What really makes you happy?
Our blog post today is inspired by Gabrielle Bernstein, a motivational speaker, life coach and author. In her book “Miracles Now”, Gabby gives her readers 108 tools to help people stress less and live in tune with the flow of life. Her lesson number 19 is that of being more childlike, and reading the chapter this week inspired us to relay her advice to you.
It’s easy to be stressed
It is so easy for us to be stressed in today’s world. There are bills to pay, children to look after, jobs to do and people to support. All this can put your own happiness on the back burner – if you don’t do these things, how will they get done? How will your family cope? It’s a feeling that we’ve witnessed lots at LLLY.
But when you only focus your energy on getting things done, you can actually forget what the things are in life that make you happy. It is as if you have to sacrifice your happiness because you have to live a “real” life. At LLLY, this thought makes us really sad.
To-do or not to-do?
As we said above, it’s so easy to just focus all your energy on getting stuff done. Lots of us think that we will be happy, productive and satisfied by focusing all our energy on our daily to-do lists and commitments. Some people love the cathartic feeling of crossing items off to-do lists as it gives us the idea that we can relax once all those items have been completed (and crossed off).
But, the truth is, there is always going to be another task to complete: more shopping to buy, more mouths to feed, more bills to pay, more emails to reply to! As Gabby says, “If we’re constantly focused only on our responsibilities, we sap our own energy and cut off our life-flow.”
Refrain from your responsibilities (for a little bit)
We know it may sound impractical and bizarre, but a really good way to feel more productive and satisfied is to actually take a step back from your responsibilities every now and again. If you catch yourself in a “busy-busy” mindset, overwhelmed by everything you need to do, Gabby says for you to switch off the computer, turn off your phone, and actually access your inner child. Why? Children have a beautiful simplicity and naivety to them: they are capable of curiosity, creativity and openness, things we often forget to embrace as adults.
Be more curious
Gabby advises getting out of your head and getting curious about something new. If you have children (young ones especially), think of all the questions they ask and everything they want to explore. They are so curious that it’s actually quite magical.
How can you be curious? Pick up a magazine you’ve never read before. Go to a café/restaurant and try something on the menu that you would never go for. Even ask more questions! As Gabby says “Curiosity will take you out of whatever it was you were obsessing over and lead you into a state of simple innocence.”
Be more present
At LLLY, we are huge advocates of being present and mindful. As Steve often reminds his clients, how often do you just get from A to B in your car and not even remember part of the journey or changing gears? This is a great example of not being present and mindful. But being present can help you take off some of the pressure that you have put on yourself. Take a moment to act childlike and really look out of the window at the view, or all the lines on your own hand, or even your partner’s face. Children love experiencing the moment and they are fabulous teachers of showing us how to be more present.
It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut with the thoughts in our head. It can feel exhausting listening to all these thoughts and adding more worry to our every day lives. Let yourself take 10 minutes to just take a break to daydream about anything you want. Let your mind wander and dream about all your wishes and hopes. Maybe even build in some visualisation techniques (see our blog post on visulisation here) and help your dreams become your reality.
Whenever you feel cornered by your to-do list and responsibilities, that’s the time when you need to tune in to your inner child. Live life as curiously and as in wonder as children do. The innocence and beauty that a child witnesses is something that every adult can learn from. And, as always, if you want to chat to Steve about any of the above, just get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog post was written using Gabrielle Bernstein’s book, Miracles Now, which was published by Hay House in 2014.