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What do Sex, Gardening, and Velcro Shoes have in Common?

I tried to think of a really clever, witty way to introduce this article after a title like that (instead of just giving you the answer), but I came up with nothing other than this sentence to make you wait a bit until I revealed the solution. 🙂  Here it is: sex, gardening, and Velcro shoes are three examples of ways you can squeeze more satisfaction out of life – and if properly applied, can even make you feel more whole.  This life you’re living right now?  You only get one shot at it – it might as well be fun and authentic.

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post, and only applies to people who know themselves inside and out.  If you don’t understand your nature, sex has the potential to make you feel like a piece of garbage, gardening can become just a chore, and Velcro shoes? – well, you probably won’t have a personality cool enough to get away with wearing them as an adult without receiving extreme judgement.  So, please, be sure to read my last blog about discovering your spirit before you dive into these five ways to increase your satisfaction and feel more whole (because, believe it or not, this is a spiritual topic (spirituality isn’t all fluffy)!).

1.  Slap on them Velcro Shoes (Curl up in a Childhood Comfort)

One of the best ways to reconnect with our authentic self and to remind us of what it is like to have real, untarnished fun is to do something we loved doing as a child!

What are some of your favourite memories?  What was your favourite food?  What was your go-to treat?  The best way to spend a weekend?  Who was your best friend and what was so great about that friendship?  Pick one of the most pleasant things from your childhood and write in your day planner or enter into your calendar a reminder to do it.  Pick up a caramel-apple pop or a fun-dip, buy an adult-sized pair of Velcro shoes, and have no regrets diving back into childhood comforts.

CC_Sunline-Sunmark-Lik-m-Aid-Fun-Dip-candy-package-1995-BradKent
Have your candy, and eat it too!  (and also…say no to drugs ^^)

2. Pick up Gardening (Hone your Hobbies)

Hobbies are those fun activities that we end up getting lost in.  Hours pass in what seems to be minutes and we are able to forget about all our everyday stressors.

I would also argue that spending time absorbed in our hobbies is a spiritual experience.  Perhaps while you are out playing hockey with your girlfriends your mind isn’t on anything else.  Maybe while you are deadlifting with the dudes and crushing donuts nothing else matters.

FullSizeRender
Maybe when you are gardening, you finally take a minute to glance at the clock and realize you’ve been at it for hours.  Any experience we are fully engaged in will make hours seem like minutes, or sometimes minutes seem like hours!

A note to the parents out there: don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself.  I know many moms and dads who believe they need to sacrifice their own activities to make everything about their kids – don’t!  As a child, I remember my dad was a goaltender for the local senior hockey team, and I was his biggest fan.  My dad’s drive for his sport encouraged me every day and when I think about it I still get a little fired up to go out and do something great myself! (a blog post coming soon is about mastering your mind – and I share things I learnt from my dad’s mindset in the goal crease that I now apply on a lifting platform.)  Parents, find a hobby and be a hero to your child!  Show her or him what it means to make personal development a priority.

If you do not have a hobby that involves physical activity – find one!  Yesterday, I briefly mentioned the importance of taking care of our physical being and hobbies are a fun way to do so!  What are the hobbies you have been neglecting?  If you don’t have one, what do you need to try?  Write down one action you can take immediately after completing this blog, such as: contact the bowling league, email the pottery club, message the weightlifting coach, and do it!

3. Mess up your Bed Sheets (Have More Sex!) 

Sex – one of those activities that can make minutes seem like hours (insert your joke here).  That’s because it engages us fully: mind, body, and spirit.  However, with this in mind (and continuing with yesterday’s theme), it is important to only get intimate with people who know, understand, and appreciate you for your mind, body, and spirit: crawling under the sheets with anyone else will lead to emotional pain, and possibly more, but when you have someone who truly loves you for all of your being, that physical connection becomes incredibly powerful and can help you feel more whole as you experience a natural expression involving your complete self.  The distinction is important and authenticity and understanding is the key.  Know yourself first, and then make sure you know and are known by the person whose bed you are in if you want that satisfaction to extend beyond minutes. 🙂

4.  Calm your Wandering Mind (Practice Yoga, Meditation, and/or Prayer) 

FullSizeRender-15With my clients, I usually refer to these practices as activities to help you feel grounded.  It is easy in our hectic work worlds to feel scatter-brained and anxious; we need to learn to be the masters of our minds.   Try these:

A)  Attend a yoga studio that teaches breathing exercises, or learn some on YouTube and practice them daily to calm your mind and bring it back into your body.

B)   My favourite bath-time meditation: Sit in a hot bath as long as you want.  When you are ready to get out, pull the plug but stay in the tub.  As the water drains around you imagine yourself exhaling any of your negative beliefs into the water and inhale positive affirmations.  For example I say, “Exhale weakness, inhale strength.  Exhale doubt, inhale belief.”  I do this and relax my muscles until the water has fully drained away from me and when I get out I am lighter as if all the mental baggage I was carrying was truly washed down the drain.

C)  Find a way to pray.  Maybe it’s reciting a well-known prayer for its rhythm and relaxation and for how the words resonate with you.  Perhaps it’s just imagining speaking your mind to a higher power throughout your day.  It might be expressing gratitude in a journal each day or even coming up with your own mantras or affirmations that empower you.

Jot down one specific strategy you will use today out of yoga, meditation, or prayer.  By employing them you will connect to that deep part of yourself (that we all have) – the piece of you that makes you tick.

“I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.” – Khalil Gibran

Our spirits transcend religion.

5. Dust off your Sunday Best (Go to a Ceremony)

Ceremonies can be beautiful and help you connect back to the deepest parts of yourself and your core beliefs and values.  These include everything from weddings and funerals, to church services, to sweats.  I have attended two sweats in my life and they were incredibly powerful experiences that left me feeling cleansed and stronger.

What is a ceremony you can attend by the end of the month?  Schedule it in.  What is something you need to make a ritual?  Make a step towards making it a regular practice immediately after reading this.  By attending ceremonies regularly you will be constantly reminded of what matters most and will not waste any of the valuable days you have the privilege of spending on this planet (this might be something you have never done, and that is okay – even good – since yesterday we talked about trying new things to discover your spirit).

 

6.  Act like a Fool to Make a Child Laugh (Create Memories with Loved ones) 

Mom and me
Spend time with your moms and dads, sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews…

Think of some of your best moments with people.  How were they spent?  Some of my favourite moments are coffee dates with my girlfriends where we lay out our biggest aspirations and fears and help each other sort through them, reflecting and magnifying each other’s confidence and mitigating our fears, and we leave empowered and ready to take on life full-force.  

Also, imagine a time you were in a house of adults with a few children.  Where was everyone’s attention focused?  On the kids!  What was the energy like in that room?  Almost undoubtedly it was incredibly positive!  Kids have no fear and no reservation.  They say what is on their minds and are in a constant pursuit of learning.  This brings us full circle back to the beginning and connecting with our childhood joys.  We need to find ways to get back into that fearlessness and to show off our uninhibited personalities.  One way to do this is to spend more time around kids!  Don’t be afraid to act like a fool to make a child laugh.  Your heart will be warmed in ways that can’t be duplicated.

Who are the friends you need to phone up?  Which family members do you need to hang out with? Make a plan to visit or call a loved one by the end of the week, and find a way to make a child grin; the subsequent smile in your spirit will be even bigger.  The spirit (that breath inside us) is warmed by love and laughter.

In summary:

Six Ways to Feel Whole:

  1. Curl up in a childhood comfort.
  2. Hone your hobbies (and don’t feel bad about it!).
  3. Have more sex (with someone who knows, understands, and loves your mind, body, and spirit).
  4. Practice yoga, meditation, and/or prayer.
  5. Go to a ceremony.
  6. Create memories with loved ones.

What do sex, gardening, and Velcro shoes have in common?  They are three ways to feel more whole by connecting to that part of you that only comes out when you are being completely yourself – your spirit.  Purchase a pair of shoes like you haven’t warn since you were knee high to a grasshopper, get out into the garden (unless you live where I do – then you probably need a different winter hobby), crawl back into bed with someone you love (or do one of the other above six things) because these are ways you can connect with that deepest part of yourself.

Read yesterday’s post now to find these Five Ways to Discover your Spirit:

  1. Think about what you liked when you were a kid.
  2. Purchase programs to help you discover who you really are.
  3. Identify your cause.
  4. Try new things (and travel)!
  5. Read (you’re winning).

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