A few things I've learned in 50 years.

This month I turn 50!

One of the MAIN things I’ve learned is to assume nothing!

When I was 30, I thought that 50 was “old,” “outdated” and literally “over the hill.” I thought that if I didn’t hit my 30-year-old goals by then, that was it.

Man, oh man, was I wrong!

I’m so glad my goals have shifted and taken on a different shape, as now, at the age of 50, I’m more aligned with my dharma (purpose) than ever.

Here's a little side story: I remember in 1999 when I lived in NYC on the Upper West Side. I can recall a stunning spring morning as I ran around the Central Park Reservoir through beds of fallen cherry blossoms. I was 29 years old. I remember feeling excited, motivated and determined to have a thriving acting career. I promised myself that it would happen BEFORE the age of 35. Yes, I worked on the stage, on soaps, commercials and Columbia University and NYU thesis projects. My goal was to move to LA and, by the age of 40, be a successful WORKING actress. It just had to happen by then! The simple reason being that 40 was considered OLD, and if you weren't established, especially as a female actor, it would NEVER happen. Time to pack up and head home, girlfriend.

Needless to say, after 35, my agents, coaches and other actresses told me to lie about my age. Never being young enough, pretty enough or thin enough, was a sad reality that I (and many other young ladies) lived with every day. How f***** up is that!

So I did.

I became accustomed to hiding my actual age, not owning my experiences and wisdom, living out of integrity and feeling "less than," because of a number. I even went as far as to believe a NY business coach that my last name (Pister) would get me laughed out of audition rooms in LA.

So I changed it - even more f***** up.

Today, as I write this blog, and am putting the finishing touches on my “40’s-50’s and F****** FABULOUS” 5-DAY CHALLENGE, I have a fire in my belly that I’ve never had in any other chapter of my life.

I know what I want. I know the person I want to be - as I’m in constant evolution and changing every day, thank goddess! And I know that I am fully responsible for my life and what I want it to become. I know that I can’t please everyone and have stopped trying. I know that I am supported and guided by something so much bigger than me, and all I have to do is get out of my own way, shut up and listen. Most importantly, I accept and understand that I AM ENOUGH, when as a culture, we are taught- that we are NOT.

(Marissa Peer - international author, speaker and therapist, says that the belief “I’m not enough” is the #1 disease effecting mankind. Check her out here.)

So, as I look back over the last 50 years, I see now that my life is more of a novel and not a quick read…..and so is yours.

Here are a FEW things I’ve learned:

- I’ve learned that the chapters of experience, lessons learned, failures, successes, disappointments, buried dreams, friendships made and friendships ended, have been my true education in this lifetime.

- I’ve made choices that I celebrate, and some I might’ve done differently. In hindsight, these choices have informed present and future decisions.

- I’ve wasted time in the past and have now learned how to 10x my time.

- I’ve learned of my own resiliency. I’ve fallen apart and have been able to pull myself back together (many times).

- I’ve learned the importance of experimenting and not being afraid to fail and f******up is GOOD!

- I’ve learned that I don’t have to listen to the BRULES (the bullshit rules we learn from our culture, our parents, our peers and what others expect of us).

- I’ve learned that the power of the group is stronger than the power of one.

- I’ve learned the importance of acknowledging and honoring my teachers/mentors and those that have helped me along my path. It’s not JUST me.

- I’ve learned that I am not separate or unique, in that what I am going through and experiencing in the landscape of my own life, is often more similar to, than different from others.

- I’ve learned that I am not my thoughts, I am only the witness to them….and most of them are not true anyways.

- I’ve learned that I am not alone. I am being guided, supported and loved by a much greater energy than the limited concept of myself.

- I’m learning to trust in that higher power more and more everyday. FEAR is believing that we’re alone.

- I’ve learned that to be a good teacher, you must be a great student.

- I’ve learned the importance to ALWAYS be learning (ABL).

- I’ve learned that disconnecting from nature is disconnecting from myself.

- I’ve learned to listen more than I speak.

- I’ve learned that being “RIGHT” is not the most important thing. More importantly, is the relationship with the person I’m disputing and how forcing my opinion may effect our future relationship.

- I’ve learned that to change is to evolve and to stay the same is to devolve.

- I’ve learned that most likely what I don’t “like” in others, is a reflection of what I don’t like in myself - and I need to go black belt on it.

- I’ve learned that I AM ENOUGH. I was born that way - we all were.

- I’ve learned that money is an exchange of energy, and the energy I have to exchange in the world has high value and I’m worthy of it.

- I’ve learned that I am the curator of my own life and where I am right now is a direct result of all the choices I’ve made in my life - PERIOD!

- I’ve learned that I am an expression of love (psttt…so are you) and the more I can share it, the more that comes back to me.

If you have any great lessons learned throughout your 40’s & 50’s please shoot me an email. I’m writing a blog on more lessons learned and would LOVE and APPRECIATE your input. If you’re on an evolutionary growth path and are witnessing your life lessons as indicators for the next phase of your life, I want to hear them. Your lessons are universal and will be heard by those that need to hear them… and that share them.

So, at 50 years old I’ve learned a TON and continue to on a daily basis. My Dad taught me at a young age to see life as the “earth-school” - and it’s 100% true. I’ve sought out and attracted amazing teachers, mentors, spirit guides and communities that I learn from and evolve with every single day.

I’m looking forward to this next phase in my life. And it is a next phase, because I see it that way. Yes, “50” is just another number, like any other number or birthday, but it’s a number that has a past, and very malleable future, depending on what I choose in the present.

All that I’ve done in my life, to this point, has lead me to where I am now. I have stories to tell because I’ve lived them. I’ve processed them. I’ve learned from them. I will then, use them to inform, curate and guide the next chapter in my life.

As life continues to unfold every day, the mysteries are many, and so much is out of my control. However, there is SO MUCH that IS in my control. That’s what inspires me everyday to keep shooting higher, to commit to living into my greatest potential, to live in integrity, to love more, give more and keep sharing with the hope that others will do the same.

XO,

Paula