Lately, I've had a lifestyle change. It was somewhat intentional and in other ways, completely unintentional. This change came about by necessity, a change in perspective in the way things were and for how I'd like things to be. I made these changes for my short & long term health & happiness.
Less blogging, less liking, less scrolling, less following...
1. Slowing Down
I made the decision last year to move away from the city and into the country, in fact, to the beach... Where life is slow & quiet. I've always had a busy, bustling, curious mind & realized that sometimes a city full of people, events, traffic, and bustling isn't necessarily the most sustainable environment for me. I recognized that what I craved the most was the time in remote, natural places. As inspiring as the city can be, for me, it's somewhere I take in doses. Today, life at the beach, is slow moving. I go days without driving my car, hours without seeing or speaking to anyone, and walk the same streets, trails, beach daily. I say hello to the same neighbors and dogs... From brewing my morning coffee to taking a quick stretch to cooking at home or taking pride in tidying up my studio, no task or chore is discounted in the importance or attention it might need. This... is a revolutionary change in my life.
2. Understanding Now vs. Later
In recent years, there's been a big culture priority on "being present". I can't stress enough how important being present is to improving your entire quality of life, especially when it comes to self-development.
Most of us are dreamers, with big goals & ideas as to what we want to be & where we want to be in the future. It's crippling if you think that what you're doing right now doesn't feed into your future... even the smallest of effort. But, beyond being present, is thinking sustainably. (I don't mean in an environmental way) What I mean is, focusing on implementing practices, processes, ways of life now that will last. Doing away with short-term fixes, rushing, or gimmicky things like dieting or crash courses etc. etc. Play the long-term game, always.
If you need something to think about, it's time. Time is your most valuable asset. As the days go by, we lose more and more time. In my opinion, life is in fact pretty long and you/we make conscious decisions every day in how we want to spend our roughly, <100 years on this quite magical planet. It's shocking to me how much time people waste on, in my opinion, trivial or unimportant things. If you can imagine your most happiest moments - like, standing on top of a mountain you've climbed with a 360 degree view, receiving the best hug ever from someone you love, a long late night talk over a glass of wine that changed your perspective, laying on the beach through an awe-inspiring sunset, star gazing, kissing, a home cooked meal by someone you love after a long day... These are the important, fulfilling, loving moments that should make up your life. Trust me, I understand it can't be all stars & butterflies all the time but... you should try to make it that way as much as possible. Life wasn't meant to be painful, it was meant to beautiful and treasured and magical. Despair, death, depression - these are all parts of it but don't have to be looked at in pity or shame, there's beauty & value in everything. If I can give you one piece of advice, it's to not overlook your hours and how you spend them and who you spend them with. Every person, place, and moment matters...
4. Find Answers
I feel like this is something people don't give each other permission to do often enough. There's a small population on the planet, I'd say 10% that have a burning curiosity. You might look at these individuals and think they are so brilliant, travelers, interesting, diverse and so on - but curiosity can be a curse leaving you restless with so many questions unanswered. But from my experience, I can honestly say - if you have questions & curiosities about anything... from how to cook French food to seeing every single country on the planet, go do it. You will find answers. You'll realize that you, in fact, possess all the answers and the more you experience, listen, ask, go, do... the world will play you like a piano & your song will become fine-tuned... and that restless, inquisitive part of you will relax as you discover. Pro tip, these answers won't be in one singular thing, instead, you'll start to see patterns through experiences & it takes a hell of a lot of observation & reflection to understand the signs.
5. Stay Open & Make Space
I always found it sort of cliche, the saying of "stay open". But, it's one of the most important fundamentals of the human experience. As we grow up, we get hurt. We see things we don't want to see. It's as simple as falling off a bike and scraping our knees, we'll be a little more timid the next time we bomb down the hill... It's the same for life, as we experience pain & sadness and all the bad things, it's easy to close up & quit things afraid that we're going to hurt again. But the truth is, happy, fulfilling, satisfying things come about when we stay open to the world, people, and our environment. I see people booking up their days & lives with scheduled things, qualifications, and the like - thinking that more doing is going to bring them more happiness. But that's not always true... Sometimes, what we need is to make a little space in our days, weeks, months, lives and welcome whatever - the completely unexpected & spontaneous, good or bad - I promise you it won't be boring.