We all live the consequences of our own choices; the question is whether or not our choices reflect the life we truly want to live. The women I work with around sexuality, body image and relationships ask me all the time -- how I do it. How do I continue to live such a bold out-of-the-box life. Honestly, it's not a miracle. I'm simply willing to gird my loins and do it! So, for all you Badass Babes out there that are ready to start living your life without regrets, here's my guide for changing how you live right now.
1. Let go of your need for approval.
Badass Babes who wish to live a life of no regrets are ready to step up and be willing to claim their own life, and actually start living it. Let's face it. You're the one that's not only responsible for your life, but you're the one stuck with living with your choices. When I wrote "Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time To Cook Dinner" (Rodale), there was hell to pay. But I made a vow to myself when I turned 40, that I was going to be unwilling to silence myself or make myself small any longer. If you want to live a life based on your own dreams and aspirations -- you need to let go of parental, spousal or societal expectations. Will you really live your one precious life based around the fear of what others will say about you? One day, life will vanish. Imagine feeling the curtain go down around you and you never got to do what you dreamed of doing out of fear, shame or meeting someone else's expectations. We all have the power to change this way of living our lives, in this moment. Right now. Screw regrets.
2. Move on.
Sometimes, we just need to pack up our bags, close out a dream and cradle our own broken hearts. We make mistakes, get betrayed, make a wrong turn. We have a couple of choices here. We can sit in the mess of a "near miss" and sulk for a very long time or we can get up and close the door behind us. We all have faced dreams that have not happened -- that's a part of living a life of no regrets. What's is there really to regret? You tried, and whatever it was, it didn't work out. Celebrate your willingness to go after your own dreams, learn what there was to learn and then move on. Yes, sometimes we land on our face in the mud. Let's sing the song, "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again". Badass Babes get up and start moving again, even if we have a rip in our stocking. Badass Babes learn from our mistakes and we don't repeat them.
3. Forget "one day".
You're not going to write a book, travel the world, quit your job, take a lover, or hike Mount Fiji "One Day". Badass Babes that wish to live a life of no regrets understand that "one day" is the "one day" that never happens. Whatever happened to doing it now? Start picking your dreams and actually taking steps to having what you want: Today.
4. Screw fear.
Forget fear. We all have it. Forget safety. That's why we have this thing called "Courage". None of our dreams come with a warranty. If you are looking for a warranty, stay home in that dead-end job that you hate, or stay in that unhappy relationship that feels "safe". Badass Babes take risks and are willing to fail. We embrace change. Living a life of no regrets doesn't mean that you won't make wrong choices. Forgetaboutit. You will! But don't let the fear of failure or not being happy or successful in your radical new life, hold you back from your dreams! The only fear that you should worry about is the fear of reaching the end of your life and knowing that you didn't take the chance.
5. Speak your passion, rage, love and sadness.
So many of the women I work with have problems with their bodies and their sexual expression because they're holding back emotions. Good girls don't say what they need to say because they don't want to rock the boat. Badass Babes that don't want to go to their grave with a belly ache or unrequited love, don't hide their feelings. The greatest regret of all can be the words we don't speak. So say what you need to say: the words of love, apology, recognition and appreciation. Who is waiting to hear these words in your life? Pick up the phone and say it -- right now.
6. Last thoughts: It ain't over until it's over.
The best way to live a life of no regrets is to turn your season of discontent into a mystery novel and a game of "Chance". Life is a grand adventure. Badass Babes stop being an observer and dive in. Take on your regret and shake the cob webs out from that dream. What about looking at it from different angles and finding a new way to take it on? Ask people to help you. Enlist your friends, family, beloveds and experts. We all need each other. Some dreams are meant to be shared and fulfilled in a team effort. Let go of the idea that everyone will approve or "like" you. They won't. Let go of anger and grudges. They will only hold you back.
Isn't it time to do something different? It's your life. Please live it.