In our hectic everyday life it is often so easy to lose sight of oneself and of the bigger picture of life. We run around to work, to shop, to eat, to take care of this and that…run, run, run! But stop – stop for a moment and look around you.
Have you seen the beautiful sky today? Have you enjoyed another person’s smile? Have felt your heart beat and your breath move through your body?
Even though many of us feel that our life pushes and pulls on us constantly, it is actually not life, but we who keep doing the pushing and pulling. At any time it is within our control to do or not do something…even when we think it is a must.
So in today’s article I want to just relax with you, unwind and talk about why we feel we need all these “I have to’s” and how to slow down our lives a little from these and just enjoy a little more of the beauty of life, our world and our being.
But “I Have To…!”
I know for many this topic comes at a time when life probably picked up its pace and quite a bit at that. With back to school, come many more anxious parents, many new stresses, lunches to pack, kids to drive and the list goes on. But there is still the same amount of hours in the day. So what is one to do?
See, what many of us do not realize is we feel that we “must” do these “things” or else? Or else the world as we know it is going to collapse. Is it really – of course not! But that is how many of us see it.
Our lives seem to be filled with so many “I have to’s” that we often do not realize that most of them WE put there ourselves and can just as easily take out – if we choose to of course. The problem for most, is that as with any routine, we get so used to it and so caught up in it that we do not remember life any other way and definitely cannot fathom the idea of not doing these “things”.
Remember also what happens to “routines” – they force us to go on a sort of “auto-pilot” or better known as “unconscious living“.
In reality there really are no “I have to’s”. At this point you may be thinking “yeah right”, because thoughts of “I have to go to work”, “I have to feed my kids”, “I have to clean the house”, “I have to…” bombard your mind.
Well, to begin the explanation, do not think that I casually forgot that if we do not eat, we die (as we commonly know it) and the consequences of other important tasks. Naturally, I will be the first to tell you that part of living in this physical realm is that there are certain consequences for every action.
Now mind you some enlightened yogis will tell you how they go weeks without eating and not “die”, but we are going to look at the general person here to facilitate the discussion for the majority.
The truth is that yes, we “should” eat and we probably have to work and wash ourselves and clean our house…etc. But there are two things that have happened to most of us that have turned these into onerous chores:
1) We forgot how to enjoy the tasks, activities, functions, etc., of everyday life
2) We do many things for the WRONG reasons, unconsciously
Do you remember when you were a little child, the excitement you had when you looked at adults? I am going to stereotype a little here when I say, if you were a little girl do you remember how excited you were to meet the love of your life, to have your fairytale wedding and babies to take care of? How about when you were a little boy, do you remember getting excited by driving around, being just like your Dad and going to work, being independent?
So what happened to all that excitement? Are most of us not living out our child hood dreams? And if your answer is no, then why not? Where and how did we lose sight of all that is enjoyable to us and for us?
Ah, you may say, “well reality kicked in”. But what exactly is that? Were you forced to get married? Were your forced to have children? Were you forced to buy a house with 4 bedrooms plus 2 dogs?
For most of us of course, the answers to the above are all “no”.
Then why are we not enjoying the daily tasks of life? Why are most of us digging ourselves into too much and dreading it all?
I cannot answer that for you, only you know the answer to that and I can only offer you some guidance to find your way back to enjoying your creations.
I encourage you thus today, to look into the faces of your precious children, hug them and kiss them with all your presence and appreciate that you have created the gift for yourself to take care of them.
I encourage you today to look around your workplace, take a deep breath and be grateful for the job that you have, that can provide for you things in life that others cannot have.
I encourage you today to step into your house and clean it with passion, pride and appreciation for the beautiful creation that you have brought forth, while others sleep in the streets.
Doing Things for the Wrong Reasons
Okay, so perhaps you did not lose or forget your enjoyment of the daily tasks in life, perhaps you never really liked them or were at ease with them to begin with.
Many of us go through life in a very unconscious manner and then one day we wake up and realize that the passion, the spark and the vibrancy of life is gone.
Did you marry out of convenience, is that why today your partner seems to be more of a nuisance than a gift?
Did you have kids because you thought “that was what you were supposed to do” or “because everybody else was doing it?” Is that why today you feel you lost your freedom?
Did you seek that promotion because your ego got the better of you? Is that why today you snap at your employees and barely get a chance to see your family?
The point is all of us and I do mean all of us have and make choices every day. The reason however why all of the choices we make do not lead to bliss, is because many of us make the choices we make out of unconsciousness which usually gets fueled by influence from others.
So if you find yourself in such a situation, first and foremost know that it is never too late to change your life around. Everyday you wake up, you have the power and the creative force through your choices of what you will do and think that day. Anyone and everyone has the potential to change the worst of situations, into the best of situations.
Simply start by finally living life for yourself out of conscious intent, based on what makes sense to you and your being and you will be amazed at the pace your life takes and at the instantaneous peace that takes over. It really is that easy, we just have to break the auto-pilot routine and think and act out of consciousness.
Relax and Enjoy Today, A Little More
The most important thing, I think that I am trying to share with you is that living life by checking off tedious “to do’s” is no way to live for anyone. Usually this leads to nothing more than drained, grumpy, indifferent and burnt out people. Look around, do you know anyone like that?
You may think that being some “super mom, husband, worker, etc…” is the way to go, but really you are not doing anybody any favors. Unless we are truly content, we really do not have much to give or share with others.
Hence it is therefore so, so important to take some time for yourself to just relax, get away from all your “I have to’s” and all your so called “to do’s” and connect with who you truly are.
Think about how much more patient you would be with your kids. Think about how much more loving you would be with your spouse. Think about how much more of a productive worker you would be. Bottom line – just think about how much higher your level of enjoyment of life would be!
We all need to take some time out for ourselves whether you have 10 minutes or an hour. In order to better appreciate what it in front of you and enjoy life a little more, there are many things you can do.
Here are 5 ways to relax and unwind to enjoy life a little more:
1. Take a walk, do some yoga or some other form of low-impact exercise.
Activities like this always get our endorphins flowing, releasing stress and making us feel better. The reason too I say low impact, is because the point of this is to relax, not tire yourself out even more.
Probably one of the best tools for truly relaxing and unwinding is just to sit in a comfortable place by yourself and let all thoughts flow away from you. Meditation is excellent for achieving this, but if you are not sure how to do it or are comfortable with it, simply reflect on your life, self, etc. in your own presence.
3. Listen to pleasant/peaceful music
One of the most pleasant things in this world to any human is music. It can truly bring out in us so many emotions, thoughts, reflections, etc. Whether on its own or combined with any of the above activities, music can greatly ease our sense of anxiety and calm our spirit.
4. Pamper yourself with a treatment
Whether it is a massage, a facial or a foot soak, both men and women alike can greatly benefit from being pampered in some way. So go ahead, stop waiting for that “one day” and book yourself a relaxing treatment. Your body and mind will both thank you.
5. Breathe and look around
There really is nothing simpler than that. Even if you only have 5 minutes, just stop whatever it is you are doing and thinking about and just take a few deep breaths. Deeper breathing provides not only a calming, but also a cleansing effect for our body, mind and spirit. And no matter where you are at any point of your day, just look around and take in the world around you.
Perhaps you are stuck in a car in traffic – take a deep breath as you look up at the sky. Perhaps you are standing over a sink washing dishes – take a deep breath and feel the cleansing water trickling over your fingers. Even if you are in a room with people you would rather not be – acknowledge and appreciate their differences, for without them you would not know, who and how you want to be.
Have a beautiful day!