Several conversations with various women in the past few months have brought to light a stressful issue that was both exhausting and frustrating for them… how to make themselves a high priority in their own lives. The demands of home, spouse, family, professional and social activities have been wearing them out. They feel squeezed out of their own lives. Did I mention that this came from many different women… a recurring theme? If you saw these women, you would recognize them as your peers… and you would probably admire them… they are chic, attractive, engaged. They seem to have it all together. And indeed they do… but at what cost? They are being pulled in so many directions at once, immersed in the details of all they juggle. Their agenda is packed, and they feel harried and hurried. All of their time is filled to the brim taking care of everyone and everything… and having to look good and pull it off with grace and aplomb.
A woman is the nucleus of the family. Everyone and everything revolves around her. If she is happy, fulfilled, well rested, and has taken good care of herself… then everyone around her feels that vibe… it ripples through all. If she is not, well… perhaps you have seen the meme:
If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy
Women are natural nurturers and givers. We have also been conditioned to take care of everyone around us and make everything organized, beautiful and perfect. But you cannot keep pouring from a vessel unless you refill it. Replenishing your energy is essential. Making your well being a high priority (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) is vital to living a happy life, enjoyment of your everyday life experience, and having healthy loving relationships.
Some women might consider it selfish to make themselves a high priority. They may pride themselves on their constant busyness… perhaps as a way of overshadowing their true feelings of other issues, or out of guilt, apathy, or disbelief about what is in their power to change. Their inability to say no, or to stop and reflect on their true feelings about whether to accept, decline, or acquiesce in any given situation… may be because their perceived role in life is so ingrained that they can’t go against or break free of it. The result is feeling stressed, grumpy, unappreciated, and sometimes even angry and resentful.
Think about this. Is it selfish to take really good care of yourself and provide the essential elements of happiness, health and well-being for yourself? To arrange your life for fulfillment, joy, happiness and health? I think not.
If you practice self care and make yourself a high priority in your own life… you begin to feel really good every day and savor and enjoy life in a much deeper and delicious way. Your relationships with your loved ones become richer and more rewarding because you are fully present to see, hear, and understand them. There is an honest exchange of thoughts, feelings and energy between you. You have honored yourself, your values, your needs. Your everyday life is in balance because you have decided how you wish to spend your time and with whom. Your activities and work have meaning and purpose because you have chosen them with care and awareness.
Thinking this way requires a mindset shift. Think of all the people in your life that you love. Take care of yourself for yourself first… then for them. There will always be things in life that require time and attention. But how much is too much? If you reflect upon your life and your true feelings… is there a way to simplify? Can you eliminate or delegate anything? Can you organize your time and space to provide breathing room… time for self care, relaxation or creative activities that you enjoy? Can you actually decline activities or invitations that you really don’t want to participate in… regardless of what is expected of you by others. Can you say the word no?
You deserve to be happy and healthy. You deserve to enjoy your one precious life. Make yourself a high priority in your life. Do it grandly and unapologetically. Do it now… today!
I was in a store Christmas shopping, and I came across a home décor plaque that read:
FROM MY HEART… FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE
This sign was meant romantically… perhaps as an anniversary gift or from one newly wed to his or her beloved. But for me, as a woman of more mature years, it had such impact… and a completely different slant. From my heart… for the rest of my life! Yes! That is how I wish to live! Doing the things I truly love, and putting my heart and soul into the way I live every day. I want to live my life with meaning and purpose… with love and passion… using whatever God given gifts I am blessed to have. I want to live with joy and fulfillment… from my heart, and bring love into my relationships and activities. I want to be true to myself in all that I think, do, and say. Now that’s authentic! Imagine living this way!
Our lives are here and now. How we live day to day. What would it take for you to wake up every morning feeling joy and enthusiasm? What can you bring into your life that you truly love? What will bring pleasure and delight, or hold deep meaning for you? What can you release and let go of that no longer serves you or gives you any enjoyment? For the circumstances that you cannot change at this time … how can you be more willing to inject your love into them and nurture and care for yourself in their midst … while also promising yourself that you will seek out new possibilities for the changes that you yearn to make?
Your life is precious and divine. It is a God given gift. You are meant to be happy and enjoy it. Claim this for yourself. Decide that you will design and arrange your life for your own happiness, joy and fulfillment… that you will live from your heart for the rest of your life!
It Starts With A Dream!…
A beautiful life that is. What would it feel like to dream without limits… just you… your thoughts, feelings and inner yearnings… 100% honest, authentic, true to yourself… uncensored dreams… without a care or concern about what is probable or possible? To let your imagination soar freely with a vision of a life that would really delight you. There are so many kernels of truth to be found in your uncensored dreams… so many gems that can enrich your life.
Uncensored… without holding back, without judgments, without stopping yourself because of your current circumstances or beliefs, or about what someone else would think. This is about you… heart and soul… your true feelings… what you value… what lights you up… what will bring you joy… what sparks passion and fascination… what inspires you and has meaning… what makes you feel most alive!
Allow yourself to dream like this. Make time for some quiet, private solitude. Make a date with yourself. Light a candle. Get comfortable. Enjoy the inner journey. Go into your heart and feel your way to clarity. Ask yourself: What do I really, really want? Become aware of your thoughts and feelings. Become aware of your body and the sensations that each thought and inner vision creates. Allow yourself to fantasize and daydream. Envision yourself living your dreams.
What if we all opened up to the possibility of that… living our dreams… fashioning our lives into our ultimate vision. What if we shifted our mindset to allow new unlimited ideas and opportunities to flow… dreaming freely and then actualizing our dreams?
What would you do? What would you make time for in your life? What newness is asking to be expressed? What fresh energy are you desiring now? Your uncensored dreams will provide the answers and give you the clarity you seek. How will you create delight for yourself? How will you create a life that you love waking up to in the morning?
You are a creator. It is your life to do with as you wish. Claim your dreams for yourself now. Own them and cherish them and live the life you really want to live… one of deep joy and fulfillment!
“Nothing happens unless first we dream”
~ Carl Sandburg
“Cherish your visions and your dreams… as they are the children of your soul”
~ Napoleon Hill
We all want more. But why does that sometimes evoke feelings of guilt? It doesn’t mean that we are not appreciative of what we do have. It really means that an aspect of our being is seeking expression and fulfillment. Our yearnings are our souls nudging us onto our path of actualizing our potential… all that we are and could be. We want to savor life and enjoy the earthly pleasures in our lifetime. We are always evolving into grander versions of ourselves. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?!
“Desire summons life force”
When we really pay attention to ourselves in a deeper way… staying aware of our feelings and thoughts… taking the time to be quiet and still; and then being honest with ourselves about what we truly want and desire… only then could we begin to create it in our lives.
Yes… we have the power to create our dreams! First… clarity. What has meaning to you? What do you love? What are you passionate about? What would make you love waking up in the morning? Next… make a plan. Begin to move into inspired action. One step at a time. Time… claim some from your day, week, month. Make it a high priority… the dreams for your life… the fulfillment and delicious satisfaction they will bring you. Make a sacred promise to yourself to have them.
I’ve said this before… but it bears repeating here too: when you are happy and fulfilled, then everyone around you gets the best of you… you outflow good vibes all around.
“Re-create yourself anew in every single moment of now… in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about who you are”
… God… Conversations With God Neale Donald Walsch
Our day to day lives are usually filled with details and responsibilities that sometimes can be quite overwhelming. Most of us are busy every waking hour… doing, rushing, then doing some more. But busy doing what? Do our activities have meaning to us? Do they create delight? It is so vital to happiness to take the time to dream and to allow yourself to have the life you really desire.
Wanting more is a great thing! It keeps us fascinated and engaged with life. It opens us up to new possibilities and adventures. It enhances our lives and those around us, and it creates a richer, deeper life experience. So go ahead… want more and feel good about it! Dream, plan, keep yourself inspired, create, enjoy and be happy! The more happy women in this world the better!
“Tell me… what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life”?
… Mary Oliver
Why do we resist or fear change so much? Well, it’s the great unknown. Not knowing the outcome creates fear and trepidation, and our inner saboteur stirs it up… it wants the safety of the status quo. But that part of ourselves is just one aspect of our personality, and should not be in charge of our lives (unless we are running from a bear or some other dire situation).
Our creative selves, our adventurous selves, our loving passionate selves… these aspects of our being should be in charge… front and center, when contemplating and making changes in our lives. We should be loving the ideas and visions we have. We should feel a sense of excitement and anticipation! Changes should create fulfillment and delight… and in that respect we would gladly embrace change for the wonderful experiences they would bring to our lives.
The world is always spinning and evolving. Change is imminent on all levels. Choosing changes in our lives could feel scary… or exhilarating.
So often we accept ‘the way it is’ without so much as a second thought. If the way it is delights you and you are happy… well great! But if you are discontent, bored or isolated and not getting what you need or desire… then some soul searching is in order.
Facing the unknown, taking risks, and making changes could be unsettling. But we must not let our fear keep us from realizing our dreams. Fear is the opposite of love… so if you focus on all that you love it will allow you to move forward.
So how do you let go of all that is not working in your life… of all that does not feel good or right… of the old ways of being and doing that no longer serve or satisfy you, and embrace the new with a sense of wonder and anticipation?
Ask yourself: What do I truly need and want? What emotions am I feeling and why? What is wonderful in my life, and what do I want to change? Will this change delight me… will it enhance my life and well being? Will this give me pleasure and enjoyment? Will this fulfill me and enrich my life experience? What concerns or fear comes up for me when I consider this change?
What about changes not of our choosing? We must honor ourselves by acknowledging and feeling through all our emotions. We have to love and nurture ourselves. We have to empower ourselves and remind ourselves of our wisdom and strengths so that we can accept what is, and know that we can still make choices and create our lives to be fulfilling and joyous. It is important to seek out the good and positive in any situation… to be optimistic… although not always easy when faced with one of life’s hurdles. Being aware of all that is beautiful and good in our world… appreciating all our blessings… keeping our faith strong; these things can help us through the tough times. Reaching out to family and friends for comfort and companionship is vital too. Yes, life is always changing… and this too will pass.
Discover for yourself what changes you choose to make in your life… then begin to plan and implement them with passion and enjoyment… and create your life the way you truly desire to live!
Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to all the things I still want to do. Some of my dreams have been in the background of my life for many years… I have allowed the busyness of life to overshadow them. I realized that I must keep my dreams alive! I must take control of my life, my time, and my dreams so that I can fulfill them!
“Nothing Happens Unless First We Dream”
We all have responsibilities and commitments in our lives… families, homes, jobs etc. In short… things we have to do. Sometimes we are quite content with it all… we have arranged our lives to align with our needs, desires and vision. Our lives have purpose and meaning. But sometimes we can experience overwhelm, discontent and the desire for change. We can no longer ignore the dreams that we have abandoned that are seeking expression and actualization.
“The Things That Matter Most Should Never Be At The Mercy Of The Things that Matter Least” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It is vital to our lives and happiness to pay attention to what we are feeling… to give our needs and desires a high priority on our ‘to think’ and ‘to do list’! Creating time for our dreams can make a huge difference in the way we feel every day.
So, in essence… in order to realize our dreams within the context of our daily lives, we must be deliberate about keeping them alive by allowing the time and space for them… by imagining, dreaming and planning! Yes! Give life to your dreams! Since everything in our universe is energy… keep your dream alive by giving it positive mental and emotional energy every day. Visualize it. Feel the joy of it. This is basic Law Of Attraction… like attracts like. Start to plan and do!
“Cherish Your Visions And Your Dreams… As They Are The Children Of Your Soul”
Want to go to Europe? Then start to plan and dream about your trip. Take one or two hours out of your week and watch travel videos and read big, glossy picture books of the countries and places you would like to visit. Attend talks and slide shows at libraries. Use the internet to learn about cultures. Cull information from travel agents and friends and acquaintances that have been to the places you would love to go to.
Have a desire to create art or paint? Go to galleries and museums… look at art books and art instruction videos. Keep yourself inspired. Take a class… be a beginner. No one was born with a paintbrush in their hand… remember… talent is inborn, but know-how is acquired. Do it for the fun and joy of it. Immerse yourself in the sensuality of color and texture. Enjoy the process and let go of the end result for awhile. Give yourself the gift of the time and space to create art… every single week!
Are you thinking of changing jobs or careers to satisfy your passion, purpose, or interest in a particular area? Find people whose passion matches yours and ask them to meet with you to discuss it. Research what you must do to work in that arena. Read as much as you can and then formulate a plan to actualize your dream! Take your first class if education is a pre-requisite. Start now!
Perhaps you would like to buy or build your dream house. Start imagining the joy of living there. Clip out photos from magazines… keep a dream house folder. Decorate it in your mind. Decide that you will indeed have it… even if you don’t know how or when.
You get the idea… whatever your dream is… keep it alive and active… by giving it time and good energy. Please don’t give up on it or negate it. You deserve to realize your dreams. You deserve a life of happiness, joy and fulfillment… and of rich and wonderful experiences. So… keep your dreams alive!
“A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes”
~Walt Disney song
The fun of re-designing your life? What? I originally started this article with the title: Restless Spirit… The Longing To Re-Invent Your Life, because that is how I was feeling at the time.
Did you ever get restless and feel like you wanted to re-invent your life… keep the best and let go of the rest? Did you ever feel like you want to live deeper, freer… spread your arms and embrace the precious and sacred life you have? Celebrate and enjoy the gift… reach deep within yourself and feel the love that you are… create and live… uninhibited, wild and free! To honor the desire for a juicy life, full of richer experiences… more color, adventures, purpose, meaning, passion, creativity… deeper connections and simple intimacies… with yourself, loved ones, God, nature, the other precious humans and animals on this planet. To have the feeling of being vibrantly alive and aware… to really enjoy your life every day.
To live this way takes a lot of soul searching… it is imperative to become extremely clear. That takes reflection, contemplation and total honesty with yourself. It means asking the hard questions… feeling the uncomfortable emotions… acknowledging the nagging thoughts that you try to push away. It takes exploring and discovering what in your life makes you truly happy, and knowing what fulfills you and gives you delicious satisfaction and contentment. It also means examining your beliefs… about yourself, your life, what is possible. It is admitting to yourself what you are discontented with and why. And realizing what lights you up… what fascinates you. What renews your energy and what drains it. What would add more color and passion to your life? It means knowing yourself and what your heart desires NOW… at this point in your life.
Once you have that kind of clarity… then it’s time to play! Now the fun begins! It’s time to put the spotlight on your life and the way you live day to day. It’s time to have fun re-designing your life! What do you want to delete from your life? What do you want to add in? How can you bring all the wonderful, new experiences that you desire into your life… the people, activities, adventures… learning and exploring? Use your feelings and your imagination to envision the life you desire. There is a whole magnificent world out there, and you are a part of it! Think about what delights you… what you really enjoy. Think about the *ten aspects of life and what you desire for each. First create a vision… then create a plan! You get to be the designer of your life! You get to create your own unique vision!
If there is something in your life causing you stress or unhappiness that you simply cannot change at this time… take heart. Be sure to include joyful things in your life daily, weekly, monthly. Always have something to look forward to… pleasures and delights. Treat yourself really good. Think about enjoyment in the present, but start to dream and plan for the future. Imagine your desired lifestyle… the life you really want to live, and invent your way to realize it! Commit to your own happiness, fulfillment and well-being, and then start to make choices that honor that commitment.
Play with this! Have fun with this! Delight yourself! Really create a truly joyful life that you love. It is possible! We are meant to be happy and enjoy this gift of life!
“Life was meant to be savored… luxuriated in”
… from the film The Martian Chronicles
“The purpose of life is to be happy”
… The Dalai Lama
“The basis of your life is freedom. The purpose of your life is joy”
*The Ten Aspects Of Life:
- Family/ Friends
- Personal Growth
What you thought was secure… was not. You got slammed. All your plans blew up. All you worked for evaporated. Unforeseen events and changes rocked your world.
After the shock and depression, and the “what’s the use anymore”… time to regroup.
What if you can make it better than ever? What if you can make re-creating your life a joyous adventure? What if you really can believe in unlimited possibilities?
This takes Faith, Optimism, Clarity, and Confidence.
Faith says: Let go of the lesser to receive the greater… Believe… Have faith that God (The Universe, A Higher Power) has your back… That you are not grappling with your situation alone. Seek and ye shall find.
Optimism says: Wonderful new opportunities and possibilities exist… be aware… honor your intuition. The universe is abundant. There is no lack. There is enough under the sun for everyone.
Clarity says: Really be clear about what you truly desire at this stage of your life. Create a detailed and specific vision of what you want. Imagine it. Feel the joy of having it. Let go of what you now believe is possible or probable. Spend time envisioning your new life… very powerful!
Confidence says: All you have lived… the knowledge, skills, wisdom, strengths, your natural abilities and talents… are yours to take with you on your new journey. Stand tall! Believe in yourself! You possess everything within you to make your vision a reality.
Begin now to seek out ways to bring your vision to life. Invite in the people, ideas, and opportunities. If it feels right, then proceed. If it does not, then don’t. Honor your feelings and your values. Keep yourself inspired. Stay with what has meaning and purpose in your life. Refrain from making muddled decisions out of desperation or despair. The questions to ask yourself now are: Will this contribute to my joy and well-being? Will it be fun to live this every day? Does it match my vision? Does my body relax or tense when I ponder this decision? Will it bring me my desired life?
You can start over again*, no matter how old you are. Many women have done it. Life is constantly changing and evolving, bringing with it many new chances and delights. This time… yes this time! Wishing you joy on your new adventure. May the new life you create for yourself be all you have dreamed of!
*Read “Starting All Over Later In Life”:
Ah yes! Optimism! Have you ever noticed that there are those among us who have this magical propensity to see the good in almost everyone and everything? They expect great people and good things to come their way. They are natural born optimists. Others have cultivated optimism because they knew it would enhance their lives.
We have all experienced optimism. You know when you are feeling up and believing that all is well… things seem to flow… the right people, information, circumstances come your way. Serendipity! You feel relaxed and happy.
By contrast, when you are down and feeling pessimistic… the energy is dense and heavy. Everything feels like a struggle. For those of us who have slipped down the slope of pessimism at one time or another… there is hope! The important thing is to be aware of it and not allow it to become habitual. Pessimists are not happy people…they have a negative outlook on life.
Cultivating optimism requires training your thoughts to focus on the positive and pleasant aspects of life and people. I’ll admit, this takes practice. OK… sometimes a lot of practice! Optimism is a choice, as is happiness. We may not always be in control of our circumstances, but we do have a choice about how to respond as opposed to react. It is said that we are free to create our own heaven or our own hell. There are things that you can do to boost your optimism…
Yes I know… we have heard it all before. But when we are thankful and appreciative of the bodies we live in, our loved ones, our homes, our food and clean water, etc, etc, etc; we immediately raise our energy and our vibration. This in turn increases our ability to attract more good into our lives. Like energy attracts like energy.
- Spiritual Practice…
Meditation, Prayer, Nature, Journaling. Go within yourself to your Divine Inner Being. There is peace there… and joy… and hope. You begin to believe in the good that surrounds you. This creates a state of grace.
Yoga, Dance, Exercise… floods the body with feel good hormones… releases stress and tension and negative emotion… clears the mind.
- Contemplation and Self Knowledge…
Getting in touch with your real heartfelt values and honoring them. Committing to your own happiness and making choices that support that.
However… there are times in our lives when we feel down, a bit depressed, devoid of hope; or we’re fretting over an issue in our lives. How to activate our optimism then? We have to acknowledge how we feel… and then do everything we possibly can to bring ourselves back to a feeling of hope and well-being (honoring our commitment). This takes major TLC (tender loving care)…
- Kind and loving self dialogue…
Treat yourself as your own beloved.
A book or movie that lets you laugh or cry…. releases emotion.
- Sensual Delights and Creature Comforts…
Engage all your senses with beauty. Fragrant bubble baths and silk lounge clothes, beautiful flowers, cooking or baking lovely food, listening to beautiful music, gardening (being close to the earth is very grounding and dispels negative energy), a swim, a walk in fresh air, being cozy in front of a wood fire in the fireplace. Hmmm… earth, water, fire, and air!
- Music and Dance…
Happy, loud, fast! Not the time for sad love songs or serious lyrics. Spend a good half hour dancing yourself silly!
Clearing out clutter from drawers, closets and cupboards… ridding yourself of excess stuff. Scrubbing your home sparkling clean. What woman doesn’t feel great after that?!
When we care about the way we feel every day, it is easier to cultivate optimism. When we are truly aware of all the good in our lives, it becomes more natural to be optimistic. We begin to notice more… the goodness and kindness of other people… the love and abundance in our lives… the joy of being alive. Some of us have people in our lives that are staunch ‘realists’. Cultivate your optimism anyway! It will make your days more joyful and your life more fulfilling!
What are you 100% committed to… wholeheartedly? So often we say that we want to do something… whether it’s to learn something, or achieve a desired goal, or have an experience. We think about it. We talk about it. We daydream about it. We want it. But until we commit to it fully, it will continue to elude us.
A Dream Without A Commitment Is Just A Fantasy
What are some of the things that may prevent us from making a real commitment? Fear may be a factor… perhaps of failure or of changes in one’s life, or of the ‘great unknown’. Another element that may play a strong role in the avoidance of commitment is negative thought patterns or beliefs about what is possible, or in one’s abilities or talents. Responsibilities and demands of life and time may also contribute to postponing or procrastinating about commitments. The busyness of life gets in the way of our real dreams… and then time goes by, and we lament about what we never got to do and experience… and about our unrealized dreams and potential.
What dreams of yours have you not made a commitment to? How important is this dream? What does it mean to you? Is it dear to your heart? Does it evoke passion or a yearning desire within you?
When making any commitment in life, one should choose wisely, with care and awareness. What would merit the devotion of precious hours of your life. A commitment to any dream and desire should feel good. That does not necessarily mean it is easy. It should honor your values and be in sync with your true feelings. This is vital for you to stay inspired and motivated… to keep on following through, even when life gets hectic.
It is essential to make time and space for your dream. What will you do? When? Where? Carve out a niche in your life. Think about the joy and satisfaction it will bring you. Place it on your high priority list! Let nothing interfere. Envision yourself having, doing, or experiencing your dream. Keep your energy high and your dream alive. Treat it as a promise to yourself. Commit to it! You will be so glad you did!