It seems I have spent much of my life waiting for something! You know what I mean, life will be perfect when I, then you fill in the blank for yourself. Lose 20 pounds, get a new job, earn more money, take a trip, get a new kitchen, find a mate or win a million. Many of us believe we need that elusive something before we can begin to live the life we aspire to. As if some miracle will take place, a switch will be turned on and we will immediately love our life.
I have spent some time exploring this. What I thought would arrive in my thirties, then forties, well, I realize, it might never come. The stars may never align and life is passing by. It is clear my dear friends, we should not waste another moment. Let’s start loving the life we have.
We need to relax, enjoy the moment and fill our lives with things we love… doing, seeing, and feeling. I believe it comes down to embracing seven key steps:
- Know what you love – In our busy lives, it is easy to lose sight of what it is we love. Running around dealing with any number of things and meeting other people’s needs, has numbed our sense of self and driven roughshod over our joie de vivre. So spend some time reconnecting with yourself and re-identifying those things that bring you pleasure.
- Know who you love – Make a point to spend time each day with those whose company gives you pleasure. Surround yourself with positive people and energy. Pick up the telephone and connect with friends, do coffee with your daughter, yoga class with a neighbor, meet a group at church, set a play time with your grandchildren. Spending time with people you love raises the happiness quotient.
- Love yourself – Nurture your wellbeing, both physically and mentally. No one is perfect, so accept yourself, perceived flaws and all. Take time each day to spend on and with yourself in a positive way. Treat yourself with simple things, drink more water using your prettiest glass, get a 10 minute walk wearing some beautiful runners, make an effort to reapply your favorite pink lipstick all day long, eat healthy most of the time, encourage yourself with self-talks, journal your feelings in a zippy red book. No one is perfect, so revel in being you. Accept you are perfectly flawed.
- Share the love – Each day contribute to others positively. People who have purpose and work to make a difference, either through volunteering, their religious or spiritual beliefs or through their family are happier. It does not need to be an organized event. It can be as simple as participating in the Acts of Random Kindness At the very least make a point to smile and say hello to absolutely everyone you come in contact with and watch what happens.
- Love to Learn – The act of learning keeps us engaged, exposes us to new ideas, gives us a sense of accomplishment and positively contributes to our sense of wellbeing. Try something new each day; learn a new word from, try a new food, drive a different route, explore a new park, taste a new coffee, join a book club, learn a new feature on a device or take a course.
- Love what you have – Be grateful. Practice mindfulness each day as awareness contributes to fulfillment and the sense of wellbeing. Set aside five minutes each day to relax, tune into the present and just breathe. Being present stops us from living in the past or worrying about the future. Notice and appreciate the good things around you every day, big or small; smell the coffee as it brews, listen to the wind whisper, feel the material caress your skin, see the beauty of your friend’s face.
- Practice the Art of Positivity – By choosing positive emotions we perform better when dealing with life’s stress, failure or loss. Everyone is faced with life challenges. Positivity increases our resilience and contributes to improved physical health. We can be realistic about life’s ups and downs, but make it a practice to focus on the good aspects of every situation. Even though we cannot choose what happens to us, we can choose how we react. Luckily, being positive is a learned habit. Check out this article from today.com for more on habit making.
Practicing these philosophies daily is making a difference. I am much more aware of myself and my needs and dare I say I have given myself permission to be selfish. That has taken my children and my husband a bit by surprise. Certainly I have a sense of wonder as to exactly when and why I ever decided it was necessary to give some of me up.
Is my life perfect? Certainly not, but I wake up each morning inspired, motivated and excited about what the day holds, whatever may come. Most of all, I can truly say I love my life and guess what? It IS loving me back! I encourage you to give it a try and please let me know how it works for you….