What would you do if you would realize what you’re missing out on, just because you’re rushing through life? Would you adapt your daily life to a more fulfilling life? Yes? Start now! Why wait?
Not only do we not know how much time we still have left here on planet Earth, but why would we wait any longer to enjoy life more, to appreciate life more, to have more life?
Just bear with me for a moment and run a normal day routine through your head. I can imagine it looks for most of us like this:
We wake up when our alarm clock goes off and we just get out of bed, mindlessly: do we take the time to stretch a little in bed, to take some deep breaths, to say Thank You for this new day? Hmmm, don’t think so.
We go to the bathroom and in most cases the phone is already in our hands: just a quick check we say to ourselves… but we get immediately sucked in and we forget to wake up calmly, we forget to listen to our body, we forget to enjoy the silent waking up.
Breakfast: do we savor it? Or do we gulp it down?
Off to work: a lot of us have a long commute: do we fill our heads with ominous facts, do we get all worked up because of traffic jams? Or have you tried listening to a good book, listening to an inspiring podcast, enjoying a funny podcast, …?
… and the day has only begun.
I think you get my drift. We go through the motions without noticing the little things that make life more joyful. There is beauty to be found all day long, we just have to be aware of it and be open to see it.
It’s really interesting to go through your whole day. Write down all you do and how you do it. Seeing it on paper will make it more real. It will give you information on when and where you could build in more appreciation, more fun, more kindness. You can already feel a huge difference in the experience of time, of busy-ness, just by approaching the activity differently. I know we have to go to work most of the days, I know we also have to do things that are not enjoyable. But if we could already turn around all those other moments in our day, it would make a world of difference in how we perceive our life, and we wouldn’t even have ‘lost’ time in our schedule. On the contrary, it will feel as if we have more time because we did not rush all the time, we did not say to ourselves ‘I have no time’, ‘I have to hurry because I am running late’, ‘I’ll just grab a quick bite to eat’, … all the time. The more we talk that way, the more our mind will believe there is a shortage of time. Our subconscious mind* believes what we are telling it, whether it is true or not. We are making up our stories, our truth, and by repeating it over and over again, it becomes our reality. So, it is very important what we tell ourselves, it is very important we realize we get to choose how we approach our life and all of its activities.
It all comes down to choices, to prioritizing, to planning and knowing why you choose to live that way.
As long as we hold on to the belief that, the more we get done and the busier we are, the more important, the tougher, the better we are, we’ll never get out of that rat race and we will stay stuck in an overwhelming life, in a life that feels is crushing us.
That is why I invite you all to pause. It’s the time of year where every company is evaluating the past year, where plans are made, strategies are set up for the year to come.
Why don’t you do the same for your own personal life? Make up the balance: put down scores for all that is present in your life: feeling happy, feeling stressful, having fun, work, your health, your relationships, your finances, your hobbies, …. There is no need to get angry or frustrated or sad about it. This is just an evaluation of what already happened, so no need to fret about it, it’s done. It’s just a tool to get a clear view on what is going on, and where you can make some changes. You now have facts and figures and that gives you the possibility to do something about it.
Start writing down what you enjoy, what you would like more of in your life.
Then, write down what you want less of in your life.
That’ll give you a good idea in what direction you want to evolve.
As you now have a very clear view on how you spend your day, on what you want more of and on what you want less of, you can start eliminating unnecessary stuff and make room for more joy. Be careful not to stuff your schedule again, because that will still feel overwhelming to you, even if it’s filled with more fun things. The idea is to feel lighter, more relaxed, and have more joy in your life. Think about how you can enjoy your day more: for example
Set a kind, pleasant alarm clock, one that wakes you up gently instead of one that gives you your first shot of adrenaline before you have even opened your eyes.
No phone until you really start working with 100% attention, no quick looking what is ahead, wait until you are in full work modus. That way you will feel in charge of your agenda.
Enjoy your breakfast, savor your coffee, your tea or whatever you are having for breakfast. Make it a joyful moment before you go off to work.
Look at your commute as a way of having some time for yourself, in silence or with music or a good book, or a podcast.
Take a minute to breathe, to go outside when possible, to look at a bird, a tree, … during the day. Studies have proven that seeing nature, for real or in pictures, makes us feel better.
Look at all you’re doing during the day and make the most of it. Be mindful and enjoy all you can. It will make you more relaxed, you’ll be in a better mood as you do not feel so overwhelmed by what is going on, you’ll be more open and solutions will seem to come more easily to you.
The calmer you feel, the more you’ll be able to evaluate:
what needs to be done and what can wait,
what needs to be done by you and what can be delegated,
what gives you stress and what gives you joy.
The more you start living more consciously, the more there will be room for real joy, for appreciation, for real relationships, for being YOU.
I invite you all to make this reflection on your life and to choose for more life, for more you, for more connection, for more authenticity.
Time is always going at its own pace: we can’t rush it nor can we pause it. We never know how much we have left of it so my advice to all is:
Treat time with the utmost respect and make the most of it.
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*’The trouble Is, It’s All Up To You, The Good Thing Is, It’s All Up To You.’ By Katrien Degraeve.