When I’m asked what I mean by ‘creating a beautiful life’, the answer is simple: infuse each day with beautiful experiences. Let yourself be nourished at every level: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
. Oh how I love sunshine! After seventeen years living in the north of England, my being still hankers for a good dose of strong Aussie sunshine. Regardless, I make sure I get sunlight where I can. We need the light for our happiness and our health. It’s not enough to have it streaming in through a window. Even on cool or cloudy days, do try and get yourself outside.
. Flowers bring instant beauty into the environment. Whether they’re wildflowers you’ve gathered from the roadside, some blossom from your garden, or a bouquet made by your local florist, allow their scents and colours to adorn your home. This level of beauty speaks to us every time we pass by, even if we’re not consciously taking them in. If you’d rather not cut flowers, enjoy them in situ and take the time to really absorb their beauty.
. Food isn’t just about sustenance; it’s designed to be pleasurable. Two of my favourite places to eat in my local town of Penrith (Greenwheat Florist and Café, and The Yard Kitchen) always leave me feeling sated.
At lunchtime today, I was eating some leftover chickpea and cranberry curry from last night’s dinner. Why does curry always taste even better the next day? I was aware that I was making food noises. Ever heard the term foodgasm? Yep, that’s me. If I enjoy a meal, I find it hard to suppress my experience of it. It’s not just the taste, though. Aroma, texture and memory play a huge part. Cinnamon always has me right back in my mother’s kitchen.
. Love is a basic human need. With it, we flourish. We’re nourished at our deepest level. Without it, we wither.
LOVE YOURSELF. This is the most important relationship you can ever have. With great self love, loneliness isn’t possible. With tender loving care of our self, our inner world becomes a rich and vibrant landscape that is a constant source of nourishment. We become self contained in the most beautiful way.
You can develop the art of love, tenderness and kindness by taking care of a pet or plant.
. It is said that we become like the five people we hang out with the most. Take a look at the people with whom you spend a lot of time. What does that say about you? Are they loving, compassionate, kind, joyful, humorous, grateful, loving, focussed, passionate, mindful? Maybe they’re gossips, cruel, spiteful, self-centred, fearful, angry, inconsiderate. Consider why they are in your orbit.
. If you spend time on Facebook, how does your newsfeed make you feel? Are you nourished or irritated? Does it feed you in ways which are inspiring, or does it bring you down? Every thought we think shapes our future.
. Music is a unique language, which crosses all cultures. It has the ability to soothe, nourish, engender fear (think tribal drumbeats, and the countdown to the news), haunt the soul, and make us happy. Choose your music like you choose your friends: carefully. Allow music to be part of your daily life.
. Reading provides food for the mind. Find a writer whose work you enjoy, and allow yourself the pleasure of unwinding or being inspired by their books, blogs or articles.
. I am not a gym babe. Not by any stretch. However, you can find me there most days of the week doing weight-resistance exercises and some cardio. I also love to swim and do aquafit. My favourite exercise of all is a solitary walk through woodland.
Exercise boosts our endorphins, and endorphins make us happy. Go for a walk. Take a run. Ride a bike. Go dancing. Move your butt. Exercise isn’t just for the body, it’s brain food too. It creates space from the rest of our life.
. Create space for quiet and stillness. To me, this is the heartbeat of a beautiful life. Whole worlds exist in these places.
. Beauty may come through flowers, food, friendships, and what we read. It may be a starry sky, or woodland walk. Beauty may be that dandelion pushing its way through concrete, or sunlight peaking around dreary clouds. Maybe it’s making love at sunrise on a lazy Sunday morning. Perhaps it’s the first smile of an infant, or a snowdrop coming into blossom. Beauty is all around us, if only we look. It is with us every step of the way. For many people, it’s easy to be blinded because we’re so busy racing to something less nourishing. Slow down.
. When we live with integrity (meaning what we say, and saying what we mean), everything in our life changes: relationships, jobs, income, home, health. In short, it’s about acting authentically even (and especially) when no one is looking.
. There is beauty in simplicity. How easy is it to fill our lives up with things, people and activities? When we strive to simplify our lives, everything takes on more meaning. The world does, indeed, look beautiful.
. For me, the most vital aspect to creating a beautiful life lies in the art of gratitude.
Saying thank you
throughout the day
is enlivening, humbling, and life changing.
There is no higher vibration. Some people spend their days looking over the fence and being envious of other people’s apparently perfect lives. Resist the temptation. The grass is always greener where we water it. Focus on what is important to you. Create love, beauty and joy by noticing those colourful wildflowers growing at your feet.