Friday, February 12, 2016

Live a Life you Love!

First of all, let me start this post off by stating - I'm not about to share some brand new profound information every single person doesn't already know. This is not something you couldn't read in a book, on another blog post, hear in a talk or watch in a TedX video. Truly it isn't. You may already have heard or read all of it.

Why share it then?

Because you have forgotten. Honestly. You have. 

How do I know?

The title of this post caught your eye and you mentally declared, "Hell, Yes! I want to learn how to love my life more! I need this." Your interest gave you away. If your life was already perfect, you would have moved on by now. I thank you for being brave and staying. Thank you! <3 Growth and healing first begin with a choice.

My goal is to remind you, enliven you, honour your knowledge and share my insights. To be honest of where I am and explore where you probably are. 

Let's start though with the Why of it all: Society, stories and choices have formed and molded you to live your current life as it is. Please don't see me finger-pointing or blaming you! This is not said with judgement, shaming or declaring it good or bad. It simply is what it is. Truth. 

We each choose the life we live 100%: Career, the people we let in, the stories we tell, our health, our relationships, experiences, our happiness with life, the good, the bad and the ugly - we chose it all. And we can choose to change it all! Bryant McGill stated: "Your future begins with your next thought." Choose a life you love!

Let's start at the basics:

1. Choose Joy!
What makes you happy? What lights you up? Sets your world ablaze and ignites the passion in side of you? Think back to when you were young and you giggled, full out belly-laughed and played endlessly. When you woke up every single day with so much excitement and joie de vivre! You knew you were powerful, wonderful and loved. You can choose to have all of that again. Today. This moment. Start small or jump right in - the choice is yours! Don't wait until everything is perfect to start enjoying your life and living each moment like you used to as a child: with wild abandon and endless joy. 

Make a list of 100 things that bring you joy. You can even make a Joy Jar. Cut up activities that light you up on slips of paper and set them in a jar. When you feel yourself being dragged away from your joy - pull out a slip and do that activity with 100% of your heart and passion. 

Some tips from my Joy Jar: take the dog for walk, read a good book, dance ecstatically to a good song, watch the birds at the feeder, hug my Husband, have a hot bath and colour outside the lines. 

Ask yourself: What brings me joy?

2. Rest...
We have been told and conditioned to believe that pausing, slowing down, resting and even sleeping for too long is wrong, bad or unproductive. It isn't. Rest is necessary and essential to living a healthy and fulfilling life! It allows our body to reset, restore and register all the memories and knowledge we gained from the days experiences. Rest is when our bodies do the most healing and allow us to prepare for the next journey ahead of us. So allow it!

Every day, set aside at least 30 minutes (an hour if you can!) of Rest Time. Turn off your phone, lock the door, inform your family you are unavailable and rest. Breathe deeply, meditate, walk in nature, nap, journal, drink tea, sit in a bath, lie down, do yoga, listen to soothing music. Do whatever feels restorative to your mind, body and soul. Allow yourself to be present to whatever you need in the moment. No distractions, no commitments, no allowing others to dictate your time, energy and health. Hang that DO NOT DISTURB sign loud and proud! You are worth it! And your wellness will thank you for it! 

3. Get Moving!
Our bodies are like well-oiled machines. If we care for them and provide them with the proper fuel, maintenance and upkeep - they will run smoothly for decades. However, if we ignore it, don't care for it, let the grime build up in the gears and never provide it with the fuel it needs - it will become slow, sluggish and malfunction. So get your body moving!

When we move we keep the fluids so vital for our organs and cells to function flowing smoothly, we keep the oxygen feeding our cells, our immune system improves and wastes are collected, discarded and released out of our body. We reduce pain, stiffness and mobility issues. We look better, feel better and have more energy for living our life to the fullest! When your physical body is in great shape, so will your mental, emotional and spiritual bodies be in better shape.

Every day, be sure to invite at least 1 hour of movement throughout the day. This can be in 20 minute intervals, in two 30 minute spaces or in one lump sum payment. Walk, dance, do yoga, run, bike, play a sport, chase your kids, play with the dog, swim, go to the gym, join a class, take the stairs - whatever gets you moving! 

Also, remember that the longer you stay in a posture, the more of a change occurs in your body. So, set a timer and get up and stretch after long period of sitting to keep the body from getting stuck or stagnant. 

Need some inspiration?

4. Give Gratitude
Being grateful for each and every person, place, thing, moment and memory in your life is key to lasting happiness. When you are grateful for everything you have the Universe provides you with so much more to be grateful for! Your heart opens for more love, compassion, joy and excitement to pour in. And it will - in floods!

Begin a Gratitude Journal. Every night before you go to bed, take a moment to write 5 things you were truly grateful for that day. They can be experiences, people, your home, something you read, saw, heard, felt. 

If you are having difficulties, always remember the little things: I am grateful for my body. I am grateful for this breath. I am grateful for the sunshine. I am grateful for this bed I am about to rest in. I am grateful for the food I ate today. There are many people in the world much worse off than you. Terrible to think of, but very true. I am not stating that bad things will not happen in your life, only that by being grateful despite that - you will begin to see the light and good in any situation or moment.

I feel this is a good point to pause in this journey. Don't consider this an end, merely a beginning to a new life of love and fulfillment. The CHOICE is yours!