I’ve been thinking about the things that are the most important to me – my values. My principles.
Why is it important to think about this? Because it helps you direct EVERYTHING else. If you don’t know who you are or what you want, you’re going to have a hard time figuring out what steps to take or where to go next.
It’s a pickle. And sometimes it’s really confusing because what is the most important thing to you? What do you really want?
I recall a conversation with someone about her daughter. Her daughter is living the life you might find on a celebrity reality show on the Bravo network. There’s a lot of flying around, shiny objects, and lavish parties. There’s a lot of rich boyfriends. By capitalist standards, at least on the outside, it’s the life of many dreams.
The woman said, “Wow! I wish I could be her!”
“I don’t!” I said, without missing a beat, “I like me. I like my life.”
The woman looked at me and paused. “Oh yeah. I guess that’s true…”
You see, I’ve seen the photos of that life. It’s not appealing. It looks… empty, hungry, and mindless. The beaches were empty – they felt lonely. Poses in the photos felt contrived, seeking approval, structured based on what others like. The parties (because I’ve been to some of those) are filled with drugs and alcohol to DULL experience and get you OUT of yourself. Because of these circumstances, the conversations with other people present reflect this.
That is NOT the life I want. In fact, it’s the opposite.What is the most important thing to you? What do you really want? Click To Tweet
My Lifestyle Design: The Life I Love
I love my son. I like to travel, but do I want to travel without my son all the time? No. I want to hang out with my kid and he likes being in our home community. My kid brings me joy EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I love hanging out with this guy. His imaginings are glorious and bring me delight. The way he tells people he appreciates them and encourages them melts my heart.
I like my parents being close and having a close relationship with my son. It’s a joy to have my kid so close to his grandparents. I love that he talks about his cousin being his best friend (keep in mind, the cousin in question is over three times his age!).
My journey through spiritual and personal development is a point of satisfaction. I appreciate how far I’ve come and it took all my experience to get to where I am. So I appreciate my journey. I love my journey. This journey is AWESOME-SAUCE!
I wouldn’t trade it.
There was a time earlier in my journey where I thought I wanted to be like that woman’s daughter. I was jealous of people who were living that lifestyle. How did it change? What happened?
I got clear on who I was and let that dictate the way I lived my life.
How to Love Your Life Now
No matter where you are in your journey, you can feel better about it NOW. The quick and easy way to feel good about your life IMMEDIATELY is mindfulness. I talked about that in this post here, and gave an exercise to practice mindfulness right where you are.
For a more substantial fix to help you love your life now, it’s important to practice acceptance, worthiness, and forgiveness.
Love Your Now with Acceptance
Building up an acceptance practice will completely transform how you feel about where you are now. It helps you embrace who you are, as you are, no matter what that means. There are a few different things you can do for acceptance (and for a complete transformation to embracing you, I recommend this), but one of the easiest is just this mantra: “I’m doing the best I can in the life I’m living.”
Just repeating that simple statement to yourself when you’re feeling “bleh” can make a huge difference.
Love Your Now with Worthiness
For even more amazing things in your life now, you can add some worthiness practices. An easy one is to indulge yourself once in a while. Make yourself a recurring “indulge me” date. It might seem a little silly, but trust me, it can really give you a boost and start you reframing things in a big way! To supercharge your worthiness practice, grab this here.
Love Your Now with Forgiveness
The final piece to loving your life now is adding forgiveness. When you combine acceptance and worthiness practices with forgiveness, real magic can happen.
This is because forgiveness allows you to let go of any emotional burdens you might be carrying and supercharges your mindfulness.
We all make mistakes at some point in our lives. Even when we have a “good head on our shoulders” we make mistakes. The key is learning how to use those to change your behavior moving forward. Just going through your day and when you (or someone else) make(s) a mistake saying “I forgive you” makes a huge difference! Think of it like a kind of emotional decluttering! That said, sometimes you need help with forgiveness. For those times, this workbook is perfect.Even when we have a “good head on our shoulders” we make mistakes. Click To Tweet
All this helps you get to a good place about now, and some of this will help you long term, but to get a life you love for the rest of your life, you need more.
Lifestyle Design to Love Your Life Forever
The most effective way to love your life is to get clear on who you are and what is important to you. It may seem like an overwhelming task for some, but for others it may be very clear cut and simple.
Some people may not have spent much time thinking about who they are and what they want. If you don’t know yourself this may take a bit of work. If, however, you’ve always been one for green living, for example, you’re already well on your way!
For me, it took a LOT of clean up and decluttering of OTHER people’s ideas and ways of being. I was really comfortable with my old ways of doing things, but because I hit a low point, I was able to get rid of them. They just weren’t working for me. I needed to scrap everything and build replacements.
Through self-assessments, journaling, taking classes and the like, I got clear about who I am and what I wanted. Anyone can do this with a little time and effort (in my case it took a couple years). To do it quickly in a BIG WAY, I really recommend getting a coach because they can help you with solid insights, plus strategies and tactics for overcoming obstacles, and building momentum.
With A Rebel Yell (The Counterculture of Lifestyle Design)
So you figured out who you are and what you want, but now there’s a second major hurdle. Sometimes culture doesn’t like it.
A lot of the principles I talk about on this blog are super counterculture. Like really.
Focusing on love? Everyone SAYS they believe in love, but most of them don’t actually want to follow through on that belief.
Think: zero waste, slow fashion, and fair labor laws? Maybe in theory. Start talking Black Lives Matter? Then people start unfriending and muting all over the place! But the real test comes when talking about STAYING friends with people… and forgiving them.
Yeah. I feel that stink-eye through the screen!
Living from love is hard to do when there are so many structures urging fear and shame. This world, as it is right now, is BUILT to foster negative feelings and experiences.Living from love is hard to do when there are so many structures urging fear and shame. Click To Tweet
Let me give you an example – herbal tea. I drink herbal tea because I love myself (coffee makes me feel bleh and caffeine does a number on me too).
Oh. My. God! Where can you get herbal tea?! It seems like it would be easy enough to find in restaurants, but it’s not. If you don’t drink caffeine or sugar, most restaurants have water and a lemon slice available. That’s it. While I love lemon water (and drink it daily) sometimes I just want hibiscus iced tea!
Now, I know where I can go to get this, but it’s more expensive than the caffeine/sugar options, and I have to go out of my way to find it.
That’s how you know something is counterculture – it’s hard to find.
Plant-based eating habits are another example of this. In the community where I live, there is one restaurant that serves the full range of vegan options for dinner. One. That’s it. And this is a tourist area where people are really health conscious (and claim to be ecologically minded).
Design Your Life, Honor You
And this is my point – when your principles are kindness, peace, and joy in a world that is focused on and structured for fear, carelessness, and chaos, it takes discipline to live your principles. It takes discipline to live in alignment with who you are.It takes discipline to live in alignment with who you are. Click To Tweet
And this is why despite whatever is going on outside of yourself, you build your structures and practices to support your principles. In short, you set it up, and let it run with minimal effort later!
This is why you live with intention – where every action, system, and process in your life aligns with your values. When this is true, how can you not LOVE your life? How can your life be anything LESS than ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for YOU?!
So yeah. I’m good. I love my life. I hope you love yours too.
Latest posts by Alexis Donkin (see all)
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- Lifestyle Design to Love Your Life (No Matter What!) - July 31, 2017