How to Achieve Your Deepest Self Desires
“Men are not free when they are doing just what they like. Men are only free when they are doing what the deepest self likes.” -D.H. Lawrence
Are you doing what your deepest self desires? Or are you just going through the motions in life right now? Paying the bills, feeding the family, getting through the workday…
There was a time when I’d sometimes feel like an ant on an ant hill each day as I drove into work with a multitude of other ants making their way into the downtown offices. I had such a focus on reducing the never ending piles of work in my cubicle, but it seemed that no matter how focused I was and how long I stayed at the office, the stacks never got any smaller. I had this feeling inside that there had to be more to life, but I didn’t even know where to begin looking.
If you ever find yourself feeling this way, the good news is that there is a way out of this maze of deception. It begins with a practice of opening to the present moment (mindfulness), and by looking inward to ask your heart what it truly desires.
In fact, my greatest wish for you this year may be to listen inwards to what your heart desires. The answers may truly surprise you. I know my answers surprised me and they weren’t nearly as complicated as I anticipated.
I know this can be scary territory, but you can do this. I believe in you. The hardest step is often the first step.
What are YOUR Deepest Desires?
There is a feeling of worth and that your efforts matter when you begin pursuing your true dreams—not the goals your parents or teachers stressed the importance of when you were growing up, but the longings of your own heart and soul.
And the journey toward these soul-inspired destinations is sweet when we are aware and appreciating life unfolding all around us along the way.
We do this with the practice of mindful living.
As we begin this new year, it is the perfect time to re-evaluate what you truly want your life to look like, how you want this year to play out and how you want to live from day to day.
If this feels right to you, perhaps a good first step may be an intention to practice more mindful ways of living or to explore further what you really want your life to look like. You may begin with a little mindfulness exercise by sitting quietly, settling fully into your body, placing your hands over your heart and asking “What does my heart truly want?”
If you want more help exploring and expanding on your dreams, my Ultimate Guide to Creating your Dream Bucket List has a great list of questions and insight to help you get started.
Want help adding more mindfulness into your daily life? Here are some ideas and resources to help you on your journey to your ideal life.
Don’t wait to get started. Your ideal life is waiting for you.
Nine Easy Ways to Slow Down, Calm Down and Incorporate Mindfulness into your Day
1. Begin Your Day with Intention
Waking up with a specific intention in mind improves our focus and proactive habits. When we have a daily motif that is aligned with our goals that we follow from the beginning of the day to the end, each day is progress toward our ideal life.
2. Take a Mindful Walk
Here is one area of mindfulness where you can actually multitask and still be mindful. Head outside to move your body, inhale fresh air and enjoy your surroundings. Make an intention when you begin to simply look for things you may otherwise overlook: a tiny acorn on the ground, the way the branches of certain trees reach upward while others droop, a splash of color in the winter, the intricacies of a snowflake.
Alternatively, you could choose to simply pay attention to the sounds you hear. What can you notice that you wouldn’t have heard if you weren’t paying attention?
3. Begin Meals with Gratitude
By saying a blessing or giving thanks for the meal we enter a space of gratitude. Then eat slowly with a mindfulness of all the factors that resulted in your food being in your home and prepared as your meal. There is so much wonder in the processes of farming to travel to preparing food, and we do it multiple times a day!
Meditation is proven to reduce stress, and the act of stopping to sit with yourself and center decreases your heart rate and helps you calm down—not just as you do it, but throughout the rest of your day, too. Your meditation can be centered around any aspect of mindfulness: intention, affirmations, simplicity, or just self-care by relaxing and organizing your thoughts or letting them flow freely.
5. Stop Multitasking
It is essentially impossible to truly multitask; when you split your attention between responsibilities, you cannot truly devote what you need to each. As you focus your attention to just one task at a time, this allows you to engage in more mindfulness within the task, as well as increasing your productivity and quality of work.
6. Take 3 Deep Breaths Before You Open Your Laptop
For whatever you need your computer for, you can find a little moment of peace to slow down before you open it by taking these breaths. A lot of our feelings of being overwhelmed come from rushing from task to task, so this little break reminds us to find time for ourselves.
7. Savor Your Cup of Coffee or Tea
If drinking a cup of coffee or tea is an everyday part of your routine, then it’s likely that you do it on auto-pilot: making and drinking it without thinking twice about why you do it (probably because you enjoy it). When we slow down enough to savor the process and the result, drinking from our daily warm mug is another pocket of joy in our day.
8. Look out the Window
I so easily become entranced by work during the day and forget about the outside world, even though my desk is right next to a window. When I feel overwhelmed or want to reconnect with the outside world, I simply move my eyes away from the computer and watch nature while breathing deeply. Sometimes, even the weather can surprise me if I look beside me and see rain, snow, or an unexpected sunny day. Not only does this allow me to slow down and calm down, but I also get to see beauty and feel joy at the reminder of nature and the complexity of life.
9. Reflect / Journal at the End of the Day
The JMB Living Journal exists because I wanted to incorporate a realistic way to increase joy, slow down, and take small steps everyday to an optimal lifestyle that is instilled with mindfulness. Taking time for yourself at the end of each day to reflect—not only on just that day, but on anything weighing on your mind—allows you to be more in-tune with yourself, your values, your dreams, and your desires.