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Breathe. Breathing can transform your life. If you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, breathe. It will calm you and release the tensions. If you are worried about something coming up, or caught up in something that already happened, breathe. It will bring you back to the present.
Be still. Just for a moment. Listen to the world around you. Feel your breath coming in and going out. Listen to your thoughts. See the details of your surroundings. Be at peace with being still. In this modern world, activity and movement are the default modes, if not with our bodies then at least with our minds, with our attention.
less TV, more reading less shopping, more outdoors less clutter, more space less rush, more slowness less consuming, more creating less junk, more real food less busywork, more impact less driving, more walking less noise, more solitude less focus on the future, more on the present less work, more play less worry, more smiles breathe
"With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson The idea of having concrete, achievable goals seem to be deeply ingrained in our culture. I know I lived with goals for many years, and in fact a big part of my writings here on Zen Habits are about how to set and achieve goals.
"I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers." ~Henry David Thoreau You don't need to be a monk to find solitude, nor do you need to be a hermit to enjoy it.
"Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it." ~Eckhart Tolle Today I'm going to suggest a small change in mindset that could change your life. I won't keep you in suspense. Here it is: think of nothing that happens as either good or bad.
"Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water." ~Zen proverb In the chaos of the modern world, there is a beauty in simply doing. We're buffeted wildly by whatever emails, conversations, news, events, demands, that are going on around us.
At the moment, I'm in the last phase of my Bellyfat Challenge - I've lost a good amount of fat but I have about 10 pounds to go (or so). I'm enjoying getting lean, but those last few pounds are always the toughest. And so, I've called in some experts.
'The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.' ~Thich Nhat Hanh These days we have an abundance of luxuries, but I've found that excess actually decreases my enjoyment of life.
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." ~ Lao Tzu Consider the above quote from Lao Tzu, (perhaps mythical) father of Taoism: how can it be true? Is it possible to never hurry, but to get everything done?
The beauty of an empty inbox is a thing to behold. It is calming, peaceful and wonderful. An inbox that is overflowing with actions, urgent calls for responses, stuff to read ... it's chaos, it's stressful, it's overwhelming. A friend recently posted: "Help! I'm drowning in email!"
"Empty-handed I entered the world Barefoot I leave it. My coming, my going - Two simple happenings That got entangled." ~ Kozan Ichikyo Yesterday morning I ran a few miles in my Vibram Fivefingers, designed to mimic barefoot running (see my guide to barefoot running).
"In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for contructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone." ~Rollo May Creativity is a nebulous, murky topic that fascinates me endlessly - how does it work? What habits to creative people do that makes them so successful at creativity?
"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." - Albert Einstein It's easier than ever to be creative, to create, to imagine and make what's imagined become reality. It's also tougher than ever, with distractions surrounding us in ways never before imagined.
So you've followed the Short But Powerful Guide to Finding Your Passion, and have chosen something you're passionate about. Now you need to make it a career - but are perhaps a bit lost. I have to admit I was there, only a few years ago, and three years later I've successfully done it, even if I'm a bit battered from the attempt.
"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" - Ben Franklin, famously "Put no trust in the benefits to accrue from early rising, as set forth by the infatuated Franklin ..." - Mark Twain Recently, reader Rob asked me about my habit of waking at 4:30 a.m.
"Everything has been figured out, except how to live." - Jean-Paul Sartre I'm nearly 35 years old, and I've made my share of mistakes in my life. I'm not a big believer in regrets ... and I have learned tremendously from every single mistake ... and my life is pretty great.
"Simplicity is the peak of civilization." - Jessie Sampter A simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. For me, it means eliminating all but the essential, eschewing chaos for peace, and spending your time doing what's important to you.
I can't claim that my home is completely minimalist, but it surely isn't cluttered, and most people I know would call it a pretty minimalist home. One recent visitor saw my kitchen and remarked, "I've never seen a kitchen that looked so clean, so clear of stuff!"
Even the most motivated of us - you, me, Tony Robbins - can feel unmotivated at times. In fact, sometimes we get into such a slump that even thinking about making positive changes seems too difficult. But it's not hopeless: with some small steps, baby ones in fact, you can get started down the road to positive change.