I went to Omega to work with Carolyn Myss a couple weekends ago and one of the archetypes that she talks about is the Prostitute Archetype.
Think of it for a second. How are you willing to sell anything if the price is right? Whether we sell our time with our families, our values, or our health, it does not matter it is a sale of, as Carolyn Myss put it, a part of our soul that stops us from ever really being happy.
In order to make sure that you don’t sell your soul you need to know where it lives and how to care for it.
When your work is about success and fulfillment you do a lot of thinking about how to live the best possible life. Here is a list of some of the keys to living a deeply fulfilled life.
1. Figure out what you love. People are happier when they know what they love.
2. Do it often. Doing what you love makes you feel more fulfilled.
3. Remove things from your life that are mediocre, beige, flat or merely being tolerated. You only have so much time attention and energy don’t waste it on what does not matter.
1. Know what is important to you.
2. Know why it is important to you.
3. Because, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” F. Roosevelt
1. Learn to be good to others and do it as much as possible.
2. Learn to be good to yourself and do it as much as possible
3. Go out of your way everyday to do something especially nice for a total stranger.
1. Pay attention to all the wonderful things that are a part of your life both large and small.
2. Thank people for what they bring to your life.
3. Learn to find gratitude even for the things and people that are difficult
1. Take a few moments every day to sit quietly.
2. Keep a journal.
3. Learn to listen fully to what someone is saying. Really take it in before responding.
1. Make a list of everyone in your life that you have an unresolved issue with and find a way to resolve it within yourself and if possible with them.
2. Forgive yourself.
3. Make it a practice to forgive others as quickly as possible.
1. Make time to be creative in ways that please you the most.
2. Laugh as much as possible.
3. Remember that your life is what you dream it to be.
Looking for personal growth work that will guide you through making the changes you need to make for your fulfillment and support you as you step fully into a more fulfilled and happy life? Your answer may be LifeWork Community. Learn more here.
My upcoming book is called Apathy is Noxious: The power of giving a damn. I really like the way it is shaping up. The book is a step on the path to getting what I believe is the most important message: Care More.
After thinking a lot about it, I realized that if I could change one thing in the world. It would be to get people to care more. I believe that harnessing our power to care is life changing, world changing, and downright transformational on every level.
It might sound trite but think about it for a second. How often have you said to yourself “I think that if I just cared more that would solve this problem?”
How often have you thought, if that person or group just cared more then this problem would be solved?
Kind of interesting right? Most of us have found ourselves lamenting the lack of care that we see in another group of people. Maybe even sometimes getting upset because how much we care about something is getting in our way: We care about a person and they hurt us. We care about a cause and we see it fail our ideals. We care about an aspect of our life and we loose it.
Then it turns into blame. It must be someone besides us that is messing this all up, right?
What if I were to tell you, no?
What if I were to tell you that if you really cared about yourself and others that it would blow the doors off what you have been up to now calling your life.
The truth is that there is a place inside of you that is so full of love for you and for everything around you that when you tap into it you will no longer be caring because you are expecting an outcome. You will care because it is who you are.
When you look at an aspect of your life, you will know that it is not like that because you don’t have the right amount of money or because you couldn’t get the love of someone you were interested in but because you did not care enough to do what it takes to make it something different.
And that is something most people do not want to hear.
Because it means that they are both the problem and the solution.
So, look at your life, look at your relationships and your work. Are they the way that you want them to be? Ask yourself am I caring as much about myself as this other person, idea, or thing? And, am I caring as much about this person, idea, or thing, as I am caring about myself?
Is there a way that I can care more? What would I do if I was willing do care more?
Ask and act on these questions and, trust me, your life will change.
The covers of most men’s and women’s magazines have similar headlines: “Get Great Abs” and “Have Amazing Sex.” From the looks of it, these two issues have been recycled over and over (with some other stereotypically gender-relevant articles thrown in) on every Men’s Health, Maxim, Cosmopolitan and Glamour cover since the dawn of time. In fact, I’d bet that if we could get a better translation of cave drawings, they would read something like “Grok get flat belly. Make girl Grok moan with joy.”
And we keep buying them. We keep buying this lie that these things will make us happy. I’ve had washboard abs (past tense) and I’ve had some pretty phenomenal sex. Neither one made me a better person. Neither one completed me or made my life more fulfilling.
We chase this idea of “I will be happy when… “
I will be happy when I have a new car. I will be happy when I get married. I will be happy when I get a better job. I will be happy when I lose five pounds. What if instead we choose to be happy — right now?
If you can read this, your life is pretty awesome.
Setting aside our first-world problems and pettiness, if you are online reading this, you have both electricity and WiFi or access to them. Odds are you are in a shelter of some sort, or on a smart phone (and then kudos to you for reading this on the go). Life might bump and bruise us, it may not always go the way we plan and I know I get frustrated with mine, but here’s the thing: You are alive.
Because you are alive, everything is possible. So about those eight tips…
1. Stop believing your bullshit.
All that stuff you tell yourself about how you are a commitment phobe or a coward or lazy or not creative or unlucky? Stop it. It’s bullshit, and deep down you know it. We are all insecure 14 year olds at heart. We’re all scared. We all have dreams inside of us that we’ve tucked away because somewhere along the line we tacked on those ideas about who we are that buried that essential brilliant, childlike sense of wonder. The more we stick to these scripts about who we are, the longer we live a fraction of the life we could be living. Let it go. Be who you are beneath the bullshit.
2. Be happy now.
Not because The Secret says so. Not because of some shiny happy Oprah crap. But because we can choose to appreciate what is in our lives instead of being angry or regretful about what we lack. It’s a small, significant shift in perspective. It’s easier to look at what’s wrong or missing in our lives and believe that is the big picture — but it isn’t. We can choose to let the beautiful parts set the tone.
3. Look at the stars.
It won’t fix the economy. It won’t stop wars. It won’t give you flat abs, or better sex or even help you figure out your relationship and what you want to do with your life. But it’s important. It helps you remember that you and your problems are both infinitesimally small and conversely, that you are a piece of an amazing and vast universe. I do it daily — it helps.
4. Let people in.
Truly. Tell people that you trust when you need help, or you’re depressed — or you’re happy and you want to share it with them. Acknowledge that you care about them and let yourself feel it. Instead of doing that other thing we sometimes do, which is to play it cool and pretend we only care as much as the other person has admitted to caring, and only open up half way. Go all in — it’s worth it.
5. Stop with the crazy making.
I got to a friend’s doorstep the other day, slightly breathless and nearly in tears after getting a little lost, physically and existentially. She asked what was wrong and I started to explain and then stopped myself and admitted, “I’m being stupid and have decided to invent lots of problems in my head.” Life is full of obstacles; we don’t need to create extra ones. A great corollary to this one is from The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz: Don’t take things personally. Most of the time, other people’s choices and attitudes have absolutely nothing to do with you. Unless you’ve been behaving like a jerk, in which case…
6. Learn to apologize.
Not the ridiculous, self-deprecating apologizing for who you are and for existing that some people seem to do (what’s up with that, anyway?). The ability to sincerely apologize — without ever interjecting the word “but” — is an essential skill for living around other human beings. If you are going to be around other people, eventually you will need to apologize. It’s an important practice.
7. Practice gratitude.
Practice it out loud to the people around you. Practice it silently when you bless your food. Practice it often. Gratitude is not a first world only virtue. I saw a photo recently, of a girl in abject poverty, surrounded by filth and destruction. Her face was completely lit up with joy and gratitude as she played with a hula hoop she’d been given. Gratitude is what makes what we have enough. Gratitude is the most basic way to connect with that sense of being an integral part of the vastness of the universe; as I mentioned with looking up at the stars, it’s that sense of wonder and humility, contrasted with celebrating our connection to all of life.
8. Be kind.
Kurt Vonnegut said it best (though admittedly, and somewhat ashamedly — I am not a Vonnegut fan): “There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.'” Kindness costs us nothing and pays exponential dividends. I can’t save the whole world. I can’t bring peace to Syria. I can’t fix the environment or the health care system, and from the looks of it, I may end up burning my dinner. But I can be kind. If the biggest thing we do in life is to extend love and kindness to even one other human being, we have changed the world for the better. That’s a hell of a lot more important than flat abs in my book.
Click here to follow Kate Bartolotta on Facebook