09/24/2014 05:25 pm ET Updated Nov 24, 2014

11 (Other) Commandments for Women

Annie Engel via Getty Images

Dear woman,

No matter what your spiritual or religious leanings may be, I offer you these 11 Commandments for a brave, full life.

  1. Thou shalt speak kindly and respectfully about yourself. And while you are at it, especially about the amazing body that houses your beautiful soul.
  2. Thou shalt give yourself the permission and encouragement to fail. Not to suffer through failures as a martyr, but to fail in service of a higher purpose.
  3. Thou shalt go forth with a humungous and irrepressible sense of humor about life. And about the follies which are yet to come. Because they will.
  4. Thou shalt respect your right to choose. And stop giving other people reasons, excuses and justifications for your choices. This is your life. No one else will fully understand the choices that you need to make, no matter how you try.
  5. Thou shalt ask thyself -- in the midst of any crisis or time of confusion -- what the bravest path forward is. And follow that. Because it takes brave to be true to yourself and what you really want.
  6. Thou shalt celebrate thyself often and without apology. This is not to be confused with boasting. Boasting is the dance of the ego. Celebrating who you are -- and what you have to offer this world -- is an act of self-love. It's tapping into the best of who we are and, thus, calling more of that forward.
  7. Thou shalt play and work with heart and hustle. Heart means doing things that matter, that make you feel joyful, that bring you alive. Hustle means doing what needs to be done in service of those things.
  8. Thou shalt seek inspiration daily. Spend time in nature, read uplifting words, surround yourself by people who remind you of the goodness of life, go for long walks. Often. It feeds your soul.
  9. Thou shalt give up grasping for answers. There is a desperation that accompanies it, which has you look outside of yourself for answers -- rather than within. Be patient with the questions, have faith in yourself and your God/universe/higher power -- and you are far more likely to live your way into them. (And be a heck of a lot calmer.)
  10. Thou shalt love and honor your fellow females. You have a deep, abiding need for connection with other women. Know that, cherish that, hold them in high esteem. And when you feel envy, jealousy or intimidation, refer back to the first commandment. The more that you love yourself, the less aggression and competition you'll feel towards others. And the more that you build other women up, the better you'll feel about yourself.
  11. Thou shalt make thy own rules. You get to make this (life) up as you go. If something isn't working for you, change it. Challenge the "way it is." Push the limits so that you get to discover what's really possible for you. Life is far too fleeting to worry about being "good." Be loving, be brave, be considerate. But sometimes, we all need to be a little rebellious and sassy and non-comformist -- for the sake of keeping our own spirit alive and well.