Last month, we began exploring tips to help you create a magical life outside of work. The purpose of this series is to create a stress-free, debt-free lifestyle, full of meaning and purpose, family, friends and fun.
During the first week, I did a Webinar, called 7 Principles to Create a Magical Life Outside of Work.
For week two, we broke down the First Principle, sharing 12 Pieces of Advice to Think Bigger.
Moving through the third week, we took a closer look at the Second Principle which was: Take 3 Small Steps Every Day Toward Creating a Magical Life.
Then last week, we looked at the Third Principle, 3 Ways to Let Go and Grow.
Today is designed to be less heavy and more fun. We often times over-analyze and over-think things. Perhaps a little too much. We experience gridlock and don’t know where to go. I am guilty of this too.
It is during these times you’ll want to breathe fresh air into your life.
Here are nine simple activities that will help you accomplish exactly that.
Activity #1 – Drive with the Windows Down
Have you ever seen a dog hanging his head out the window? The joy in his face is remarkable. He has no cares and no worries. Even though he gets an occasional gnat in the eye.
Roll your windows down. Take a deep breath. Allow the fresh air to rejuvenate your body and your life.
Don’t worry about your hair blowing around. Don’t worry about what happened before you got in the car. Just enjoy the moment.
Activity #2 – Go For a Walk
In 2014, I went on a Pilgrimage across Spain. This was a trek expanding over 400 miles. It was a journey of the soul and deep self-reflection. This journey was documented in Riding the Camino Dragon. I chose that title for my book because Dragons are dreams. We often times fear our dreams. I know – I sure did. There is that great quote from Game of Thrones, ‘The Brave Men Didn’t Kill the Dragons; The Brave Rode Them.”
The purpose of that pilgrimage was to face my fear and my dream; my dragon. The book is about riding that dragon. That pilgrimage did not stop in Spain.
You are on Pilgrimage right now. As am I.
The definition of a Pilgrimage is to seek out our best selves.
We do this every single day. It is a journey of purpose; A journey of meaning.
A walk is easy. It gets your body moving. It can still your mind.
Create a moving meditation. Use this time to ‘zone out.’
It’s during walks such as these that I discover spurts of energy, new ideas, the direction my book needs to go or a new way I can spoil my husband. You don’t even have to schedule extra time to walk if you don’t have time right away. Simply park your car at the end of the parking lot when running errands and use that time. Take an extra lap around the grocery store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Activity #3 – Have a Picnic
Pack some sandwiches and a couple apples and invite a friend out for a picnic. Find a park with a bench or lay out a blanket. There are shady trees or picnic benches or rivers all over. Enjoy being outside with someone you enjoy.
If the time doesn’t work out with your friend – no problem. Just take yourself and enjoy the sacred time doing this special activity. See the strength and resilience in nature. Appreciate flowers, admire the colors of the grass, the hardiness in the park of the trees and sturdiness of the rocks. Find rejuvenation in what you experience.
If you enjoy it – look for new parks and new places to picnic.
Activity #4 – Belly Breathe
I remember reading a study conducted about fewer days spent at the hospital during trauma. The article reinforced those who healed more quickly had a tendency to belly breathe.
Most of us are shallow breathers. We breathe in and we breathe out. Maybe a second or so at a time.
By belly breathing, you mindfully fill your lungs with air until your belly expands. Slowly, let it out. Controlled and deliberate. Do this again and again. For a few minutes, if possible.
What you may discover is this can require a lot of focus. Then the worries and other things bothering you may begin to feel less significant. Belly breathing not only has the potential to help you heal faster like the study mentioned in regard to patients in the hospital, it also helps us to let go of sweating the small stuff.
Let’s be honest… most of our worries are small stuff. Only 5% of what we worry about actually happens.
Activity #5 – Read a Book Outdoors
Invest in your mind at the same time as breathing fresh air into your life. Choose a book – fiction or nonfiction – and find a comfy spot outdoors. You can accompany this activity with a walk, a picnic or a small hike. You can find an outdoor table at a coffee shop or hang out in your back yard.
Activity #6 – Visit a Farmers Market
There is no shame in supporting our local produce-growers. If you are trying to eat a little healthier anyway or are looking for something to do, this is a great way to get out and about while learning what’s in season. This could inspire you to begin cooking and you never know who you’ll meet.
Don’t be afraid to smile and say hi to people. The fruit and vegetables are often perfectly ripe. Just like you – quality cannot be understated in people nor in our diet.
Activity #7 – Enjoy the Moon
You may have seen one of my social media posts from 3:00 a.m. this morning. There was a full moon and I was wide awake. Perhaps due to the energy of the moon, I often times struggle to sleep when the moon is full.
Last night, however, I put it to good use. I opened the window and let the light stream in. Enjoying the beauty of the light, I got my yoga mat and proceeded to enjoy a 30 minute yoga session in the moonlight. Yes, I realize I’m 9 months pregnant but that didn’t stop me (although I may have looked ridiculous).
When I finished, I wasn’t quite sleepy. I made some tea and sat in a comfy chair, looking into the yard. Then spent some time meditating.
The funny part, is when I went back to sleep and woke up, I was more rejuvenated than I had been in a long time. It definitely helped me blow fresh air into my life.
You don’t need to wait for the next full moon to enjoy it either. Just as we go through cycles in our life, we can appreciate whatever cycle the moon is experiencing at any given time as well. Just as we can appreciate each sunrise – appearing unique and lovely. Just as we can appreciate each sunset with varying colors and shadows that calm the earth in preparation for nighttime.
Activity #8 – Climb a Tree
When was the last time to gave this a try?
Even stepping on a branch or two and lifting yourself a foot or two higher than you normally stand will change your perspective. A flood of childhood memories and magic rushes in and greets your day. Notice the feel of the bark, the smell of the leaves.
Even in something as simple as this, the feelings and experience can be so rich.
Activity #9 – Grow an Herb Garden
If that Farmer’s Market inspires you to begin cooking, perhaps an herb garden will too.
Cooking is such a gift. It’s a gift to your loved ones and to yourself.
Learning to create nutritious meals that honor your body and your spirit definitely breathes fresh air into life.
I didn’t always cook. It took me time and energy and effort to learn it’s important. Once I resolved to the fact this was a skill I wanted – honestly making the decision to learn to cook was the hardest part.
The process of cooking has been such a gift. I have found great joy in treating my loved ones to nutritious and tasty meals. I now enjoy the challenge of a new recipe. The ritual of having a glass of wine as I pull out a variety of fresh ingredients and create something new is fantastic. (True, I’ve been depriving myself of that glass of wine for the past 9 months – but I’m looking forward to that next glass of fine wine at some point).
These activities are less heavy and more fun. Don’t over-analyze or over think them.
Let go of the gridlock in your life and breath fresh air into your life.
Which activity will you do first?
Categories: Finding Happiness