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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Practicing Meaningful Habits

I’ll be honest, there are times when I don’t want to write a blog post. Actually, it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I can’t think of anything in particular that’s inspiring me to write an entire post.

I always try to write about something that’s relevant to my life and hopefully to yours, and some days (or weeks!) I’m really just not feeling it. But (and this is a big BUT), I know that if I don’t write a post I will ultimately end up feeling worse than if I had just dug a little deeper to find an interesting topic to write about. Here, let me explain!

Expressing myself creatively and speaking/writing about topics relating to creating your ideal life are true passions of mine. They jazz me up and fill me with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Also, connecting with other like-minded souls (like the people who read my blog) is very essential to my overall happiness. I don’t get a lot of one-on-one interaction in my “real” life with people who are as into these topics as I am, so connecting with people on-line is especially important to me. And during those weeks when I don’t publish a blog post or get a newsletter out I can really feel a difference! I just feel off, a little sluggish, and less in-tune with my authentic self and overall purpose.

So I’d like to use this opportunity to ask you: What are the things you do in your life that fill you up, inspire you, and allow you to express who you really are? First and foremost, do you have things like that in your life? If not, get busy discovering some! And more importantly, are you making these things an integral part of your life?

Sure, we all lead super busy lives and situations pop up constantly that demand our time and attention. That’s a given. But the thing separates those who are merely surviving on a day-to-day basis from those who are really thriving on a daily basis is a commitment to doing things that really fill you up and give you a sense of joy!

Take working out, for example. Anyone who works out knows that there are days when you just do NOT feel like exercising. Maybe you’re tired from a long day at the office, or you don’t want to get sweaty, or your energy is just really low. We’ve all been there. From years of experience, though, I know that if I give into my exhaustion and skip my workouts too many times in a row I will ultimately end up feeling worse than if I just exerted a little extra effort and did the workout. I do yoga 2-3 times a week these days, and even though there are days when I would honestly rather stay home and lounge on the couch, I know that I'll feel better after I do yoga than I would if I just stayed home and relaxed.

The point of this blog post is to point out that yes, often in life there are things we don’t feel like doing. It would be so much easier to expend less energy and take the easy way out. But ask yourself how fulfilled you are living that way. I have a full-time job in addition to running my website and blog, and there are definitely times when it all gets to feel like too much. I also know, however, that I feel the most alive and fulfilled when I work on my website and blog. When I let that go I can tell a huge difference in my energy levels, happiness, and overall satisfaction with life.

If you are truly committed to living your ideal life (and I know you are since you are visiting my blog!), then you’ll want to find a way to include meaningful activities in your life that give you a sense of purpose, no matter how difficult you think that might be. If you have to reprioritize your schedule or cut certain activities out of your day all together, then go ahead and do that. If you have to let go of old friendships that are no longer adding anything to your growth and expansion, then that might be the path to take. Maybe you can start reading uplifting books on your subway commute to work in the morning, or for ten minutes every night before you go to bed. The point is, find a way to include things in your life that fill you up and give you a sense of aliveness. It make take a little more schedule juggling on your part, but you will be so glad you did!


  1. I can relate to the connection via blog thingy. However, I don't do as well as you in the blog-as-habit department. I usually wait until it feels right to write. Sometimes that means I go a couple weeks without posting. Other times I have do 5 posts in two days and have to dole them out.

  2. I guess I really should add that following the "feels right" guide is a habit that took a long time to develop.

  3. Hey Mary,

    I really like how you point out that although we may feel tempted to not doing things, despite knowing how fulfilled we get by doing them, we probably won't be satisfied by NOT doing. I too enjoy putting time into blogging and connecting with other LoA people online but sometimes I just feel lazy. After long days of work, I just want to stop doing anything. But when I do do that, I just feel empty. Thank you for continuing to share your insights!

    Take care,

  4. Hi Chip! Nice to see you here:)

    Wow, I'm loving your blogging practice to only blog when it feels right. I guess part of me is scared that if I waited for that I might go weeks without a post! And honestly, I guess that wouldn't be so bad, except that I would miss you guys too much!

    Great food for thought here, Chip. I wonder what would happen if I just waited until the inspiration came to me, rather than going off and searching for inspiration. If you don't hear from me for a few weeks, then you'll know what I'm doing! ;)

  5. Hi Ben!

    Yes, this sums up exactly what I was trying to say: After long days of work, I just want to stop doing anything. But when I do do that, I just feel empty.

    There are definitely days when I really don't feel like doing anything, regardless of how good I know I'll feel afterwards. The problem is, if we start giving into those days too often we really do end up feeling empty, like you said. Or at least, I do!

    I guess it's important to not only consider how you'll feel in the short-term if you do x, y, or z, but also how you will feel in the long-term if you do (or don't do!) x, y, or z.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and chiming in, Ben!

  6. Mary,

    If you know that you will feel a sense of relief at getting out a blog post, that is definitely still reaching for a better feeling thought.

  7. I'm similar to Chip in that I only like to write posts when I feel inspired to do so. Otherwise, it feels forced. Fortunately, I keep being inspired by lots of topics.

    I find that when I relax and don't worry about it, the right topic just comes to me. And then the writing usually flows, so the post does not take long to write.

    I also really like to connect with similar people online since most of the people I know are not as into all of this as the people here. The internet is such a wonderful way to connect with like-minded people. I get so inspired by all of the positive people I've met through blogs like yours.

    Furthermore, I really enjoy working out and definitely notice a big change in my mood if I take too much time off. I turn into Mr. Grumpy Pants! Therefore, I have to get back to the gym in order to feel really good.

    I have found that being a bit of a minimalist really helps. I do my best to spend my time on what I am most passionate about. But like you said, to do this, you often have to spend less time doing other things.

  8. I harmonies with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your incoming updates. Saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the phenomenal clarity in your writing.SELF HELP

  9. I’m looking forward desperately for the next post of yours.


  10. Nice to read a great post where you have also added your personal experience. I have a point that worrying always steals our inspiration and we feel like doing nothing. We should focus on the things that make us happy and fuel our motivation. Thanks for sharing your though and Keep posting more:)