I was jamming out to “I Lived” by One Republic while in Hawaii this past week and it’s lyrics made me think about what it truly means TO LIVE!

At the end of my life I want to be able to say I really LIVED. I took the plunge, I followed my soul’s calling and I found alignment in doing what I love versus following what society says I “SHOULD” be doing at a certain age or time of life.

I also stared thinking about my parents and how their life was cut abruptly short. I have come to terms with the fact that it was time for their souls to return home on that fateful day in May 2000.  However, I couldn’t help but think of all the things I knew they still wanted to do. And I started wondering if in the moment our family’s SUV started violently flipping over, if they had time to regret anything…But what even is regret in a moment like that?

And now what does regret mean to me?

I am human and attaining perfection is not realistic.  I have made mistakes, lots of them, but I do not regret any of them. I saw a quote by one of my favorite book writers – Brene Brown. She said “Grace Means That All of Your Mistakes Now Serve A Purpose Instead of Serving Shame.” I absolutely LOVE that!

I want to strive for grace over perfection. And for the times that I have messed up, gone out on a limb and really scraped up my knee, I want to see it as molding, shaping and enriching me. Not as something to wallow in shame over.

Living in a box in order to keep it all together and to never get hurt, disappointed or make a mistake is NOT living at all. There is no joy in that, no richness of life. Nor is there joy in living so it seems that you have it all together and are “perfect”.

I have liked the bad boys…got over-zealous in one too many ways and watched it all come crashing down in one heart-wrenching disappointment.

I have taken the lucrative position at a company only to quit one week later.

I have packed up an entire condo in order to move to NYC, then decided to stay in Phoenix, unpacked the entire condo, and then three days later, decided NYC was where I needed to be and re-packed the condo and moved back to the East coast.

After all that back and forth over Phoenix/NYC, two years later, I moved back home for a little girl named Blake Emery, and walked away from my NYC fashion dreams in order to be close to my niece and watch her grow up. At the time, New Yorkers saw that as a huge career flop, I see it as one of the best things I have ever done. Soul Carrier would never have been “born” if I didn’t take that chance.

I have walked away from friends, relationships and situations. People were disappointed in me, lashed out and said some pretty nasty things, but I felt no shame in doing what I needed for my own soul.

And for all the mistakes, for all the “I Should of____”, for all the errors in judgement, I look back and instead of shaking my head and being mad at myself — I look at it and say with confidence, I gave it my all and I really LIVED.  I listened to my intuition, and I went with what I really wanted to do, versus what I thought the perfect little “good girl” should be doing.

I encourage you to ask are you REALLY living? Playing it safe in a neat-little-pristine-box in order to prevent pain, heartache and disappointment is not really living all, nor is a life of “should of done this instead” a genuine-authentic life!!! The beauty of life cannot be felt without deep disappointment and growth from the mistakes. One cannot come without the other. And for me, I choose the rich beauty of an ever-evolving life, and really LIVING over a comatose state of just smooth coasting with no true hiccups.

As the song “I lived” says “I did it all. I owned every second that this world had to give.” That is how I want to live my life! How do you want to live yours?