I have been thinking a lot lately on what kind of life I want to live. Though I am not 100% sure of exactly how yet, these 3 words keep on popping up in my mind. A simple, peaceful and flowing kinda of life.
Have you been feeling that you need to slow things down a bit? Have you been searching for ways to be at peace with yourself, relax and enjoy life a little more? I know I have! So here is a list of things that I have realized that is important to live a peaceful life.
Doing something you love
Not sure what that is just yet? Experiment. Try out new things. For a few years I struggled finding something I like to do other than my daily job. A true hobby other than doing my nails all the time ( LOL), not that doing your nails can’t be a fun and creative thing to do. But I was searching for something else. It took me a few years to figure out what I was interested in and finally I discovered that I love writing and practicing yoga. If you are unsure what you love to do, I suggest making a list and going at it by trial and error. Here are a few ideas: creative writing, cooking, painting, knitting, hiking, yoga, sports clubs, fishing, playing an instrument, body-building, taking dance lessons… and the list goes on. It doesn’t have to be something you are good at. As long as it makes you happy and you feel inspired by it.
Keeping it simple
Look at the simple side of things. They don’t always have to be complicated. You can enjoy life in everyday little things. It is the little things make up the big ones, so if we find pleasure in doing the simple daily things, we will find ourselves happier and more content on the big scale.
When I decided to move to Europe from Canada, I was forced to de-clutter. There were only certain items, mainly clothes, that I could bring with me. I sold some things, gave some to friends and to charity. It was a bit of a painful experience, it felt like I was giving my whole life away. However something unexpected happened, I felt lighter. I felt less attached to material things. I could now concentrate on more meaningful things like relationships with others and with myself. It has been 5 years now since I first started de-cluttering, and I still practice it. Every 6 months or so, I re-evaluate what I have, and what I need. Because what I realized is the things I want are not always the things I need.
Scheduling “me time”
Sometimes all we need is a calm moment during the day with a nice warm cup of our favorite tea. Or be it 5-10 min of meditation. Or practicing our favorite sport or activity. I find it very important to have time to myself. Time to get grounded.
For me it’s sitting out in my garden with a big cup of tea, enjoying the morning sun and just watching the trees or gazing at the ocean. It’s also my Catdays. Days that are dedicated to me. Days that I take care of myself. My Catdays, Sundays, are my favorite day of the week, because I have decided that they are me days. I usually do not make any plans with friends on this day. It is my day. If it is not possible for you to take a full day for yourself, then how about scheduling a few hours a week?
Writing it down
Why not? Get it out and down on paper. It can be in a journal, a song, a poem or even just point form. If you need inspiration why not have a look at the “Quotes” section on pinterest and write the ones that fit with you. When we write our thoughts down, things that bother us, or even things we are grateful for, it liberates us. I feel so much lighter after I have put my thoughts down on paper, it is a great form of release and I love reading what I wrote again a few months later.
Getting proper shut eye
Our body and mind needs rest. If we don’t get proper sleep it can affect how we react to certain situations and not to mention the effect it has on our energy levels and our well-being. Turn off the computer and put away the android and set yourself a “peaceful sleep time” that wont be disturbed . Get yourself at least 7 to 8hrs of sleep. For me sleep is the most important thing. I need a lot of it to feel refreshed and to have a positive outlook on life. I also recommend going to bed a bit earlier and waking up earlier. Also waking up at the same time every day helps keep you balanced. I know this is not always possible for everybody because of job situations, or just plainly not everyone is a morning person, but maybe going to bed 1 hour earlier and then waking up 1 hour earlier could be just what you need.
Learning to say no
Saying no isn’t always an easy thing to do. Actually it is one of the things that I struggle a lot with. It is hard to say no because sometimes in doing so other people will be disappointed or think of it as being selfish. However we can’t do everything, and we sometimes have to choose. It is important to prioritize the things that are important to you and to your flow of life. Saying no is a healthy way of being true to yourself and your limits.
When the time comes where you find it difficult to say no, keep this thought in mind: “When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.”
Accepting the annoying little voice in your head and then let it go
Don’t fight it, don’t judge it, just observe it and accept it. And then let it go. Breathe in new energy and then breathe out the bad ones. To help you with this I suggest meditation or yoga. Or just taking in 5 deep breaths. Sometimes that’s all you need.
Following your heart
Be who you are, follow your heart and listen to your intuition. You know the answer deep down inside of you. You always know best. You don’t have to follow everyone else’s path or everyone else’s expectations of you. When I think about living a peaceful life, I think of being more myself. Listening to what I really want and being true to myself by simply being me!
This is a great quote: “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of someone else.”
Don’t sweat the small stuff, it is all small stuff
Ask yourself, will this situation, or problem matter 6 months, 1 year or 10 years from now? Shit happens, but it’s the way we react and perceive it that matters. Turning inwards and realizing that solely you are responsible for your feelings is a complicated thought. Our reactions to bad situations are mostly quick, unconscious and we tend to blame others and situations for the way we feel. It’s time to take responsibility for our reactions and the way we feel. We are the only ones responsible for the way we feel.
When you are faced with something difficult, irritating or stressful just remember “This to shall pass”.
Stop resisting life. Stop resisting what happens and start accepting your situation and the flow of your life. I’m not saying here that you have to accept and then do nothing about it. What I am saying, is that once you accept what is as it is, there is a shift in perspective, a chance to see things in a positive light, there is a space created for you to see things more clearly and then opportunity arises for you to change the things you can change. There will always be things in life we cannot control, that we cannot change, so why fight it? As soon as we make the conscious decision to accept it, we immediately become free of it. And by doing so, your life flow is able to continue just the way you want it.
Practice being grateful everyday. Ask yourself what you are grateful for. Why not make a list of the things you are grateful for? I found in doing so, it helped keep me in check with what is important in my life. In addition it helped me appreciate what I have.
In the process of trying to find my simple, peaceful, flowing life, I had to first be aware of my current lifestyle. Then I had to decide how I wanted to live a new, more peaceful life, and then once that was determined, I had to take action and align my activities and my daily routine with how I wanted things to be. Keep in mind that this is a process and that things just don’t happen to be peaceful the next day because you said you will be more peaceful. It takes a conscious effort on your part. Little steps, little changes everyday.
It is possible! You just have to want it!
Lots of love,