The Secret to Life

The Secret to Life

“You are the only You there is, and your creator is not happy that you don’t treat yourself better because he/she/it lovingly created every last cell of your body with meaning and a deep sense of purpose.”


You’ve been searching for it all along, but still can’t find it. It keeps evading you with every life decision, wrong or right. It must be something profound, something only wise, old-folks figure out just before they take their last breath. You can’t seem to find it by searching on Google, and it’s not in your fortune cookie. It’s not hiding in your grandma’s old journals or in that amazing novel you just finished. It’s not hiding somewhere in parenthood, money, acts of charity, or your passion-filled career. Many have figured out it’s not even religion.


I Know The Secret to Life


So, what is the secret to living a happy, successful, peaceful life?

I know the secret to life and I’m not going to make you read much further before I tell you. But I have to warn you first. You’re not going to like what you read. You will be annoyed. You will accuse me of being too simple and hate me for leading you on.

You’re going to say, “That’s not profound at all.”

You’ll dismiss it, but I’m going to risk all of that and tell you anyway.

But first I’m going to make a prediction: I predict one day, when you finally get your shitty life together, when you finally feel the joy and peace you’ve been seeking all these years, when you’ve finally found the strength to give up your addictions or leave your leach of a partner and make room for your true self, you’ll think back to this article. You’ll remember my words and and you’ll say, “She was exactly right.”

Are you ready for it? The secret to life, folks, is to love yourself.

That’s right. The secret to life, the most important thing you can ever truly learn, is to LOVE YOURSELF. Love yourself in your thoughts, love yourself in your actions, and love yourself in your words.

You don’t have to love God, or create beautiful art, or forgive your family, or anything else. All of those things add true value to your life. But they are not what’s going to fill the hole in your soul. You can do anything I said above, but if you don’t love yourself, you’ve got nothing. You will always feel like something is missing and will tear yourself apart trying to find the right piece.

Loving yourself will unlock the door to the Universe and the power in your soul.

Negative feelings about life tend to fall into one of these categories: love, money, health, and life-purpose. Read below and decide which category affects you the most.


I Need Love

You’re not happy in your relationship or you’re not happy being alone. Maybe you don’t think you can do any better. Maybe you’re not in a relationship at all and long for your soul-mate. Maybe you’ve settled for a person who is not right for you. Maybe the person you love doesn’t love you. You constantly wish for that special someone to make it all better.

I Need Money

You don’t have any or you don’t have enough. You’re constantly thinking, I could DO this, or I could BE that, or I could HAVE this…if I had money.

I Need Better Health

You’re sick, overweight, underweight, or addicted to drugs or alcohol. You’re depressed. You don’t like what you see in the mirror or you wake up every day with a physical or mental affliction and you resent it. It isn’t who you are or who you want to be. You feel helpless. If you could look a certain way, kick your addiction, or miraculously wake up tomorrow cured, then everything would change.

I Need to Find My Life’s Purpose

You’re not satisfied with your job or the role you play in life. Your career isn’t fulfilling. Your role as a parent is not what you thought or feels overwhelming. You can’t figure out what you were put on this stupid planet to do. You’ve made too many mistakes so far and you’re too scared to try again. Time is running out. You feel like you’re wasting life and the clock is ticking.


Does this sound familiar? We all spend life trying to mend these categories. We fill up our time torturing ourselves about these areas of our lives and spend enormous amounts of energy fretting over them but never really taking big enough steps to help them.


The Missing Piece


So, what is the missing piece?

YOU! YOU are the missing piece. You are the only You there is, and your creator is not happy that you don’t treat yourself better because he/she/it lovingly created every cell of your body with meaning and a deep sense of purpose.

You have to LOVE yourself as the universe loves you. You have to be in a relationship with, and actively seeking to love and evolve your truest SELF.

Loving yourself will attract the right people and more money because you will no longer be accepting of people or jobs that are below your standard of worth. Loving yourself will heal you because you’ll no longer want to damage your body or waste more time than necessary being sad or angry about life. Loving yourself will propel you faster towards your life’s purpose because you will no longer burden yourself with such immense pressure to discover it, and you will eventually understand that every life experience you participate in is not a mistake, but a stepping stone on a journey to your inevitable destination.

Love yourself. And you will never be alone.





(Updated) 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge

(Updated) 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge

“You probably have a lot of room for improvement, everyone does. But, there’s also a lot to be proud of this year! Let’s celebrate that!”


(UPDATED 12/31/2017)

Okay everyone, I got 5 responses to my Instagram challenge. I know, that doesn’t seem like a lot but honestly, I was worried with such short notice and not a huge following yet…no one would participate. So I am EXTREMELY excited about these five glorious people who chose to play along. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your years have been amazing and I can’t wait to see what 2018 looks like for each of you! Each of you get to be featured on my updated post here with your linked sites and shared with my social media followers. I am forever grateful and I can’t wait to do the same challenge next year and compare how many I get then vs. now.

Each of these women are amazing and so are their blogs. So please take the time to read them and get some awesome tips about life!


Empowered Living with Nicole

I’ve got to give some extra love to Nicole from Empowered Living with Nicole!  It’s pretty hard to top her year. Nicole is a quadriplegic and this year she stood! Wow! You are an inspiration! There’s no telling what you can do in 2018! She also has some other pretty amazing things going on in her life. Check out her collage:

Challenge accepted @thewiserlifeblog ! This is my 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge collage! Each picture represents a different part of my 2017. ♥️ 1. My favorite quote for the year; “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” I love this quote because 2017 has been a year of personal growth for me and realizing I have the power to create my life and myself exactly how I want. ♥️ 2. A picture that represents one of my greatest accomplishments. This year I graduated from Southwest Institute of Healing Arts with a degree in Mind-Body Transformational Psychology and a certificate as a hypnotherapist. ♥️ 3. A picture that represents a relationship that I’m proud of. This is a picture of a coworker and I. I’m so thankful for this relationship as Chelsea is someone I know I can talk to and she’s not going to tell me what I want to hear, but rather she’s going to keep it real and tell me what I need to hear. Our relationship is exactly what I expect a friendship to be. LOVE YOU, CHELS! ♥️ 4. One of my favorite memories from 2017. Standing. I’m a quadriplegic, so to be able to stand with such little assistance was so freeing. I can’t wait to see what I’m able to tackle in 2018 when it comes to my recovery. The little things. ♥️ 5. A picture of me in 2017 ♥️ 6. My intention for 2018, which is to be brave!

A post shared by Nicole Johnson (@empoweredlivingwithnicole) on



Live Like a Butterfly

This next awesome lady is Heather from Live Like a Butterfly. She’s been super busy this year getting promotions, hanging out with her awesome mom, and taking fun trips! I really love her intention for 2018. Check it out:

Striving for Balance 

This lady is totally living life to the fullest and always getting her work-out on! Check out her journey and awesome tips on Striving for Balance. Her collage makes her 2017 look pretty amazing:

I did The 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge with @thewiserlifeblog! Each picture represents a different piece of my 2017 (In order, left to right, top to bottom). 1. My favorite quote for the year: I love this one because it reminds me hat the biggest obstacle is usually yourself! 2. A picture that represents my proudest accomplishment: This year I completed my first bike/Run portion of IronGirl. My only goal was to finish which I didn’t think I could but I did it! 3. A picture of me: well me and my bestie! She is on the left and I’m on the right. It’s from my trip to Colorado for my 40th Birthday (Yay me!!!) 4. My favorite memory this year: and my second product accomplishment – making it through not one but 3 haunted houses – the first time since I was about 7 years old! 5. A picture that represents a relationship that I’m proud of or that has grown: my husband and my children (who are now young adults) I love them all with all of my being – my favorite people!!! 7. My intention for 2018, which is to keep crushing my goals!!!! @strivingforbalance1 #strivingforbalance #thewiserlife #2017yearinreview #goodbye2017 #hello2018

A post shared by Striving For Balance (@strivingforbalance1) on

Kayla B. Collection

Kayla is going to be a mommy this year and she’s still being awesome and doing things out of her comfort zone! I love the way she looks at life. Check her out on Kayla B. Collection!  Check out her year in review:

I did “The 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge” with @thewiserlifeblog ⬅️ check it out to join in too! Each picture represents a piece of my 2017 (in order, left to right, top to bottom) 🖤 1. My favorite quote for the year: I love this quote because it really makes you take a step back and look at your life & ENJOY! In today’s society we’re always looking ahead at what’s next, what’s better, & planning for the future. What we’re not doing, is enjoying life as it’s happening – being present – and enjoying each step along the way. 🖤 2. A picture that represents my proudest accomplishment: I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone, and not only created my entire website/blog by myself -but went live! 🖤 3. A picture that represents a relationship that I’m proud of or that has grown: This is a picture of my lil’ man at our last ultrasound appointment earlier this month. I’m so proud of this relationship because I’m becoming a first time Mommy, & my relationship with him has grown SO much as well. Just back in May of this year he was just a hope/prayer inside my head, & now I’m not only physically seeing him grow, but feeling him stretching, jumping, tumbling, and kicking inside my tummy ALL day long! It is absolutely incredible. 🖤 4. My favorite memory of the year: The most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen (the picture does not do it justice) while on my Babymoon in San Diego, CA with my husband. The entire trip was my favorite memory this year. 🖤 5. A picture of me in 2017. Taken just two months ago at my cousins wedding. 🖤 6. My intention for 2018: I feel I have SO many aspirations for the coming year! I recently have felt overwhelmed just thinking of everything I want to do, be, and accomplish. This quote sums up how I feel I need to work through these aspirations. If I remember to be the best version of myself everyday, I’ll be just fine! Loved this Challenge! 🖤 You can do the challenge too, just follow ➡️ Ashley @thewiserlifeblog & get all the info! #thewiserlife

A post shared by Kayla B. ❤︎ (@kaylabcollection) on

40 and Up Health and Fitness

And last, but certainly not least, check out MJ on 40 and Up Health and Fitness. She’s been busy gaining more education, stepping out of her comfort zone to be more awesome, and getting her health on! I love how relaxed she looks here:


Again, thank you all so much for taking the challenge. I hope you play a long again next year!



Hey, friends! I wanted to do something kind of fun as a way for us to give a little review to our lives in 2017. That’s why I created The 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge as a way for us to share and remember the awesome things that happened in 2017.

SO many things have happened to me in 2017. I had a baby, I completed grad school, and I started my new business/life change adventure! I decided a fun way for us to celebrate the awesomeness of 2017, is to create a collage, made up of specific pictures to represent a different piece of our 2017. Something that might look like this:



Each picture represents a different piece of my 2017 (In order, left to right, top to bottom).

  1. My favorite quote for the year: I love this one because it has really helped me jump over some hurdles in my life and understand the best way to make life choices.
  2. A picture that represents my proudest accomplishment: This year I graduated with a Masters in English and an emphasis in Pedagogy. Pedagogy is just a fancy word meaning the art of teaching. This picture was the day I did my portfolio defense. I was so confident and just relieved for it to be nearly done.
  3. A picture that represents a relationship that I’m proud of or that has grown: This one is a picture of me and my newest baby, A. I’m proud of this relationship and it has grown. Being a mother for the third time has been a struggle for me as I dealt with postpartum depression and adjusting to having a baby after 7 years from the birth of my last child. But she has helped me discover a new level of strength and love.
  4. My favorite memory of the year: This is baby A’s first Halloween. She had just started smiling and gave us a great big ol’ smile for the picture!
  5. A picture of me in 2017.
  6. My intention for 2018, which is to be a #GirlBoss!

What I would LOVE is for you to create a similar collage image using the criteria I used in mine. Then I will pick a few of my favorites and share them on my blog as a testament to the awesome year we both had!


Why Do this Challenge?

Well, for one, it’s just a great idea to look back on your year and really focus on the GOOD things. You probably have a lot of room for improvement, everyone does. But, there’s also a lot to be proud of this year! Let’s celebrate that!

Also, it’s free promotion for your blog or website. If I choose your image (how many I choose just depends on how many are submitted), then I’ll post it here on New Year’s Eve and link it back to your blog, website, Facebook page, or wherever you want me to link it! I’ll promote this updated post again on all my social media sites. I can tell you, I want to post as many as possible because I’m just so excited to see how everyone’s year went and to share that experience with others.

If you don’t have anything to promote, no worries! Just do it to celebrate yourself and share with everyone the good things that happened in 2017!

Okay, so what should you do now?


First, Gather Your Images

  1. Find a picture of your favorite quote or make your own (see how to do this below).
  2. Find a picture that represents your proudest accomplishment. This can be absolutely anything you are proud of for the year.
  3. Find a picture that represents a relationship from 2017 that you’re proud of or that has grown. Maybe you had a baby like I did, maybe your marriage got stronger, maybe you made a new bestie, or maybe you just really love your dog!
  4. Find a picture that represents your favorite memory from the year.
  5. Find a picture of you. Whether you love pictures of yourself or hate them, it’s important that we don’t exclude ourselves from memories. If you don’t like what you see then part of your 2018 journey can be to change it or learn to accept and love it. You are beautiful!
  6. Create an image that states your main intention for 2018. If you’re not sure how to create this, keep reading!


Next, Make Your Collage

The images can be in any order you want.  If you’re not sure how to create the collage, just use Layout from Instagram  on your phone, like I did. Download the app, and then choose the images from your camera-roll for the collage. Easy-peasy!

If you’re not sure how to create a text graphic, like the ones in my collage with the quote and 2018 intentions, just download any old free text-editing app from the app store. Personally, I like to use Canva or Fontmania. Super easy apps, and free! Create the text image, save it to your camera roll and add it to your collage!


Finally, Share on Instagram with Me!

Once you’re all finished I would love, Love, LOVE to see this tiny, but awesome glimpse of your 2017 Year in Review!

  1. Be sure you are following me on Instagram. I’ll follow you back. You can look at my 2017 Year in Review as an example.
  2. Post your collage on Instagram with a brief description of each image to explain your 2017.
  3. Include @thewiserlifeblog, AND #thewiserlife somewhere in your message so I will see your collage and we have a place to go and see them all together.
  4. Invite your friends in on the fun as well! You can do this by just including any simple statement like, “I did The 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge with @thewiserlifeblog!
  5. Comment on your image with the url you want to promote if I choose your image. If you don’t do this then I will just assume you don’t want to promote a site.
  6. Do this by Midnight, on December 30th! 

If I choose your image, I will post it as an update to this blog post on New Year’s Eve, link it to your blog or website (if you have one), and share the updated posts on all my social media pages. How many I choose depends on how many participate.

Again, the deadline to complete this challenge is Midnight, on December 30th. Don’t hesitate to email me or comment below with any questions.


Okay, I can’t wait to see what you come up with!


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Discover Your Purpose…10 Day Journaling Challenge

Discover your life's purpose with my new 10 Day Journaling Challenge! What should you be doing in your life? I can help you find out!


Journal For Wisdom Wednesdays #4: Your Favorite Things

Journal For Wisdom Wednesdays #4: Your Favorite Things

“You can love others the best only when you’re at your best.”

Thank you for continuing to read Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays!

I know, it’s not Wednesday. If you’ve been keeping up with me on Facebook, or popped in on the website the last few days, you might know that things have been a little messy. But we’re back on track now and I’m ready to get back to journaling!

Every week I will continue to post a journal prompt on Wednesday to help guide us towards our deeper wisdom. Don’t worry, I’m pretty new to all this spiritual and self help hoo-haa too, so I’ll be doing the journal exercises right along with you. Even if you don’t love to write, I urge you to give it a try. If we want something we’ve never had, we have to do something we’ve never done!

Intentional journaling is a fantastic way to discover your truest self. It’s also an amazing tool to help guide us towards a future full of possibility. It reminds us of what’s important and helps to destroy all the muck we bury ourselves under day in and day out. So give it a try to see what you can dig up!


Getting Started

The Assignment: Your Favorite Things!


The last three journal prompts have been pretty intense, so this week, in the spirit of love and the holidays, let’s make it lighter.

The holidays are the time of year we give, give, give and give some more. It can be exhausting. I think we often forget that it’s also a time of year to really give to ourselves. That’s right. Love is infinite. Give as much as you want to other people but the secret is not to forget about #1!



This week I want you to write a list of things you love. It can be simple things like a specific book, or things you love to do like horse-back riding, or places you love to be like the coffee shop on Tuesday afternoons, or even things you love to look at like a picture your grandfather painted. Basically, write a list of things that bring you joy. Real joy. The joy that makes you feel rejuvenated. And be specific. Here’s what part of my list might look like:

Things I Love:

  • Being alone on Thursday mornings so that I can take a nap or read a book 
  • Holding my infant daughter on the couch when she’s calm 
  • Good conversation with my husband
  • Taking warm bubble baths 
  • Drinking cold vanilla capichino
  • Drinking wine and talking with my close friend on a Saturday evening
  • Shopping at Michaels
  • Long hugs with my kids



As parents, or women, or just general good human beings, we give and give a lot of love and support to other people every day. How often do you find yourself wishing you felt that kind of support? The crappier you feel, the more you need to put the focus on YOU. When is the last time you did any of the things on your list? Do you do any of them on a regular basis? If you haven’t, why? You can write about your feelings or just take a few minutes to think on it.


Consider This

Is it possible that you feel selfish for taking time away from others to do something you love? I used to feel the same way. But I ask you to consider this: you can love others the best only when you’re at your best. When we’re feeling emotionally and physically drained it’s impossible to show up for other people.

You may think you’re doing a really great job at putting on your brave face but people can feel it, especially your children. If you truly desire to be the best parent, spouse, friend or co-worker, then you have to show up for yourself first. The people around you will be able to feel how good you feel. You’ll make there lives better just by hanging around.


Extra Credit

Choose at least one item one your list and make it happen in the next seven days. Don’t just say you’ll try to do. That’s not showing up for yourself. You wouldn’t skip a doctor’s appointment for your child and you shouldn’t skip this either.

Make a plan. Schedule it. It should probably be something where you get to get away from your responsibilities, like having wine with a friend. If giving hugs to your children is one of your items, great, but we can work on that any time.

Make yourself a priority even if it’s only for 1 hour the entire week. If you have alone time, great! Set aside a block  that of time where you can be fully devoted to enjoying this one thing. If you don’t get alone time because you have little monsters running around the house then you’ve got to ask for reinforcement. Tell your husband he’s got the kids for one evening. Ask your parents or siblings to watch the kids. Pay someone.  If you’re convinced that you have absolutely zero options, then I might even suggest playing hooky for a day (And I would spend part of that day evaluating why you have no options).

Write me in the comments below and let me know how it went. What did you do? How did it make you feel? Will you continue to do something for yourself every week?

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I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

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