In the past, I was not known as a happy, wild, and free person. (OK maybe wild, I had my moments …) In stuck phases, peppered with depression, darkness, and hopelessness, I often wondered what it would be like to feel happy, wild, and free.
I fantasized about living in Europe, writing in cafes like Hemingway, or even moving to Hawaii and wearing nothing but sarongs and flip flops all day. But in truth, these fantasies were empty.
I knew in my gut that fantasies of escape would not bring authentic happiness or true freedom. Maybe at the onset . . . But in the end, trying to create happiness and freedom outside of myself was only temporary. I was left to face whatever was still present within me.
Funnily enough, I’m most happy and free when I’m meditating. Yeah, I know, sitting for hours at a time without moving doesn’t seem like the world’s wildest party.
But when I relax, let go, juice up my heart, and get concentrated, my meditation practice takes me to unlimited expansion. There’s nothing more that I need.
While meditating, I’m content—and sometimes even wildly ecstatic—but most importantly, I am within ME. I realize my inner-wild chick’s happiness and freedom exists in simply being present.
When I tune in to what gives me joy right now, my body and spirit ignites. I feel truly alive and free of the heavier burdens, beliefs, and complicated constructs that keep me stuck by focusing only on the “storms” within me.
If you’re not into meditating, write out a short-list of the simple things that give you pleasure.
Keep them in your mind’s eye and make sure you engage with them if you can daily. As you do these things, stay present and mindful of the joy that they bring you.
For example, I love eating a fresh juicy nectarine on a summer’s afternoon, meditating in the morning after a fresh brewed cup of tea, taking a walk and window-shopping. What are some of your simple things?
Maybe you like the openness and relaxation you feel after a yoga class, or the sweat and wild release of high cardio activity. You may enjoy seeing your dog run happily in circles as you throw balls at the park.
Whatever movement inspires you, observe the happiness and freedom it brings. Also, take a short walk after having a meal. This not only helps aid your digestion, but also instantly relieves any heavy feelings that might be weighing your down.
Here are 4 ways to find that sense of “present aliveness” in your day-to-day:
1.) Talk less and, when you do talk, have noble conversations.
When you hang out with your friends and loved ones, learn to love the spaces in the conversation. Listen as they share, rather than thinking about how you’re going to respond.
Pay attention to what happens to your energy when you talk less, and how much happier you feel as you conserve more energy. Plus, you’ll love the growth of intimacy in your relationships as you increase presence and heart-centered listening.
2.) Turn off the TV.
Rather than watch TV, use your time more mindfully. Read, walk, meet friends, or join an evening group or class. Use your time to connect to others and yourself. Or jump in and do something different and spontaneous!
3.) Enjoy nature.
Find the nature that surrounds you—really see it. Observe yourself as you witness nature and appreciate its growth and timing.
If you feel like things are going too slow, too fast, or aren’t really sure of where you’re going, remember there’s a natural timing for everything, and all roads are taking you to the right place.
Ask yourself, How can I compare nature’s experience to my life? How am I just like the wild flower that is growing on the path?
4.). Find the simple truth.
With enthusiasm and confidence, state what you know to be true about your authentic self. Ask yourself, What is true about myself right now?
Like, I’m enough. I’m whole. I’m loveable. I’m loving. I’m at peace.
Embody the essence of who you really are in this very moment. Take it in. Believe this and you’re free!
May the simplest things bring you an immediate experience of abundant joy!