“The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.”- Arnold Bennett
I live in Massachusetts and Spring is finally here. This winter was a record breaker here for snow and extreme cold. Spring, for me, has always been a season where I am most aware of the great contrasts that life and nature have for us. I’ve always thought of Spring as being the best time of the year to initiate change and make adjustments to the way that one lives their life, their health habits, spiritual habits, exercise habits, relationships, and overall lifestyle. For me, it never made sense to try to initiate these changes on January 1. If you tried to make changes on New Year’s Day, it seems that you are the only thing trying to change. If you attempt the same changes in the Spring, it seems that nature and the entire universe is changing along with you.
The term, lifestyle, developed from the Austrian psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Alfred Adler. He originally used the term, style of life, for the dynamics of a human’s personality. He believed that we all have unique, often unconscious, ways of responding to or avoiding the primary tasks of living. He generalize these tasks into the categories of friendship, love, and work. Somewhere along the line his term became shortened to the word lifestyle. Springtime might be a good time for all of us to revise, change, and consciously choose, if needed, our lifestyle.
Lifestyle is one of those words that has been bastardized and overused for some time. Many consider it to be something that applies to the rich and famous, the beautiful people, celebrities, and people to whom life comes easy. In reality we all have a style of living, a lifestyle, that whether we realize it or not, we play a major role in creating. Springtime is a great season to assess our lifestyle and examine our responsibility and role in our style of living. We all have a lifestyle – rich, poor, famous, nondescript, fulfilled, or frustrated. Springtime just might be the best time to do a little lifestyle Spring cleaning.
“You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.”-Phil McGraw
The first step in initiating any kind of change is to acknowledge where you are currently. Think for a moment about the quality of your life with regard to:
Friendships. Who do you spend most of your time with? Are they supportive of your lifestyle and your goals? Are you supportive of theirs? Are they people who contribute to your energy and vitality, or are they “energy vampires,” that have the ability to suck the life right out of you?
Love. Who do you love? Do these people that you love know that you love them? If you say yes, then how can you be sure? Is your love for them reciprocated? If it is romantic love or relationship love, is it healthy or is it coming from a place of neediness on your part? Do you really “love” these people, or is it just something that you say because it is expected from either them or perhaps you yourself?
Work. Do you enjoy the work that you must do? How happy and fulfilled are you at your current job? If you’re not fulfilled, can you find a new one? If you can’t, then what can you do or change to make your current job situation a little more rewarding?
What does your lifestyle look like? If someone was viewing your life on a movie screen as a silent movie what would they see? What would they see with regard to the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your lifestyle? Are you living a life where you are physically active, engaging in healthy activities? Are you connected to other living beings and to something larger than yourself? If you are, great. You probably have little to no major lifestyle changes that you would want to make. If not, then why be a passive victim to whatever life hands you?
If you don’t like the physical, emotional, or spiritual aspects of your life, then realize that you, and only you, have the power to change this. Regardless of how young or old you are, you probably have more power in these areas than you realize. Here’s a few suggestions:
Physical. Do you exercise regularly? If you do, do you enjoy and look forward to what you do? If you don’t enjoy your exercise, why not find something that you do enjoy? Too many people exercise for the wrong reasons. They do so to impress other people, or because they “have to.” Finding something that you look forward to is as emotionally good for you as it is physical. If you are not enthusiastic about exercise, then consider things like walking, bowling, horseshoes, gardening, anything that you can do 3 to 5 times per week. You don’t need to be Schwarzenegger at Venice Beach in 1970 to have a good exercise regimen.
Emotional. What’s the general mood, attitude, and emotional energy that you bring to your life? How frequently do you find yourself reacting to life events in ways that you are not happy about? What’s your general level of happiness, contentment, and the life satisfaction? If you find yourself lacking in any of these areas, taking a good look at your habitual thought processes, emotional triggers, and your habitual self talk is the first step towards making a change. Change your thinking and your self talk and your emotional life will begin to change immediately.
Spiritual. What should general sense of connectedness to things larger than yourself? What are your views on ultimate questions and concepts such as God, mortality, the afterlife, and the universe? What does spirituality mean to you? It’s become fashionable for people to say, “I am not religious, I’m spiritual.” If you ask most people what this means, they really don’t have a clue. If you have an organized religion that you adhere to, then that’s great. A lot of the guesswork about this is eliminated for you, and your beliefs are a great gift you have. If you are one of those people that says “I’m spiritual, not religious,” then figure out what that means for you. Even an atheist or an agnostic can be spiritual. Having a general acceptance of your own spirituality is part of a more healthy and rewarding lifestyle.
Spring is a great time for new beginnings. Maybe this is the year to do some more meaningful and significant spring cleaning. Take stock of your life with regard to work, friendships, and love, as well as your physical, emotional, and spiritual lifestyle. You may find that you are quite satisfied with where you are. If not, maybe it’s time for a little spring cleaning.
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”- Jim Rohn
P. S. If you found this article helpful, you may benefit from some personalized mindbody coaching. Contact me at http://mindbodycoach.org/contact-us/ if interested in online mindbody coaching. Please check out my Products page through the link at the top of this post.. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and social media. Email me with questions at email@example.com