The Things I’ve Learned Along The Way

An exploration with watercolours — two colours only. Quinacridone Gold and Dioxane Purple +White +Black

Life is a journey that teaches us as we go.

Some lessons are worth repeating so that they can continue to enrich our lives every day. Some lessons… well, they’re best not to be repeated.

There are so many lessons that have informed and enriched my life. Here are some of my favourite go to’s.

  1. Walk in Gratitude

Gratitude is the gateway to a peaceful heart. It forms a foundation for joy, peace, contentment.

Be grateful for all things in your life, including the things you’ve encountered that leave you feeling bruised and weary. Their presence is a reminder that life isn’t all about sunrises that take your breath away and sunsets that close in magic. It’s also about dark and stormy nights that force you to stretch and bend and bow like a willow tree in the rain. When we bend and stretch we become more supple and strong.

Be grateful for the storms.

2. Let Forgiveness Soften Your Heart

Sometimes, we tell ourselves that holding onto anger will make us feel better. It’s not true.

Anger corrodes. It hardens our muscles and the heart is a muscle. Let forgiveness wash away the pain so that your body can move freely and your heart beat easily.

And that includes forgiving yourself. Always. We all make mistakes. We all do things we wish we hadn’t. Don’t lock yourself into a cage of anger. Open the gate to forgiveness and let the anger wash away. In its absence your heart will have more room for grace and love to buoy you up.

Forgive yourself for the harsh words you speak about yourself. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Forgive yourself and let the anger wash away so that beauty can revive and restore you.

3. Seek Beauty

It doesn’t matter how dark the night or stormy the day, there is beauty in all things. Sometimes, we just have to change our perspective or find a safe harbour to weather the storm. In that safe harbour there is beauty. In that new way of looking at what ever you judge as having gone wrong, there is beauty to be found. Seek it.

And don’t forget to say thank you for the every day beauty of your life. Gratitude is a healing balm for your heart and soul. It makes a beautiful walk in the park out of every day and opens us up to seeing the world with fresh new eyes.

4. Be Curious

There is so much that is fascinating in this world around us.

Why is the sky blue?

Where does love go when it dies? Can it die?

Why do zebra’s have stripes and giraffes have spots?

Be curious. About everything. People. Animals. Nature. Things. Life.

5. Explore Your Inner World

Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Why did he say that? Where? Who wrote it into his speech? (remember – be curious)

What does that statement mean to you?

Examine it. Ask yourself, am I willing to take the voyage into my heart to discover new territory? To uncover old pains and hurts so that I can live my life freely in the wonder and beauty of today?

You are the person you spend the most time with. How ‘clean’ are your thoughts about you? How lovingly do you speak to yourself?

Give yourself the grace of loving yourself unconditionally and let your true light shine bright.

6. Give Grace

Grace is an ineffable and ephemeral attitude/disposition in life. Its presence creates space for wonder and awe, its light opens up your world to beauty and love.

Grace, as defined by some is ‘unwarranted mercy’.

Give yourself the grace of mercy. It is the ultimate form of self-compassion. Give it freely to yourself and all the world around you.

We are just mere humans. Taking this walk daily. Sometimes, we struggle. Sometimes, we don’t. Always, our inherent nature is todo our best.

In grace, our best is never judged as lacking. It is seen as being a reflection of who we are, where we are and how we are in the moment. And when our best pales in comparison to our judgements of where we need to be in this moment, use grace as your doorway to finding your self-compassion.

When we know better, we do better.

Let grace open you up to your better so that you can shine brightly for all the world to see the path around you is illuminated in Love.

We each need to shine brightly to create a better, brighter, kinder world.

Give grace. Love yourself for all you’re worth.

7. Love Always

There is no space for judgement, discrimination, condemnation, violence to grow when Love is present.

Love always. And in your choice to love always, trust that love always wins, even when the night is dark and long, even when the storm is fierce, even when the path is hidden in shadows, trust in Love and let love lead the way.



I created the watercolour painting above as part of a course I’m taking with Laura Horn (fabulous course!)

I am not a watercolour artist, (she said to herself) when she signed up for the course.

Fear of looking stupid. Of not doing something well. Of being awkward, ‘less than’, almost held me back from signing up.

I am so grateful I signed up. I’m still going through the first week of course material and I am learning so much about composition, colour theory, and staying out of judgement.

If I’d let my fear direct me, I wouldn’t have signed up.

I’m grateful I gave myself the grace of not being perfect and chose instead to love myself enough to experience and learn something new.

What about you? Are you willing to give yourself grace?

24 thoughts on “The Things I’ve Learned Along The Way

      • Wow, Thanks ! Working in the surgery area is a little like a bubble. People have to test negative to get surgery unless it’s a critical emergency, but we are feeling the tension of hospital life for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Louise, my curiosity is reaching out to ask why you consider these seven guidelines as lessons. Your explanations lean towards guidance in how one can conduct themselves. They really are a set of guideposts to help one in a positive and graceful way to manoeuvre through life’s quagmire of challenges. I would like to share them with my circle of Middle Kingdom friends, with your permission.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I call them lessons Iwona because I learned them through life experience — and yes, they are guidance, I continue to learn the lessons of their values every day.

      I would be honoured if you shared with your Middle Kingdom circle friends. ❤


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