Saturday, October 01, 2005

Wishing you a wonderful life

Here are nine things you might consider doing, as a yardstick for having a wonderful life.

1. Come into the present.

See the essay "Three layers of awareness: gravity, breath, and light/sound," found in the July 05 archives, if you want to fill out this task in a concrete, now and now and now way.

2. Spend time outdoors, in the present.

A room is not a meadow. A car is not the beach. Even a wonderful room, full of books and flowers, or people learning some really groovy great wonderful ways to be happier and better human beings, is not the glory of a sweet and pleasant stroll under the blue, blue sky.

3. Spend time outdoors, in the present, with people you love.

And, even indoors, have a wonderful time with the people you love. Even on days that they aren’t having a “good day.” In other words, having a wonderful relationship is a fine and dandy part of having a wonderful life.

4. Eat healthy food. Combine this with exercise outdoors and being in the present so you can be healthy.

It’s no fun to be sick, and is usually as a result of not being kind to yourself, either with mental stress, or not getting enough outside and exercise, or not putting good food into yourself. Good food is natural, grown nearby organic food. Nothing in packages, nothing with preservatives, nothing with sugar or refined flour. Just whole grains (soaked overnight before cooking), nuts and seeds (also soaked first), fresh fruits and vegetables. Organic meat and oils. Don’t cook in oil, but add it later. Skip dairy and soy unless they are fermented ( miso, tempe, natto, yogurt, kefir). Drink lots of filtered water (not bottled in plastic, yuk). Eat one or two ( or all) raw food meals a day. Eat in season. Slow as you eat, enjoy as you eat, grow and love your own food organic food on good, well-loved and tended to soil. See the new paradigm essays, about how everything contributes to everything else.

5. Get a good night’s sleep.

Even if you wake in the night, go to bed early, and enjoy the wake up time to meditate, read, think peacefully, do nothing, wiggle around, do Feldenkrais, play with your partner. Just enjoy the time of day when you can be with yourself, or with the one other in bed with you. It's pretty sweet.

6. Have a grip on reality. No, better: love reality.

See the work of Byron Katie, at What this means is be able to go beyond forgiving those you imagine have "wronged" you, and love the fools, one and all, whether or not they understand their place in the universe as props for your happiness and self-esteem. This can be said, like this: have a way to love the people who bug you. Or, like this: know how to be happy when you aren't getting your way. Without these two abilities, which are the same as loving reality, we are all in for the roller coaster ride of our emotions running us around, rather than experiencing emotion as if it were interesting weather, and remarkable indicators of beliefs and thoughts that still have us in their attachment grip. Get a grip, loose a grip. Have a good time with the stuff that most people take way, way too seriously.

7. Send out compassion to those who need it.

Wish those who could be happier and more present that this come to them. Wish that the systems in place that keep all of humanity from living a happy and simple and loving life begin to dissolve ( and that we undertake to chip away and undo and dismantle them) and that we, all together, beginning to build a good and sweet and loving and Earth friendly and human world.

8. Sing every day. Skip every day. Walk every day. Dance every day.

Laugh every day. Smile every hour, or more often. Perhaps every minute. This could be combined with number one: be present and smile. Or , number two, be outside and smile and walk and skip and dance and sing. And, oh, yeah: hug someone every day. If you are on a desert island, hug yourself. Love someone, as many ones as possible, every day.

9. Take advantage of the Feldenkrais Method®

to improve your connection to the present, and your feeling good inside your own body and your ability to think about and do things in ways other than your habitual patterns. Add in some yoga and some gardening. Take advantage of the wonder of being in a body/mind and being alive. It's pretty cool.

Feldenkrais. What is that about?

It’s about awareness of how we habitually move and what possibilities of new ways of moving might be.

It’s about connecting more of us to more of us, an awareness at a deep level of how to pelvis and spine and shoulders and head relate, and how they could relate more easily and efficiently, so that we can move easier and more efficiently. Which will feel better and enable us to do things we never could do before.

It's about changing our organization in the world, our flexibility and clarity of mind and body. It is about changes and improvement between the ears and in the whole organism. In you. In me. In all of us, so we feel and live and love better.

It’s about noticing small changes, noticing differences, which is another way of saying: it’s about learning. And it’s about leaning in the concrete world of arms and legs and breathing and spine/pelvis/head/shoulders and making little movements that we need and use everyday: to walk, to open a door, to reach for an apple, to pull a weed, to make love to our partner. This is amazing stuff and this is practical and useful in every hour of every day. We are alive and that means we move.

To improve the quality of our moving, is to improve the quality of our life. To be involved in Feldenkrais or improving the way we relate or eat or spend time outdoors, or bring our attention back to the present: all this is about loving our life as we make it better and richer and more fine.

This is a nice way to live, do you not feel/think/sense that, too?


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