Five Easy Tips to Move from Theory to Practice
Have you ever started a new exercise regime to improve your health? Have you ever dedicated yourself to reaching a certain goal in your career? What about the dream of having a partner who is just the right fit for you?
Most of us relate to having dreams, goals and hopes for our lives. After all, these aspirations are what ignite the fire that drives you to get up and go after your deepest desires.
I believe big dreams create the magic of your life and are meant to be approached with a curiosity and thirst to fully experience life—bumps and all. By opening up to the idea that the journey is the magic, rather than reaching the actual dream itself, you open the floodgates to love your life right now.
When you give yourself the gift of seeing and experiencing all that is amazing in your life at this very moment, you no longer need to delay happiness until you meet some future goal.
In an effort to simply love life exactly as it is right now, no matter what dreams are in the works, I made this list of reminders and inspirations to put into practice each day. I encourage you to give them a try and see which ones work best for you:
When you step outside of yourself and take a good honest look at how you are showing up, over time you begin to take yourself a whole lot less seriously. There is a real lightness and sense of ease that comes from being able to laugh at yourself and see the humor in a situation.
By regularly checking in with yourself, you may also start to notice the patterns in how you show up and where there may be room to shift and grow.
Being self-reflective in a healthy way helps to strengthen your relationship with yourself. It also builds your self-confidence and resourcefulness in trusting yourself to take steps that are congruent with who you are at your core. Meditation first thing in the morning and writing at any time of the day have become essential tools in building my self-awareness practice. Have fun choosing the tools that most suit your style in order to create meaning and consistency in your self-awareness practice.
Give what you can, whenever you can. It could be spreading kindness through your words, smiles, and helpful acts, or merely being present for those you share space with. When you adopt a generous attitude, it becomes easier to let go of beliefs and judgments that create an ‘us against them’ mentality.
Giving without strings attached or ulterior motives not only brightens the receiver’s day, it also fills up your heart and the moments before you with joy. It feels good to give, so do it as much as your heart desires. If there are times where you can extend your reach out to your local or global community, then do that, too.
Approaching your life with compassion and love may very well be the greatest gift you could give yourself and your community. The ripple effect you create by being content and happy with your life will be felt and may very well become contagious.
Your health and well-being is deeply connected to your feelings and overall attitude. When you feel good in your body, it becomes natural and easy to be happy with life.
We all vary in our abilities and the types of physical activities we enjoy. What may feel great for one person may not for another. The key is to engage in activities that you enjoy and movement that fits your lifestyle and needs. Do what works best for you to create a regular habit of moving your body to help you feel the very best you can.
Deep, intentional breathing is one of the most powerful ways to calm yourself and ease feelings of stress and anxiety. The best part about this particular tool is that it is “built-in,” and pretty straightforward to engage!
When you find yourself in a stressful situation, you are more than likely holding your breath. In these situations, if possible, take a few deliberate deep breaths, holding each for the count of four. Doing this helps calm your body and creates space to refocus your mind away from destructive or overwhelming thought patterns.
The more you practice focusing on your breath, whether that is through yoga, meditation or routinely scheduled times throughout the day, the more likely it will become a habit and natural place to go to transform stress.
Breath may not solve the world’s problems, but it certainly helps to soften the daily stress and tension that often accompanies a busy life.
Gratitude is my number one favorite way to get out of any funk and into the joy of life. When you focus on what you are thankful for, you relive all of the beautiful stories and reasons why your life is worth loving right now–and that feels so good!
There are countless reasons to be thankful. Getting to wake up each day to the miracle of being alive is just one of them. There’s also the air you breathe, the sights you see, and the opportunities and possibilities before you. Your list of reasons to be grateful is as unique as you are, and is yours by design.
I love to start my day reflecting on three reasons I am grateful to be alive, and end it by reviewing three reasons I am grateful for my day. The more you engage in a gratitude practice, the more natural it becomes to scan your world and see new evidence of things to be grateful for.
Being genuinely thankful on a regular basis helps you to see why your life is worthy of loving right now at this very moment.
Don’t delay your happiness for later. Jump in and love the life you are in. You are worth it!
Emily Madill is an author, professional coach and motivational speaker. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, with her husband and two sons. She has a BA degree in business and psychology and completed her coach training through Erickson International College. She blogs for Huffington Post and has published multiple esteem building books for children. Emily enjoys an active lifestyle including running, fitness, yoga, and keeping up to the adventurous pace of her family. She is a firm believer in stretching comfort zones and Dreaming BIG! Check out her new book, Fall in Love with Your Life, One Week at a Time.