1) Start being grateful for being alive. – Did you wake up this morning and remember that you’re alive as if it were a miracle? Did you awake one more time in this world with wonder and appreciation that you are actually alive? Did you wake up and consider all the amazing experiences that you may be able to witness just by being alive, even if it’s just experiencing ALIVENESS itself? Did you start your morning with an amazement for all that you’ll see and taste and say and hear and feel? There is no greater way to start your day than to remember your aliveness as if it is a gift.
Life can be a dream full of aliveness, or a nightmare if you think about everything all the time… Simply, to be grateful to be alive deepens your experience of your own innate aliveness, connects you with more courage, and allows you to respond to your life with more appreciation for everything and nothing… just for being alive.
2) Start expressing the things that matter from your heart – There are so many opportunities to say what you really feel from your heart from moment to moment… from day to day. You can hold what you feel in for fear of how others may react, or you can open your soul to another and risk being a fool in the eyes of another to be kind to your own heart. Intimacy and vulnerability require openness, but ask yourself if you’ve loved yourself or your relationship with another more or less after sharing how you really felt, even if initially it causes discomfort? Even if it caused the relationship to end and others to begin?
3) Start Taking Risks! – Think of every single human being who has made history that has inspired you… I believe they all share risk in common. They risked being themselves and flaunted the thoughts of others including their loved ones, stepped outside the box, and dared not let their circumstances get in the way of their dream, inner or external endeavor. What’s the difference between you and anyone else on this planet who inspires? Nothing, except perhaps yourwillingness to take risks. But ask yourself: did you really come here to play it safe?
4) Start minding your own business – You’re missing your own aliveness when you go missing into the stories and circumstances of others. If you are delving into their stuff, it may be an avoidance of experiencing your own life. It may be a reflection of the drama you wish for your own life, or directly related to your own internal strife. Why is that person not able to worry about his own self? Why do you think you’re better qualified to figure out their life? Or is it that you don’t want to face your own life circumstances and journey?
5) Start taking notice of all the small things that bring you JOY – Life is made up of a lot of small moments pieced together. It’s really one big moment containing little details of small things, even in the “big” moments. If you’re only looking for the end result full of the big things, you’re missing the aliveness contained in the nothingness, in the little things. It’s in the breath you breathe; in the objects around you, and in the space between each step you take. When you notice the little things, and the joy they bring, more joy becomes your every moment experience. If you can notice one small thing that brings you joy in every moment, every moment will be joyful.
6) Start doing all the things (big and little) that make you come alive, what you love to do, your passions – You might die tomorrow. You might lose the ability to walk, talk, see, hear, or smile. Or, more likely, you might look back on your life in 50 years and see all the things that you didn’t do with an ache in your soul. You can consider all of the reasons “why you can’t” live your passion or do what you love that mostly likely come from your circumstances, but I wonder if those reasons are going to make you feel better with that ache in your soul when you see your life has passed you by?
7) Start taking more space to yourself, alone –Taking space from the world to lose focus from things and circumstances can be like a breath of fresh air. Being with yourself and disconnecting from the outside gives you an opportunity to go inside and play in your imagination. It’s in the richness of the quiet that you can deepen your connection with the love that you naturally can feel in your presence. With more connection to who you are deep down, the less that you rely on outside circumstances to give you a sense of satisfaction. Space is richness, presence, and love.
8) Start living for the moment, moment to moment –When you are in the moment, living for the moment that is, drawing from the presence of the moment, do you not feel more alive? Do you not naturally feel more happy and as if any perceived problems don’t matter as much as the moment itself? Every moment is an opportunity. Every single moment is a gift. Forget the past moments that were, just ask yourself what will make you come alive in this moment, and act on it. You may not see another moment, so be in this one with all of your heart.
9) Start being more humble – It’s easy to be demanding or reactive. It’s easy to be self-righteous. And, it can be easy to play small, or be undeserving, or feel unworthy, or beat yourself up. Being humble resides neither in the high, nor in the low, but living through the heart. The heart doesn’t demand, nor feel undeserving. The heart exists as one with what you love in a state of grace. It just is. Be humble. And you will find yourself with more intimate and patient relationships with others by opening yourself to your own heart through being humble.
10) Start Wondering –Have you ever spent a day in wonder for all that is? Do you ever allow yourself time wondering about life, or your own existence? Do you take the special moments to simply wonder at the opening of a flower, the way we look as human beings, or marvel at the sunset or sunrise and be in the amazement of the world as it’s moving, or in it’s stillness? Can you feel the thriving aliveness? There is so much beauty no matter what you’re looking at. Start wondering at the amazing aliveness that’s out there in the world.
11) Dream bigger! Expand your mind. – What if the only limitations were the limitations of your mind? What if you had it within you to dream bigger, and with that dream, possibly grow closer to living that dream. And even if you don’t believe it’s true, isn’t it worth a shot, to dream bigger than the current dream, to expand beyond the current limitations or bindings that may or may not have to do with your circumstances. Start dreaming; start imagining the life that you love; start expanding your mind, and wouldn’t it be impossible not to experience a change in your world, even if it was just in your dreams? I have experienced that your dreams would spill over into your reality if you dream and then act on those dreams. But first, just dream…
12) Let go of the past & future – Aliveness, and a sense of arrival within yourself comes from being in the now, not in some idea of what you think your life should or needs to look like in the future. And if you’re holding onto the past, not embracing how you feel about what the past was, it will be like a weight that’s binding you to the ground when your heart wants to fly. You can’t change the past, but you can accept and embrace what was. You can’t control the future, but you can open your heart to all possibilities and within them believe in the infinite beyond. Let go of the past. Let go of the future. Be here now.
13) Start wearing your heart on your sleeve; BE vulnerable – Does it work to be closed off and protected? There is nothing more freeing than daring to risk being open in the face of rejection. Keeping an open heart is safer than a closed one. Why? Because you experience life on the edge, and you experience more of what you love: love itself. Even when you’re rejected you experienced more love because you let yourself open to that love. You deepened in your experience of knowing what that is.
14) Start remembering that you know nothing – Whatever you knew before may not matter now, because right now is a new moment. In this moment, there is a different truth, a different experience to be had. You can see the world through the lens of the past, but in this moment, if you allow it to be a fully new moment, you will realize that you know nothing of this moment and who you are within it. It’s a new moment. The truth is, you know nothing except the past. The moment you know something, the moment you take the past and project it onto this moment, thereby limiting it. You can feel what you feel now, and experience what you experience now. Start with a clean slate to let yourself be who you are now.
15) Start Living more Needlessly – The feeling of need is like an addiction, it keeps you chasing that which you perceive to lack. Living needlessly is to be an independent human being, living from a sense of beingness that doesn’t require anything except aliveness to experience life in happiness. Yes you live in need of basic human requirements, but on the inside, to live needlessly is freedom. Whether it’s need to do what you love, or it’s need of being with someone, or something, even something intangible, need takes away from experiencing the pure joy of being alive.
16) Start appreciating the friends and family that you have. —When we wish the people in our lives were different, or did things differently, we invalidate both their being and ours. Love them unconditionally, enjoy the moments you have with them, and accept who they are instead of dwelling on who you might want them to be. (#16 contributed by Chani Craig)
17) Start being aware of how you really feel and be honest about it – There are life situations that you’re dealing with, but is it the life situation or is it how you feel about the life circumstance that gives you the experience you’re having? Some people experience the same events but have completely different reactions to them. Why is that? Because some things that happen push one person’s buttons, but not another persons buttons. It’s easy to say, I’m fine, or it’s cool, or it doesn’t matter. But deep down you have to live with that feeling of pain or sadness. And if you could be honest with yourself about how things make you feel, you are in the embrace of what’s really going on for you, and in the embrace of whatever that feeling is, you’ll give yourself an opportunity to express that feeling within. Being honest with yourself is closer to freedom than denial. To just feel and be present with how you feel is powerful. Then, move on with compassion for what you’ve experienced without it becoming a drama or circumstance you hang onto. What you feel doesn’t have to become who you are, but if you acknowledge how you feel, then you will realise it’s a temporary experience, and not who you are.
18) Start using your IMAGINATION – Do you imagine what you love? Do you spend time picturing what you’d love your life to look like? Or do you just sit and think about all the things you wish you could fix, improve, or change about your life? Spend time imagining all of the experiences you’d love to have. Start curling up with yourself intimately and imagine the different things you’d love to have, and share, and feel, and experience.
19) Start seeing everything as if you’ve never seen it before – When you look at the same environment with fresh eyes, it comes alive. It’s no longer just a thing that you’ve seen before that’s just a part of the background. When you behold what is around you with a newness, it’s as if newness becomes the moment. People love to travel often because they see new things and in that newness, experience more aliveness. What’s right before you right now is alive, and if you can see everything around you with fresh eyes, you will feel the presence within and between all things and ultimately within yourself.
20) Be grateful for being alive & every single moment – No matter what choices you make, no matter what circumstances you’re given, and no matter how you choose to respond to those circumstances, you can be in full appreciation for being alive. You can be humble, choose to be happy, and choose to experience your aliveness. You have the power to choose your own adventure in this life. You can choose not to listen to your limitations. You can choose to be bigger than what your thoughts may tell you. And you can choose to follow your own heart despite what others may say. Only you can expand your mind, imagine what you love, or do something differently today than you did yesterday if that’s what you want. You are the only one with the power to change your life, for better or for worse. It’s up to you. Yes, life is a risk! But in every single new moment, you have a new chance to turn it all around… it’s all you…