Years ago, an inner voice invited me to “get out of the box and dream”. It has been one of my goals since that time. You can imagine my delight when last month I found this piece of art in a Museum. The girl reminded me of myself, even having the long hair that I had when I was younger. The artwork inspired the June tip which serendipitously coincides with the onset of summer and my mini sabbatical. As my regular readers know, for the next three months, I take time off from “Journey Back to Self” with the intention of refilling my emotional pitcher and self actualizing. It is my hope that this article will inspire you to get “out of your box and dream” during the next few months in order to re-energize.
Put the FUN back in your day because it is FUNDAMENTAL to your well being. This summer, “get out of your box and dream” by looking at your life and activities in a new way. What is really of value in your life? If you are not sure, ask yourself how you want to be remembered at the end of your life. Factor in what really matters to you, not what matters to others. Once you have the answer to this question, work backwards and figure out the best use of your time, energy and money. Become conscious of the values and messages you tell yourself and begin to tweak them to be more positive. For example, in terms of exercise, if my choice is doing a less intense workout out of doors and have fun or an intense work out in a gym, I will choose outdoors. Nurturing my spirit will trump nurturing my body!
Be Present to Wherever You Are. “Get out of the box and dream” by focusing your attention on the Now. It is not past events that pull you back, it is your view of them that keeps you stuck. Stop seeing life through the “Rear view Mirror”. If you are constantly ruminating about a past event, it is like driving a car and only looking in the rear view mirror. You cannot get anywhere fast! As you move forward in your highway of life, look ahead to potential in the future. The past is only relevant if that is all you focus on. It matters less where you have been, and more about where you are and where you are going. Use your breath to readjust your emotions; breathe fully and deeply and open your eyes to the beauty surrounding you. Take a moment to notice, then absorb, the good around you. Approach events and people in a curious, non-judgmental manner as you accept, anticipate and welcome change.
Bring Your Desires into Your Consciousness. “Get out of the box and dream”. Use your imagination and begin looking forward to your desires and possibilities. Create a clear image of the steps you would like to take or what you would like to do. “Get out of your box and dream” about activities that make you happy; then execute them. What is the worst that can happen? If your decision does not feel right make another decision. If it does not work out learn from your mistakes and, in the meantime, you are developing some resiliency. Take the opportunity to learn and grow from positive and negative experiences in order to develop a “New Perspective”. If you are honest with yourself, there are few decisions in your life that are that vital. “Leap and the net will appear”. (John Burroughs)
Laugh, Enjoy life, and try something new. Take laughter seriously and begin to practice it. “Life is a sitcom and you are the star!” says Loretta LaRoche. Allow yourself to become the star of your life’s comedy and laugh at your mishaps and mistakes. The Cancer treatment Center of America has conducted studies to explore the impact of laughter on health. After evaluating participants before and after a humorous event (i.e., a comedy video), studies have revealed that episodes of laughter helped to reduce pain, decrease stress-related hormones and boost the immune system in participants. “Get out of the box and dream” and allow laughter to heal you and increase your endorphins.
Have an Attitude of Gratitude. “Get out of the box and dream” as you develop the daily habit of naming three things that make you grateful. It can be as simple as your good health, a beautiful day, or the flowers growing in your yard. Give your attention to the positive things that are equally true in your day and become fully aware of the good that is life. You will notice a synergistic loop, as you attune more to what makes you grateful, you will become even more happy and thankful.
Once the June tip is published, my sabbatical to “Journey Back to Self” will officially begin and I will be off having adventures. I take this respite for myself, as well as for you, because when I refill my “emotional pitcher” (Journey Back to Self March 09 Tip) in this way, I become more enthusiastic and thus have more to offer others.
This summer, I intend to be “out of the box fulfilling my dreams” and having lots of escapades. Will you join me? I will conclude this article by offering you some sedentary and active ideas. The first thing I would recommend is that you schedule one afternoon a week, or at least a month, to do what makes you happy. Your adventure does not have to cost a lot of money. You could go to a museum, take a walk in a park, go to a beach or lake, sit and read, explore an ethnic section of a city and eat ethnic food, attend an Italian or Greek festival, visit a new library and of course ride a bike. May you have a wonderful summer! See you in September.
What is one adventure you will have this summer?
What prevents you and what can you do about it?
“Just do what you feel … cause I can’t make you happy unless I am.” Ziggy Marley