How do we start celebrating life? I don’t believe that there is some rule that dictates a meaningful life. Something like ‘never break this arbitrary set of 10 rules’ or ‘you should use this lifetime to figure out how to make the perfect pancake’ or ‘have amazing sex with as many people as possible’. (I might be wrong though, so please don’t let me hold you back from trying… And hit me up when you figured the pancake thing out.)
What makes my life meaningful is to do what makes me enjoy being alive. How do I feel that I am alive, in the fullest way? And how can I not only feel alive myself, but live in such a way that we can share the richness of my bodily experiences? In short: how do we celebrate life?
To anders this question, I have come up with 5 practices for you to, well, celebrate life! Ladies and gentlemen, buggle-up! It is time for lift-off. (We will start serving drinks shortly.)
1) Celebrate your body
I would like to encourage you to move in soft ways. Go for a walk, try some Yin yoga, swim some relaxed laps in the local pool. Take a moment every day to stretch and strain and move your muscles in ways that feel good. And finding the movements that feel good for you, is the way to say thank you. Thank you, body.
2) Schedule time for contemplation
People say nothing is impossible. But I do nothing every dayWinnie-the-Pooh
Yes, I know. I sneak this one in every single blog. But that just goes to say how important I think it is to have room for contemplation in your life. Other people cannot give me an emotion. How I relate to what this other person says, is the only thing that determines how I will feel about it.
I take some time on a daily basis to do nothing but observe my own thoughts and feelings. Read here how to ‘think outside the tub’ and learn how to ride the waves of your thoughts and feelings.
3) Keep a journal
OK great, you mastered the art of living in the moment and are no longer the victim of thoughts about past and future. Hooray! Only… you just realized that this also means that you are no longer able to actually plan anything.
Not to worry, way ahead of you. How about you simply start a new habit. It can be as simple as buying a little booklet and reserve 10 minutes every morning after waking up to write down some thoughts, doodle style. All done! And no longer any need for all these obsessive thoughts 🙂
4) Be like a child. Play!
This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is playAlan Watts
The whole world, all of society, is made up of nothing more than a big collection of games. And everybody, if they know it or not, is participating in these games. Just do a little playful cheating here and there. Set yourself up for success!
Aspiring a job in finance but not as good with math as the people around you? Just stop aspiring to this job, silly! Finance is just not your kind of game. There will be plenty of other games where you are better than the people around you.
5) Find your source of ecstasy
We humans are capable of many states of being. And some of these states, states that most of us rarely venture upon, are ecstatic. A rapturous feeling that presents itself only when we are vulnerable enough to expose ourselves to new and uncertain situations.
In his book The Art of Losing Control, Jules Evan recommends us to figure out what type of events give us our personal dose of ecstasy. To nourish and bathe yourself in these strong and other-worldly feelings regularly.
Armed with this advice, my little grass-hopper, I now invite you to go out into the world and play, discover and celebrate life!