THE SECRET TO A FULFILLING LIFE - BREADTH OVER LENGTH
How full is your life? How many things, activities, meals do you participate in every day? And how many of those did you expand into and really absorb?
I know for me, everyday is full. To the brim.
Whether it’s a mixture of yin and yang or not, my days are scheduled within an inch of their life.
But a session last week with one my clients reminded me something.
(My clients teach me stuff all the time!)
Life isn’t about how many experiences you have, it's about the quality of the experiences.
And quickly moving from one thing to the next is a sure fire way to miss out on that feeling.
We’ve all heard the term quality over quantity in relation to material goods.
Invest more, get a greater return. Well that’s the idea anyway.
What if we adopted this thought process for experiences?
Instead of investing more money, we invested more of ourselves?
Would the return be greater?
You bet it would be!
Just like me, I know there are millions of people who find the need to fill our day. Whether it’s to justify your existence to yourself, because of FOMO, because you want to be popular or for whatever other nasty reason the ego decided to craft up and convince you to believe.
I know from my own experience that when I get into that pattern of ‘schedule, do, schedule, do’ I lead myself down a path of stress, overwhelm, anxiety, and poor health.
Life isn’t about how many boxes we checked along the way.
It’s about the way we feel moment to moment.
Everyday I see women become trapped in a outward seeking world that tells us that more is best. More holidays, bigger homes, bigger wardrobes, more exercise, more vegetables, new outfits, more children, more pets, more money. More more more.
We’re fed the story that ‘more’, will bring us closer to happy life.
But when we stop and connect to how we actually want to feel, we’re often surprised by what we find.
I’ve never had a client tell me that they want to feel like they have everything, that they’re rich, or that they’re popular. Because in most cases, that’s just a mask created by the ego to hide what they really want.
Yes they might want those things on the surface but when you dig deeper...
What they want is love, fulfilment, happiness, joy, purpose, deep inner connection.
And filling our lives with ‘more’ actually takes us further from that.
Instead, it’s about expanding into what already exists.
Soaking up each moment while you’re in it.
Appreciating the beauty within your life.
Noticing how you feel when you see your loved ones happy.
Connecting to how you feel when you do something that you love.
That's what life's about, and that's where the magic lies.
So how can you expand into your life, find more fulfilment, and opt out of the ‘more train?’
Here are my three steps to finding the beauty that already exists within your life. ..
Mindfulness is bringing your mind to the present moment and existing within that. Rather than allowing your mind to race between the past and the future, you become present in what exists in each moment.
This allows you to soak up the full beauty of what’s around you. Noticing things like the sounds of birds, the smell in the air, and really absorbing conversations on a deeper level.
To become more mindful take three deep breathes, focusing only on the air moving in and out of your nose.
Continue with your slow, mindful, deep breathing, and begin to notice the things around you.
Hear them, smell them, feel them. How do you feel?
Practice this daily when you feel your mind wandering away from the present moment. The more you do it, the more natural it will become.
Gratitude is the practice of giving thanks for what already exists within our life, and is the perfect follow on from mindfulness. Becoming aware of the richness of your life, will bring your mind to what you do have, rather than focussing on the next thing you want to do or acquire. (Do you see how mindfulness and gratitude work hand in hand?)
I recommend starting a daily gratitude practice. I like the Gratitude Journal App where you can set yourself reminders to stay on track and follow your progress, or you can also use your journal.
The key is write at least three things down everyday, even when it seems like you have nothing to be grateful for.
NOTE – A gratitude journal isn’t about choosing the things you are most grateful for. Rather, whatever comes to mind first. The true magic is when you begin to be grateful for your challenges too.
3. WHAT IS MOTIVATING THIS CHOICE? AND WILL IT BRING ME CLOSER TO HOW I WANT TO FEEL?
The intention behind why we do something holds a lot of weight in how our choices are executed. If you’re motivated by ego and outward seeking, you are more likely to experience the need for more. You’ll never feel you have enough.
Whereas if you are motivated by love, are present and practice gratitude, you will already feel fulfilled, and the choices you make will add to what already exists within your life.
Be brave enough to ask yourself ‘What is motivating the choices in my life? And will this bring me closer to how I want to feel?’ Extra points if you take the time to journal about this.