BY MONICA COULTER AUGUST 1, 2014
Are you living each day with vitality and enthusiasm? Or are you just getting by, painfully stuck in the status quo? It’s normal to get bogged down with life’s details, but it’s also important to make happiness a priority. Consider the following simple tips if you’re looking for an emotional tuneup:
1. Make friends with your past and find the lesson in the pain.
Offer love and forgiveness to yourself at every age, along with your family of origin, ex-friends, lovers and any other key players. Watch in awe as decades of emotional debris disappear and the real self begins to make itself known. Also, consider using the experience to help someone else that is going through a similar situation. No experience is wasted, particularly when it’s used to facilitate healing.
2. Don’t let your tongue get you into trouble.
Maybe you’re not dropping f-bombs or verbally assaulting others, but are your words as kind as they can be? How’s that internal dialogue? If you aren’t speaking to yourself as you would a dear friend, there’s a problem. Our words hold power, and it’s vital to eradicate hateful speech toward self and others if we want to know lasting peace.
3. Love your body.
You only got this one, so treat her right. Eat colorfully and organic when possible. Avoid chemicals and toxic, impossible-to-pronounce ingredients and preservatives. Your body needs whole foods to function at its prime. Stay on the perimeter of your grocery store, or better yet, visit the farmers market. Of course, too much rigidity isn’t helpful either. If you simply can’t resist that extra scoop of gelato, don’t condemn yourself. Just remain mindful of your body’s wants and needs, and it will naturally balance itself out.
4. Stay in your own hula hoop.
This is a piece of advice a friend of mine loves saying, and it’s about more than just not gossiping, though removing hateful chatter is important. Keep the focus on your issues instead of delving into everyone else’s perceived problems. The truth is that it’s hard enough to dissect what’s going on in your own life, let alone that of a friend or family member. Why waste time making assumptions or judgments? Practice staying out of it and enjoy the freedom that comes with healthy boundaries.
5. Give it away — money, your time, your energy, your passion — whatever those things are that are your precious gift to humanity.
Whatever it is, give it generously and because you feel compelled to do so. Giving is receiving, so give with the knowledge that your sharing is an endlessly multiplying act. It’s also a surefire way to get out of your own ego-based mind for a minute.
6. Be kind.
In speech, as noted above, but also in expression, behavior, and attitude. This means speaking with truth and compassion, and understanding that our actions affect one another and the planet. We’re interwoven, and not in some indeterminate future. Here and now, every day and with every decision we make, we’re carving our shared destiny.
7. Implement a gratitude practice.
Supremely simple and yet so profound. Whether it’s a quick thank you as you’re fading into sleep or a disciplined habit of putting pen to paper, gratitude is a powerful act. It serves as a mental reset and automatic affirmation of the abundance in your life. The fastest way to usher in more of a good thing? Recognize the ways in which you’re already blessed.
8. Keep happy company.
The people you surround yourself with and the energy they carry matter — period. If you’re constantly around bitter, cold, or critical people, it will be harder to keep your loving center intact. More than that, you will not be elevated and allowed to shine in all your magnificence. Surround yourself with people who are turned on and appreciate your light. It’s only here where your brilliance can escape and make its way into the lives of everyone you meet.