Ten (not so) simple ways to live a full life

1. Take a deep dive into your own heart. Dare to feel the depths of your emotions. Let joy wash over you like a tsunami wave. Let grief ooze out of every pore of your body. Be passionate and don’t apologize for your passion. Don’t be satisfied with life at the surface. Feel it, live it, be it.

2. Forgive more and forget more. You made a blunder and embarrassed yourself at a family dinner party? Forgive yourself. Forget it. Your partner overlooked your last anniversary? Forgive and then forget. Let go of the baggage that’s weighing you down.

3. Find someone you can trust and then lean in and trust them. Share the things that hurt you, whisper the deep and secret wishes of your heart, and let them see glimpses of your shadow and your brightest light. Trust that in their presence, you will not be judged.

4. Dare to be trustworthy. Be honourable for everyone you meet, but for a few select people (just enough not to burn you out with the giving), offer a place of great safety. Serve as a shelter for them, where vulnerability is welcome and weakness is handled tenderly. Be their lighthouse on a stormy ocean.

5. Tell more stories. Sit with your neighbours. Curl up on the couch with your best friend. Hang out in coffee shops. Talk to your taxi driver. Ask people to tell you the stories of their childhood, and then tell them yours. Create openings for storytelling in the most unlikely of places. Listen deeply and let the stories blossom under your care.

6. Live in community. Serve people and let them serve you. Dare to need people and let them know what you need. Be interdependent. Sit in circle and create spaces of trust and sharing.

7. Buy fewer things and give more away. Don’t listen to the advertisers who tell you that you can’t be happy without this year’s model. Make a choice to continue to take great delight in last year’s model. Give away the things you don’t need anymore. Live with less clutter and less attachment to material possessions.

8. Ask more questions.¬†Be curious about the world. Stare in wonder. Let the questions take you down paths you didn’t expect to take. Don’t rush to find the answers. Let the questions lead to more questions and more opportunities to exercise your curiosity.

9. Go for more walks. Experience your neighbourhood. Get lost in the woods. Stare at intricate leaf patterns. Stretch your muscles. Feel your body move down the path. Notice the sun on your face. Be present, be mindful.

10. Find practices that bring you delight and then do them regularly. Paint. Dance. Take photo walks. Run. Swim. Pray. Meditate. Knit. Visit bookstores. Go to the theatre. Travel. Do it, delight in it, and savour every minute.

 

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