even if you are eating cooked foods. Eat the raw foods first for the high water content, high fiber content, and the enzymes that will help digest the food.
Know all of your ingredients. Eat foods that give you life. Don’t eat foods that drain you of energy and overload your organs. That means stay away from processed foods and chemicals as much as possible. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, or don’t know what it is, don’t put it in your body! (And that goes for what you put on your skin, too! Your skin absorbs your creams and beauty care products and then has to filter it through the body like food).
From becoming a yoga teacher: Yoga is about connecting to mind, body, and spirit, and for me, that means connecting to my powerful love source: who I am without the limitations and self-imposed judgments based on my past programming. Yoga is about raising the bar—the life bar. My yoga includes compassion, love, forgiveness, and honesty.
For me, yoga is about working on releasing anything and everything that stands in the way of living my best life possible. This means constantly being aware of my choices and the consequences of my choices. It means digging deeper and always asking myself why. It means always asking what my motive or intention is; are my actions fear or love based? It means constantly unraveling my thoughts and actions to get to the truth of every single thing I do. Yoga reveals me to myself. Yoga connects me to the real me . My real yoga happens every second of the day, even after I leave my yoga mat.
From shaving my head:
3 years ago I shaved my long blond hair off after my mother died. Having a shaved head forced me to own it, to stand strong in my powerful presence. There is nowhere else to go but to be present and own it. You are most powerful when you are grateful for what you have right now.
From meditation: Live your truth. Pay attention, trust, and act on your heart’s messages. The universe always provides and supports you in your journey. Have courage. Do things that you are passionate about. Aligning with your truth leads to an empowered and peaceful life.
Living in Nicaragua:
Living in a developing country has taught me that it is not money and acquiring things that makes you happy. In fact, owning more things leads to attachment and suffering. Living in a country like Nicaragua has taught me that true happiness comes from knowing who you are and what you stand for, connection to family and true friends, and spending time in nature.
From working on self-love: Know that happiness and health are your birthright….because they are. You deserve a life of happiness, health, and love. When we remember this daily, we make choices that reflect self-nourishment and contribute to a more loving way of being.
From forgiving my abuser:
I have learned that forgiveness heals. Sometime it is hard, but everyday I diligently work on forgiveness. This is how I stop the negativity that sometimes still lingers in my brain. I know that when I can forgive someone who has wronged me, I can also forgive myself. Forgiveness is a form of love. I realize that what I put out into this world, comes right back to me. To hate someone is too hate myself and I can’t live that way.
Another lesson I have learned….gratitude, along with forgiveness, (for there would be no gratitude without forgiveness), will raise your vibrations and free up space in your body and mind ….for love. It takes more energy to hang on to resentment, hostility, and blame. The energy it takes to hold onto negativity will hold you back from living the life of your dreams.