One day I realized that I wanted to step out of unconscious living and experience the rich wholeness of this existence.
I began seeking balance, clear-mindedness, and alignment with my self. Through philosophical discourse and a mindful journey, I compiled this list of how to nurture ourselves and find the flow.
1. Live with loving kindness.
To live in the moment takes practice, to then apply compassion to self and to others takes dedication! Find
opportunities to surprise yourself: transform unpleasant circumstances into avenues to apply loving kindness to both the self and others.
Realizing that we are flawed and need to grow and having compassion for the self aids in nurturing the growth of self which allows us to be more compassionate towards others.
2. Get to know yourself.
Acknowledge the feelings you are having without imposing an opinion about it. There is no “should feel.”
Letting go of expectations of the mind and observing those expectations aids in bringing about self understanding. Noting behaviors instead of judging them can give us inflection, direction and understanding why we feel the way we do and perhaps, if the feeling is unpleasant, relieve ourselves of the burden of the unpleasantness of the experience.
3. Let it go.
After an experience, if we can’t find good places in our consciousness for experiences, let them go. Let go of pain. Let go of worries. Let go of anger. Let go of traumas. Breathe in freshness and breathe out baggage. Find outlets to help let it go: cry, talk, sleep, write, paint, play, build, rebuild; let the negativity out and open up to positivity.
4. Seek balance in life.
There are infinitely large and infinitely small parts of everything. There are usually long term and short term effects of all of our actions. There exists dichotomy in nearly every part of our existence. Being mindful and seek the balance between the dimensions of our existence can aid in contentment.
5. Nourish your mind with information.
Find subjects that are interesting and dive in! Or, test the waters with your toes, but find subjects that stimulate the mind and seek understanding about them.
6. Make sure that part of information integration is from written words.
Your mind absorbs information in many different ways, but please don’t skip reading because it is energy consuming. Reading will help the eyes and mind be sharp and keen.
7. Add layers to your lenses.
When seeking worldly facts, try to immerse yourself in the midst of the context and carry it’s value to
the next experience. The more dynamic the lenses, the more dynamic the understanding.
8. Make legions of friends.
Human interaction is valuable in many ways. On a chemical level, your reward system is equipped with many
rewards for human interactions. As many anthropologists and historians have concluded, humans desire community and acceptance. Friends give us outlets for philosophical inquiries, give us safe outlets for release, and help us realize our value outside of ourselves.
9. Learn to trim the fat.
We can’t be friends with everyone we will ever meet. We also should not continue to have relationships with
people that are not healthy for us. Toxic and unhealthy relationships can be draining. We must respect ourselves and find healthy space from people that do not positive worth to our existences.
When we do trim the fat, we are able to channel that unused energy into more positive and worthy outlets. After all, our energy and time is finite and valuable and should be used accordingly.
10. Centeredness is the flow.
Every point on this list and the subsequent points are to help the self become centered. Mindfulness in key to centeredness and the flow.
11. Enjoy and accept your body.
We have love handles, stretch marks, scars on our faces. Maybe our thighs touch unless our thighs happen to
not touch. Our skin blemishes and can be rough. Look at yourself naked in the mirror and tell yourself you’re beautiful, because I promise you are.
Enjoy the pleasurable parts of your body. They are meant to be enjoyed: explore them and figure out how to feel more pleasure. We are wired to have enjoyable physical experiences, and should take advantage of that.
12. Have innumerable orgasms.
An orgasm is an autonomic nervous response. It releases oxytocin and endorphins (more rewards) in our
brains. We have evolved to have orgasms, so do it! Have sex or masturbate! Feeling uncentered? Have an orgasm.
13. Enjoy the company of people you love.
Even when you’re in the midst of an argument with a loved one, cherish them the happiness that
having loved ones brings as life is fleeting and unpredictable.
14. Life goes on within you and without you.
Oh, George Harrison, you were so wise. The ego is a powerful part of the mind. If left unchecked it will quickly become unhappy with anything it is not already inclined to enjoy. Remain mindful that the world and everything exists whether or not we do.
15. Enjoy the past—it has brought us to where we are now.
Don’t regret or pine for the past. Enjoy it like your own personal movie, accessible whenever desired. Accept the past for it’s value, the morals we pick up on the way, and apply them to new experiences.
16. Be an exemplary friend.
Give unabashedly to those we love. Find ways to help them and love them and be there for them. Give love and
be love. Remember that they don’t eat any seafood or that they’re allergic to cauliflower. Engage with friends about things they find interesting. Call your friends every once in a while to remind them that you care, even if it’s literally only to tell them that you care about them.
17. Be an exemplary human.
Volunteer your free-time, it is the most valuable time you can give. Bring more love into the world. Foster
something like a dog or cat. Pick up trash. We are capable of doing so much good and by giving our energies in this way brings goodness and hopefully personal satisfaction.
18. Give back or forward, whichever direction seems appropriate.
Many opportunities have been giving to us by others, find a way to continue the good deeds. Find ways to show gratitude for life by giving that energy back.
19. Find the joys in doing things you don’t want to do.
Watch your favorite mindless television while folding laundry. Listen to the most epic upbeat playlist ever while doing cardio. Bond with the family while running errands. Enjoy the coziness of huddling around a fire when it rains on camp. Find the tolerable parts of uncomfortable situations. When forced to interact with an acquaintance you don’t enjoy or getting your teeth pulled, find something to hold on to that isn’t uncomfortable and feel that in the forefront of your mind.
20. Have reasonable expectations.
We let ourselves down when we set unrealistically high expectations for situations.
Check the expectation and consider the complexities that have lead us to make the expectation. Perhaps the ego is unchecked again, or we are trying to control things that we cannot possibly control. By checking in with the self in this manner, we can start to make more reasonable expectations and have more gratifying experiences.
21. Shut the mind up and listen.
Listen without thinking about a retort. There will likely be time to remember what we wanted to contribute to the interaction.
Be mindful in listening and we will hear more than we have ever imagined. There are many lessons to be learned by word of mouth, be open and desirous of them.
22. Smile regardless of any actual inclination to smile.
If we smile it because our brains are telling us we are happy, then we should smile to tell our brains we are happy.
23. Tune into and honor yourself.
Seek to be in tune with the self and it’s surroundings. You can smell a bear in the woods. You can hear the
fluttering of insects around you. You can feel when you need to give yourself a break, so give yourself a break.
24. Eat beets or kale, actually, probably both.
Eat all sorts of nutritious foods. Eat them more than you eat processed foods. We deserve to feel good and we can only feel as good as the food we consume.
25. Get yourself worked into a shvitz.
Working out helps unite the body and mind by releasing endorphins that please the mind. Sweating also can boost confidence in appearance and capabilities.
26. Get out of civilization and into the woods.
Get away from society and let nature nurture and teach life lessons. Feel the energy of being a part of the whole: it can bring about a connection with conservationism and sustainability that we often become disengaged with in our day to day lives.
27. Find things that make you happy and do them.
Our experiences are finite, so we should fill them with things that make us happy. Maybe it’s painting, or running, or playing music. Maybe gardening and nurturing life turns us on. Perhaps writing or reading tickle our souls. Contemplate and exercise. Nap when you can.
Spend time with those most important to you. Fill up your numbered experiences with goodness.
28. Learn to acknowledge and accept the discomforts of change.
Learn to be at peace with impermanence as it is the only constant in our lives.
29. Learn to accept everyone.
We don’t need to like everyone, or every quality of everyone, but we need to accept them for the entirety of their being. This includes ourselves—accept ourselves: our shortcomings and strong suits; our humor and bitterness.
Accepting ourselves doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to be better, but is an acknowledgement of…
30. …Accept(ing) reality.
The existence of the rainbow is dependent on the conical photoreceptors in the human eye; to animals without cones, the rainbow does not exist.
Acknowledge reality and live in it; accept this existence for what it is, then work towards what we would like it to be. Accept that much of our actions are based on our chemical reward center, be mindful of this and perhaps we can find our balance. Accept that we are but little beings on a little rock around a little star in a little galaxy.
Or that we are a collection of cells and the unification of them via our brains makes us experience the self as a whole. I encourage everyone of us to seek rainbows and be in awe of how it perfectly amazing it is to have evolved to be able to create them with our cone filled eyes.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman