In today’s world, life seems to become more and more fast-paced and hectic, making us feel as if it’s just passing by. The omni-present Internet (hello smartphone, Facebook, e-mails) and increasingly expected 24-hr availability on the job and at home are making it near impossible to connect with our inner self.
There always seems to be something new happening, to be done, talked or read about to keep up with an important piece of news, gossip or the next big deal or trend. There comes a time when it all simply becomes too much, when stress levels are high and it feels as if everything is about to collapse and fall apart.
Time to slow down
That’s when it is time to slow down, take a step back, and re-evaluate what it is you want from your life. Find some quiet time – be it a few minutes, hours or even days away from your hectic lifestyle – and ask yourself five simple questions:
1. What do I like or dislike about my life right now?
Make a list of everything you like about your life that makes you feel comfortable; things that make your life easy and then look at what makes your life feel uncomfortable or unpleasant.
2. What makes me happy or unhappy in my life right now?
Now make a list of all the good things in your life that make you smile, laugh, feel good; things you do not want to miss – be it a certain person, project, hobby or simply your daily morning tea ritual and then write down all the not so good stuff. You get the drift.
3. What can I do to experience more of what makes me happy and change what makes me unhappy?
Compare your findings on what brings you happiness and comfort to things you have listed as not so pleasant or which make you feel unhappy. Mark what is important for you in your life. Then look at how you can incorporate more of the good stuff.
4. What can I Iet go of and compromise without neglecting my happiness?
Now comes the moment of truth: note down all the things you want to leave behind and possibly replace them with something more fulfilling according to your findings.
Example: Are you going to crochet classes because you get to catch up with your friends, or it is kind of “expected” as it is your boss’ latest hobby even though you would rather find that much needed body-mind connection doing yoga? Go and take that yoga class instead! There are plenty of other opportunities to catch up with your friends or showing your boss you share common ground.
Okay, so far so good. You know what you want—now it is time to go and get it! Prioritise your above findings and start implementing those findings even in small ways and turn them into actions one by one, little by little, by asking…
5. What will I do today, tomorrow, in a week etc. to continue getting out of the grind and living the life I want to live?
Make a plan for today (checking out the yoga studio schedule), tomorrow (trying a class, enrolling for yoga sessions – see where this is going?), next week (enjoy twice weekly yoga sessions, start to meditate over your morning tea). Find your own pace and happiness, leaving the grind behind.
And yes, go on that getaway, take up the new hobby you always wanted to, or simply go offline and dedicate some “me time” to yourself. Start with yourself and see the world slowly changing around you.
As Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It all starts from within. Use your inner power to break out of the daily grind and live the life you want to live.