How to Live a Happy and Satisfied Life

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I took July off to rejuvenate.
I did this because I had become a well oiled machine.
I was no longer taping the Creative source within and my inspiration for the tips was dying.
During my "sabbatical",  I discovered that while I "talk a good talk" about being present to the moment, I forgot how to "walk" it.
The extent of my downward spiral became clear to me when I attempted to take an entire day to have "purposeless fun", as suggested by Julia Cameron in The Artist Way.
  On this particular day in July, I cleared my schedule, packed a lunch and set off for a day's adventure.
I was having a delightful time until 1pm.
After 4 hours of fun, my mind went on a" seek and destroy" mission as I tried to come up with tasks that needed to get done.
The reality was that there were NO tasks; I was feeling guilty and restless because I had forgotten how to be purposeless.
 Does this happen to you?  Have you become so efficient that you have forgotten to relax and just enjoy Life?  I became intrigued by what happened to me and decided to look at my situation and explore exactly what had occurred.
I discovered the following dynamics that rob me of the ability to enjoy the moment.
I also created some possible antidotes that may assist you.
The Traps:
  1. The "Shoulds" -I have a very long list of things that I want to get done or think that "should" get done which makes it difficult to have free time.
    In addition, I have a high need to be in control; competing with God to be the master of my Universe.
    AA has an expression "let go and let God".
      When I allow this to happen, inspiration and ideas flow to me and my "tasks" get easier.
  2. "Old tapes" - Messages from my childhood play in my head and influence my behavior.
    One such message: "If you are not busy you are lazy".
      Since there is always something that needs to get done, it causes me to become a well oiled machine.
    This machine works fairly efficiently for about six months but then it begins to break down when it is not regularly maintained.
  3. Innate disposition - I am a highly active person; it is challenging for me to be still physically or mentally.
    My hyperactivity is a blessing and a curse.
    On one hand it keeps me productive and thin but on the other hand, I miss Spirit that is embedded in life.
The Antidotes:  If this is your reality, what can you do about it? How do you ground and center yourself amidst the demands of life?
  1. Be objective about your "to do" list.
    Is it overzealous? How can you make it more realistic? What non-essentials can you remove from the list and push off to another day? What can you permanently discard or delegate? A way to help you figure this out is to remind yourself of your over all goals for the day, the week, the month or in life.
    Then take a step back and re-prioritize what really needs to get done.
  2. Identify your feelings of uneasiness when they occur.
    Are they reality based or are they caused by one of your old tapes or issues? If they are unrealistic and causing you stress, come back to your center as you become aware of the LIFE around you.
    Take a moment - to stop, notice and breathe in the beauty of nature.
  3. Utilize self talk - Remind yourself of your priorities in life: your health, your family, your spirituality.
      Tell yourself that you are "allowed some free time" because it will revitalize you and ultimately keep you more productive.
Blog/Reflection Question: What is one of your "traps"? What "antidote" do you use to be in the moment? Enjoy life.
This is not a dress rehearsal
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Sydney J.
Harris
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