How to Experience Your Life

Sometimes when you wake up in the morning, you wonder, "what is more real - the world of dream I just left or the world of wakefulness I am experiencing now?" When reality seems to confuse or disorient, perhaps it's time to take a big step back and Just Be.


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    Be prepared for experiences. Life is made up of many, many, many experiences. Most of the time we go through life not fully experiencing anything, just moving from one item on our to-do list to the next. Sometimes this leads to great spiritual discomfort or even emotional or physical illness. Stepping back and just Being for a day helps reorient. Most religions recognized this need and set aside one day a week for non-activity, or just being with family and loved ones.
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    Set aside some time each day for the following exercise: Find a quiet place, at first, where there are no distractions for at least 30 minutes. Turn off your cell phone or PDA. Go in a different room from your computer. Sit down, close your eyes, and just relax. What do you hear? Notice your breath. Breathe in, breathe out. Feel those breaths as if they mattered deeply, because they do! Feel your heart pumping life-giving blood throughout your body. Give thanks for that!
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    What can you feel with your hands? Put your hands on your lap. What do your clothes feel like? Gently massage your forehead. What does that feel like? Can you hear your fingers moving back and forth on your face?
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    At your next meal, savor it as if you were very very hungry, and eating it for the first time in your life. What is that like? Close your eyes and slowly chew your food. Is it sweet? Is it sour? Is it cold, or warm, spicy or bland? Focus on each flavor, one at a time. Keeping your eyes closed, bring some food to your mouth from your plate. What are you eating now? Can you tell what it is just from its flavor and texture?
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    Go outside and sit down in a safe place. Close your eyes. Listen to all the sounds you hear. Can you identify what you hear? Open your eyes after a few minutes. Does anything look or feel different to you now? How? Do you feel gratitude for the fresh air and sunlight? For the seasons and nature surrounding you? What do you feel gratitude for?
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    When you meet a person, put thoughts or judgments about the person's appearance aside for a few minutes. Focus instead on their energy. What sort of energy are they emitting? How would you describe it? For example, is it peaceful, angry, anxious, defiant, resolute? Kind, indifferent, belligerent, vacant? What sort of expression is on their face? Can you tell what they are feeling right now? Focus back on yourself. How is their energy affecting you? Is it drawing you closer to them, or pushing you away? What is it about them that is making that happen, do you think? What is it about your current state of being that is participating in that response?
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    Experience peacefulness within, as you are able, and send that peace out through your eyes and your smile, gently. Send people thoughts of peace and go about your day, for now only greeting them if they speak first. Don't be afraid to make eye contact but don't linger or stare.
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    Make eye contact. When you go about your daily routine of work, play and family, take the time to make genuine, caring eye contact with people. Be aware of them as well as of your own feelings, your own breathing in and out. Make sure you are not feeling driven. If something within is compelling you in some direction, write down what it is and what it asks you to do. Is this what you really want or need to do for a sensible, fulfilling life?
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    Practice mindful eating and mindful contact with people at least once each day. Get outside in nature at least once each day to hear the birds and listen to the wind in the trees. This will deepen your experience of your life and everything around you!

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil and paper to write about what you experience
  • Time aside from work and family responsibilities to process and grow

Article Info

Categories: Emotional Health