“How to live a more fulfilling life”. Big statement huh. Yeah, it is. And yet, it is not.
In my experience deeper fulfilment does not come from getting more, crazy tools, deep insights or magic solutions. Yes, of course, all these things might contribute at one point or another, but for me, true fulfilment comes from:
Changing my perspective.
Our society is often so focussed on doing, getting more, getting somewhere, chasing what is not here right now. And when I get stuck in that perspective, it makes me miserable. And believe me, I get stuck there.
And I realised the other day that I have a whole bunch of tools that can get me out of these states, and back into more alignment with myself, with being, with being here and now. Which leads to a calming down, to a resting, to a getting out of my head and into my body. To a more peaceful mind. And to joy and a connection with the richness and abundance of life, right around me.
And I would love to share some of these tools. Not magical, nor crazy, but if you do practise these on a regular basis, they *do* work. I speak from experience.
1. Practise gratitude
This might seem simple, and it is, and it is also not. In my Shaolin tradition, Gratitude is a skill. A skill you can develop over time. That means you can train yourself to get better at it.
For me, this has been an immensely useful skill to develop, because I have a tendency to look at what is not working, not flowing, stuck etc. This can be a superpower, in my life, and as a coach, as it offers opportunities to let that what is stuck flow again and therefore create a more wholesome life. And it can make me a pain in the ass, when I lose sight of what is already working, already there, already amazing.
Practising gratitude is an amazingly powerful tool to shift my perspective (and one I give to almost all my coaching clients).
How does it work? At the end of each day you list what you are grateful for that day.
The trick is to tune in to what you are truly grateful for. Don’t fake it. That works the opposite way. To truly develop the skill it has to be something you really feel grateful for, not what you think you should be grateful for.
Sometimes it is really easy, when you have had a happy, flowing day. Sometimes it is really hard, when you had a day that sucked. If the latter is the case, start small. Really small, like: “I am grateful for my hot shower, my bed, a flower that is blooming in my garden, a roof over my head”. When in doubt, go back to basics, and you will see that your heart opens along the way, and it will also be easier to be grateful for other things.
Because the secret is: gratitude is a heart opener.
And when your heart is open you feel more connected to what is around you, and already there.
2. Live by what is open
This is something I learned recently, thanks to the amazing Lynn Kreaden, whom I am currently training with. It is something that kind of ties into Gratitude, yet it works differently. Different in the way that it is more body based. When I feel into my body I often focus on what is tense, closed or painful. That is usually a contracted state.
When I shift my awareness to what is open, relaxed, pleasurable, I immediately shift perspective and open up. And and open state is a more grounded state, with access to more perspective and different, often more relaxed insights.
How about letting that guide your life, instead of focussing on what is not working? In the end both states are available and it’s a matter of choice.
For me, that has been a big shift and an almost daily reminder. Of course, there are times, quite often, that I get triggered and end up scared, confused, contracted. I often do not have choice over those bodily responses. What I do have choice over, is how I respond afterwards. Do I allow myself to stay there, or move my energy, my body, my mind, and choose to open up and bring in what is open?
“Live by what is open” is a similar way of focussing on what is flowing, which in turn gets you more in flow. And more here, and more satisfied with what is already here. Get it?
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Haha, that is a big one! And Jesus, do I take myself seriously at times! So seriously. And uhm, that is not much fun. Quite literally. When I am serious about a perspective, an opinion, a way things ‘should be’, I am usually stuck, triggered or contracted.
So, to pop out to broader perspective and see the humour of it all; my search, my never-ending inquiry, my mind that will not shut up, my hard working, it releases that tension and just has me have a good laugh. And I have friends who help me with this as well.
I mean, just try something like pulling a silly face, jump up and down like a crazy woman (or man), make a joke, or see your current situation in a wider perspective, it really gives relief and has you less worried about doing and “must do something right” and more enjoying the fun and absurdity of life.
And when you are really resistant to doing that, well, then you probably need to have a laugh extra hard 😉
Much love and fun!