September 22, 2013

5 Ways to Reignite the Spark in Your Life. ~ Rory Mackay

Photo: Shinan Ahmad

Ever noticed how we generally tend to live as if we’re trapped in a loop—living the same day or sequence of days, over and over again?

I sometimes wonder if a great deal of human pathology and dysfunction might actually stem from a case of chronic boredom?

Life becomes a sorry state of affairs when we let ourselves become robotic zombies, living life solely on the basis of conditioned reflex responses. We’re creatures of habit, yes and that’s generally the way society functions—we each have our roles to play and our allotted duties and responsibilities.

Society functions rather like a machine and we’re raised and conditioned to be rather like machines ourselves; cogs in the wheel of society.

But we’re not machines!

Most of us have such a well-developed social self—the facade we present to the world—that we’ve lost touch with our essential, innate self.

But is it possible to shake things up and live with greater spontaneity, joy and freshness while still attending to our duties and responsibilities?

I definitely think so. We can all work within our limitations and find ways to make life a little more fun and exciting. It might take a little work at first, but I believe it’s well worth the effort.

Here are five simple suggestions for finding greater freshness, adventure and authenticity in our lives:

1. Excavation work

We were never more ourselves than when we were children.

Back then we’d yet to construct and slap on the mask of our social self.  We were just unconstrained expressions of consciousness, with our own set of natural tendencies, interests and proclivities. It can be insightful looking back at the things that brought us joy when we were young, because it’s often a sure sign it’s something that’s aligned with our essential self.

This doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll want to eat ice lollies and watch cartoons again (then again—why not?) but we might find ways we can get back to the natural sense of fun and playfulness we had before we decided life had to get all serious. I mean, why not take the afternoon to build sandcastles on the beach, watch clouds or go for a bike ride somewhere cool? Or play a game. Or do anything that might have appealed to that younger self, allowing yourself to recapture that lost sense of fun and joy.

2. Do something different—anything different!

Why not be daring and wear clothes we wouldn’t normally wear?

Instead of eating and drinking the same old things, try something new. We might walk a different route to work or school or visit somewhere we’ve never been before. We could go to a library and take out the kind of book we’d never normally read, just out of curiosity. Perhaps we might listen to a different style of music—or even make music! Why not get talking with someone new or seek out a friend we don’t normally spend much time with.

These are small steps that enable us to venture out of our habitual comfort zone.

3. If there are any habits that might be dulling us down, it’s time to ditch them.

Perhaps we need to watch less TV.

Maybe it’s time to put the laptop down and take a walk outside or go lie down and chill out to some relaxing music. It could be it’s time to stop hanging around someone we feel drags us down. What about diet? Could it be that we need to eat a healthier diet—or do we need to ease up the reins and allow ourselves to be a little more indulgent?

4. Look at situations differently.

Consider things from all angles.

Most of the time we rigidly stick to our beliefs, opinions and viewpoints, but this is not the mark of a great mind. Let’s be willing and open to changing our mind about things. Yeah, it can be disconcerting at first (after all, we like to think we’re right all the time!), but it’s also tremendously liberating.

5. Remember your dreams.

We all have them, but we generally tend to set them aside as we get older and have to get on with the business of living.

But if there’s something within us, a spark or a fire that’s never truly extinguished, then we need to allow ourselves to tend to that flame and bask in its warm glow. Why not find ways to explore our dreams and incorporate them or at least elements of them, into our daily lives?

Those are just some suggestions for reigniting our spark and living with greater consciousness, awareness and freshness.

It’s easy to come up with excuses such as “I don’t have the time for things like that.” But even the busiest of people can find ways to vary their routine and shake up their lives.

As the old saying goes:

If you argue for your limitations, they’re yours!

Even the smallest of changes can make us feel more satisfied, refreshed and alive. We begin to adopt a more conscious approach to living and one that will ultimately enable us to experience greater amounts of happiness, freedom and authenticity.

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Assistant Editor: Gabriela Magana/Editor: Bryonie Wise

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Rory Mackay