Living Better, Right Now
Updated: May 21, 2019
What does it really mean to "live well"? Are you already noticing what thoughts come to your mind? Maybe you long to feel physically healthy, to have enough financial resources to pay the bills and take a vacation, or maybe the idea of living well is connected with finding peace in yourself and in your relationships.
It has been both my experience and observation that living well does not happen by accident. I have met people who are seemingly healthy, well-resourced and in loving relationships, but still struggling to feel connected to their "good life". On the other hand, when I was 16 years old, I went with Habitat For Humanity to build a house in a landfill in northern Mexico. Yes, you read that right, our building site was in the midst of a landfill. There I met 50 year old Maria, single mom of 6 kids living in abject poverty. After 3 days of building her family a 400 square foot stucco house (in American culture it would be like a small shed), we all gathered to dedicate the house. Maria had been on-site daily loving and encouraging our team from dawn to dusk. Now, receiving her new home, she wept with joy and offered one of the most gratitude filled prayers I have ever witnessed in my life. My teenage concept of contentment was shattered. How on earth could a person in those circumstances be so full of joy and peace?
One of the ways I believe we live better, is to actually be present to our life. When I say "present", I mean to be intentionally focused on being in our life, rather than just doing our life distracted and documenting it all on Instagram. One way we practice being present to our lives is through mindfulness. Mindfulness is not some weird voodoo practice, so please stick with me. Mindfulness is a brain exercise that helps us to be present, on purpose to one thing, non judgmentally. This practice can help us to live present to our life and to intentionally respond rather than to simply react or wonder aimlessly through the tasks of our day.
If you are willing to invest 6 minutes to explore this powerful tool, I highly recommend this video introduction to mindfulness (sometimes referred to as mindfulness meditation): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtsdz_jhB7c
Ok, so whether you just did that exercise or you want to know more first, let's explore the position of an expert. One prominent psychologist and professor known for evidence-based practice in mindfulness is Dr. Marsha Linehan of the University of Washington in Seattle. Note her following thoughts about living well:
“It is hard to be happy without a life worth living...Of course, all lives are worth living in reality. No life is not worth living.But what is important is that you experience your life as worth living—one that is satisfying, and one that brings happiness.” ― Marsha M. Linehan, creator of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Did you catch that? The important thing is that you experience your life. Once we experience our life we can start reflecting on how we want to create a life even more worth living. Are you experiencing your life right now? If not, you can practice being present. Try the mindfulness exercise in the video tutorial above or contact me and we can make a plan uniquely for you to start living better- right now.