How was your day yesterday or the day before that? Do you remember what happened; how you felt, who you spent time with, what you saw, heard, tasted, or experienced? Do you remembered what moved you to tears or laughter? It wasn’t long ago that I didn’t remember any of those things unless I looked at my calendar or my to-do list. Every day felt like a race against the clock and a quest to see how much I could cram in and get through. After a while though, I realized I wanted more than to just get through my life. I wanted to show up for it, to be in my life and not just checking pieces of it off my list each day.
If you’d like to show up for your life too, this is what I recommend. These are things I’ve done that have made the biggest difference and allowed me to be fully present for what matters to me. These aren’t listed in order of importance. This isn’t a competition or a race and these are all practices I continue to revisit and refine. Experiment, be curious, be gentle with yourself and remember you aren’t doing this to have a simple life, you are doing it to have a life – a life you want to show up for and experience with your whole heart.
1. Make a little space.
When everything is important, nothing is. Start to show up for your life by making room for it. Make a little space by clearing some distractions from your living space, your working space, and from your calendar. This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything right way. Even 5% less will make a difference.
2. Eat better food.
It’s hard to show up for your life when you are tired, lack clarity or don’t feel well. This almost always comes back to food. What you eat has a direct impact on how you feel and how you experience your life. I don’t want to recommend a specific diet, but instead recommend that you learn what foods make you feel the best (and the worst). Try a nutritional reset like the Whole 30, eliminating common trigger foods like sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol and others. Notice how you feel when you add them back to your diet. You might also try keeping a food diary including how you feel each day. Look back after 30 days and see if you notice any patterns. When you are mostly eating food that is best for your body, you will sleep better, have more consistent energy throughout the day and feel more alive.
3. Put your phone down.
Our digital devices add value to our lives but they also steal us from our lives if we let them. When you put your phone down, you can notice your surroundings, listen to your heart, and make eye contact. You can pay attention to what is right in front of you. Without the distraction of our digital devices we are less scattered and more focused. There are plenty of things we can do to manage digital usage like turning off notifications or switching on airplane mode but the only way to show all the way up for the life right in front of us is to put the phone down.
4. Dress with less.
Deciding what to wear requires mental energy better spent on other things. Clean out your closet for good, create a uniform, or try minimalist fashion challenge Project 333. By choosing what to wear from a small capsule wardrobe, you’ll get to wear your favorite things everyday and eliminate decision fatigue. Save your brain power for more meaningful decisions, creative ideas and problem solving throughout the day.
5. Morning routine.
Sometimes my morning routine is hours of writing, walking, yoga, and meditation. When I travel or have an early morning meeting, my morning routine is a shorter version of writing and meditation or just walking. Consistency is more important than intensity when creating a morning routine that fuels your day and helps you show up for your life. Here are 10 teeny tiny things you can do to start your morning routine.
6. Do less.
When you are overwhelmed, tired or stressed … the solution is less. Get rid of something on your calendar, something on your to-do list, something on your mind, and something on your heart. Let go of the idea that you have to get it all done or who you are is somehow measured by what you cross off your to-do list. You are so much more than that.
Simplicity is the way back to love because it gives us the time, space and presence we desire to show all the way up for our beautiful, messy, magnificent lives.