On Forty

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I celebrated my 40th birthday this year.

Then everything changed.

Not because I turned forty, mind you, but because there is so much more for me to learn and unlearn in this life.

Someday I’ll have more words for this year, friends. I’m honestly still softening into its truths.

Here’s what I know to be true though.

This year has brought me to my knees.

Four deaths. New health challenges. Living in two states and 40 different homes while choosing healthcare over housing. Listening more, talking less. Love & heartbreak. A season of grief and of letting go. Continuing to build this business one brick at a time. Looking my fear in the eye daily. Learning to love the new eye wrinkles and the extra curves here and there. Temporarily separating from my pup, Ollie, while I move from place to place. Dismantling false narratives and beliefs about myself. Practicing trust imperfectly. Learning to love the mess.


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We all have years like these, don’t we?

Years that take us by surprise and ask us to shed what isn’t meant for us, surrender our stubbornness, and open ourselves up to something new. These years are hard, full stop. But there is goodness in it all too.

The opportunity to actually practice our courage rather than merely profess it. To embrace the time we have been gifted rather than squander it, believing tomorrow will always come.

My story is really no different than yours.

In honor of 40 years of life, here are 40 pieces of wisdom I’ve been learning and imperfectly practicing in this raw, real, and challenging season of life. I definitely do not have it all figured out — what I know to be true is that courage in practice really does make a difference. In absolutely everything.

Courage is always willing to be our friend — in our mountaintop moments, the dark valleys, and in every step in between. If love is the only WHY, courage is the only WAY.

Whatever joys and challenges this year has held for you, my friend, may you know of your deep abiding worth, embrace joy with reckless abandon, and practice courage in every challenge and transition, trusting all is happening for your highest good.

From my heart to yours this holiday season…

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40 practices for 40 years


Be human.

Be present.

Listen well.

Trust yourself.



Be kind.

Be messy.

Open your heart.

Be recklessly good.

Scare yourself a little.

Grieve, rise, and rebuild.

Stoke the fire of your passion.

Feel your feet on the ground.


Say the thing you really want to say.

Do less. Be more. 

Give with no expectation.

Listen to the wind.

Be fluid like water.

Try something new.

Ask for support. 

Nurture connection.

Remember who you are.

Reach out, don’t wait for them to reach your way. 

Be honest. Share your feelings.

Take the long way home.

Rediscover an old favorite.

Read more. Scroll less.



Be quiet. Don’t fill the silence.

Keep going.

Ask follow-up questions.

Hug a stranger.

Forgive yourself.

Release old nonsense. 

All is good; all is for you.

Choice is a beautiful thing.

Practice courage.

Love others well.

Love yourself well.

Be who you really are.

got a practice OF YOUR OWN to add?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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about the author:

An intuitive leadership and life coach for 14 years and founder of The Courage Practice, Tonyalynne Wildhaber coaches individuals, leaders, coaches, and soulful entrepreneurs to make friends with their courage. Using a unique approach of integrating wisdom with strategy, she partners with you to step into your highest potential and transform your abundance and life from the inside out.

Tonyalynne is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Thrive Global. She is head-over-heels in love with the Pacific Northwest, loves iced coffee in all weather, and is attempting to train a dog named Ollie.


Courage in practice continuously transforms Tonyalynne’s own life in countless ways. She believes in the power of its practice and its connection to living out our highest purpose and for navigating challenge and transition with greater ease. She loves collaborating with others in cultivating their own unique practice of courage and welcomes such connection with you. Click here to book a complimentary consultation to begin exploring the possibilities together.