Learning to embrace life is one of the secrets to a happy and successful life. You can get totally caught up in the rush, routine, and demands of life. Or you can think that life is a bummer, that it’s a continuous struggle, and that moments of joy are few and far between. Or you can be on the roller coaster ride of life’s ups and downs, tedium, and short-lived thrills.
But as soon as you embrace life as a whole, it takes on new meaning and has the potential for magic and an abundance of good things without limit – as well as a steady flow of creative activities, personal expression, engagement in life, relationships, opportunities to learn and grow, and the simple joys of life being experienced.
Here are three ways to help you begin to embrace life and find the magic:
See the Perfection of Nature
Get out in nature and see its simple perfection. Notice the majesty and peace of trees, the amazing beauty of flowers, the grace of birds and how they fly easily without effort, and the wonder of blue sky, floating clouds, and warm sun. Notice the abundance and creativity of nature – how it grows, multiplies, expands, and adapts.
Every morning, I go for a brisk walk with two dogs in my suburban neighborhood, and I enjoy all the things in nature that I just mentioned, and if I’m awake and aware, I almost always see something new that I had not seen before. It might be a fox that crosses the street up ahead of us, a hawk circling overhead, the call of mourning doves, or leaves and blossoms bursting out in spring or changing colors and form in the fall.
Find moments every day to pay attention to nature because it shows us the natural world as it participates in the flow of Life itself.
Engage in Life
The best way to embrace life is to participate wholeheartedly in the living of it. Too often we treat many of life’s aspects as routine, unimportant, or a chore that we have to get through. But life is meant to be engaged and experienced.
Pay attention to what you are doing at the moment – see the detail and color and texture of the world around you, use all your senses, take an interest in other people and what they think, and listen to what they tell you both verbally and non-verbally. Accept the world for what it is and enjoy it for what it is.
Look at the what you are doing in the bigger scheme of things… Writing that business report has a purpose – for example to help other business managers understand and fix issues that will enable greater productivity. Doing that chore at home will make you and the rest of the household feel better about living in a clean home. Thanking others for what they do will make them feel appreciated. Value the context of life.
And find time to do what you love to do, whatever it is – read a good book, listen to your favorite music, make your own music, talk with close associates about your business ideas, dance, prepare a project plan, write a poem, enjoy that morning cup of coffee while scanning the paper, or sit and watch the sunset with your best friend.
See the Flow of Your Life
It is very easy to get caught up in the details and busyness of life and have your life lost in the blur. It helps to find a different perspective from which you can see the bigger picture of life, and then step back further to see its flow. I am talking not about the flow moment to moment, but the bigger flow from day to day, week to week, month to month, and year by year.
For most of us, it is only on when we are on vacation, or at school or family reunions, or reminiscing with long lost friends, when we allow ourselves to see the flow of our lives. But it needs to be more often.
I recommend the practice of “contemplative meditation” to make the time, even if it is only 10-15 minutes, and think about the flow of your life. By the way, I do my contemplative meditation in my morning walks and in the shower. But here are some things to contemplate: Are you moving in a direction that is good for you? Are you getting healthier or less healthy? Are you fully enjoying life or are you stressed out? If you’re not moving in the right direction, why is that? If you’re happy and growing and experiencing the life you desire, great! But if not, what can you do about it?
I suggest that you make choices about what you want in yourself and in your life, and write those things down in a brief bullet list. Then explore ways and take steps to make your choices come into being.
Embrace life as an expression of yourself and creation of your life, and you will find that you begin to bring your new self and your new life into reality!