Submitted by Lynette Suchar

lynette suchar is a daydreaming photographer, artist, freelance journalist, communications student, yoga teacher and kitchen explorer. she is attempting to use all of her interests and talents to make a colour-filled, health-conscious living.

...editor's note - three of Lynette's "Five Rules" are drawn from the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. She says:
"This book has helped me change the way I interact with people and deal with life in general. I think it's an important book the whole world should read. I slip up and don't always get it right, but these rules/agreements are my anchor when I forget."

Here are Lynette's "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Don't take anything personally.
"Nothing others do is because of you."
How hard is this? We have to remember not everything is about us. We each have our own stories going on. Instead of taking what people say or do personally, what if we had a bit of compassion instead?

2.) Don't make assumptions.
"Find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want."
It sounds easy to not make assumptions, but we do it all the time...or I do anyway. The thing is, we cannot read minds and others cannot read ours. So let's stop wasting time making up stories and just find out what's really going on. Knowledge is power.

3.) Be impeccable with your word.
"Say only what you mean."
Say what you mean and mean what you say. We waste a lot of energy making up excuses or telling lies, even those little white ones. There is no point. Maybe being truthful with ourselves and others would make life a little simpler.

4.) When you feel stuck, go upside down.
This just means if something isn't working, do something else. Change your perspective. In yoga, inversions like headstand allow you to change your point of view for a few moments. It's amazing how doing so can help form new, more proactive thoughts.

5.) Breathe.
Without this we can do nothing else. Inhale and exhale deeply throughout your day. Oxygen is good - get it while you can.

Yes it's hard. And we'll mess up. But we just have to try again. That's the most important part - remembering we learn with every step and every stumble. So, carry on.

Lynette currently resides in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.