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Do you remember how carefree and alive you felt as a child? How would you jump out of bed every morning, brimming with excitement for the day ahead? You were happy for no reason and your enthusiasm for life knew no limits.
For most of us, the experience of causeless joy, inner freedom, and zest for life fades into the background as we age, when we are pushed into the world of commitments, duties, and responsibilities ... the boring things of life. Adults.
Gone are the days when you happily jumped out of bed. Instead, the sound of the alarm that goes off at 6 a.m. elicits a groan and the desire to get back under the covers for another couple of minutes.
Dragged into the drab and absorbing cycle of work-eat-sleep, the joy and zest for life that he once knew is now buried under a thick blanket of hustle, stress, and overwhelming.
Your inner glow has dimmed and you feel drained, disconnected, and numb inside. You don't like the person you've become. You want to get your old, jolly self back, the one plugged in and full of beans.
What if what you long for is still there, right where you left it? Here are 9 ideas to help you regain your shine and reconnect with the zest for life you knew as a child.
1. Back to basics
"Simplicity is the key to happiness." - Paramahansa Yogananda
Humans thrive in simple conditions. In my travels, I have often observed how people in so-called "third world countries" radiate an inner glow and a satisfaction rarely found in the West. Complexity and busyness disconnect us from the inner LIFE. They stir the internal waters and drown the natural state of inner peace and satisfaction. When life is simple, your inner experience remains clear and spacious, allowing more light of your true nature to shine through.
Tidy up, downsize, keep possessions to a minimum, live within your means, avoid stressful situations, complete unfinished tasks, make decisions quickly and stick to them, resolve your personal disputes, forgive easily.
2. Go slower and smell the flowers
“You are only here for a brief visit. Don't rush, don't worry. Be sure to smell the flowers on the way. ” - Walter Hagen
When you live life in the fast lane, you miss out on all the simple pleasures: the wind whispering through the trees, the warmth of the sun on your skin, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, the things that make life rich. and every meaningful experience. Make a conscious decision to slow down. Reduce your commitments.
Leave enough time between appointments to get through the day at a leisurely pace. Learn to say no. Perform tasks slowly and consciously. Get up earlier, walk or bike to work, be aware of the scenery on the way, spend time in the woods or on the beach, enjoy the sunset. Wake up to the world around you. This is how children live.
3. Get your daily dose of vitamin G
"Gratitude for the present moment and the fullness of life now is true prosperity." - Eckhart Tolle
I remember walking down a busy shopping street with my mother when I was about nine years old and was struck by the thought that here we were, on this giant rock in some remote corner of the universe, hurtling through space with incredible speed.
He seemed to be the only one on the busy street who was aware of this astonishing fact. Otherwise, everyone would be standing with their mouths open in amazement and wondering, right? When you get caught up in the daily grind, it's easy to lose sight of how miraculous life is. Has your life become a chore rather than a privilege? A daily dose of gratitude is the remedy.
At first, gratitude can be used as a tool to retrain the mind. Whenever you find yourself complaining about your life or the world, think of three things to be thankful for: a healthy body, a roof over your head, money in the bank? When you live slowly, simply and mindfully in the present moment, the world naturally comes alive and looks beautiful. Gratitude comes effortlessly, as an expression of who you are.
4. Do what makes you happy NOW
"Put happiness first and everything else will be added to you." - from Awaken The Happy You
Were you told at a young age that the roadmap to a happy and successful life is to study hard, go to college, get a well-paying job, buy a house, and that once all the boxes are checked, THEN you will be Happy?
Children are already happy without any of these things. Happiness is not something to "get." It is your natural state and it arises spontaneously when there is nothing blocking it.
Happiness is a vibration. When you do what you love to do, vibrate at a high frequency. You become attractive, like a magnet.
As the similar attracts the similar, it effortlessly begins to attract the right job, the right relationship, and the right circumstances in your life.
There are two ways to live life. You can rely on your own efforts to create the conditions that may or may not bring you happiness and fulfillment. OR you can do whatever makes you happy first and let life take care of your needs.
5. Get out of your head and focus on the moment.
Young children are present, alert, and fascinated by their world.
I remember one day I took my three-year-old daughter to the park. At one point, she started screaming with excitement when she saw a "ladybug" crawling up a leaf. His high-pitched voice snapped me out of my reverie. I'd been so busy thinking about who knows what, I didn't even realize we were in the park.
My body had been there for several minutes but had just "arrived" at that point. This is how most of us live.
Life is happening now, but we miss it because of our addiction to thinking. Our busy minds distract us from the wonder and beauty that surrounds us at every moment.
Get in the habit of noticing when you get lost in unproductive thoughts.
STOP. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. FOCUS ON THE PRESENT.
Focus on the physical sensation of your feet touching the ground, the sensation of the air coming into contact with your skin, tune in to the sounds around you. Notice what is happening NOW.
Present moment awareness is the key to bringing LIFE back into your life.
6. A little discomfort keeps you alert
In the West, we live in the lap of luxury and comfort: climate-controlled cars, luxurious king-size mattresses, ergonomic workstations, microwave dinners, home entertainment systems.
But our lifestyle comes at a high price. We have become lethargic, overweight, out of shape and disconnected from ourselves and from life itself. We have lost the shine in our eyes ... our passion and enthusiasm for life.
A few months ago I was in India and had to make a 4 hour trip to another city. Instead of taking a taxi as I usually do, I decided to travel by local bus.
It was hot, dusty and crowded. The seats were hard, the road bumpy. There was loud music throughout the trip.
But you know what? I got off the bus feeling happy and alive. A little discomfort is good for the soul.
Get out there and move your body. Walk to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, swim wildly, take a cold shower, hang out in nature, climb a hill, dance in the rain, feel the wind on your face.
Wherever you feel resistance, that is your path to vitality.
Why Nomads Aren't Crazy
"The best things in life are on the other side of fear." - Will Smith
The tendency of most people is to build a safe and comfortable nest… and fall asleep there. You settle for the soul-sucking job and pay the bills, the relationship that is past its expiration date, and comfort yourself with a two-week vacation in the sun.
It takes courage to "blow up the nest," to step out of your comfort zone and follow what feels alive and expansive. But, scary or not, this is sometimes what it takes to get your LIFE back.
Feel the fear and do it anyway. The unconditioned being, the raw pulse of life within you, is wild, free and vibrantly alive. Always look for risk, expansion and adventure.
8. Focus on the needs of others
“Happiness is not having much. Happiness is giving a lot ”. The buddha
Self-absorption is a great obstacle to feeling happy and alive. Create a dense mist that blocks the light of your true nature.
When you are self-centered, your energy is heavy. It disconnects you from yourself, from others and from life itself. The more you give, the more aligned you become with your intrinsic nature, which is to give freely.
Always be on the lookout for opportunities to serve. Practice random acts of kindness.
Buy a homeless person a coffee or sandwich. Let someone go in front of you at the checkout. Offer an older person their seat on the bus. Send someone a thank you letter. Surprise them with flowers or a box of chocolates. Take time to pick up trash in the park.
9. Reconnect with your natural state of joy
When I offer trial meditation sessions to the public, it always amazes me that people who have never meditated before often experience deep peace the first time they try it.
Even deeply unhappy people can experience peace the first time they meditate.
Why is this? It's because when the noisy traffic in your busy mind calms down for a moment, you can get a glimpse of what's below. You have the opportunity to experience peace, stillness and connection, the attributes of your true nature.
Regardless of what your mind tells you, there is no distance between you and peace, between you and happiness, between you and vitality.
The joy, passion, and deep sense of connection that you knew as a child have never left you. Children exist in a natural state. You lost your connection when your true nature was engulfed in mist.
Disperse the fog of complexity, false beliefs, and useless lifestyle choices, and you will find that everything you've been looking for has been there all along.
Learn to meditate. Spend time each day sitting quietly. Connect with the treasure hidden within. That is where you will find everything you thought was missing in your life.
The joy you seek is still there, right where you left it
Being an adult can be quite difficult.
Faced with a boring and monotonous routine, an endless pile of bills to pay, and relentless demands on time and energy, it's all too easy to lose your joy, passion, and zest for life.
But there is good news.
What you are looking for is very much alive within you. It's still there, right where you left it.
Joy, passion, and vitality are natural attributes of your true nature. You discover them by removing the unnatural elements like hustle, stress, and complexity.
Use the 9 tips above to help you get there. And you never know?
You might find yourself doing a little sneaky dance on the office copier!
by Richard Paterson. Article in English