I found this year ago and return often to it when I feel off-kilter. Enjoy!
Top Ten Rules for Being Human
Rule One: You will receive a body.
Whether you love it or hate it, it’s yours for life, so accept it. What counts is what’s inside.
Rule Two: You will be presented with lessons.
Life is a constant learning experience, which every day provides opportunities for you to learn more. These lessons are specific to you, and learning them is the key to discovering and fulfilling the meaning and relevance of your own life.
Rule Three: There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Your development towards wisdom is a process of experimentation, trial and error, so it’s inevitable things will not always go to plan or turn out how you’d want. Compassion is the remedy for harsh judgment ― of ourselves and others. Forgiveness is not only divine – it’s also ‘the act of erasing an emotional debt’. Behaving ethically, with integrity and with humor ― especially the ability to laugh at yourself and your own mishaps ― are central to the perspective that “mistakes” are simply lessons we must learn.
I recently decided–after ten short years of mulling it over–to get a tattoo. A BIG one. And within four days, I had found an artist, created a design, and was under the needle, so to speak.
I got a couple of small tattoos in my late teens/early 20s, one of which is so awesome that I plan to have it removed with my first tummy tuck. But for this artistic endeavor, my motto was GO BIG, OR GO HOME! (With the caveat from my friend Lisa, “But stay employable.”)
What is it? I’m not totally sure what I designed. I mean, obviously, it’s a bird. But it’s also in bloom, a thing of movement and beauty. It’s organic.
Perhaps it’s a peacock. There’s a story I love about peacocks eating thorns–those very things that are meant to wound–and from them they are nourished to grow their plumage. Spectacular beauty arriving from an unlikely and painful source: I like.
This could also be a phoenix, that mythical creature that plunges itself into fire every 1,000 years, only to be born again from the ashes to live anew. Like that, too.
The whole impetus for getting a big, badass tattoo was about honoring a wish I’d had for a decade and always dismissed as impractical and expensive. I don’t know what made me take action, except perhaps the desire to live big and be my most authentic self. And the most authentic Leah has a giant peacock-phoenix-flower design on her back. And she loves it.