Do you want to live your most natural life? What does that even mean? To me, living a natural life means living in a way that aligns to my values, morals, interests and talents. It means going WITH the flow of my feelings, desires and natural tendencies, not forcing myself to go against them.
My journey towards really living my own natural life started abruptly. In May of 2011, without much warning, I resigned from my cubicle job…the one I had assumed I would someday retire from. While it was terrifying to do, it was so much more appealing than picturing myself sitting there for more than 20 years waiting until retirement age.
I know not everyone can, or would even want to, quit a day job, but every single person can choose to put more focus on creating a lifestyle that is more in harmony with those natural tendencies. The key to remember is this: Where focus goes, energy flows and results follow. So if you want to have a more natural-to-you lifestyle, start tuning in and creating it!
Start making time to take care of yourself!!!!
Taking care of yourself is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things you can do to create a happy and healthy life. Women are great about caring for everyone else, but we often ignore our own needs, wants and longings. Having that frame of mind is not helpful.
Think of it this way… You have to be happy and healthy in order to care for everyone else in the best possible way, right? Once you begin being kind to your body, honoring your feelings and acknowledging your dreams and desires, you will bloom!
Here are three ways to get started with self-care.
1. Create a morning “inventory” practice.
Simply start being more mindful of your thoughts and feelings. Try to take just 5-10 minutes every morning and every evening to sit quietly and “take inventory.”
- How does your body feel? Are you achy? Hungry? Tired? Are you relaxed, or do you notice any tenseness? Can you relax the tenseness you notice?
- Once you get more relaxed physically, allow your mind to wander. What does it think about? Are you worried about something? Excited? Nervous? Do you feel silly doing this?
- Think of 3-5 things you are grateful for and really spend some time appreciating those things. If you are alive and breathing, there is always something to be grateful for, even if it is difficult to see at first.
As you go about your usual routine, try to be mindful of what you are doing, how you are feeling, and how your body tenses or relaxes with each task. Instead of rushing through each task, try to really be involved in each one fully.
Think about what you are doing. Why are you doing it? Does it give you pleasure or is it something you dislike? If you aren’t enjoying it, is there some way to make doing this task more pleasurable? If it is a challenging task physically or mentally, allow yourself to feel grateful that your body and/or mind can complete the task. Appreciate your ability.
2. Nurture your body with water, vegetables and fruit.
- Drink more water! Our bodies need water to thrive. Carry a refillable water bottle with you everywhere. You can still drink your favorite beverage throughout the day, just get into the habit of always taking a drink of water before each sip of your beverage.
- Find ways to add more plants to your diet. Vegetables and fruit are packed with nutrients and lower in calories than other food choices. Add a salad before your meal, or a green smoothie full of vegetables. If you aren’t a fan of eating vegetables, do an internet search for “ways to get more vegetables in your diet when you don’t like vegetables” and follow some of the suggestions until you find a few that you can do on a regular basis.
- Consider mixing vegetables in with the meals you already eat by adding similar texture and shaped vegetables for other ingredients. For example, when you have a rice dish, take half the amount of rice and add riced cauliflower to make it a full serving. If you make sloppy joes, use half the ground beef and add some cooked lentils to complete the amount needed.
3. Appreciate and activate your physical abilities.
- No matter how fit…or not fit…your body is, be grateful for the physical vessel you are living in. Whatever your physical abilities are, create a practice of moving regularly in any ways you can throughout the day. Stretch, dance, walk, bend, twist, clap, kick…whatever gets your parts moving and your blood pumping!!!
- Breathe deeply and often. Breath is SO important…moreso than food or water or movement. Without oxygen, our body will cease to exist very quickly. Most of us take breath for granted, when we should take time a few times each day to just focus on breathing DEEPLY and slowly while we consciously relax any muscles we are holding tensely.
- Laugh. Regularly and often. Find the joy, or at least humor, in all things. We are not here forever and no matter what we do, we will not get out alive! Enjoy the journey by keeping things light and give yourself the gift of not stressing over things you have no control over.
- See and smell the beauty of nature. Our earth is the most amazing place, we don’t appreciate it nearly as much as we should. Take some time to feel the sun on your skin, the breeze in your hair. Smell the rain, or the freshly mowed grass, or a flower or the woods. If you don’t live near a natural area, find a park or a way to go to the country for some much needed connection with nature.