by Jo Ettles,
Time goes by in the blink of an eye. That is the one thing I know for certain. It seems like only yesterday that I was a teenager, then an adult, and now here I am, in my fifties. I have had so many incredible experiences to date; some brilliant, exciting, overwhelming, even joyous and uplifting. Then there’s been some experiences that have been challenging, devastating, and really confronting.
However, as I look back over the years, every single experience has gifted me in some way. Often, it can be challenging to find the gift in a difficult situation, but I can assure you, there is always a gift. It is always your responsibility to find the positive, beautiful, and inspiring present that is waiting to be unwrapped.
As we mature, we are often asked the following questions:
Would you go back and change anything?
Is there anything in your past that you would do differently?
Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing. Every piece of my past has enriched my life in some way. Every person who has come into my life has taught me somethinghave been no wrong choices – just lessons and gifts.
These are my 10 greatest gifts to date.
Times have changed, there is no denying that, but has society managed to keep up, in regards to manners? My parents instilled in us the importance of good manners, courtesy, respect for others, and most importantly, treating others as you wish to be treated. This gift from my parents has been one of my greatest gifts to date. YES, it is the gift that just keeps giving.
In business, showcasing proper business etiquette says a lot about you as a leader. As a person, and in regards to everyday life, good manners show your true essence and character. Manners can help you strengthen relationships, as well as change your life and the lives of so many around you.
2. Childlike energy
As kids, we were encouraged to have fun, play outside, and enjoy life. I never had a care in the world as a child. It was easy to create, imagine, and quite literally experience real freedom. My father (who is almost 90 years of age) to this day has still retained his love of fun, play, and sense of childlike energy. I have watched him with his great grandchildren, and I am sure that they think he is the same age as they are.
Having real fun can improve relationships. It can inspire us to be more creative and it can really help to reduce stress levels. Most of us are so burdened with commitments that we rarely stop and have fun. Somewhere in between being a kid and then being an adult, we forget how to play.
Don’t lose your childlike energy. Get outside, play more, and have fun. Laugh, dance, sing, be silly. Not only will it benefit your wellness, it will also keep you feeling young.
There is an old saying, “You don’t get to pick your family”; but maybe (just maybe) we do.
Do we choose our parents before we are born to master certain life lessons? Patience, commitment, connection, tolerance, pure love – these are all life lessons my family has gifted to me. Family is always there, whether you need them or not. I treasure the gift of my family most of all.
4. Soul family
If you are really blessed, at some point in your life, the universe will gift you with finding your soul family. This year, I met my soul family. From one chance meeting that led to a gathering of like-minded souls, I realized that I had finally found my soul family.
Your soul family is the spiritual equivalent to your birth family here on Earth. When you meet your soul family and feel surrounded by kindred spirits, you will really notice that your heart and your soul can heal and regenerate.
I began meditating over 10 years ago. Meditation changed my life. It gifted me with real inner peace. It has provided me with the most priceless sense of well-being, as well as a clearness and clarity that has quite literally opened up a whole new world.
6. Setbacks and challenges
I don’t think anyone travels through life without experiencing setbacks and hard times. You can let your challenges knock you down or you can choose to let them be your greatest opportunity for growth. Life doesn’t always get easier, but we can always get stronger and more resilient. In turn, this gifts us with strength. Real strength is in your soul.
It is our birth right to have a healthy amount of self-worth and self-belief. It is the foundation for success. Believe that you can, and you are half way there. Self-belief has gifted me with opportunities and priceless experiences. It has allowed me to connect with the most amazing people worldwide.
In a society where we tend to put older people out to pasture and overlook their experience and wisdom, self-belief has gifted me with the determination to live a full life. If I let society take away my ability to share my life experiences to date, quite simply because of the number on my birth certificate, I would only be living half a life.
The passing of some of my precious family members and also my dearest friends has gifted me with the following:
Life is short, live it.
Your life can change in a heartbeat. Love it.
The people you love might be taken away from you, but their memory stays locked In your heart forever.
There is no greater gift than love. Whether that love comes from heart-to-heart connections with partners, children, friends, or pets, love is the greatest gift of all
10. A new day
Every new day is a gift. It’s a gift denied to so many. A new day is a new beginning and another chance to change your life for the better.
In my fifty something years, I have come to believe there is a gift in everything.
Life is the greatest and most precious gift of all.