Living in peace and joy. Time to close 2022 and open a brand new chapter. How do you want 2023 to be?
This is an auspicious time to reflect on our lives. What is working, what is not working, what we want more of — and what we want less of.
Here are four ways to bring about a more mindful and graceful life in 2023.
#1 Make Space: Do Not Overbook Yourself
There will always be things to do — so we better learn to foster a mindful life, despite the busyness. A key here is to be present and enjoy what we do, absolutely. On top of that, there are a few tactics for how we manage our schedule in practice.
For instance, can you pinpoint three things that are important in each day — and let go of the rest? Also, can you have free time slots between what you have programmed for each day?
Things take time and energy — often, more than we think. We have logistics, to go back and to places, we shower and groom ourselves, prepare food, eat, take care of our things, and answer messages. Oftentimes, these are things we neglect in our schedule planning. No wonder we get too exhausted and busy.
We talk so much about decluttering our homes, so this is the next step: declutter your schedule.
Given that all takes more time than needed, and that things can always come up, could we free time in our schedule so we are not in a rush and overwhelmed?
It’s not only about doing things at ease but also about having a mind at ease. Clarity of mind. Having clear priorities in life is essential to keep our alignment and well-being, and priorities come from clarity.
What do you want, and what is not that important? Are you able to let go of what is not important, or let it for another day, in peace, and happiness with that which was prioritized?
Spaciousness is one of my key values in life. Spaciousness allows us to breathe, wander, relax, and yes, focus and give more of ourselves to what we care about.
A life that is already full has no space for more magic and beauty to come in.
Do less, but do it so much better, with more depth. Declutter your life.
#2 Bring Awareness to What You Live for
The previous pointer was about letting things go. This one is about deciding what gets to stay.
A Zen story tells of a beggar who every time gets two pennies uses one penny to buy a bowl of rice and the other to buy a flower. His behavior is criticized by the population, who asks him how could he possibly waste his penny on a flower when he has nothing. He answers: the bowl of rice is what he lives from, and the flower is what he lives for.
So I ask you: what do you live for?
Be mindful of it, and celebrate it more. Do more of what you love, of what brings you joy. Create space for it, nurture it.
#3 Reserve Time for Your Own Wellbeing
Yes, take care of yourself.
Before we can give and overflow to others, it is imperative that we know how to fill our own cups.
It doesn’t need to be overwhelming. In fact, many people now have exhausting routines that end up depleting them and leaving no space to circulate more with the outside.
There are many things that would be nice, like daily yoga, daily meditation, daily journal, etc, etc. But are all these things really what you need to be well and heart-centered?
If you need so much, chances are that what you doing outside of these practices is harming you too much for you to need all this constant balancing. The more we practice the previous points, the more grace we can bring into our lives as a constant.
It could be a 15-min daily meditation, a biweekly yoga class, a 5-min date with your favorite tea, or a weekly visit to your favorite museum. Candles and nice smells in your living room, keeping things tidy, more soft colors. Healthy and fresh food. Be real. What do you need to take care of yourself and feel at ease?
#4 Reserve Time for Growth
On point 3 we talked about maintenance, so we take care of our well-being and sanity. Now, we were made to expand. How do you want to grow next?
It can be a skill you want to learn, like how to make flower arrangements. It can be a personality trace, like being too much of a loner, that you wish to leave behind to create more community.
Again, it doesn’t need to be ten different things requiring five international retreats. The mind has a tendency to want everything, but I promise you, your heart is much more centered. Be mindful of where you are in your life — and what you want to add to it.
The key here is: what is your heart longing for?
#5 Practice Gratitude
Mindfulness is all about presence and awareness. As we bring more awareness to what we love and to our hearts, it is impossible to not experience gratitude.
Could you ask yourself every day at the end of the day what are you grateful for on that day? Or how about even catching yourself in moments you are grateful for and recognizing that gratitude in your heart?
This is more than recognizing what we care about and connecting to our hearts, permeating ourselves with love (which is of course amazing on its own!).
Let me tell you a secret about gratitude. Where our attention goes, our energy flows. Whatever we put our minds on, we amplify it.
Think about it: focus on a sad episode, and you revive it, amplify it — maybe even have a hard time dropping it.
If you bring more awareness to what you love, you will rejoice more in it, expand it and bring more of it into your life.
Just by being more grateful, we get more mindful, joyful, and graceful.
Notice how these tips are highly about creating awareness of what matters and of what doesn’t. Not from your mind, but from your heart.
From there, honor yourself by applying these insights in a practical way, by organizing your days, your schedule, and your life accordingly.
It is about alignment. Whenever feeling you got off track, come back to these pointers, and allow them to realign you and redirect your course.
Keep it simple, keep it real, keep it graceful.
Free Practice for Clarity
Ready to close 2022 and open 2023?
This exercise brings you clarity of your direction and how to walk forward in life.