In a culture that is steeped in “no pain no gain” – “fake it till you make it” – “effort before play” – “productivity over pleasure” – and “worldly success is the source of our happiness and worth”…, it’s easy to lose touch with our core self and the deepest, most authentic desires behind everything we do in the first place.
The end result is that we reach the end of our days feeling as though we’re missing out on our lives and utterly unhappy. There’s an emptiness that we can never seem to fill, no matter how much we do in the name of lasting happiness.
All the ways that we strive to feel better, get what we’re craving out of life, and be our best self ends up being done at the expense of our aliveness, joy, and soul-deep fulfillment.
It begs the question then, “How do we live in the modern world of achievement and goals without losing our connection to ourselves and our spirit?”
When you are fiercely devoted to being your best self and living a life that’s aligned with what matters most, it’s essential to have simple, practical strategies to navigate your days in a way that fuels – rather than stifles – your aliveness.
Vital Ingredient #1 – Design your daily practice
Have you ever gotten to the end of your day or week only to look back at what seems to be merely a blur that consisted of going through the motions and keeping up with a never-ending to-do list and the swirl daily responsibilities?
When we’re moving through our over-scheduled days at lightning speed, without taking the time to actually identify and connect with the experience we are truly after, the chances of experiencing it are slim to done.
That’s why taking time for YOU and committing to a ritual of aligning to your soul, being of service to your purpose, and gaining clarity around what you’re truly desiring out of life, while opening more fully to receiving it needs to become your daily vitamin.
While doing it first thing in the morning is a beautiful time to center-in and find alignment with your deepest Self, what’s most important is that you simply include it wherever it works well for you, knowing that you will receive all the benefits no matter what time of day fits your unique lifestyle.
What your daily practice looks like is yours to design, based on your creative inspiration, intuitive wisdom, needs, and desires. A coach or mentor can be a powerful source of support to customize and refine your personal practice into one that not only nurtures – but also catalyzes – your expansion into more of who you know you are here to become.
Vital Ingredient #2 – Remember what feels good
We’re wired to seek out what’s wrong. Our survival depended on it back in the days when any threat that could sneak up on us could cost us our life.
These days, this same strategy – what neuroscience refers to as the negativity bias – looks like an attitude and orientation that is heavily focused on:
- What’s wrong?
- What problems need to be fixed?
- Where am not measuring up?
- Where is my life deficient?
- How am I or how is my life NOT enough? Not enough of…. you fill in the blank
Essentially…where am I at risk of being rejected, of not being loved, not fitting in, not being approved of or accepted?
Our minds are constantly scanning for faults and failures rather than the delights, goodness, and successes of life to celebrate.
So what’s the first step to stop chasing and start experiencing happiness?
It starts with simply beginning to notice and remember what’s going well and what feels good. If this is not your usual M.O., it will probably feel like work as you begin exercising a muscle that’s become atrophied. In a sense, it has after a lifetime of being dominated and hijacked by the survival brain.
Initially, it will require deliberate intention and consistent dedication to crowd out the old habit and cultivate new neural pathways, until allowing yourself to feel good and savor life’s myriad pleasures eventually becomes a new baseline from which to choose and operate.
Vital Ingredient #3 – Develop a relationship with that which is underneath and beyond the transitory nature of the material world
It’s easy to forget, so I’m here to remind you…..
You are the creator of your experience – NOT the circumstances you find yourself in. And the power you have to choose your attitude and perspective, which ultimately determines your experience, is sourced from that aspect of you which does not come and go and which does not fluctuate whenever the weather of life does.
Living your most luminous life requires nurturing and continually taking up residence again and again in that aspect of you that can never be taken away, lost, or diminished by the vicissitudes of the human experience.
This means turning down the volume on the external noise, so that you can turn up the volume on your inner world and the reservoir of wisdom, solace, and well-being that lives within you and needs space to come forward into your life.
If the structure of meditation doesn’t resonate with you, then what does?
What brings you home to you?
What feeds your soul?
What activities nourish and enliven you at the deepest level?
Maybe it’s sitting by the ocean or under a tree, or gazing at the clouds or night sky to remember the vastness of the universe in which we live, or simply inserting that occasional pause to gaze up from your screen to take a deep breath and savor the beauty before you.
It all comes back to being even just a little more intentional with how you architect your day so that you are able infuse your life with the joy, freedom, sacredness, and soul you crave.
Salona Carlisle is a self-realization coach, transformational guide, and embodiment facilitator, who guides women on the journey into radical self-love and back to their essential wholeness. She is passionate about supporting her clients onto the path of their soul’s most magnificent unfurling, so they can experience the fulfillment and freedom of being fully expressed as all of women they aspire to become. Through her body-centered approach, Salona empowers her clients to experience the meaning and purpose they crave by intentionally creating an authentic, inspired life of their choosing.
Image courtesy of Matheus Bertelli.