Life can be lived in a comfort zone or more out on the edge. You can play it safe or test yourself in the rough waters of life. Which do you think would be more fun and more energizing?
The following are twelve ways to stir up your life, give you more spunk, bring more happiness and let your heart shine out into the world. There are also recommended readings for further exploration of each way.
1. Don’t be so groovy – It is easy to fall into the deep groove of habits and the familiar. You can break out of a rut by always changing things up. Try doing something different each day. Leave old limiting habits behind. Climb out of your deep habit groove and look around. See the bright possibilities of living each day fresh and new, guided by the moment. (Hypnotizing Maria – Richard Bach)
2. Try being a non-conformist – Figure out your own brand of how to do life. If people do it one way, find your own way of doing it. The key here is that you are not “anti” how things are done, you are “pro” your uniqueness. What has power is doing your own thing, making life happen your way. You can also explore less doing and more being. (The Art Of Non-Conformity a blog by Chris Guillebeau http://chrisguillebeau.com/)
3. Question everything – Questioning all your thoughts and beliefs is essential for creating an amazing life. There is nothing more limiting in your life than your thoughts and beliefs. You hold yourself back by not examining how you think and talk to yourself. Too often self-talk is critical and habitual. Beliefs are even more ingrained and many are not even true. Both beliefs and thoughts are not real. They are just words you give meaning to. Questions can set you free. (Awaken: 100 Questions To Expand Your Mind and Open Your Heart – Joseph Bernard )
4. Seek your truth above all – This truth seeking sometimes takes lots of courage because your truth will be unique and different than many around you. No one can tell you what your truth is. Many want you to believe as they do, but that will never work, if you want to be happy and at peace with yourself. Hunting for your truth is a life long journey filled with many insights, lots of growth and the gaining of true wisdom. (The Untethered Soul – Michael Singer)
5. Express your heart and let it guide you – Following your heart is a very fulfilling way to live. You can live in love in everything you do. Your heart will guide you on how to spread love through acts of compassion, kindness and caring. When you give lots of love, love comes back to you in wonderful ways. Your capacity to love is infinite. See how much love you can share every day. (A Path With Heart – Jack Kornfield or A Return to Love – Marianne Williamson)
6. Follow your creative urges – You are a creative being. As a child you were endlessly creative in your play. If that creativity got lost, it is time to find it. Tune in to the urges in you to express yourself in creative ways. You can be creative in parenting, in your job, writing love poems, designing/inventing, brainstorming, doing abstract art, doing a funny presentation and so many other possibilities. If you need some paints, tools, pads, etc go pick them up this weekend and get started. (The Artist Way – Julia Cameron)
7. Simplify – This is a stripped down version of life where you explore the bare essentials. You need sustenance and shelter and of course love. You can live in Yurt and have a garden. Explore all kinds of things for free. You can meditate, live in close contact with nature and your soul. You can grow through awareness, mindfulness and reading books from the local library. You could live in silence, or be in touch with the world through the web. Keeping it simple makes being present to life much easier. (You will appreciate this blog post at Zen Habits http://zenhabits.net/simple-living-manifesto-72-ideas-to-simplify-your-life/)
8. Follow your bliss – Most know that Joseph Campbell suggested this idea to all of us. The point is, if you tune in and see what makes you happy, what makes you feel most alive, what fills you full of energy for living, then you know what to do. If singing, teaching, creating, or giving makes you feel energized and alive, then that is what you do with your life. Bliss simply means you are following what makes your heart sing. (Anam Cara – John O’Donahue)
9. Live only in the now – Of course this is the only place you can live but the human mind can keep you stuck in the past or worrying about the future. Now is where all the fun is and where everything you could ever want exists. Living in the now takes focusing your mind on being fully present to whatever you are thinking or doing. With practices like meditation, yoga, and mindfulness, living in the now comes much easier. The benefits of living in the present are endless. (Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle)
10. Move towards freedom – This is about setting yourself free. You come into this world free but the circumstances of life complicate things. Soon you get caught up in the outer world. It is easy to forget how wonderful freedom felt. If you live with the idea that freedom matters to you, you will shape your life in ways that set you free. You can be free in your mind, free in your heart and free to have an amazing life. (Illusions – Richard Bach)
11. Live in appreciation – If you appreciate yourself and all of life, you will feel great. Appreciation and gratitude are states of mind that create more reasons to have appreciation and gratitude. If you want to be happy, living in appreciation will make that happen. You can appreciate beauty, kindness, opportunities, quiet moments, love, all you have, people who inspire you and so much more. When you live with appreciation as your focus, you will live each day filled with awe and wonder about how beautiful your life is. (Purchase a notebook and create your own appreciation journal. Each day write down at least 5 things, people, or situations you appreciate.)
12. Let the Universe Guide – You have available to you all the guidance you will ever need to create the most wonderful life. The voice of the Universe can be heard through your intuition, your higher mind and the quiet wise voice of your soul. All you have to do is listen inward and be open to the guidance that is always available to you. Let your soul show you the way to the highest realization of who you can be. There is no greater way to live than to be guided by the highest consciousness of the Universal mind. (Be Here Now – Ram Dass)
You shape all of life with your choices. The extraordinary ways above offer you many options for expanding your life in amazing ways. The books, blogs, suggested journaling and your intuition will help deepen any of these paths that call you.
Summer, by the way, is a wonderful time of year for exploring more of what life has to offer. Exploring seems easier and more fun the day is bright.