LIVE EVERY MOMENT OF YOUR STORY
Think back over the past few years of your life—what are some of the best memories you have? What are the moments that made you smile, laugh or even cry?
I’m guessing they aren’t regretfully getting up to a nagging alarm clock; resentfully getting ready in the morning; begrudgingly rushing off to work; mundanely sitting at a desk for 8 hours; coming home to eat a forgettable dinner; sitting in front of the television for a few hours; tiredly going to bed only to wake the next morning and do it all…over…again.
I’m not saying that this process is wrong, dull or even boring. Millions of incredible humans flow through this process every day. However, I’m not sure if this mechanized process and assembly lined system inspires us to live a better story.
Also, I’m not really talking about “what” we do, but rather, “how” we do it.
What if there was a better way? What if we could live a better story, right in the narrative that we find ourselves in.
Sure, many people have faced the hard reality of whether “what” they’re doing is what they should be doing. Many have taken the commendable risk of quitting the job, leaving the group, moving to a new country and rewriting their narrative. This sounds exciting and revetting, but it isn’t most of our story.
What I’m referring to is living a life where what we do is beautified by how we do it. It’s living in such a way where the journey takes precedence over the destination.
Some time back, I found myself living this story. I was so reliant on things happening to me, that I overlooked the possibility that I could make things happen for me.
I made a choice however. We all have the power to choose a better story, by the way. I made a choice to change my perspective and live my best life, right where I was at. For all that we have the power to change, there are equally things we can’t change. How we look at and live through the unchangeable has the power to change everything.
How we look at and live through the unchangeable has the power to change everything.
Here are some rhythms I established to live my best story, regardless of the narrative I found myself in.
1. Rhythm: I’ve stopped trying to live a “balanced” life. By definition, balance tells us that all things should add up and be equal. However, life doesn’t always add up and all things aren’t equal. We add pressure to our life when we try to balance out and equalize everything. For example, I don’t want my work life to be equal to my home life. I want to find the rhythm between the two and gracefully know when one ends, and the other begins. Truth is, life isn’t a formula and living shouldn’t by systematized. Life oscillates and dances and moves. My everyday goal is to establish rhythms in my life where I can dance my way through the good times, and groove my way through the challenging times. Life is rhythm.
2. Routine: It would seem counter intuitive to say life is rhythm, then follow that up with establishing routines. Routines however, are what allow us to take control of our lives. We may not have an option on whether or not we need to wake in the morning. We do however have an option on what we’ll choose to do when we wake. And since we have to wake anyway, why not establish a morning routine that will allow you to take control of your feelings rather than allowing your feelings to control you. Part of my morning routine is waking an hour early to prepare for my day. It’s a beautiful thing to wake in the morning and make choices to set perspective. I say “thank you” as soon as my feet hit the floor. I splash water on my face, look in the mirror and smile at myself. I read. I reflect. I journal. I meditate. I work out. I speak affirmations. I breathe. I thank God for another day of life and speak all good things to myself and for the people I will encounter. This is just one of my routines. I have a routine for what I’ll eat and when I’ll eat and how I’ll go about my day. Routine. Routine. Routine. With so many choices to be made throughout our day, routines eliminate unneeded stress over things that we can actually control. Consider setting routines for your life and see how the things you can’t change allow for you to change…you.
With so many choices to be made throughout our day, routines eliminate unneeded stress over things that we can actually control.
3. Awareness: Awareness is simply being mindful to experiencing the moment. We humans have a tendency to either grow anxious about the past or worry about the future. We think on things that have happened to us in our past while imagining what may occur in the future. Learning from the past and envisioning the future are powerful, in and of themselves. However, when we constantly live everywhere else but the now, we miss out on the beauty of moments. There’s something magical that happens when we remain aware to the sensations that we feel at any given moment. When we’re able to fully be present to our feelings and sensations and experiences of a moment, that’s when memories are created. Eating dinner can be a time spent scarfing down our food as fast as we can as we update our social media statuses, watch television and think about our next to-do. Or, eating can be a time where we allow our taste buds to fully absorb the texture and taste of our meal. It can be a time where phones and anything electronic is turned off. A time spent fully present to those we share the table with, engaged in conversation and allowing the moment to create a memory for us. Every moment can become a memory when we stop, slow down, pay attention and become aware. All we have is this moment. Let’s make sure we live it to the fullest.
4. Release: There are several things in life that just can’t be changed. In fact, I’d say most of life happenings are unchanging and its results, unchangeable. Release is changing the things we can while accepting the things we can’t. Acceptance is not denial nor dismissal. It’s a conviction that although something can’t be changed, we can change within it. We may not be able to change what’s happened to us, but we can change what we do with what’s happened to us. We may not be able to change the ramifications of our choices, but we can choose to change our perspective on them. Release is exhaling all the negative toxins and excuses that keep us from enjoying our life. Release is arriving at a place of peace concerning what’s happened in our past, what’s going on in our present and what’s shaping out for our future. It’s trusting that our lives, when lived with intention, have a way of working out for the good. Release is peace. Release is joy. Release is love.
As we begin a new year, live with a conviction that your story can be a great one. Once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time. Each day is a new opportunity to do what you’ve always done in a fresh, life giving way.
Alright my friends, may we live today, a story we’d like to tell tomorrow.