“To touch, to move, to inspire; This is the true gift of dance.” ~Aubrey Lynch II
IN REFLECTION-LESSONS TO LIVE BY
Anyone on the road to dream-seeking will eventually come across the universal truths, the tenets of emotional intelligence, that can mean the difference between a life of continued challenges or a life of love and fulfillment. These life lessons don’t end life’s drama. Experiencing, honoring, and incorporating them into your life offers the capacity to navigate through troubled times. They are the essential components of a full person equipped to manage the challenges that most of us must eventually face, criticism, rejection, self-doubt, anxiety, heartbreak, etc. Being more aware of how best to navigate social interactions, build strong relationships, and manage conflicts will offer more opportunities for fulfilling and successful personal and professional lives. Although these skills take a lifetime to learn, we must continue to explore ways to live consciously, manage emotions, and not be run by the subconscious fear and anxiety often triggered by the rigors of everyday life.
Scroll down for some of my favorite life lessons. I encourage them, I teach them in therapeutic movement workshops for teens and adults, and strive to live by these tenets every day. Reach out for more information about my workshops experiences.
HONOR YOUR IDENTITY
Do your best to embrace who you are, your uniqueness, your oddities, all of you. In a world that would have us conform to standards written by the dominant culture, dare to be you. Get curious about your passions and dig into the why behind your thoughts and actions. Be reminded that you are creative, resourceful, and whole. Take time for healthy self-reflection to learn and honor your core values and manage the triggers that can activate unconsciously, derailing your life. Seek to understand YOU.
HAVE UNSHAKEABLE CONFIDENCE
It’s easy to take for granted how easily self-confidence can be shaken. Find ways to fortify your confidence by surrounding yourself with people who love and respect you. Shield yourself from the petty darts thrown your way and most of all, avoid the need for outside reaffirmation. You are enough without all of that. Trust your talent and have faith in your abilities. No matter how badly you may be gaslit, remember you belong and have a right to be anywhere you choose to be.
LIVE WITH INTEGRITY
This is a big one. Do the work because the work needs to be done. Avoid doing work in exchange for something else. Yes, we must get paid and pay for services we need, but if you’re doing it only for money, prestige, or status, you’ll never have enough. Even the humblest tasks need your full attention. There is pride in knowing you did your best and while everyone else is phoning it in, quiet quitting and not caring, lean in and get it done. These efforts, though often unappreciated or recognized by those closest to you, come back to you in beautiful, unimaginable ways. Do, “the right thing,” not because there is a reward for achieving or punishment for not rising to a goal, but because the task at hand simply needs to be done.
REMIND YOURSELF THAT WE ARE NOT OUR WAKE
The past is the past. We must learn from it and honor its lessons without carrying them with us. Every day is a new beginning and a chance to reboot. Forgive yourself and keep it moving. Own your contributions to the drama in your life, hold yourself accountable, but give yourself a chance to try again without being tainted by the past. Wear those nasty moments like a knight’s armor, sharpen your sword, and hold your shield bravely. You would not be you without all that you’ve experienced. Like a ship plowing through the ocean, we are not the wake of the churning ocean behind us.
NOTICE PERCEIVED FRAUDULENCE
Imposter Syndrome is real and can really impact the quality of your work. It’s easy to collect evidence that you may not deserve what you have achieved. I’m sure if you look there is also evidence that you’ve worked hard and landed exactly where you belong. Life isn’t fair and everyone who works hard may not amass the wealth that would be commensurate with their efforts. That is not your concern. Turn off those voices and continue to fill your chest with the wisdom you’ve earned and turn off that voice that may be whispering, “You just got lucky!” Don’t miss the true splendor of your achievements. You are not a phony!
There are negative voices everywhere, inside and outside of us. It’s easy to let them run away with you. Would you say to a loved one some of the things you say to yourself? You need the cheerleader in you. This takes a long time and forgive yourself if you notice negative self-critique. Have compassion for that voice and drown it out with the compassion you deserve, the sane compassion you might offer a friend. What would it take for you to be your own best friend and speak to yourself the way you speak to loved ones in need? Develop a healthy relationship with yourself and foster a supportive, non-judgmental environment for self-reflection.
HAVE EMOTIONAL AWARENESS OF OTHERS
Be aware of the impact you have when you walk into a room and notice how you perceive the impact of others. We can’t read minds. We have no idea what anyone else is thinking. Even if they tell us, we have no way of knowing for sure. Do your best to give others the benefit of the doubt, assume the best intentions, and make sure you’re reading the cues of others as sensitively and accurately as possible, the same way you’d want to be read. When in doubt, if you’re feeling safe, don’t assume. Ask. Get attuned to non-verbal cues, facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice to decipher and interpret others' emotional states. Emotional awareness in others will allow you to pick up on subtle emotional signals, even when they may not be explicitly expressed, and respond appropriately.
REMEMBER, ANXIETY LIES
This is one of my favorites. I do not know who said it first, but “Anxiety Lies.” I’ve held on to this one ever since I first heard it. Anxiety does lie. Anxiety is a wild imagining that will likely never manifest. Still, we can allow these lies to impact some of our most important life decisions. Yes, be cautious, when necessary, but be cautiously brave. Ask yourself, “What’s real about these thoughts?” Sometimes there are real consequences and we do not want to trivialize our feelings. We have a right to feel whatever we feel. However, most anxiety is fear of things out of our control that hopefully will never occur. Ask yourself, “What action can I take to reduce the anxiety around this situation?” Take one tiny step. Every spiritual leader has their version of this. “I am not depression. I am noticing depression.” “I am not anxious. I am witnessing anxiety.” “There is sadness, but that sadness isn’t me.” We are not our condition. Conditions, like anxiety are not who we are. They are parts of our lives that can be managed.
REFRAME NEGATIVE CIRCUMSTANCES
Turn the negative into positive. There is usually a silver lining if you look hard enough. This does not mean dismiss a reaction you’ve had to a particular circumstance. Life can throw us real curve balls. Be conscious about how you choose to experience react. Wallowing in a mess is often easier than looking for a way out. If you have the energy, look for the blessing in your circumstances. A lost love is an opportunity to find another. A missed job opportunity is a chance to hone a new skill. Turn towards adventure and without trivializing real pain, you may have good reason for angst, and seek the light. It’s always there no matter how dim. As they say, any glass that is half empty is also half full. You decide which one is your reality.
BE AWARE OF PERFECTIONISM
Perfection is an ideal to strive for, not a way of life. It’s easy to get that mixed up. Celebrate the possibility of perfection. Imagine the greatest, grandest version of yourself and know that it is just that, a grand version of yourself. I say dare to strive for it, but be forgiving with your humanity and keep those ideals in perspective. Recognize the best you is a lifelong pursuit of growth and improvement. Instead of fixating solely on the end result or achieving perfection in every moment, focus on the progress you’ve made along the way. In the end, that is where a real life’s journey manifests.
Emotional resilience enables us to navigate the demanding and often unpredictable nature of our life experiences. We have to know that whatever happens, we can and will recover. Be undeterred by setbacks, handle criticism constructively, and persevere through physical and mental challenges. The Oxford dictionary starts that, “Resilience refers to the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, setbacks, or challenges.” I love the word, “capacity,” in this context. It’s not about failing or succeeding. It’s about building the capacity to recover and get on with the task at hand. This is not easy and requires a lifetime of experience. That said, it can get stronger every day and you need it as you navigate your life. It plays a crucial role in success and overall well-being. Accept, adapt, persevere, bounce back!
Do what it takes to stay inspired. Life goes so fast and gets faster as we get older. Literally, how our brains preserve time changes as we age, so don’t waste a moment. I don’t want to trivialize depression and despair. There is reason for that everywhere. Still, find a way to get inspired and remain inspired. Music, being outdoors, reading poetry, listening to inspirational stories all help. Lean in and get inspired. Do your best to find into intrinsic motivation, align your goals with values that drive you, and cultivate a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
We live in a culture that is obsessed with fame and fortune. Even though we know that buying islands doesn’t equal happiness or success, it’s easy to compare our successes with the successes of others. This is exacerbated by social media and our capitalist society. Medical expert studies are revealing that our culture literally breeds depression and anxiety. It’s easy to be envious or insecure because someone else seems to be further along or getting more acclaim. You get to decide what success means and be unwavering in your definition. Be able to celebrate the successes of others and honor yours no matter how humble they may be. Keep rooted in yourself and keep the competition within you. Honor your achievements while setting aspirational goals. Most of all, be reasonable with yourself.
Find joy and fulfillment in every situation and understand the concept of "Failing-Forward.” Learn how to celebrate even when you feel you have not reached an expected goal. Explore what it would be like to remove the word failure from your vocabulary and replace it with learning and growth. Find ways to reboot when you find yourself on a new or unexpected path. It’s easy to forget that we have so much to celebrate just by being in the game and pursuing a dream. Life doesn’t happen by accident. Life doesn’t happen to us. We happen to life. We carve the lives that we want. Explore ways to live at choice instead of playing victim to your circumstances. I urge you to celebrate even if for whatever reason your intention was not met. It is having the intention that matters.
Keep a beginner's mind despite a high level of expertise. Being curious fuels a desire for exploration, learning, and growth. Curiosity will encourage you to ask questions, seek new knowledge, and discover innovative approaches to your work in the world. Curiosity nurtures a mindset of continuous improvement, enabling open-mindedness, adaptability, and receptivity to new ideas or situations. It fosters creativity, enhances problem-solving skills, and ultimately contributes to the development of a unique voice.
STRIVE FOR AUTHENTIC CONNECTION
The world is not the safest place for authenticity. Authentic people tend to be bullied, disregarded, shamed, and tossed aside. Still, I believe many of us are desperate for authenticity. You know it when you feel it. It’s undeniable and always refreshing. Look for light in the eyes of others. Try to make others feel like they belong. Seek to understand those around you and offer a kind ear when needed. We’re only going to get through this life one day at a time and as together as we can stand. Keep searching for truth. It’s there.
Reach out to Aubrey directly for press and business-related inquiries.