“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everybody wants happiness and health, right? Health and happiness are freedom. Love is freedom. When we are happy and healthy, we are more able to freely give and receive love.
In my own personal experience, these habits have helped increase my level of health and happiness. None of these are things I set out to do. None were New Year’s resolutions. They have just gradually happened over the years, and looking back, I am so grateful.
Here they are, In no particular order (although perhaps number 10 is the most important of all):
1. Quit reading magazines.
They are full of ridiculous advertisements that objectify women (and to a lesser extent, men). Yes, even Yoga Journal.
Read more books. Read elephant journal. Read classics. Read what feeds you.
2. Quit wearing cosmetics.
They are expensive, time-consuming, unnatural and unnecessary. I am referring mainly to facial make-up but also hair “product” other than shampoo and nail polish.
Let us no longer be slaves to the razor. Men, grow those beards. Ladies, I cannot express to you the freedom of not shaving my legs or armpits. To each her own, of course, but really, going unshaven, in my opinion, is a lifestyle of liberty.
4. Quit shopping excessively.
Better yet, be minimalist. Simplify. Declutter. Refuse to wear uncomfortable shoes. Give away all the clothes you haven’t worn in a year.
5. Quit watching TV.
Read more. Watch movies. TV series on DVD or NetFlix, if necessary.
6. Quit being connected online 24/7.
Be connected an hour or two a day. Maybe three, max. Devote a set period of time to email, social networking, writing, reading (whatever categories fit your habits) and do no more. Turn off the wifi. Be a human being in the world.
7. Quit eating crap.
“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” ~ Michael Pollen
Quit drinking so much coffee. Quit drinking soda. Quit drinking fake juice. Quit eating fast food. Eat less dairy. Eat less meat. Eat less in general. Eat fresh foods. Shop at farmers’ markets. Eat local. Eat mindfully.
8. Quit filling your life with busyness.
“Let go of what has passed. Let go of what may come. Let go of what is happening now. Don’t try to figure anything out. Don’t try to make anything happen. Relax, right now, and rest.” ~ Tilopa
9. Quit being too sedentary.
Exercise without joining a gym. Get more fresh air. Walk more, drive less. Bike. Hike. Swim. Be active, energetic, playful. Do yoga. Play sports. Be less of a couch potato.
10. Be yourself.
Study yourself. Be who you are. Know that you are whole. Be your own best friend. Love you. (Mean it.)
“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself—and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to—letting a person be what he really is.”
~ Jim Morrison
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Flickr/Alessandro Pautasso