What if what is considered the “norm” in today’s society was actually far from what we need to live a happy life?
What if our priorities were wrong and we were wasting our lives away focusing on the wrong things?
And what if the simplest things were the way to find meaning? The way to give your soul what it craves.
Here are 5 simple things to help shift your life in a big (positive) way.
1. Don’t take part in the ‘who’s busier’ competition
We all seem to be taking part in the “who’s busiest” competition.
Whoever I talk to recently seems to be busier than the other: “I have not gone to the gym in days I am too busy at work”. “I’m exhausted I have so many dinners and parties that I don’t get enough sleep”.
And while it’s true that there is an increase in the demand for productivity at work or that being a parent can be overwhelming at times, I also do believe that it is our choice to be busy (or not to be). We can choose to say no to dinners or to driving the kid(s) 4 times a week to piano lessons and soccer practice. We can also say no to that promotion that means more money but no more private life.
The ‘who’s busiest’ competition is counterproductive to living a meaningful life. Because instead of stopping to contemplate what really matters, you’re just, well…busy.
And when you are too busy, you can’t see the bigger picture.
Slow down, learn how to say no and find time for what matters to you.
2. Make space
Physical clutter doesn’t mix well with simple living and purpose.
By accumulating compulsively year after year, we have become slaves of our own possessions.
Our things have us work for them instead of the other way around.
We spend many hours tidying, reorganising, cleaning and folding them. And this makes our lives unnecessarily complicated and steals hours from our precious time.
It’s time to reclaim that time so we can focus on more important things and find more meaning.
Give away those clothes you never wear, the books you’ve already read, the expired make up, the broken kitchen appliances, etc.
Do that and you will cut down your weekly tidying and cleaning time by half.
3. Spend time in nature
Did you love climbing trees, rolling yourself in the mud and playing in the dirt as a kid? Have you ever noticed how good it feels to walk barefoot in the grass?
That’s because we are at home in nature. We are designed to live in it and connect with the earth.
Going on an adventure in nature is like hitting the RESET button. We forget about everything and live in the here and the now. It shifts our outlook on things, improve our moods and energises our body and mind. Most importantly, it provides us with the peace and quiet we need to reconnect with our inner wisdom.
So go for a hike, camp under the stars, go rafting, rock climbing, or whatever adventure appeals to you.
4. Tune out
One of the first and major obstacles to overcome to find purpose and meaning is mind clutter.
Our senses are bombarded with constant noise and images. As a result, our minds are cluttered beyond measure, unable to differentiate what’s important from what’s just noise.
Because we hardly ever sit in silence and contemplate, we are lost and find it hard to hear our inner guidance.
Here are what I find to be the most effective methods to silence the outer world :
- Media fast: switch off the radio, stay away from social media, Netflix, Youtube and anything else that clutters your mind for at least 7 days. The trance-like state induced by TV makes your subconscious mind suggestible to whatever it is that you are watching. So whatever you “ingest” on TV / video, your subconscious accepts and integrates more easily.
- Meditate: Probably one of the best ways to silence your reeling mind is to take up meditation. It will take a few sessions till you feel the benefits but after a while you will see that stuck emotions, thoughts, feelings start disappearing.
- Breathe: breathing brings you back to the here and now. This combined with meditation and / or yoga is a powerful combo to empty your mind of the ever-present noise around you.
- Alone time: spend time on your own as often as you can and immerse yourself in the silence around. It might be uncomfortable to sit in silence at first but with practice, you will learn to appreciate it.
- Journal: this is a great way to get all your “mind clutter” out onto the paper and therefore quite effective to clear your mind.
5. Explore your hidden talents
Very much like we are in our element in nature, we are born creators and artists at heart.
And this doesn’t mean that we are all meant to be the next Picasso, Beethoven or Shakespeare.
This means that we have a latent power within waiting to surface; a capacity to create beautiful, out-of-the-ordinary things.
Do you feel that there is a missing piece in your life? Do you feel that as amazing as your life is, you are still not 100% happy?
That’s the universe nudging you to explore a different path; a path that leads to your hidden talents.
The Universe buries strange jewels deep within us all and then stands back and see if we can find them. Elizabeth Gilbert
Slowing down, decluttering, reconnecting with nature and living a creative life are all surefire ways to bring meaning into your life.
But the truth is that living a meaningful life might mean a different thing for everyone. So take the time to find out what it means to you.
Follow your passion and enjoy the ride.