We all crave a sense of order, balance and calm in a world of information overload. And in this daily pursuit, we find ourselves even more lost. By adopting a compassionate approach to ourselves, we can stop chasing the perfect version of life that doesn’t really exist. We can stop the overwhelm and anxiety that are byproducts of our daily grind.
Here’s how you can achieve a peaceful and fulfilling life.
Be that child:
Have you noticed how kids are? For the most part, they’re not seeking meaning out of life, they’re just seeking acceptance. They want their existence to be validated because they fear being invisible to others, especially their loved ones. Fear not of disappointment or failure but the lack of positive impact you’re capable of making through your warmth and strengths.
Treat the mirror kindly:
Get to a place of unconditional positive regard for yourself and your abilities. Life is a trail in error. Be happy and content with yourself on how much you’re trying to make it happen. Of course, not to the point that you’ve gotten passive about your dreams and goals and settle for mediocre.
Turn on the light:
Double down on your strengths and ignore your weaknesses. Turn on the lights for yourself as you walk the unknown path ahead of you. Strangle that persistent voice in your head that says you’re lost. No one person is good at a 100 different things unless you’re one of those comic super heroes on TV.
Invite fear openly:
Find your way through everything. When you’ve doubts and anxieties, work with them, so you can find out what’s holding you back. Fear is a great propeller. Allow yourself to be chased by it. OK, now don’t run off a cliff and tell me your risk was worth taking.
Lower your standards:
Your ideal life is quite different than what’s possible with so many unpredictable parameters in your real life. So, you didn’t read a book and tuck the kids into bed tonight or were not able to pack lunch that morning. Cut your losses and move on. Make tomorrow a better day! Try this. Lower your expectations every time you’re going somewhere or doing something for the first time. You’re guaranteed to have a golden time.
Cut those thoughts:
If you catch yourself lingering on some negative emotions about yourself – the way you look or your past, reliving those moments when you said the wrong thing or did the wrong thing, STOP. Now, rephrase that context and see them as stepping stones for some well earned wisdom and find yourself still alive and well.
Set yourself free:
Kindness energizes us when we are in its company. Compassion reduces stress. Self compassion gives us a sense of freedom. Educate your heart by feeding it positive emotions. The amount of kindness is far greater than the amount of violence the world faces. It just doesn’t make it into the news always.
Clean the clutter:
Take stock of things and people in your life. Are there people in your life who’re threatening your self worth in a toxic way? Time to start an “Ignore list” and put their names on it. Don’t bring in too many things and thoughts into your life, bring a big shears to cut shit out.
Don’t blend in:
If you blend in, you’re like a wheel of an 18 wheeler. If you come off, eh, the truck will move for a few hundred miles if it has to. So be your own vehicle. Be indispensable. Realize the competitive advantage of being different. Share your own unique gifts and enhance the quality of yours and the ones around you. We love the people we love because they are themselves – their own selves.
Give yourself permission:
Grab pockets of joy, even if they’re small and fleeting. You’ve earned them. Find meaning in what you do. You’re doing epic shit. OK, OK, you suck. But, you don’t suck everywhere, in every aspect of your life, do you? Well if you said yes, you my friend, have a problem which is beyond the scope of this article.
Know yourself truly:
Become self aware to find yourself. Of course, sometimes you can become so self aware that you become your biggest critic, because you’re also aware of your weaknesses along with your strengths. The point is don’t tweak yourself to suit the expectation of the crowd you’re around. Authentic is a rare breed. Join it.
Find yourself in nature. The five elements, earth, fire, water, air and space, don’t seem to tell each other that in their own power, they stand alone, and are not really dependent on one another. They simply exist with unconditional trust, freedom and generosity in this shared space. They teach us to reserve our judgments, perceptions, and just be accepting and content. They remind us to we’re blessed to someday disintegrate and become one with them.
Meditate, meditate, OMG meditate:
Looking inward and knowing yourself is spirituality. When you’re meditating, you’ll often get lost in thoughts. Don’t judge and admonish yourself but just get back to breathing, feeling your breath flow in and out of your stomach. Meditation helps catch yourself when you’re in your default thinking mode and quiets down your thoughts. That’s why its called meditation practice not meditation perfection.
How does it feel? Extending your own arms to pat yourself on the back for living through one more day of working yourself to extinction? Great, doesn’t it?
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