“When you stop existing and you start truly living, each moment of the day comes alive with the wonder and synchronicity.”
Steve Maraboli - Life, the Truth, and Being Free
I’ve been pondering a few questions surrounding this topic lately: are we truly alive or merely existing? So often we’re on autopilot - in our jobs, in our relationships, in our social lives. It’s good to be busy, but are we just going through the motions, or are we truly experiencing the things we are so busy doing?
Often, we end up burning the candle at both ends in the quest to be as occupied as possible, but do we even enjoy what we are doing? And more importantly - do we know what we are doing it for? We are often so busy that we are not even really here...I mean sure, our bodies are.. but there’s those times that we can’t even remember how we got somewhere while driving. We are not present. There’s times we forget to think, to feel, to even BREATHE! If that’s not a sign we have forgotten how to truly live - I don’t know what is.
So, what can we do to reclaim our lives? Breathing is a good start, but how can we really come alive and truly experience, feel and start living so that our everyday life is full of sparks and excitement? Here are some of my ideas for how to reignite your passion for life.
It takes courage to move forward, change and do things differently to how you’ve always done them. Fear is the main thing that holds us back from reaching our full potential - but how often are our fears actually based in reality? Most of the time they are just stories we have created in our mind.
So, get out of your own way and put your hand up for things that you’ve always wanted to try. Make a list of things you truly wish you could do, and pick one to do THIS WEEK. And remember - that nothing is ever as scary as your mind makes it out to be. One step towards your dreams, might just be the step that changes your whole life!
And no, I'm not just talking about physical activity - though getting your body moving, doing some exercise is definitely a fabulous way to feel more alive. You get your blood pumping and your endorphins going which naturally makes you feel great. But I'm talking about becoming an active participant in your life! Instead of doing the same thing day in and day out - going to work and coming home, sitting on the couch watching TV or spending time mindlessly browsing through social media, why not get out there and engage with the world.
Perhaps you could take a trip somewhere you've always wanted to go, start a course in something you've been curious about or join an activity group. Learning new things in a group setting is a great way to activate your mind and improve your social connections - which has been proven to be extremely important when it comes to our overall well-being, especially as we age. You could even go exploring in your own neighbourhood. Take as troll through the streets after work or on your lunch break, look up - not down as you walk & speak to the people you meet. Not only will you free yourself from the dangers of too much sitting but you might be surprised what you find, if you look around with your eyes open!
I know what you’re thinking with this one - “But I’m not an artist!” Remember, creativity comes from the word CREATE which is something we all know how to do in different ways. Our imaginations are what makes us truly human, and yet it’s something many of us disconnect from after childhood. In fact, society often actively discourages us from using our creativity.
Embrace your inner child and think back to the things you used to enjoy when you were a kid. Did you draw? Paint? Act in the school play? Learn a musical instrument? Jump in puddles? Now look for a way to reconnect with this activity. Or you could think of something new you want to create and research how to do it: like knitting a blanket or building a piece of furniture.
Often we’re so focused on planning for tomorrow that we forget about today. We live in the future - which isn’t real and hasn’t even happened yet! This can stop us from spending time on passions that won’t “lead to anything” - we skip over the things that we only do because they give us pleasure, not because they’re vital to our futures. But it's ok to do things "just for fun" and you don’t have to aspire to be a professional opera singer to enjoy singing in the car or shower!
Make a promise to yourself that you’ll take time out every day (or at least every week) to just do something that brings you joy, for no particular reason at all - whether it’s taking a Chair Yoga class or sunset stroll, pumping up the volume on your favourite song or writing a poem.
Sounds simple doesn't it? But one of the most challenging things in life can be exposing your innermost self to others - you risk being laughed at, taken advantage of or rejected. All of these things can bruise our ego. But embracing your vulnerability can be very powerful, and those raw feelings are what makes you who you are.
Be true to you, celebrate and be proud of your wonderful, unique qualities. There is only ONE of YOU in the whole world! And that is pretty special if you ask me.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”, Dr Seuss