What can I say? I’ve been (*extremely*) pulled in the direction of spiritual growth in recent months, to the point at which it’s at the forefront of my mind on a daily. Each new realization is like a gift, and every bit of understanding helps continue the momentum of “expansion” – my word for the year. So many things making so much more sense – and I have a clearer overall concept about life – and what that means for me personally. It means something a little bit different for everyone, but it always comes back to PURE love for this girl.
Spirituality, a sense of what really matters, and our thought processes or mindset will all have a huge impact on our lifestyle. I’m huge on simplifying the process of eating well and avoiding toxins so we can obtain the best quality of life – while also balancing that with enjoyment. (Read: No Worrying, obsessing, or perfection… Rather – we seek awareness, empowerment, and the gift of making informed choices.) And, there’s more to our HEALTH than merely what we eat and what we avoid. There’s SO much more! And, at the base of it all – is our mindset. It’s where it all starts – any new adventure we embark upon, or any nudges we have toward expanding ourselves. NOTE: I say expanding – because I’m recognizing more and more – that ‘improvement’ isn’t the best term to use in this case. We are enough just as we are – in this very moment! But – if we feel a nudge from WITHIN – stemming from our higher selves – that strives to reach for something more – some fulfillment, or some new experience, or just a more sincere way of ‘BEING’ in the world – there is nothing wrong with going with that nudge. In fact, if you deny it – you’ll probably struggle more than is necessary!
I wrote an article titled “Being Present is a Gift” over 3 years ago (on my ‘mommy-blog’)… It’s funny to recognize what that meant at that time. It was different, and yet the same, all at once – as what it means for me at the present time. (Mmmmm. Present time.) Yep. I now realize how often it’s not only life’s distractions that inevitably steal some of our awareness in each given moment, but how regularly we fall into the trap of being lost in the past or too focused on the future. I had a sense of that then – as evidenced by the quote I attached at the bottom of that article…. But now – Now I truly have a grasp on this concept, and am diligently making a point of also grasping a (re)solution…
I’ve been doing 5 things consistently to help me really appreciate each day, and be more present:
1. I’m completing tasks (even when not fully ‘finished’, I’m completing them for the day), before the hubby & kiddies arrive home from work & school. Then, when they are here, I am able to really interact with them – in the here & now – without (as much) distraction.
2. Treating myself to ‘down-time’ during my ‘work day’ as well. I’m easing into it. I’m gifting myself with the me-time I require to flourish and re-energize. I’m taking it in stride – remembering to enjoy the journey (that old cliche’ saying, right?). It really holds true. If we are just ‘getting by’, knocking stuff off of our lists and lost in a routine that holds little meaning – we’re not really living, are we? Not so much. ALL of life is a journey – no matter where we go/ get/ wind up…. We’re never actually ‘complete’. We continue to grow and expand and learn and share ourselves with the world. If we’re not enjoying it, we’re surviving – but we’re not truly thriving. It’s about managing stress, keeping it in check, to enable yourself to continue moving toward meaningful goals… For me, this includes the integration of regular simple-pleasures like:
- Sipping on freshly brewed tea…
- Listening to music…
- Stopping to take a break for activity (exercise) – such as a solo dance-off, or a HIIT workout on the stationary bike, or a walk outside when the weather is warm…
- Can be as simple as looking out my window at nature and contemplating life…
- Some days – when productivity is null & void (we all have those days!) – I just do something relaxing or that I’ve been meaning to do but haven’t made time for yet… Read a book, create something, paint (planning to get back into that again more soon), gather ideas for the next family trip, whatever calls to me. Sometimes the ‘act’ of simply sitting quietly is what I need to refresh…
4. Making a point of listening more…. Soaking people in. Actually STORING more of their likes & life stories to memory. Really establishing a bond with my tribe. (‘Tis a work in progress, as my memory doesn’t always serve me as well as I’d like. A memory lapse should definitely not be taken personally. There’s my disclaimer!)
5. Last – but in NO way least – I’m using my top CDFs to really determine what holds the most meaning. [To access your subscriber-only bonus page and read about MY current top CDFs, sign up for the free newsletters in the box below, or any of the pretty little boxes around the site! Subscribers – you have access in your weekly LoungeLetter.]
**Update! I’ve recently added a 6th CDF! I have many…. so even narrowing it down to 6 is a pretty sparkly effort. To check out the newest edition, head to that subscriber-only bonus page by subscribing now or revisiting your LoungeLetter if you’re already a VIP member of the site. 😉
** DOUBLE-UPDATE! I now have 7! My “Lucky Seven”, that is. 😀
I recently heard part of an online interview in which the lead speaker addressed something he had read online pertaining to the most common themes shared among those on their death-beds; the things they wish they would have done differently. Their collective most common responses were as follows:
1> “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
2> “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”
3> “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”
4> “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
5> “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”
Turns out – I’ve been working toward not having any such regrets when I’m past my prime… I tend to give thought to certain difficult decisions by giving it the “rocking-chair-test”…. How will it feel when I’m relaxing and reflecting in my glider swing whilst looking out over the woods from my front porch – white hair, laugh-lines and all? Will I be glad I did it, or glad I didn’t do it? Or – will it even matter then?? It can really help put things into perspective when life is gnawing at your ankles and you can’t seem to decide on something in the moment.
All of this gives you something to really think about. Another inspirational Netflix documentary gives you something to think about as well – along all of these same lines. It’s called “The Secret”. It’s an older vid – and I had no idea what it pertained to until a friend tuned me in to the life-changing concepts behind this production.
Little did I realize, I had been (in some senses, albeit unintentionally) integrating this practice into my life for some time already. But now – I have the tools to really hone that skill set and be very intentional about what I attract into my life. (Woot!) I highly highly recommend this for your next movie-night if you haven’t watched it already. Or – get the books on your shelf/ tablet (as I intend to do myself!)
Same friend enlightened me further by gifting me a book titled “Slowing Down to the Speed of Life”, by Richard Carlson & Joseph Bailey
AND – another book to consider (same friend, yep!): “End the Struggle and Dance with Life”, by Susan Jeffers.
SOOO magical. So simple you’ll be amazed. Not always ‘easy’ to integrate, but simple concepts that you can readily start to take action on if they resonate with you like they did me!
So – it’s time to make a point of living each day with intention and greater meaning.
I think this is a worthwhile goal, don’t you?