I had a conversation with a friend recently and the subject of mindfulness came about. What is mindfulness? It’s pretty straightforward, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. In that moment, I was going through so many emotions, too many to explain in detail. I felt vulnerable, lost, confused. But, I had someone who understood me. As I explained my emotions and listened to her advice, I gained clarity and began to reason with myself. Why was I feeling this way? Why should I feel guilty if my feelings, opinions or beliefs differ from what is considered the norm? The reality is, I don’t have to! But life isn’t always that simple. As human beings, we aim to please, we want to be liked/loved, cherished, and in so doing we stray away from our own beliefs and values. This may not always be appreciated, BUT we can’t please everyone. I walk to the beat of my own drum. I live an honest simple life. I give respect and I gain respect. I love and I am loved. I have many characteristics that make me uniquely me. And for that, I am unapologetic. So live the life you love and love the life you live.