I’m stoked you enjoyed the first part of our series “Living Life to its Fullest From the Heart”.
No, it’s not some new age-y trend followed by celebrities and their guru’s. It’s simply a way to live a more peaceful, present and productive life!
You might like to call it mindfulness or being present, I like to call it living life from the “heart”.
My friend first introduced the to me when I was 19 because I was struggling so much at the time. I was depressed and anxious. I felt so lonely. My self-judgement was so high and my self-worth so low.
I couldn’t be me because I just felt so not good enough.
My mind was racing a million miles an hour with anxiety and worry.
I needed to get out of my mind and into my heart.
I needed to find stillness and self-acceptance. I needed to reduce my self-judgement and learn to respect myself and others!
Nurturing you inner-self is such a big thing, and now massive company's such as Google and Nike actually encourage their employees to take time out during their working day in order to build a stronger connection to their inner self. Because when you find that internal stillness and focus, your creativity can really flow, your body becomes healthier and your negative self-talk dissolves away.
So, here are a few ways I practice living life from the heart. Everyone has their own path and this is what works for me!
Your experiences are gifts (yes, even the crappy ones)
Oh my gosh, it is so easy to believe that life is "unfair", or feel frustrated when things don't go "my" way! It happened to me just yesterday when I was running late and I was sitting in traffic. I was like "arghhhh, this is so annoying!!", and I started to project my unhappiness onto my boyfriend who was sitting next to me in the car. (Yikes! Sorry, babe)
Thankfully, I fairly quickly decided to try out this "maturity" thing out and take ownership of myself and the situation. I decided to accept the traffic and see the situation as a gift. A gift for me to learn about patience and better organisation, and to realise that even if I don't get what I want, I can still be loving!
All experiences; from break ups to being treated "unfairly", to being stuck in traffic, to not getting the job you so desperately wanted, are opportunities to learn, grow and become stronger.
Tame your monkey mind!
Ok, I wish I could lay claim to the idea of a Monkey Mind...but...I didn't make it up! It's a term that the Buddhist's have been using for thousands of years to describe one's busy mind. A mind like a monkey, or a flea, that jumps from one thing to the next.
When you're mind is scattered and busy, it usually means anxiety and stress. You have to learn to tame your mind to move to the heart...which leads me to my next tip...
Meditate (or find your version of)
It's no secret that some of the worlds most influential figures from Mother Theresa and Mahatma Ghandi, to Oprah, to Doctors, CEO's and athletes use meditation or their own variation of it (which might include breathing exercises, prayer, chanting or time in nature) to help them.
Find what works for you and by that I mean, find what slows the pace of your thoughts and mind down. Once you've got it, make time to practice everyday. Even if it's just a few minutes to sit quietly and set an intention at the beginning of your day.
The benefits? More relaxation, clarity, focus, compassion and closeness in your life.
Slooooow down and do one thing at a time
I liked this quote I read in Vogue recently by Maria Sharapova, "I don't like to do two things at once because it means I can only give 50% of myself to each thing, and then I'm never going to like the end product"
Doing one thing at a time and being fully present with it is satisfying and it helps you to be quieter in the mind (aka, less in the mind more in the heart). If your workload is high, this might mean needing to be extra organised at times, or saying no if you've got too much on.
NO is not a bad word
Being in the heart means compassion, kindness and respect. And respect starts with respecting yourself. If something doesn't feel right to you, practice saying "no" kindly and confidently out of self-respect. It's tricky at times especially when you predict the other person might be unhappy about it. But whether you're saying "no" to a boy, a drink, a party or work mates; those few seconds of awkwardness are way better than a life time of regret.
Share your load
I wish that I knew it was helpful to talk with someone about how I felt as a teenager because eventually when I started sharing my feelings with someone I trusted, I realised I didn't have to carry the load all by myself. It helped me to let go of my self-judgement because I felt nobody judged me, either.
Finding someone you trust like a friend, family member or a therapist and talking to them about what's going on can help raise your self-awareness and allow you to bring more compassion to your life.
Being happy for others also helps you
Jealousy is something that none of like, but really, who hasn't felt jealous at times? Jealousy comes deep down from our own inferiority and as a reaction to comparing ourselves to others. Who has more followers? Why does she get more attention than me? The more we can accept that our path is unique and perfect for us (aka our experiences are perfect little gifts to learn and grow) and the less we compare ourselves to others the happier we will feel.
Then, we can allow ourselves to be close to our friends (not compete with them) and to feel truly inspired by each other.
I really believe that the most beautiful girls are the ones who are natural and happy in their own skin. You don't have to be more to be
Loving self-talk, please
I've saved one of the best til last. Our minds run off beliefs such as "I'm just not good enough" or, "I will probably fail so I won't even bother trying" and that's when we have negative self-talk. Do everything you can not to listen to that voice and to change it to loving self-talk.
Just, imagine treating yourself like you would treat your best friend. With encouragement, kindness, love and warmth both in your thoughts and actions. You deserve all that and more.
So, these are my tips for Living Life to its Fullest from the Heart! I hope you enjoyed it and if you have any questions, or things you'd like to add we would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Who knows; your advice might be just the thing someone reading this needs to get through a tough time.
Lots of love,
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