I get up, go to work, come home and do it all over again tomorrow. I am overwhelmed. I feel empty. I’m bored. I’m just numb. All of these are complaints of our modern day culture. A world that says we should do more, achieve more, buy more, pursue happiness by climbing the ladder of this or that. A world that can disconnect us from our innate sense of self and aliveness.
What our culture fails to tell us is that it is not the things we own that make us feel alive. They may spark moments of happiness, but that is rarely lasting. And so we continue to seek. The real road to feeling alive is the other way around. It is filling yourself internally. When your inner well is full, the external things have far less significance.
Think about what sparks your spirit. Describe it, drink it in and make a plan to fill your days in a direction that allows for this to happen. If you’re unsure of what exactly it is, there will be more prompts that may lead to learning. In the meanwhile, here are a few ideas that may help to fill that inner well while you’re exploring!
Connect, or reconnect with your spirituality
Having a personal relationship with God or a higher power provides an anchor to a sense of meaning and purpose. When we don’t have a connection to something bigger than ourselves, it is easy to get caught up in ego. And, when your world comes crashing down on you, being alone can be devastating. Full aliveness includes nurturing your spiritual path by making time to connect with your source.
Changing our focus away from ourselves and on to others to bring them joy or comfort is a gratification that cannot be duplicated in a me-centered act. Decide to devote time to enriching your personal relationships by showing love to those you care about in a way that is meaningful to them. Decide to reach out to a cause or a person that could benefit from your time and talents.
Rest and play
We need to have fun and we need to stop. It’s just that simple. Many of us subscribe to a philosophy of live to work, when it really should be work to live. Take pause to get away from screens and witness something beautiful. Go for a walk in nature or surroundings you enjoy. Be silly, (when appropriate, of course) and playful. Rest, even the middle of the day or when it feels you don't have time. Learn to be still.
Get out into nature
Nature calls us to our untouched, wild realm that reminds us of our own essential value. Take a walk in the woods or along the shore, walk barefoot in the grass, roll in that colorful pile of leaves, dance in the rain.
Attend to your physical health
Life is harder when your physical body doesn’t get what it needs. Decide to love the body that carries your spirit through this world. There are many layers to lovingly tending to your body’s care but the basics are to make healthy choices in food, exercise, and sleep.
Choose nourishing, intelligent sources of information
Unfortunately, social media, mainstream movies, advertisements, television, etc. form beliefs around love, attraction, sexuality, health, relationships, spirituality, and even death. These messages are often cognitive distortions that lead to anxiety and emotional shut down. Choose sources that are proven or have stood the test of time.
Whatever it is that makes you feel most alive - if it’s healthy - do more of it! Explore it and these things that give your life fullness. Live boldly!