We’re already just over the half year mark of 2021. And, there are a lot of things to glean from these very shocking and surprising times we’re in. No headlines, here—just some very learned truths, from yours truly:

  • You owe it to yourself, before anyone else, to be as magical, as loving, as driven, as light-carrying, and as fantastic as you know you can and will be. The spaces you are choosing to inhabit are ownable.
  • If you’re into something, do it. If you’re into someone, say it. If there is a dream on the inside of you, chase it. This is not the time for half-hearted attempts at being anything but the greatest, happiest version of yourself.
  • If there was ever a time to seize the day, to trust in your process, or to invest the time and energy into things that truly mean something to you, the time is now. The time is today.
  • Every single moment is a teachable one; every encounter is an opportunity to offer grace, love, and mercy. Don’t miss out—not now, not ever.
  • Don’t be mad at so and so who is such and such age and doesn’t know “how to” do anything: drive, fight, cook, handle money, write, love, listen, etc. Be mad if you too know or knew of this person, and did nothing to attempt to teach them or lift them up. Some things aren’t due to ignorance. This is when having grace, mercy and compassion for others is vital.
  • It will get to the point that your need and want to be better, to nurture yourself and the hearts and spirits that surround you, will be greater than your need to be right, to own things or to dominate spaces. Only then, and only then, will you be free.
  • If you’re waiting on anyone to open any sort of hypothetical door for you and your dreams, you’re already behind the curve. This is “I’ma make it happen, regardless” time.
  • Some would rather lose money, friends and love, than be proven wrong; however, don’t be so hardened by conviction that you lose your light. The road to a higher self that also leads to a balancing out to a higher return on financial gain and “success” will always be a marathon. Having money does not always equate to having wealth; having love will always equate to having wealth.
  • If you’re not putting in the energy required to both obtain and sustain something of sustenance, something holy, do not expect that thing to stay; you do not deserve the reciprocity.
  • To the ones you love, admire, and adore: tell them you see them, tell them you hear them, tell them you understand them, tell them you respect them, and tell them you love them. Tell them often; tell them always.
  • Please don’t take rejection personally. Please don’t take hurt personally. Please don’t take not being seen, not being heard, or understood, personally. Don’t take a lack of reciprocity, personally. Folks are operating within their own value systems, from their own standards. It is daily, constant work, going through the trials and tribulations of our living—it is up to us, remembering that it is all ego, and that taking things personally creates barriers to growth, warmth, and love; it allows resentment to creep in. Every day is an opportunity for us to look within and ask “where is the ego in this? How can we remove it?”
  • We’re not gonna be right, or get “it” right everyday, but we can try. The trying implies intention, and intention invites love. And, even that can leave us falling short, and others losing faith in us because of it. But, living a full life, of love and promise? This is the work. So, go ahead and burn some sage, light a candle, write a poem, dance naked, sing loudly, laugh harder, binge watch everything, eat the carbs, say “no” more, say “yes,” too. Say bye to all of the old “you” that your new “you” will no longer need.

Joél Leon is a father, dreamer and storyteller. Follow him @joelleon.