It took me half my life to realize that contentment was more attainable than I’d originally thought. For some reason I chose to go about this the long complicated way. The only regret is I could have made things easier for myself.
I have since understood that my life lessons of the past were simply tools to remind me to cherish myself. My problems weren’t there to hurt me, but to help me rediscover self-love,
As a child, I felt an outsider. I carried a silent frustration as most adults around me seem to miss the magic that life offered. They appeared too busy with their problems to notice anything.
If only they could have paused for a moment. How could they miss the joy of bird song, forget the smell of fresh cut grass, or the thrill of climbing a tree barefooted all the way to the top?
Nature to me, I decided, was a free magical playground, open for all. So, I created my fun from playing in the woods near my home, sometimes with friends and sometimes on my own.
As I grew up and became an adult, things changed. I too had problems now and spent most of my time indoors working a string of jobs that I hated.
A walk in the park was less appealing than Friday evening drinks with my friends. Even if my weekends were accompanied by mild hangovers, I thought at the time it was the right thing to do as was desperate for an escape.
Life went on this way for a while, and as I counted the clock from my office desk, I longed for even a pinch of my wild childhood abandonment. Because of the wear and tear of navigating the rough and smooth of my existence, I had lost myself.
I felt that society only respected fame and money; I wasn’t rich and wasn’t talented at anything, or so I believed. I thought that achievements would make me happy, so I tried all number of things for many years, desperate to feel worthy.
Again, and again, none of my hard work or effort amounted to anything, just lots of disappointments, and so I gave up. I stopped trying and became sorry for myself, feeling a victim and prisoner to my own failed expectations of life.
I longed for a world with more depth than mine had to offer. Then one day I was between pay checks and bored. The weather was on my side, so I took a short ride to a nearby forest and began to put one foot in front of another.
The trees were peaceful, and the smells and textures transported me back to my childhood; I had come home. The joy hidden in my heart sprung back to life.
I walked for ages before sitting under a tall tree, just sitting and being in a state of contented bliss and for the first time in years I was now that adult listening to my childhood advice.
.I took out my journal, jotted down my feelings and discovering that I had total responsibility for my life, I could choose joy, and that felt liberating!
I meditated and forgave myself for forgetting to live, and the inspiration that I had lost came back like a gift. I used my new found peace via nature to change direction, and I stopped struggling, comparing, fighting to be someone.
So, my journey continued over the months, one weekend I would walk barefooted in the grass in my local park, other days I would smell the roses in my garden or watched the moon and the stars at night. No matter how busy, I would make time for myself. I realized less was more. I could focus on what I wanted out of life.
I now live a life in a more balanced state of mind. I do work I enjoy and find happiness in the little things and approach challenges as ways to learn. It hasn’t been all easy but making the time to be in nature was a game changer for my life.
I believe all our journeys are unique but also connected. We all vibrate our own flavor of joyous existence. Here are some of my tips to help others along their journey.
1.Love yourself unconditionally. So, you aren’t perfect, but no one is. You are one hundred percent loveable as you stand in this moment. You are always enough! Why not try every morning looking in to the mirror and say the following words: I am more than enough, and I love myself and others completely.
Also, during the day every time you put yourself down in any way, stop, pause, think of nature. Spend the next week without judgement listening to your self-talk. What are you saying to yourself? Can you switch it around to something more positive?
Super tip: When you are full of negative self-talk: can you think of your favorite flower or plant and remind yourself that your inner light is as beautiful as its petals and leaves?
2. Connect with yourself via nature- Making time to be in nature is great for wellbeing. Go for a walk. With every step you make on the path, inhale happiness and as you exhale, let go of something that doesn’t serve you. You can do this as many times as you need.
3. Learn to feel contentment via kindness. Being present shows great kindness to yourself and to others. Listening to others fully present is kindness. We can find contentment in accepting yourself and others and showing the world it is important to stay true to the present moment.
Can you spend the next day, week or month listening to those who are speaking to you without worrying what you are going to say in reply?
4. How to keep yourself from feeling lost- Don’t lose yourself in life, lose yourself in the moment. Social media has become the norm these days. It helps us keep connect with those who don’t live near us, but can also make us feel not enough and the need to sell ourselves to others.
What if I could tell every one of you you’re already great, already magnificent as you are? Maybe you have forgotten this is the truth, but that is okay too. Life is about balance and far less time sitting than we currently do.
One needs to go outside and live life to the full. It can be easier not to do this, but comfort can become our downfall. Stepping outside and smelling the flowers helped me to rediscover how to live again, and it can do the same for many.
What are you waiting for, go for a walk, today is a new gift of a day!
The Gentle Yoga Warrior is a podcast presenter, energy healer, spiritual life coach, and yoga facilitator. You can listen to her weekly Podcast on most stations to gain further inspiration via conscious conversations about life.