If I think back over my life, the times I struggled the most, the times I felt the least passion for the people and things that mattered, and the times I floundered and felt most hopeless were all tied to stretches where I was simply going through the motions. Many of us in 21st century America have become robotic machines who do and experience the same things over and over again in the course of a week, month, and year—never deviating from the plan, because the plan is how we get through our dull, uninspired days until we get to our evening glasses of wine, which helps us numb out so we can do the same boring, mundane shit all over again tomorrow. We are existing, but we aren’t truly living.
Ask a typical American man, woman, or child how they are doing and you will get very similar responses:
Things are okay.
Things could be better.
It’s all good.
Where is the passion? Where is the excitement? Where is the adventure? Where are the things that set your soul on fire? What are the experiences that get you so fired up and blazing with passion and excitement? What has happened to your lust for life? When was the last time you did anything for YOU (and not felt guilt, shame, or embarrassment for doing it)?
If I were to sit down with you nose-to-nose and knee-to-knee right now and ask you how you were doing, would you “I’m fine” me to death? Or would you turn the conversation back to me so you didn’t have to talk about your life at all? If the answer is yes to one or both of those questions, or you feel squeamish about examining your rote, humdrum life with a magnifying glass—we need to talk.
If, on a scale of 1-10, your life, in it’s aggregate, is anything less than an 8-10 every minute of every day of the week, I want you to try one (or more) of these 5 things:
- Write it down. Get a journal and start writing about your life, your goals, and your unfulfilled dreams. Write about what deflates you and what brings you joy. Don’t edit your thoughts. Get clear. With clarity comes change.
- Add some spice to your life. Eat spicy food. Add some pops of color to your wardrobe. Try a new shade of lipstick. Add some oomph to your love-making. You don’t have to jump out of a plane, but do something—anything—that gets your blood pumping and your heart racing.
- Reach out to someone and get together IN PERSON (bonus points if they are someone you don’t normally see or if they are someone you are just getting to know). Stop hiding behind a screen. Go do something you wouldn’t normally do. Instead of going out to dinner or for drinks, go to that hot new class at the gym. Instead of sitting around the coffee shop, go dancing, or to a concert, or to an art class.
- Do something artistic. My heart cracks wide open when I see how disconnected we are from our creative selves. We are the nation that lobbies for art education in schools because we know how important it is, but we shy away from anything artistic in our own adult lives. Wake. Up. People. Art is not only amazing and cathartic and eye-opening and exhilarating…it is one of the things that is going to prevent you from getting dementia! Start small…grab a coloring book. Pick up some knitting needles. Go poke around your local craft store, buy some shit, and start to play. Don’t know where to start—take a class with a compassionate and enthusiastic instructor.
- Change your perspective. Are you a country bumpkin? Head into a bustling city. Always waiting for someone else to make the first move? Take charge for a change. Glass half full? Make a gratitude list and start a gratitude journal. White? Spend some time with people of color. Rich? Spend some time with people who have less. Don’t have the means to invest in yourself financially? Pretend! Go test drive an expensive car. Go to an open house in an upscale neighborhood. Order just dessert at that fancy restaurant you have longingly driven by a million times.
White bread is for making grilled cheese sandwiches for toddlers—it should NOT be how you live your life.
Want even more tips for how to stop going through the motions? Want to make strides to start living an inspired, exciting life? I am working with women in an 8-month online coaching program beginning January 10th. We are going from humdrum to holy-shit-I-can’t-believe-this-is-my-life! Stop saying “I’m fine” and JOIN US!!