The Ultimate Life Advice I Would Tell Myself | Amber Hawken | Dip. Mindfulness CBT

I was sitting in our favourite cosy spot yesterday in a patch of morning sun munching on a banana with sunflower seed butter. If you’ve never done that, you’re welcome. It’s a mouthgasm coming your way.

Anyways, I was reading some emails that a client sent to me about a challenge that had popped up in between sessions. He sent me three emails in a row. Here’s the gist:

Email 1: Ambs, this is my challenge. These are my thoughts on the challenge. Do you have any tips or other insights to help me through this challenge?

Email 2: Wait, I emailed you 7 months ago about the same problem. You responded with an email that you told me to read every time I get stuck with said challenge. I read it, problem solved.

Email 3: On that, these are my new insights about this problem.. Do you have anything to add?

I laughed and smiled reading through this client’s thought process, and I was fucking proud. I teach my clients how to be autonomous.  I tell them that they may email me at any time for support, but they must have their own reflections and suggested solutions in the email as well. It provokes self enquiry, and even if they still have no idea what to do next, they’ve taken the time to ask themselves some hard questions. They’re practicing looking within themselves first. Then, I provide more specific questions to guide them to find the answers themselves. This approach teaches autonomy even in the face of life’s most difficult situations. It builds self trust and confidence. It strengthens intuition.

Reflecting on this, I sat and thought, “Well, what would my advice be for a future Amber who is going through a challenge (losing her shit nuts, caught up in emotion, overstimulation caused by overthinking, or attempting to control all the outcomes that she doesn’t want to face)?”

The end result was a letter that I wrote to my future self. I suggest writing one of your own. It’s easy to do if you ask yourself questions like this:
“If this was a dear friend whom I loved and respect deeply asking me this same advice, what would I tell them?”

Long story short – you’ve got the fucking answers. You are your own guru. Sometimes, it’s powerful to have guidance to accelerate and expand your awareness, soften the blows, and teach you foundational principles about life. However, these things are only helpful if they always guide you back to yourself.

Here is the ultimate life advice that I would give myself:

Ambz, guess what?

I am going to ruin the ending for you. Are you ready?

It’s too bad if you’re not.

Here it is:

It’s all going to work out.

In fact, it’s going to be absolutely-fucking-spectacular.

It might be a spectacular mess, but spectacular, nonetheless.

Chill.

Let it unfold.

Soak up life as you crack open, and allow its richness to seep into your cells and overwhelm your senses.

And then,

Breathe.

Don’t ever forget to breathe, love.

It’s your anchor, now and in every moment,

which is always only right now.

It’s the single most profound anti-lose-your-fucking-shit over something that you couldn’t control in the first place medication that exists.

Smile.

Bigger.

Smile with your heart.

Open it,

Especially when things are scary. That is mastery, opening when you want to close.

It’s the spiritual version of breathing through those last few reps and sitting through those last minutes in the sauna.

It is painful; it’s hard. You want to stop. You want it to end.

If there is a version of sucking it up on a soul level, opening when you want to close is it.

Also, since you realise that you are not defined by those very self-absorbed thoughts in your mind and you are something much more infinite, it is easier if you laugh at yourself…

A lot.

You only need these things:

Love because really, what else matters?

Patience because there is no use rushing to the bus stop when it’s not due to arrive for an hour.

Persistence because life requires us to grow in order to know ourselves, and this means that you must open your heart even when it hurts. If there is a spiritual version of the last rep that counts, this is it.

Compassion because kindness to self and others lets the chains of fear and judgment that shackle your spirit fall to the floor.

Humility because you don’t know what you don’t know, and you never know when you’re about to see mystery or lack of knowledge more clearly. Remain open without assumptions, and appreciate impermanence.

Humour because what’s the fucking point of life unless you can laugh?

Oh, and also,

When you want to judge people, pretend to say those comments directly to their face and feel what it feels like to do so. It is deeply saddening.

Judgment is only an expression of our own self-rejection.

Work that shit out inside, and then, you’ll begin to glow.

And when you glow, you’ll find that you vibe from within,

And things on the outside become clearer.

You know what’s good for you and what to run the fuck away from because it’s the temptation of pleasure dragging you back to that shallow world of stimulation.

It is far too easy to get lost there.

It is okay if you do; you’re human after all.

Just toddle on back when you realise that you got off track from where you were meant to be. Which is, in, of course. 

And don’t give yourself a hard time, there is no point in that.

When you go within and thus glow within, you’ll find your compass. You’ll attract your Jack-Fucking-Sparrow kind of people, and you’ll be jolly, even without the rum!

And if you ever feel absolutely hopeless, distraught, and desolate,

be kind to someone, anyone, in any way that you can.

Write someone a letter,

draw a picture (you’re terrible at drawing, but it’s totes the thought that counts),

pick a flower,

give a compliment,

take someone’s bins out,

offer to pay for a stranger’s coffee.

Acts of kindness will remind you of why we are here because the glint of gratitude in their eyes reflects back the light in yours, and you remember once again, what you are.

You’ll have a path back to yourself in that moment.

That’s all we are here for anyway, coming home to ourselves.

And so, here we are, back at ground zero,

Back at us, inside.

We are expansive,

Where we are all the same, and it all makes sense without having to think about it.

You feel life with your eyes closed,

Centred,

And it all worked out.

I told ya.

Remember that I love you when the world made sense once upon a time and you wrote this for yourself.

Love,

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