What advice would you give your 25-year old self? Although straightforward, this question is a loaded one. Every individual is made up of so many life experiences and lessons that have shaped us into the people we are today. We asked some of our lovely Global Ambassadors and KiraGrace Warriors what they would say to their younger selves given the opportunity, and they offered us some sage advice. All of these impressive women gave different advice covering a wide variety of topics, however one message was consistent throughout: be kind to yourself!
"Other than the fact I am pretty certain my 25-year old self wouldn't listen to any advice, I think she would have benefited from some assurance that the mistakes, u-turns, and exploring she was doing would turn into sources of compassion and service down the road. I might also tell her that she should stay in touch with her friends as they all moved around. I have a lot of long-time friends with whom I still communicate but too many with whom I lost contact during the twists and turns of life and I wish I had been better about keeping up with them." - Christina Sell
"There will be people in your life who you will admire a lot. You will seek their love and friendship. Know that some will suck out the joy out of you. They will try to keep you small to feel greater than you. Say goodbye as soon as you realize they are harming you. Make space for something even better. Forgive, try to forget & move on." - Andrea Sauter
"You don't have to figure it all out now. Where you are in your life is perfect for who you are currently! Let yourself evolve and follow your interests - they might change as you change, and that's fine! If you stay true to yourself, you will end up in the right places with the right people. There is plenty of time; do things as you are ready, not as others are ready for you to do them. You will do the best for yourself by putting energy into those who appreciate you, by learning to appreciate yourself and to forgive hurts, and by savoring more now moments." - Odette Hughes
"Everything that is happening now is preparing you for the woman you will become. Embrace the challenges, be grateful for the wins and losses—these moments are molding you. Enjoy your youth. Trust that you are gorgeous, smart, and capable. Don’t waste a second analyzing your figure or scrutinizing an imperfection. Let yourself learn about yourself through other people. Keep your walls low. Let people in. And on occasion, especially when you feel that you’re in love, slip the rose-colored glasses down and step back to double-check that you’re seeing clearly. It is not a failure to move away from something that isn’t working. And above all, stay kind. Always." - Kristen Riordan (Schneider)
"Wow am I really closer to 35, then I am to 25 now?! When I was 25, I was one of the younger employees working at a design firm. I got a little flack for ‘caring’ about my birthday, and at the time I told myself—“25, it’s going to be a phenomenal year!” and the phrase stuck! Almost jokingly at first, and then the more I told myself that, the more I made it REAL. That was the year I left my ‘day job’ and transitioned into teaching and sharing the path of Yoga full-time. It was a busy year with lots of transition, but I’m still reaping the benefits and living the reward. My advice to 25-year-old me, GO FOR IT! Believe it will be ‘phenomenal’ and make it so. Hindsight I would also probably tell myself to trust that opportunities will come, and not to overload my plate. I definitely was a YES person at that time, and as I’ve aged I’ve learned to say no to things that don’t fit my schedule, talents, or goals. Our TIME is one of our greatest resources, give it intentionally." - Kristina Reese
"I love the wisdom that comes with age and everything that goes into that (the ups & downs and learning along the way) is so precious. I wouldn't want to erase that. I think the reminder I would give would be that the process is the practice, everything is a learning experience, don’t forget to enjoy the process!" - Tiffany Cruikshank
“Don’t waste your precious imagination on what could go wrong when you can direct it towards making your magic.” - Kathryn Budig
"Since I was 25 four years ago when I moved to the US, I think I would just say to myself - Keep pushing forward, it will all make sense later." - Karla Ilicic
"You have everything you need, already inside." - Michelle Marchildon
"Dear 25-year-old Valerie,
My advice to you (coming from 23 years into your future) would be to:
- Don't be afraid to speak up and stand up for what you know to be right, particularly as it applies to the professional treatment of women in science. You do eventually figure this out, but you regret not having spoken up earlier due to fear of professional ramifications.
- Worry less and figure out stress management techniques while you are young. This will come in handy later on when your family goes through some incredibly challenging times.
- Be present.
- Don't be afraid to be messy. Life doesn't have to be wrapped up in a big red bow. You do figure this out but at the risk of your health and relationships.
- Breathe. Every breath is an opportunity to begin again." -- Valerie Knopik
"I’d tell her that her soul will lead her when she can’t decide, her heart will whisper when she thinks she’s alone, and her path will be winding when she tries to force it straight. I’d tell her to never shy away when she sees or experiences pain, because this is the fertile greenhouse of her future superpowers -compassion and self-acceptance." - Liz Corwin
"My advice to my 25-year-old self would be to spend more time with my family particularly my grandparents. To go visit them and actually I would suggest that I travel more often in general." - Jenny Graddy
"Keep doing what you're doing. Follow your heart, your intuition, you inner compass knows the way." - Marie Belle
"At age 25, I had not yet discovered the practice of yoga. Now, 20 years later, I would certainly use some of the tools from my yoga toolbox to tell myself the following:
'Amber, the only fight you are having is the fight between who you are and who you are trying to be.'
In the book, “Inside the Yoga Sutras,” by Reverend Jaganath Carrera, Yoga Sutra 1:23 says, 'Or samadhi is attained by devotion with total dedication to Ishwara (our Supreme soul).” Our Supreme soul is not separate from self, but it is a way of externalizing it.
From my perspective, this means that we must surrender into ourselves instead of fighting it.
Once we achieve this, we can attain samadhi, pure bliss or unity consciousness. We find union with ourself. That is yoga.'
I am still working on awakening back to the natural beauty of me. I will let you know when I arrive."