35 Lessons From 35 Years of Life

35 Lessons From 35 Years of Life

Four years ago.

For my 31st birthday.

Which I *ahem* celebrated (IF you can call it that), in lockdown number 2.

In Melbourne.

Along with a zoom gathering with some close girlfriends.

I decided to share 31 lessons from 31 years of life on earth.

(I know, I knoooooow, only an Aries will want to create and work on their birthday).

(We're a bit cuckoo).

(We know).

(But it's why you love us, right ;)).

Okay, pointless babble aside.

Let's get to the juicy parts!

I shared those lessons on a Facebook live and was considering putting them together in a blog.

Which *ahem* cleeeearly happened (not).

Worse still.

promised people that I would do.


And oops?

(I really don't like not keeping my promises).


Lockdowns, 3, 4, 5, 6 happened.

Wars (well, genocide) in my homeland (Artsakh known as Nagorno-Karabagh) happened.

And life things happened.

And 2020 was the first year that I had to make it completely on my own as a full-time entrepreneur.

So, as you can imagine, in and amongst surviving all THAT.

A blog was the last thing on my mind and heart.

Which brings us to the here and now.

Four years later.

Where I'm like: "Hang on, didn't I have something written from years ago? 30 or so lessons from life? Why not add more to that and share a blog."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what brings us to today.

The 10th of April 2024.

Where, with much delay, I finally bring to you this blog of life lessons.

But, with four extra points.

So if you waited this entire time, it's actually going to be even better.

(Which means the saying "Good things come to those who wait" maybe has some wisdom in it, but as an Aries, patience is our achilles heel, so that quote was NOT written by one of us. See, Aries folk do NOT like to wait and believe even BETTER things come to those who go out and make something happen *wink wink*).

But ahem...

I digress. Again.

(Though I do hope by this point, you're at least laughing).

So now,

Without further ado...

I bring you...

35 lessons I learnt from 35 year of life

  1. Power is not bad. Power is only bad when you want to have it over someone else. If you do not personal power over your life you will become a doormat that everyone (and anyone) will walk all over. When you reclaim your power, you will find your voice.

    (2024 addition) When you find your voice, you will find your purpose and your people. And like Clarisa Pinkola Estes writes in her book "Women Who Run With the Wolves", "Those who cannot howl, cannot find their pack." So it is in finding your inner power and proclaiming it through your voice, that you find your tribe.

  2. Finding Your Voice. When you find your voice, you must use it to help others find their voice. It is not selfish to proclaim your journey and empower others to find theirs. It is selfish NOT to.

  3. Securing Security. Security is not something that you get from the outside world. A house, a car, a partner and so forth will not give you security. Only you can give yourself security. Security starts within.

  4. Abusive Relationships. If you are in an abusive relationship or situation (this doesn’t have to be a romantic situation … I’ve been in and witnessed abusive work situations where bullying and sexism was absolutely rampant) - you ALWAYS must look within and ask: am I vocalising my boundaries and needs? Am I respecting myself? Is this ok for me to be treated this way?

    (2024 addition) Much like we used to be able to sense a substitute teacher's strength within five seconds of her entering a classroom, bullies can sense those who are easier to manipulate and control, and those who aren't. Your energy introduces itself before you speak. Therefore, everything starts within. Go inside. You will find magic and medicine there. When you shift your internal energy, your external reality will shift too.

  5. Why Bullying Happens. The reason that bullying happens in relationships is because the bully is not in control and secure within. In order to for them to feel secure and in control, they exert control over others by putting them down. This gives them a false sense of security because by doing this, they feel 'on top'. But, they’re not on top. You are. That’s why they’re bringing you down.

  6. Who's Coming to Save You? (Trick Question). If you’re waiting to be saved. Stop. Wasting. Your. Time. No man. No woman. No government. No parent. No sibling. No lover. No family member. No coach. Is here to save you. Even God can’t save you if you don’t want to save yourself. You must desire to keep going so much that you wake up, show up and never give up.

    (2024 addition) In 2020, I rebranded as a Women's Trauma Healer. For a very long time I was resisting the inevitable: that I'm a healer and a coach. In saying that, even though I know I can help pretty much anyone heal any trauma, I am not actually the one saving or healing them. I am only a guide that takes them through the process. They have to want to show up for themselves to walk that path and process of healing. The power is all yours, and has always been yours. So the only question is, will you save you?

  7. Ancestral Traumas. The caveat to the above is that each of us carries traumas from past generations. Our grandparents and great and great-great grandparents, have been through some extremely traumatic experiences: genocides, abusive relationships, war, famine and more. If we feel blocked from something in this life, it could potentially be because of past and inherited traumas. While the traumas aren’t our own, they still live in our DNA. It is up to you to do something about it. Otherwise your current relationships and future generations will carry them forward until someone breaks the generational cycle/curse. Additionally, the longer you carry the trauma, the more the symptoms of it: depression, PTSD, physical ailments (and so on) will worsen with time.

    (2024 addition) If you'd like to learn more about this, here is an excellent podcast about the topic.

  8. Toxic Positivity. Optimism is better than positivity. Positivity is overrated. A majority of ‘positive’ people I know are not positive. They are too afraid to face the demons within and so they cover them up instead with a fake smile, fake mood and fake positivity.

    (2024 addition) On the above: I can literally feeeeeel when 'positive' people are actually projecting the energy of resentment and bitterness as they speak (because energy never lies and your energy speaks before you even open your mouth). Optimism is when you can be in a situation that may not be entirely ideal, but you have this unwavering hope and belief that it will get better once you get through it. See, even 'bad' and 'negative' situations serve a purpose. Prior to digital cameras, photographers had to 'develop' the 'negatives' on the films to turn them into the black and white / colour photographs for people to enjoy. Optimism is much like that: taking the 'negatives' from life and transforming them into 'positives'.

  9. Pressure. You can tell a lot about someone when they are put under pressure. You can tell a lot about yourself when you’re put under pressure. If you don’t like what you see in yourself when under pressure, you can do something to change this.

  10. Who You Attract. You attract everything and everyone into your life. Don’t like what you attracted? You can change this. Again, this is within your capacity to control and realm of ability to respond to.

  11. Space. You can love someone and not spend time with them.

  12. Healthy Boundaries. Healthy boundaries are pre-requisites to all relationships. If you haven’t grown up with healthy boundaries, these may be more challenging for you to learn when you’re older. But they are essential for your well-being. When you start placing healthy boundaries in your life, those who have not honoured your boundaries will probably be triggered by this. This is normal. If you move along in life on different paths this can happen too. Let them all go with love. What is not ok, is not honouring yourself and thus building resentment and subsequent illness in your body over time.

  13. Self-Care Is Not Selfish. Treating people like a (insert any four letter explicit here) because you are soooooo at capacity and burnt-out from pouring from an empty cup, THAT is selfish. So, on the topic of honouring yourself, self-care is not selfish. When you are flying on a plane, they say to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before reaching out and helping someone else. There's a reason for this. Because if you are suffocating for air, you can't help another person breathe. This includes your children.

    To all the mothers and fathers listening, make sure you fill your cup FIRST. Your family doesn’t come first, YOU DO. You cannot give to your parter or children until you have something to give. And in order to have something to give, you MUST ALWAYS pour into yourself first. Then your partner, then your children. See, you are no use to anyone if you are incapacitated, tied to a drip on a hospital bed and unable to move. The oxygen mask goes on you first.

  14. Self-Worth. You will start caring for yourself, once you start believing that you DESERVE to care for yourself.

    (2024 addition) Self-worth is such a deep wound, especially for many women. If you want to heal this, check out my healing offerings here. I have been working on this one for over a decade, and especially last month in March. Turns out, I still had inklings of wounds to heal. 

  15. Self-Respect. Following on point 14, if others disrespect you, one important question to ask: “How do I respect myself? Do I even respect myself? Do I keep the promises I keep to myself?” See, people treat you how they see you treat yourself. You set the standards. Others either honour or dishonour them.

  16. Friendship and Perspectives. You can love someone, be their friend, respect them and still disagree with their point of view. This is fine.

  17. Friendships, Love and Values. However, having different value systems makes point 16 very difficult. A value is how you live your life. A point of view is how you perceive life. Perceptions can be moulded and changed. But your value system is part of your character. This is a lot harder to change. So my lesson here is choose a circle of friends who share similar value systems.

  18. Reason, Season, Lifetimes. On the point of friendships, some people come into our life for a reason and season. If you outgrow them, wish them love and go on your way. Some stay for a lifetime. When some leave, it creates space for others to enter. You must take regular inventory of your close circle. Why? Because you become like them.

    (2024 addition) There's a saying: "Birds of the same feather, flock together." Pigeons don't flock with eagles and vice versa. Figure out who you are, or who you want to be, and surround yourself with those who align with your values and 'feathers.'

  19. Self-Investment. Investing in yourself is a form of self-love and self-care. Investing in yourself can be getting a coach, learning a new course, or buying yourself that thing that will bring you joy. Self-investment is directly related to self-worth in point 14 and self-respect in point 15.

    (2024 addition) Self-investment is also: your daily wellness routine, your eating habits, your health products, the quality and feel of the clothes you wear. Self-investment is much more than personal development. It's a lifestyle.

  20. Triggers. What triggers you - teaches you. Sometimes it teaches you a trauma that you need to face and process. Sometimes it teaches you that you’ve found a new boundary that you need to actively place in your life. Sometimes it teaches you that you need to let go of a limiting belief system. Sometimes it teaches you to stand in your power and voice your truth. Sometimes it teaches you that you need to be better at communicating your expectations. Or it teaches you that actually, maybe you've become a little bit entitled. As you continue to do the deep internal work, you will begin to recognise these lessons and nuances a lot easier. And, as a result, you will be less triggered.

    (2024 addition) Now, this is important to understand. Other people are NOT responsible for tip-toeing their way through life trying not to trigger you. Life is not made of eggshells for people to walk on for YOUR benefit. Which means, if you are triggered, those triggers are YOUR responsibility to heal. Just like if I am triggered, those triggers are MY responsibility to heal. The beauty is such: the more you heal, the less you will be triggered. Triggers are medicine, mirrors and teachers. Be grateful for them.

  21. Conflict and Relationships. Every relationship will have conflict. Conflict resolution and communication is a SKILL. It’s an ESSENTIAL skill for life. If you cannot have healthy conflict with people*, that is a trauma response and requires healing in and of itself. Abuse is not conflict. Abuse is a completely different kettle of fish. Abuse is about power play. Conflict is when two people are have different perceptions and perspectives or attachment or communication. This is normal in all relationships because all people are different. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is to resolve conflicts and set boundaries with others and communicate clearly.

    (2024 addition) If you don't know how to communicate, it's your responsibility to learn. In the past six months I've learnt that men and women communicate in extremely different ways. It's no wonder we constantly feel misunderstood and unheard by each other! There are heaps of books on this topic and some good coaches on it too. I would recommend starting with reading the book by relationship experts (and married couple) Barbara and Allan Pease: "Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps." Additionally, check out Alison Armstrong's instagram account.

    *Inability to have healthy conflict with people can be a fawn response. The fawn trauma response is one where you are an extreme people-pleaser: you feel a sense of loyalty to others AT your own expense. And so you tip-toe around people in your life, you fear speaking your heart and mind and in doing so, slowly build up resentment, bitterness and grief towards those very people that you love. 

  22. Intuition. Learning to trust your intuition takes time. That quiet voice in your head or in your gut that says something is right or wrong is usually right. Listen to it. It will spare you much heartache.

  23. Heartbreak. In saying that, every heartache I’ve ever experienced, taught me something about myself. It showed me that I am more courageous than I ever imagined.

    (2024 addition) Heartbreak also opened my heart. Funny little chestnut that is: while heartbreak is extremely painful and unpleasant, if we allow it, it actually breaks us open. And it is only through this state of openness that we can receive even more love. God's a bit of a comedian, isn't He? 

  24. How Others Treat You. The way someone treats you and speaks to you says a lot more about them, than it says about you.

  25. Decluttering and Attraction. You cannot attract blessings and miracles and love into your life until you declutter the emotional junk from your mind, body and spirit. 

    (2024 addition) See, God/The Universe can only provide you with something, when you are actually open to receive it. Clench your fists in front of you, then try to put a diamond into one of them. Can't do it, can you? That's because you're closed to receiving. You need to open one of those fists to receive, right? (See how point 23 on heartbreak makes sense now?).

    Now imagine that God/The Universe, is the one holding the Diamond, desperately wanting to give it to you. But you're stubbornly (and tightly) holding onto all that past junk, with that closed heart and closed fists. Complaining that God/The Universe doesn't have your back. Is that really true? Or is it a case that you are holding on so tight to the past, too scared to open to the unknown and what will be provided to you when you do?

    Additionally, decluttering your life and especially healing your internal wounds, will help your intuition (see point 22) become a lot clearer. Internal housekeeping is essential to learning to hear your intuition.

  26. Hoarding = Scarcity. Hoarding is a sign of grief and scarcity. Make sure to declutter your physical space, emotions, friendships and beliefs. Why are you holding on so tightly? Why are you afraid to let go? 

    (2024 addition) Objects, spaces and things ALL hold energy. When we move that energy around (like moving furniture around), or when we hold onto certain clothes, shoes, objects, items, jewellery and so forth, we are also holding onto all the memories and energy associated with them. Much like in point 25, you cannot receive something new (or better) when you are holding onto (hoarding) something you have outgrown. You have to let the old go.

    Hoarding is also a scarcity mindset (as opposed to an abundance mindset) because it means that you believe you ONLY deserve what you already have. That you don't deserve better. Deep chestnut to ponder here. If you'd like to explore this one, check out my 1on1 healing sessions here.

  27. Children's Honesty. Children never lie. If a child loves you, it’s because you’re good inside. If a child reacts strangely to someone’s energy, they can feel something is off. As adults, we have been indoctrinated not to see these truths, but children are very perceptive of energetics and can sense much clearly. Unsure where you are energetically and internally? See how children and animals respond to you.

  28. Some People Are Beyond Help. You can’t help everyone in your life. Some people are beyond help. They’re too deep in self-pity, too addicted to being a victim and unable to see beyond that. I've had to let go of many people who were like this. Though I’ve helped many people, there are some people who are beyond help.

    (2024 addition) Some of you may wonder if I feel sad for them. No I do not. I have so much on my plate, I can only help and work with those who want to be helped. Some souls have made a soul contract that involves deep suffering in this reality. That's their path to take, and extremely disrespectful of me (or anyone else) to mess with it. I simply offer them deep compassion.

  29. The Pain Profit. On the above, I’ve also learnt that not everyone wants to change or be helped because what they gain from their current way of life seems to them more valuable and typically easier, than what they will gain from the pain of growth and change.

  30. I Chose My Suffering. As a soul, I chose my family and my suffering. This was my life mission when I chose to be born into this world. Not all souls choose to return to the physical realm. When we do, we carry karma from previous lives with us. Karma is simply physics - it’s energetic. Send out good energy - good returns. Send out ill-intentioned energy, ill intentions return to you. As such, I have learnt that I can choose what I do with my life. I can let the pain and suffering prevail. And see the world through a lens of pessimism. Or I can choose to change my beliefs, rewire my mind and body, and in doing so, change my life.

    (2024 addition) Very recently I was texting with someone who said that I did all the healing on my own. And in my response to them, I realised that from a young age, I knew I had healing abilities. It's no wonder I chose my path. You see, in order to become a healer, I had to walk through the path of healing myself. And in order to walk through a path of healing, one has to have something to heal. As such, as a soul, I chose my suffering to be able to do the work I now do, as a healer. Pretty deep, huh? 

  31. I Love Being a Woman. Last but not least, the biggest lesson I have learnt from 31 years, is that I am a woman and that is my power. For many years, because of my upbringing where boys were always treated better to girls, I wanted to be a boy. Now I have learnt that I am powerful as I am: as a woman. And it has taken me 31 years to realise that this is my power.

    Here where it will get even deeper, because the past four years were a doozy (to say the least). 

  32. All Emotions Matter. There are no 'bad' or 'ew' or 'negative' emotions. Every. Single. Emotion. Serves a purpose. It is there to teach you something. To address a wound. To heal. To open that crack within my heart, so that even more light can enter (like Leonard Cohen writes in one of his songs). If anything, I think I am more grateful for my pain and suffering and heartbreaks, because each of them made me aware of deeeeeper wounds that needed to be healed. Each person who triggered me, through the pain I felt in the betrayal, in the abandonment, in the *insert the blank here*, in hindsight, was a blessing sent my way.

    Did it make it pleasant? Or easy? Or fun? Oh, hells no! But a big part of being a healer... is learning... to heal. All those perceivably negative and lower-vibrational emotions, once cleared and fully integrated in my biology and psyche, then helped me feel even more joy, even more love and even more gratitude. So it was in fact in feeling and seeing and healing all those 'bad', 'ew', 'negative' emotions, that actually helped free my spirit and soul to experience more of the more higher-frequency ones. Yin and yang. Yang and yin. It all matters.

  33. Your Responsibility. When you become an adult, part of the right of passage is learning what is your responsibility and what is not your responsibility. Somethings that happened in your life may not be you fault, but may be your responsibility. Let me explain: the trauma you inherited or experienced - not your fault. Healing it so that your friends, coworkers, lover, and children do not re-live it - your responsibility. What is responsibility? Simply, your ability to respond to situations. (ps... not all people over the age of 18 or 21 are actually responsible adults. There are so many five and 12 olds running the show in 30, 40 and 50 year old bodies, it's actually a little scary when you start to think about it. That's why taking responsibility over your healing is sooooo important). 

  34. Lean In, Instead of Running Away. Oftentimes in moments of chaos, stress, pain and hurt, I have wanted to either numb the pain or run away from it. But recently, especially after working with a coach in 2021 and 2022, I learnt the magical power of leaning in, sharing how I feel and being open to have a dialogue with the other person. Though it can be a messy experience, a 'rumble' as Brene Brown calls in her book "Rising Strong", it has usually ensued in a deepening of the relationship. So next time you feel like running away (or freezing), choose to lean in. I promise you, it'll be beautiful.

  35. Feminine Essence. And finally... to finish full circle to point 31, but with more wisdom after four years of healing and learning. We all have masculine and feminine energy, however as a woman, I am not masculine, I am feminine. Having lived a large portion of my life both inverted (not in my feminine essence) and hurt by the masculine, my feminine essence was an absolute mess.

    She was angry, she was collapsed, she was dropped and un-held, she was lonely, she was EXHAUSTED (yes, yes, caps lock) and more than anything else, she was the exact opposite of who she longed to be: supported, held, softened and open, in a state of joy and wonder and beauty. It took a heap-tonne of heartbreak and then healing, reading and learning, to discover and start excavating the deep, personal AND inherited ancestral codes I held in my biology about being a woman, and about femininity specifically.

    It took learning to heal and hold my inner child. It took healing deeper roots of unworthiness and learning to trust those dark and unknown spaces where it can get really... messy and emotional, and just sit with all those feelings, and with myself, without judgement. It took time to learn to hold myself and trust that God/The Universe, will always hold me through anything and everything. What helped with this was looking back at all those times in my life when I felt so abandoned and so let down by life, only to realise - yeeeeeears later - that actually, God was protecting me from something that I had no capacity to see at the time. So if God protected and held and provided for me THEN, can I trust that He will provide for me now? And voila! It's become a lot easier to surrender to the unknown. (Ok, this is probably an oversimplification of the process, but you get the gist, right?).

    In the past few years I've also learnt that men and women are not better or worse than one another. I've realised that this competitiveness is a part of a big agenda to 'divide and conquer' the world. To separate us from each other. And we are all suffering because of it. See... men and women need each other. We really do. Why? Well, firstly, there are things men can do (like work in construction and all other dangerous jobs, to name a few), that women cannot. And there are things that women can do, that men cannot (like bear and raise children). It's biological, it's natural and it's all to do with our cycles.

    See, I learnt that as a woman, I have a 28 day cycle, but men have a 24 hour cycle. Men's energy peaks every day, which is why they can hustle and work and workout with consistent energy. But my cycle, as a woman, ONLY peaks ONCE a month. (I know right? This was a newsflash to me too). Which means that I'm not meant to exert myself and hustle every.single.day: that goes against my biological design. So I learnt to slow dooooown (I know, I know .... who even am I). I learnt to work everything around my cycle: to literally rest and do nothing on the days that I bleed, and leave all my million and one multitasking things for when I'm ovulating and the weeks in between.

    I also learnt that just speaking about this, out loud, in public spaces like my socials (or even writing this blog), used to make me feel uncomfortable and uneasy.

    Why? Well...

    Enter all the ancestral trauma and shame women held around their bleed and their cycles (which, in all honestly, is crazy! Because if women didn't have healthy bleeding cycles, NONE OF US WOULD BE BORN AND THEREFORE UNABLE TO READ THIS). *sigh*. But there you have it. Had to sit with that shame: cultural, social, ancestral AND personal, and work through it before feeling comfortable enough to write, or speak about this topic in public settings.

    Believe it or not, many of us have this shame, but it is soooooo internalised, we don't even know we have it (I certainly had no idea). And the older your ancestral heritage (I'm looking at everyone who's reading this from the South Caucuses and Middle East), the deeper the shame is.

    Healing my feminine and learning to be in my feminine essence, is an ongoing journey. There is much more I could write about on this topic alone, maybe another time. See, I want to reference many of the teachers and accounts for you to follow and learn from too.

    And so, there you have it! 35 years from 35 years from life. And now...

Time to begin the thirty-five and fabulous era

Are you still with me?


That turned into quite a long blog!

If you made here it, thank you.

Attention is the most precious commodity in our day.

(It's more valuable than gold or silver, would you believe?)

My friend shared that she read something how since the rise of social media, people's attention spans are so short that their brains are like 'popcorn'.

Woah much?

So, if you made it here, congratulations.

Your brain can still digest information.

I hope you enjoyed learning my 35 lessons from 35 years of life.

If you feel called, I'd love to hear your favourite takeaways in a comment on the blog.

Or on my Instagram post.

Or send me an email through the contact from.

In the meantime, I'm going to wash off the past five years of very blah birthdays, and enter my fabulous era. 

If you need me, you'll find me shining bright. 

Get your sunnies.

Let's light it up!

And dance and partaaaaai! *wink wink*

With birthday and Aries Vibes,

ps... if you want to support me for my birthday, browse the store and check out the books. Any purchase supports me with... well, everything. I'm a full-time entrepreneur, all sales are literally my bread and butter. I'll sign your book too.

pps... if any of the lessons stood out to you, and you want to explore them deeper, I offer 1on1 healing sessions for women only. Learn more here. Or connect with me on Instagram and send me a direct message.

ppps... be free and fabulous and ever so magically.... YOU.

Women's Trauma Healer, founder and director of The Butterfly, Anna believes that everyone’s pain has a purpose. On a mission to spread hope and healing like wildfire, she teaches people how they too can transform their traumas. She is the author of 3 books: Unmasking DepressionLovely - Poetry on Love and Loss and Lovelier - The Goddess and The Dragon, facilitator of the “Goddess Rising Workshop” and 2016 semi-finalist in the Australian Women's Weekly and Qantas Woman of the Future. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram for more stories and insights.




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