If someone asked you what "experiencing life" meant, how would you answer?
Could you describe the ways in which you are "experiencing life?" I've heard people respond with such things as, taking care of family, working, and checking things off the to do list. But what about those things that give us enjoyment, keep us healthy, and create balance in our lives? Some great suggestions are listed in this article, "7 Daily Habits To Create Balance In Your Life." As you read through the suggestions, can you check off a few? Or do some not so positive thoughts pop up like, "I have no time to do these things, why bother, this won't change anything, I'm not speaking to my family these days" and/or ________. You fill in the blank.
I can empathize with the "not so positive thoughts". As a seeker of all things self-improvement, I always sought out articles, resources, and gurus hoping they would give me the magic formula for happiness. I was sure that if I found that ONE unique article it would lay out the exact formula I needed and Poof! I would be happy.
Playbook of excuses.
Here's the thing. That's ALL I was doing. I was reading the information and then on to the next. My "real" life got in the way; work, family obligations, even changing the clocks back an hour was an excuse. Oh, and the suggestion to do something creative? I told myself that I wasn't a creative type so I eliminated a whole bunch of opportunities. I had a litany of excuses and rationales to prohibit myself from changing my routine.
Life stayed the same.
Surprisingly, I wondered why my life never seemed to improve. Until one day, pardon the expression, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I looked around at the walls of my comfy home, from my comfy couch, iPad in my lap, and knew that as long as I stayed within the safety of those walls, nothing was going to change. Sound familiar?
The truth isn't always pretty.
I finally heeded the advice I'd read, eliminating distractions and allowing myself to be still and get quiet. New thoughts started to surface. I was ready to listen. What I realized was that I wasn't committed to making my life better because I didn't believe it could be. That's when a shift happened. I knew only I could change my life by trying something new.
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." Henry Ford
Experiencing life is a good thing!
I made a list of all the things I enjoyed as a kid. I made another list of all the things I said I wanted to try but told myself I wasn't good enough. The result? I started to play tennis again and took cooking and watercolor classes. Yes, I am creative! (Hint...and so are you!). I still read a lot of articles and books and follow my favorite gurus. That's ok because that's who I am and these things move my mind and spirit too. The difference is...I TRY new things and participate in life instead of waiting for my life to change for the better. Now when I read the habits on the "7 Daily Habits for Balance in Your Life" I can say, yep I do that!
Now it's your turn. What's on your list? Can you name a few things you enjoy but never find the time? What is that one thing you've always wanted to try but talk yourself out of? What would be a first step you could take to bring yourself closer to doing it? I can't wait to hear!
As one of my favorite quotes from Mary Oliver asks, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"