"There is no love; there is only proof of love."
- Pierre Reverdy
In other words, no matter what you feel in your heart, your loved ones only see your actions. This week, I'm betting you'll have plenty of opportunities to put your love into action.
Be intentional. Identify three people you love.
Now for each person, commit to a "quickie" action to show your love. This might be a phone call, a hug, a surprise note, a smile... anything that moves your love from an inner feeling to an outer expression!
How does this change your experience of love?
P.S. How is your 5-minute daily silent stillness experiment going?
If you are acting on it, what are your observations?
If you are not acting on it but thought about doing it, gently ask yourself: What is keeping me from trying this out? Aside from lack of time, is there anything else that might be getting in the way?
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!
I AM THANKFUL FOR YOU.
My yoga teacher said something this morning that still rings in my ears:
Wow, what a concept! As soon as I got home, I hunted down a Sharpie and scribed EXIST MORE on my forearm. (This is my typical modus operandi for ideas that intrigue me. Maybe a little weird, but I'm okay with it.)
The obvious question surfaced as I absorbed my inked arm. How?
As technology improves, our capabilities to connect with the external world increase across time and space. I believe the reverse holds true in our day-to-day realities; our connections to ourselves and to our experiences have diminished.
I imagine our ancestors, tracking animal prints and smelling out poisonous plants, attuned to every twig snap and shift in the winds. Their senses were tools of survival.
Today, while our senses unarguably keep us alive, the sharp edges of our tools have dulled. Unless we're questioning the milk's drinkability or waiting to yell "surprise!", we rarely place laser-like focus on any of our five senses.
I believe to exist more we need to experience more. I don't mean add more experiences to the calendar. To the contrary, I'm talking about experiencing all there is to savor in each moment.
And to experience each moment more fully, we must sharpen the tools we were given to do just that. Reconnecting with our senses in this more evolved age will take us beyond surviving, to thriving.
And there's that question again: How?
It's simple, and requires just 5 minutes daily.
We are given 1,440 minutes each and every day to use however we choose. Are you willing to gift just FIVE of those minutes to you, yourself, and only you? That's 1/3 of 1% of your entire day. (Can't help it... I used to be a CPA.)
Let's make this interesting. Hear the drum roll?...
I challenge you (and me) to be alone, silent, and still for 5 minutes each day for the next 7 days. Simple as that.
1. Remove yourself from your external world.
2. Find a comfy seated position (hips higher than the knees please!).
3. Set a friendly-sounding timer.
4. Be perfectly still.
5. Close your eyes.
6. Observe 3 slow, deep breaths.
7. Scan your body for sensations (temp, tingles, lightness, anything).
There's no right or wrong way to do this. Your mind will wander, guaranteed. No judgment, no worries! Simply acknowledge the wandering and bring your awareness back inside.
How many in this community will EXIST MORE - together - this week? Are you up for some simple self-experimenting?
Post your commitment, questions, and experiences here so that others may benefit. I can't wait to see what you discover!
[Gratitude to Bryan Carey, founder of Patanjali's Place, for sharing his wisdom with me once again.]
The term happy is generic and somewhat ambiguous. One click reveals at least 15 different definitions. Yet, the concept of happy has extraordinary significance.
"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence." - Aristotle
Think about a desire you have right now... any desire. Maybe you want your child to get over that sore throat. Maybe you want to win the lottery. Maybe you want your co-worker to stop blabbering so you can read this post.
Now ask yourself WHY you want what you want.
If we keep asking and keep digging, eventually we all unearth the same core desire - to be happy. And most of us, about 85%, declare ourselves "very happy" or "pretty happy" (all stats from The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin).
And yet, I sense a haze of discontent in many of you. As the daily routine repeats itself, you crave something more or sense something is missing.
Deep down, you know you could be happier somehow.
I recognize the feelings in you because the same feelings were so much a part of me. Certainly there was plenty in my life to be happy about, but I didn't feel my life had deep meaning and I wasn't having fun doing what I was doing.
And then I took action - and everything changed. I feel aligned, purposeful, and excited to be alive (even when circumstances just plain suck).
Research shows that although half a person's propensity for happiness is genetic and another 10-20% is circumstantial, the remainder is a product of how a person thinks and acts. Thus, being happier is an attainable goal.
We also know that people are more likely to succeed when goals are broken down into smaller, tangible action steps within a structure of accountability and positive reinforcement.
And fear not, selfless ones - putting your focus on being happier isn't just about you! Happy people are more altruistic, more resourceful, more resilient, more productive, healthier, and friendlier.
So when you are happier, you are a better partner, a better parent, a better worker, a better friend!
Life is too amazing to not be 100% happy living it. If you'd like to experience more joy in each moment instead of floating through a fog of responsibilities as the days whiz on by, consider investing in yourself.
Whether it's me or someone else, find an objective third-party to support you in clearing away the fog and integrating authentic happiness into your work and your life.
Send me an email if you're interested in a free consultation. We will talk about your unique situation, and come up with some quick strategies you can use to fully experience more of what life has to offer.
"It is in self-limitation that a master first shows himself." - J.W. von Goethe
What do you think of when you read this quote?
For me, it's food. For you, it may be alcohol, smoking, gambling, etc. But what about the more mental/spiritual stuff?
Never want to stop eating homemade sushi!
In your relationships, how could you apply this idea of self-limitation? In what ways might you integrate some self-discipline in your expressions with others?
Let me give you an example from my life. When I meet a new person, I get excited to connect.
But here's the ugly part... my desire to connect sometimes translates into a desire to show them how great I am. (Please accept me, new person!)
This ego-driven desire to be accepted results in a propensity to interrupt what the other person is saying. (A wise and trusted friend actually pointed this out for me... thank you!!!) As you may have guessed, interrupting a new acquaintance has an adverse effect, and definitely is not a trait I want to foster.
Thus, self-limitation for me in that moment might be to stop talking and start listening with genuine curiosity. This action aligns with my deeper desire to connect with this new person authentically, which adds a lot more value to both our lives - and sounds a lot more "masterful," right?
How could you apply this quote to be a master in your life?
What baby step will you take today to experiment with self-limitation? (Remember - just a BABY step! You have plenty of time to take another step after that!)
As always, we want to hear what you are thinking. Please take a minute to share your thoughts and experiences with the community.