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In what may seem like a blink of an eye, another year has turned its leaf. For some of us, it has been another year of transformation, change, and growth, as we are adjusting to the new norms and seeking our path. For some, the year has been filled with adventures, as the world is back to travel and exploration full force. Some of us have new family additions, responsibilities, and relationships to tend to. Others are exploring their newfound freedoms, be it in a form of living in a new place, working in a new job or setting, or simply feeling lighter as they shed mental and emotional baggage. 

The turn of the year, as tradition goes, is an auspicious time to reflect, ponder, and go within. The practice can help all the life lessons settle, and teach us to express gratitude for all the blessings we might have received. It also sets our mindful attitude, as we contemplate what the future might bring, set our intentions and visualize our goals coming to fruition. 

Regardless of where you stand and what this year meant to you, there is always something to learn, appreciate, and reflect on. As we close one chapter and prepare to open a new one, here are some unique 2022 life-changing lessons to ponder upon. 

Yoga at sunset in Costa Rica

What life-changing lessons did we receive in 2022?

Life lessons of 2022

  1. Nothing lasts forever. It feels more true than ever before. Just when we thought life will be one way, the “new normal” dictating certain ways of behavior and lifestyle, so many of the things that seemed to have stuck in 2020 and 2021, completely changed in 2022. 
  2. People (and the world in general) have an incredible, almost limitless, ability to transform. Connecting with the previous point, humanity has an incredible adaptability to it, and it is something we can cherish and take advantage of on so many levels in our life. 
  3. Nothing is only good or bad. As yoga and various mindfulness practices would teach us, seek the lessons, and not get attached to labels. Everything, be it a person, lesson, or experience, has its place, and we do not have to deem it good or bad. But we might be able to learn and grow from it, so we best accept it as it is. 
  4. If it doesn’t work, try again. Too much of our life is dependent on instant gratification, but real growth and progress usually require us to dig deeper. So if it doesn’t work the first time, try again. Be persistent, and stay determined. 
  5. However, know when to let go. Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, expecting a different result. Connecting with the previous point, life is a delicate balance of knowing when to persist, and when to desist. 
  6. Reconsider reading the signs. A sound bite used around the world for the past few years, as everyone was trying to understand the signs, predict the future, and read between the lines. Although being mindful of what the universe (our intuition, nature, and the people around us) is trying to tell us is important, not every single thing is a sign that is meant to completely change our life. And even if it is, it takes a special finesse to know how to read and interpret the signs properly. 
  7. Believe in the Intangible. It’s not only about the mystical, supernatural, and spiritual things in life (although they are an important part of our existence). There is so much we interact with in our life, that is ethereal, immaterial, and exists on a different plane than the physical. Yet, we take it for granted. Instead, the world today is heavily focused on what we can touch and prove, often forgetting the most important pieces of the puzzle are beyond sight, beyond words, and unearthly. Be it our emotions, thoughts, insights, intuition, wisdom, or divinity, it’s about time we give it the attention it deserves, in a proper way.
  8. Know your own truth. In a world where truth became a relative, debatable, personable phenomenon, instead of trying to uncover the “real truth” or expecting lies and deceit from those around you, focus on knowing and living your own truth. The absolute truth will reveal itself at the right time, everything else is relative. 
  9. Don’t forget to still trust somebody. In line with discussing the truth of the world, it seems many have completely lost trust, be it in governments, society, the news, or humanity in general. But giving and receiving trust is an important, almost primal human interaction, without which we may feel lost and even hopeless. So, in this crazy world of today, there is still plenty of opportunity to offer your trust to somebody, and receive others’ trust in you. 
  10. When in doubt, move your body. It is your unique home in this life, with a particular purpose. Just as you use your body to fulfill all your dreams and ideas, so your body deserves love and attention in return. Start by moving it gently and lovingly, maybe to some music! 
  11. It is always the right time to Heal your heart. If you haven’t started working on your emotional health, you are officially behind. Be it addressing the inherent and societal traumas we live with, be it consciously opening your heart to love, trust and compassion, intentional heart work is a welcomed choice for all. 
  12. You cannot change the world, but you can change your own world. As each new generation of self-proclaimed visionaries, entrepreneurs and spiritualists aim to cure cancer/develop a universal energy source/cure hunger/insert a world-changing idea, fewer and fewer people actually focus on the reality of their own world. No matter how noble and pure your intentions are, nothing can happen until you make sure your own world is in order. 
  13. Embrace your difference.  It is totally ok to be different, and not in the instagrammable/vlogabble way. Instead of following the masses, let go of that deeply-rooted need to belong, to fit in, and to be like others, if it goes against who you truly are.
  14. Let go of influencing and being influenced. In a world where everyone behaves like a celebrity, has no filter when it comes to posting their opinions online, and strives for attention via likes and views, we can work on reclaiming our privacy, our individuality, and our realness. Not everyone needs to be inspirational all the time, and we do not need to seek staged inspiration and guidance from strangers either. 
  15. Come back to real life, in-person, face-to-face interactions. The online world has changed our society completely, and some of it has been absolutely for the better. But now that we had a glimpse into what the world would be like without real-life, spontaneous social interactions, we can appreciate the benefit of just meeting and socializing with people in the real world, while showing our real faces.
  16. Stop taking things for granted. Hardly a novelty idea, but maybe more relevant than ever. If the last period of our humanity has taught us anything, it is that nothing is given, so better do not to take what you have for granted, as life may take it away at any moment. 
  17. Forget the big picture for a moment. We can truly only exist at this moment, right here and now. And although not every moment is truly magical and special, if we only focus on that next step, and only want to build the big picture, the little special moments that are meant to make our life will just slip by.
  18. Your first duty is to your own self. Just like the oxygen mask on a plane, there is a very valid reason why we have to make sure our glass is full before sharing with others. This year, it’s about time we learn to take proper care of our own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, in a non-egotistical and selfish, but rather healthy and genuine way. 
  19. Think about the long-term plans. Maybe it’s a sign of maturity, or patience, or just a result of life experience, but this year has taught us that instead of jumping head first into decisions and searching for a quick result, it’s good to take a step back and look at the grand scheme of things. Be it funding the future long term, building relationships that last, or investing in oneself, it’s time to do it with an open mind, aware of what may lay way ahead. Your future self will thank you.
  20. It’s ok to contradict yourself. Just as this list may have certain points that are seemingly contradicting, so our life, personality, and relationships, all experience confusion, inconsistency, and complexity. Instead of looking for a clear-cut, black-and-white reality, embrace your contradictions. Buddhist and Yoga traditions teach of a state of harmony, where we are simultaneously one and none, both within and without. 
  21. Accept yourself as you truly are. It’s high time we stop lying to ourselves, hiding our true face, and generating highly altered images of what we think we should be or what the world wants us to be. How are you going to accept anybody else, if you don’t accept yourself? How are you going to find somebody that truly accepts you as you are, if you don’t start first? How can we find any form of harmony in this mad, beautiful, confusing, backward, miraculous world we live in if we cannot embrace ourselves as we come? The first step to peace is acceptance. 
  22. Throw out your lists. And finally, maybe throw out your lists altogether! All the ideas of who you are, what the world should be like, your checklists, desires, problems, expectations, demands, grievances, and targets, are ultimately binding you, limiting you. This past year, we have learned it’s ok to let go of those lengthy lists in the backs of our minds, and ultimately embrace the flow. Live life here and now, allowing it to unveil itself to you step by step, with a truly open mind and uninhibited heart. 
beach chair mandala

Changing your life and Finding Zen in Costa Rica