I had one of those days that felt like a runaway train, reminiscent of that scene at the beginning of The Fugitive when the prison break goes awry and Harrison Ford has to escape an unfortunate demise by jumping out of the train carrying the prisoners before it crashes. My work day started, and ended, like that.

It was the kind of day that was full of meetings that wouldn’t end and piles of work that just grew taller by the minute.

But then as I walked home tonight, I looked up at the moon, just fuller than half, and remembered how important it is to hold close the things you love on the days that feel out of control.  Moon magic made me remember what really mattered.  I was reminded that in the midst of frustration and fatigue, it is important to remember who you are.

That thought brought me back to the Manifestation Yoga workshop I wrote about in my last post, and how we were encouraged to write the rules that we live by. We all have rules, most unspoken, that define who we are and how we show up in our lives.

So as a reminder of who I am, here are my rules for a good life:

  • Be kind, and treat everyone as your equal.  My parents taught me through their actions that everyone deserves your kindness.  Many a late night I would visit my father in the office to find the cleaning lady sitting in a chair, the two of them in the middle of a deep conversation.  She mattered as much as any CEO who has crossed his path.
  • Hang with people who do the same.  I find out everything I need to know about a person by how they treat servers in a restaurant.
  • Laugh often, deeply and heartily.  You know the saying “angels fly because they take themselves lightly?”  Well, so should you.
  • Be in awe of the world.  Let it amaze you, and let its magic carry you through the day.  For me, the wonder of the ocean, the sunrise, the sunset, the moon all bring me back to my essence.  Figure out what in the world rocks you to the core of your being.
  • Give good hug.  Wimpy hugs make me feel like you don’t want to be around me.  Get in there with a full-bodied embrace.  Yes, it’ll make some people uncomfortable, but they just need to know what love feels like.
  • Food is the best medicine.  Honor your body by feeding yourself well.  Your body will then honor you by letting you experience your life with vigor.
  • It’s okay to have chocolate chip cookies for dinner every now and then.  Rules are made to be broken.
  • It’s okay to have cheese for dinner every now and then—but only if you have quality cheese and a good glass of wine to go along with it.
  • When people offer you their love, accept it.  I’ve let good men get away because I was afraid to hold a gaze or an extended hand.
  • Learn not to leave love unsaid.  If you love someone, let them know. Momentary awkwardness is infinitely better than a lifetime of wishing to have been brave.
  • Pay attention.  I used to roll my eyes (on the inside) whenever Oprah talked about gratitude as a practice.  And then I wrote about my most grateful moment of the day for 30 days straight and it changed my life.  It changed me. Let gratitude shape you.
  • Remember to say thank you.  Kindnesses big and small need to be acknowledged before the moment passes and they are forgotten.

With that rule in mind, last night I was deeply moved by the kindnesses shown by Katie Devine of Confessions of an Imperfect Life and Jennifer Pastiloff of The Manifest-Station.  They shared my blog post with their “tribes”, followers and families and opened up my words, thoughts and feelings to an entirely new audience.  For their grace and generosity, I am deeply grateful.

There is a famous quote by Meister Eckhart, “If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you, it will be enough.”

And so in the spirit of that quote, as well as my rules for a good life, to Jen and Katie I say, thank you.

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