Before I realized I had the power to change my reality, I was consistently dwelling in self-pity and playing the victim card. For everything that’s not going right in my life, I was the queen of making excuses and pointing finger at others and external factors.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have my days where I sulk and act like a child when things don’t turn out the way I want or when I am not experiencing the best of days. However, I am much more aware when I act this way. Becoming more present and aware of who you are and how you are reacting to your surroundings can help you tap into being free. Now depending on what’s going on in my life, sometimes I let myself have my temper tantrum. I believe it is important to feel our emotions and let it process and flow through our body. Emotions play a vital role in our health - if the energy we generate moves through our body properly, it will complement what our body needs to achieve. Once the energy inside of me fades or when I smarten up, I start taking responsibility in owning how I think, act and feel in response to what has happened.
This shift in action is the first step to living mindfully and setting yourself free. This is what helps you to heal and move forward so that you can change your life for the better.
Below are the 29 things you can do to live mindfully and be free
1. Be grateful
There is always something to be grateful for. Look at what you have, and appreciate it. We take too many things we have for granted and when you start to notice what you have in your life, you become more appreciative of your situation.
2. Get to know yourself
Know who you are, know your priorities, values, what motivates you, what de-motivates you, what time of day you are the most productive, your strengths, your weaknesses. This will help you pick your battles, drive your decisions and actions in living your life. It will also get you through those days when you are feeling in a rut. Remember you are more than you think you are.
3. Listen to the beat of your own drum, follow your bliss
First and foremost, what it is you desire in your heart is what makes you feel alive and happy. This is not to discount other people’s opinions. Listen to what others have to say, take it into consideration and take what you believe is useful and incorporate it to your own beat. If something requires collaboration, work together to find a common ground to achieve the best result. The important thing is to express what’s on your mind and your desires.
4. Love yourself
When you begin to love yourself
, your life gets easier. You don’t need external validation to feel good. You naturally feel good dancing to the music of your life.
5. Cherish your time
Time is precious. When it is gone, it is gone. Going back to point 2, know yourself. Spend time doing things you enjoy, with people you enjoy being with. Live your life with purpose, passion and love.
6. Know your why
Before you get too deep into action. Reflect on why it matters to you? Who or what are you doing it for? In getting clear, this will drive your motivation and keep you on track to create the life you desire.
7. Honor your five senses
Your five senses is one your inner GPS that helps guide you to interact and ‘sense’ what’s going on in your life. Trust your intuitions.
8. Honor your emotions
This is your other inner GPS that gives you feedback on your thoughts and reactions. It creates the awareness for you to guide yourself back to balance and then back in the direction of what it is you desire.
9. Ask a better question
When you feel stuck, ask yourself a better question
that gets you a better answer. This leads you to solutions. As Tony Robbins often says “The most powerful way to control your focus is through the use of questions.”
10. Take responsibility and Be accountable
You are no longer a child. When a problem arise, it’s time to consider and own up. Remember to forgive yourself, learn from the lesson, and take appropriate steps to change future outcomes.
You may not have control over certain things and can’t create the exact circumstances you wish, but you are responsible and do have control over how you think, act, feel in response to the situation. In this capacity, you can choose your life on your own terms. Choose the meaning you give it which will drive the actions you take.
11. Make time for reflection
Make time to reflect on the good and bad. Choose a practice that suits you. It could be every day, week, month, quarter or year. Reflection gives you perspective to see your life in a different light, a different angle. Be honest in assessing your issues, thoughts, feelings, etc. that needs attention.
12. Never stop learning
Life is about constant growth. In order to thrive and survive we need to grow and learn.
13. Forgive yourself for mistakes, unrealistic expectations or unwise choices
Often times we are our own worst critics when we mess up. Rather than beating yourself up, take back your power by learning the lesson and utilizing your wisdom to make the future better.
14. Live your truth
This quote from Russian author, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s book, The Brothers Karamazov sums it up, “Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
15. Decide you really want it
Often times you may be going after something you don’t really want. When this happens you either feel miserable along the journey or find ways to sabotage achieving the “goal”. Focus and decide on what you want.
16. Notice your Body cues
Like your senses, and emotions, your body communicates to you. When you notice physical discomforts it may be a sign to slow things down and make time to reflect on what’s going on in your life. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
17. Accept yourself exactly as you are
This includes your virtues and vices, the good times and unexplainable not so good times. Even though sometimes you can’t see it, have faith and know that every experience in your life contributes to your spiritual growth. In hindsight, you’ll see it.
18. Ask for what you want
Most people can’t read minds, and the universe or (insert what you believe in) certainly can’t read your mind either, especially if you don’t know what it is you need. So speak and communicate directly from your heart instead of beating around the bush. Have the courage to ask for what you want.
19. Create daily success habits
I define ‘successful habits’ as habits that move you towards achieving a healthier well-being and enriching your life. When you set it daily, it becomes self-care rituals that you do to enhance your success factor in life. Go easy on yourself and start with one or two. Once you’ve mastered it, then keep adding new ones on as you see fit.
In order to be of service to others, you need to take care of yourself first. Respect yourself, know your worth, and get rejuvenated. Be it resting, playing, eating healthy, exercising, finding quiet time and reflecting. Like a car, if you are running on empty, you can’t get to your destination until you fill up.
21. Don’t set goals dependent only on external validation
Your goals need to be both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated. If you rely on just external validation, you may wait a long time before you feel satisfied. You can do more harm to your self- esteem than you would like. This may result in you quitting sooner than you would like. Instead - consider setting goals because you get a kick out of doing what you are doing so that you can enjoy the process along the way while reaping the rewards once you reach it.
22. Step out of your routine
So in point 19, I suggested you to set a routine. And now I’m suggesting that you step out of routine. Let me explain. You step out of a routine when you need to take your blinders off as your life has become boring and you are stuck, or when you’ve lost your inspirational mojo.
Have faith in yourself. If you don’t, who will? You owe it to yourself and others who you are meant to impact.
24. Be in a state of flow
It is easy for us to want to control life and what’s going on around us. The problem is the only thing we have control over is our thoughts, feelings, actions, and efforts. Don’t try to push faster or swim against the current. Surrender to the flow of life instead of resist it and trust you will be able to handle whatever comes up. If it is meant to be, it will be.
25. Strive for balance
We live in a world of duality. Nothing is one sided, there is always two sides. The art of life is to master balancing and dancing on the continuum of our multifaceted life. This includes activities, and our beliefs and perceptions of various subjects.
When we indulge in too much of something it is never good. As humans we need variety to spice up our lives and help us grow.
Thus, when the scale tips to one side, our inner GPS and body signals will awaken us to look beyond our own perception and beliefs and see the other side. After all, our universe is one and contains all aspects of beliefs within itself. It wants us to embrace the other side, by learning how to moderate our thoughts and actions to recognize the other spectrum. And when we do that, we will grow and find balance again.
26. Simplify your life
We often get caught up with overanalyzing and complicating our life. When something goes awry and things aren’t lining up, we feel the pain. At that moment, the only thing that matters is what is it you want? How do you want to feel? What consideration do you need to take? What options do you have? Decide what it is you will do.
27. Refrain from judgment
It’s easy to judge others because we are not in their shoes and often are blinded to other hidden factors going on in their life. I’m sure none of us like being judged either and feel it’s unfair for people to say certain things about us when they don’t know the whole story. Keeping this in mind, everyone is functioning in their own “stories” and the decisions that we all make is based on so many different factors. When you refrain from judgement, you will increase your compassion.
28. Give yourself a break
No one of is perfect, so refrain from judging yourself too. Release the negative beliefs you have about you. Stop being so hard on yourself and embrace self-compassion.
As the saying goes, ‘laughter is the best medicine.’
It’s good for your health, it helps create bonds in the human spirit, and helps shift the mood and keep things in perspectives. Life is too short to be serious. Lighten up!
What other things do you do that helps you live mindfully? I’d love to hear! Share it below.