33 ways for living

by Rosie O'Halloran January 30, 2019 1 Comment

33 ways for living

I turned 33 over the weekend. I spent some time reflecting on this time in my life and felt some heaviness in my heart as I thought my life didn’t look the way it ‘should.’ Honestly it took a couple of days for this feeling to shift. Part of the shift came from reminding myself there is no particular way life ‘should’ look. And while my life is mine and your life is yours and there are no ‘shoulds’, I have written 33 ‘ways’ for living. These are not lessons or pieces of advice as such, as who am I to advise you on how to live what is yours. Instead, they are ‘ways’ of being, of doing, of living. I hope that one or two of these ‘ways’ might resonate with you and offer you reassurance, or a remembering, about your own brilliant, beautiful life.


My 33 heart ways:

 1. Forgive yourself, often. 

As long as you are alive, you will slip up, stuff up, screw up. So forgiving yourself is a pretty important thing to do. Try this on and see how it feels. Say or write: I’m sorry, please forgive me. Thank you. I love you (this is called ho'oponopono and is a Hawaiian forgiveness practice). In addition to forgiving yourself, I am also learning that it is never to late too apologise. So if you gotta say sorry to someone, say it. 

2. Live alongside living things, like plants.

Touch their leaves, give them a name, notice how they grow and change over time. Be a ‘person who can take care of a plant’, instead of a ‘person who kills plants’. It’s really not that hard. And if you can’t take care of a plant one has to ask…how is taking care of yourself going?

3. When someone asks how are you, tell them.

The ‘how are you’ question seems to have become a social pleasantry that often has us spitting out automatic ‘I’m fine’ type responses. Become more comfortable with sharing how you really are with the people around you and get used to hearing how other people really feel. Of course practice discernment, the bus driver may not want to get into your new found state of joy with you during peak hour traffic for example. But as much as you can, be honest about how you feel and allow others to do the same.

4. Know that within you is a poet. A songwriter. A creator. 

You do not need the permission of another to be creative. You have a way with words, with movement, with sounds that the world needs. I started writing poems after a break up and honestly, that alone made the broken heart worth it. Share your heart. It will change someone’s life.

5. I became a vegetarian over night.

One moment I ate animals and then next moment I didn’t. It was that simple. I am not going to tell you to not eat animals, this ‘way’ is more about changing ourselves. People change ALL.THE.TIME. Change really is a way of life, the only constant they say. So if you want to make a change in your life, make it. I had been eating animals my whole life, for decades. This was a significant change, but change happens in a moment, it's how you adjust after the change that can be challenging. So depending on what you want to change, you might way to get some help from Way #22. 

(Ps if the change you want to make is that you stop eating animals, it’s a pretty good change to make).

6. Be in conversation with something greater than yourself.

You may call it God or the Universe, or a higher power. This is not about a particular religion or spiritual path. It might be within you, above you. Whatever it is, wherever it is, open up a conversation with ‘it’.

I recently realised this has been something I have been doing really from about the time I went to school. This continues to be one of the greatest supports in my life and I feel so very grateful to have this. If this way feels like too much of a stretch right now try Way #7.

7. Talk to yourself. 

You do it anyway. Those on average 60,000 thoughts you have every day are in part conversations with yourself. So keep up the conversation, just do it with more awareness. Here are a couple of simple flips:

‘Shit I forgot x, y or z.’ Actually didn’t you just remember it? Good one brain.

‘I shouldn’t have eaten that’. But you just did, so be kind to yourself, not confusing.

‘OMG I am so tired, I can’t be bothered to get up. Argh I have to see that person today…’ There are endless possibilities available to me today, I am so glad that I am alive to explore them.

To help keep the conversation with yourself friendly I suggest you turn off notifications on your phone. Comparison doesn't make for friendly banter. All those apps drive us crazy. While you are at it try sleeping without your phone in the same room (buy an alarm clock, people managed to get to work on time before iPhones).

And speaking of friendly conversations. Don’t be on your phone when you're with your friends.

8. Stop pointing out what people already know.

If you think someone looks tired, they are most likely aware they haven’t sleep. If they are sunburnt, chances are they can feel it. So no need to greet someone with a ‘hello, you look tired’, it usually just feels makes them feel shit.

9. If you drink alcohol, create time in your life when you don’t.

I don’t have any rules about drinking alcohol but for ten years now I have actively been drinking less and less. Some years I might just have a cider or 2 and a cocktail or 3. Some years I might double that amount or drink all of that in one night, once a year. There is no rhyme or reason to it, but there are huge chunks of my year, months at a time I don't have any interest in drinking.

You do you, but try doing you without alcohol and see what happens. If you are dating, I definitely recommend this. Alcohol makes an already fuzzier process even fuzzier.  

10. Keep the drama for your Netflix recommendations.

Choosing to have less drama (my own and other peoples) in my life feels very, very good. Drama is exhausting, it is draining, it is boring.

This was something I choose to start to look when I turned 30. One thing I had to do was to stop attracting drama and having less interest in other people's drama. I had to stop 'attracting drama'. Here’s the thing about changing your point of attraction. The ‘old’ will still show up, the drama addiction, or drama addicts for example don’t disappear because you are now a drama free zone. What changes is your ability to make different choices. You get to choose if you will buy in or opt out. When drama shows up, my suggestion is to always opt out. 

11. You don’t always have to have the last word, or the aggressive middle words.

Pre-way #11 me (drama queen) would have found this one hard to wrap my head around. Are we not taught that there is power in having the last word? But once I found a greater place of stillness within myself the need to ‘be right’ just started to fall away. Ways #2, #5, #6, #7 helped with this.

What would it take to just let it go, to not respond, to not engage? (By the way ignoring someone is completely different, and pathetic). Often the high road doesn’t give you the ‘high’ you get when you think you are right. But it sure does have a whole lot of peace and quiet. And that feels much better in the long run. 

12. Read the labels of the products you put on your skin, have in your cupboards.

There are a bunch of places you can find out about all the good and not so good things that go into the products we put on and in our bodies. Have a google. It might shock you what is in make up and perfume and cleaning products. 

Know that you can make new choices. The vast majority of companies are not here to look after you, you are here to look after you. So make the informed choices about what you buy.

Side note to all the women out there that want to have/have/might one day have a baby. I recently discovered that a baby girl is born with all the eggs she will ever have in her lifetime, they develop while she is a fetus. So when your grandmother was carrying your mother in her womb you were a teeny tiny egg in your mum's ovaries… your choices really do effect future generations.


13. Live by yourself.

Last year I moved into a one-bedroom apartment. To be honest I felt pretty apprehensive when I first moved in. I had never lived by myself before.

But I can now say it has been one of the best experiences in my life to date. During this time I have come to truly be my own best friend. I have had to support myself in times that I would otherwise look to someone else for support which has given me a greater sense of strength and feeling of being grounded. I have had complete freedom in how I create my space and this has given me an opportunity to explore my self-expression and creativity. I have never really had the feeling of ‘coming home’ before. And while this apartment I live in is a rental and it is certainty not my forever place what I have created physically and energetically in this space is my ‘home’ completely and it feels so good for my soul to have that.

I know for some this may not be possible. You might live with your partner or family or financially right now it would be a struggle. Living by yourself might one day be possible, but if not or until then make a space or find a place that is just yours. Go on a holiday by yourself. Or have a room in the house that is just yours. Find ways to spend nights sleeping on your own. And to have hours and hours where you don’t have to talk to anyone. Being able to be with yourself, by yourself, is important.

14. Speak the beauty you see. 

If you see something beautiful in someone tell them. If you see something beautiful in nature, appreciate it. If you see something beautiful in yourself, believe it.


15. Ask when you don’t understand something. 

People use big words. You are not a dictionary, it’s okay not to know what they all mean.


16. Know it’s okay to ask for help.

And offer help, often.


17. Make your spaces sacred.

It can be a simple candle, flower or a tidy drawer. Honour the space within and around you. And be mindful of who you share both those spaces with. 

18. There are some pretty easy ways to keep yourself and others alive. Do them.

Like don’t be on your phone when you drive. Don't shoot people.

19. There is power in pausing.

Pause often. This alone has the power to radically change your life.

20. Read.

Life is a combination of doing and being. Reading helps with the being.

21. Learn about yourself.

Take all those quizzes. Know your ways. These things help you live in alignment. Therapy also helps. So…

22. Go to therapy.

And approach it like dating. Not all therapist are a good match for you. So find a good one, and then see them for a period of time. Really get to know yourself in a safe, supportive environment.

23. It’s really never too late.

Just remember that.

24. Know there is another way.

If something does not feel good, there is another way. Have courage to live your life, and go your own way.

25. Stare at a spider’s web.

This is more of a metaphor for taking time in nature. And letting yourself feel the reverence for the magic it holds.

26. Don’t settle.

Tony Robbins says that anytime you want to make a change in your life one of the first things you do is to raise your standards. I did settle, I was settling, in some areas of my life I still am. But I remember Ways #23 and #24 and I raise my standards. Friendships will change, what you look for when you date will change, what you eat will change, the sheets you sleep on might change when you do so. If it feels hard or feels scary, read Way #27.

27. You are worthy.
You, my friend, are whole and complete. You are worthy of and deserving of whatever your heart holds for you exactly as you are. So with that knowing, when you look at your life, do you see your heart reflected everywhere you look? If not, refer to way #26 and make some changes.

28. Apparently I am a grown up.

I honestly thought that once I became an adult all the knowledge the other adults in my life, like parents, have would just kind of be downloaded into my adult brain. I would suddenly remember historical dates and know how to make soufflé. I also assumed that once you become and adult you stop getting pimples and would know how to fold a fitted sheet.

Turns out it doesn’t work like that.

Find your own adult ways, Way #22 can help with that.

29. Walk.

If you can, take a stroll every day. Not walk in a hurry to catch the train or a walk up the stairs in your apartment block kinds of walks. But a walk, a wander, wherever you feel like, for as long as you feel like. 

And if you take your phone, have it on do not disturb mode.

30. Fears, anxieties, worries don’t really go away.

We hear so much about fear; feel the fear and do it anyway, don’t feed the fear, make friends with your fear! etc

I don’t really subscribe to any of these fully, but know that you cannot pretend that a fear doesn’t exist, as irrational as it may be. My way is to 'deal with fear' is to strengthen the parts of me that don’t have the fears. Ways #6, #7 and #22 help with this.

31. Maybe it’s just the (soon to be) art therapist in me but draw, doodle, paint. 

Everyone ‘should’ (there are no shoulds) have a box of coloured pencils or crayons in one of their drawers.

Get them out often.

32. Learn about personal boundaries and put them in place.

But practice boundaries responsibly; communicate your boundaries, be clear with others and respect the boundaries that others have towards you. Boundaries are not barriers though, so check what you have in put in place. Adjust accordingly. 


33. Do what you can, whenever you can, however you can, to make the lives of others better.

There are places in the world, there are people in the world, who are really hurting.

You can be part of the healing.

There is one thing you can do for one person every single day. Do it. 



I would love for you to leave a comment below and share you favourite way! Love Rosie x

Rosie O'Halloran


1 Response


February 25, 2019

This really moved me: “If you see something beautiful in someone tell them. If you see something beautiful in nature, appreciate it. If you see something beautiful in yourself, believe it.” To believe in beauty. I also liked the reminder that we are not walking dictionaries. I guess that gets back to being rather than doing/knowing. Love your 33! I will refer back to these <3

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