I recently wrote about creating a life that does not an escape from: Part 1, this is second part of the series to focus on life that really happy and does not need running away from.As I am trying to find my passion, compassion and reason for my being on earth. I want to be happy, make other around me happy too. I know being “always” happy is not possible and that is okay too. However, we can create a life that simply blissful in a way, that it feels like a vacation at home.
Why do I compare this life with vacation? It is because during my past vacations, I have found that I really enjoyed and I was stress-free in day or so in to vacation. I read books, I just simply relaxed at the beach, watching the waves and sunset. Sometimes I enjoyed eating new food, new culture (even within same country), new people and how they lived, made my life bit bright when I came back to home. I seemed ready to tackle, reality such as bills, dishes, chores and work as usual to get me going until next vacation. I am sure it is same for many of you.
We in America, do not get much vacation compared to our European and Asian friends. When I was working in tech corporate world, my co-workers in Sweden and UK got 4 weeks, or 6 weeks vacation per year, even when they had less years of work experience. My other colleagues in India and other Asian had 6 days work days with 6th 1/2 day work and many holidays to give them flexibility in work environment. It has been proven in test experience that people are generally more productive when they worked 6 hours work day, instead of 8 or 12 hours as some people do. I am surprise that we are not following more productive way of working here in US.
I left my 6 figure job years ago when I became pregnant as I wanted to be home with my child during first months. However, it changed slowly when R was born, I enjoyed being around him and at relative stress-free corporate issues that I decided to be stay at home mom and gave up money and luxury to be at home and simplified my life.
Yes, I occasionally miss social aspect of job, such as meeting friends, going for lunches and travel around the world but quality that comes from being home is far better in my mind. Now that does not mean, life is with 2 young kid is easy, far from it. But that is something I truly want to spend and devote my time to as I practice what I preach about family being the most important thing in our life.
Additional Ways to Create a Life that Does not Need an Escape.
In my previous post, I mentioned 5 tips;
- Find your passion, Do something you Enjoy
- Reduce Your Needs and Wants
- Find Compassion
- Let Go of things you can not control
- Stop comparing with others
I wanted to share a few more additional tips that will surely help in better life for us;
6. Be Thankful
I have seen some people, no matter how much they have, or what they get, they always think “but..”. That type of thinking keeps them from living truly blissful life. Be thankful for what you have, not for what you did not get.
I share a small story here to convey this point;
Once there was a man who had 1000 Rupees (Indian Currency), and he was sad but he did not have 1500 Rupees like his next door neighbor. One day thief came at night and stole all his money, including his neighbor money too, now he became even more sadder. He stopped talking to his wife and kids and wallowed in his sorrow.
A few days later thief was apprehended and money was recovered and given back to their original owners. The man was so happy to get back his money, he simply jumped with joy and became loving husband and father as he was long ago. His wife asked then, you had same 1000 rupees 2 days ago but you were unhappy and now you seemed to be happiest with same amount of money? Because of the change in situation, the man learned to appreciate what he had lost and realized his mistake.
The moral of story if, what if you lost everything and got it back, you will be thankful, so why not start now, before you lost it?
Gratitude is very powerful when given from heart. Do not wait for special day, be thankful. Be thankful to your spouse who gave you some time to be alone to finish up a book or write a blog post (Thanks Zenguy!), Be thankful to your kids who try to do silly things to cheer you up (Thanks R and P! ) and everyone else who made you life little better, even people you may not know.
7. Make Time for Friends and Family
Sometimes just call up your mom just to say “thank you for taking care of me, when I was growing up” for no reason. Hug your child when he spills milk and you have to clean up.
Call your high school or college friend who you have not talked to for long time, not because you need anything from him or her, but just to see how they are doing. When someone is sick, take time to bring soup, take them to doctor (if needed) or just call to see if they need anything.
When you make time for your friends and relatives, it will make you feel good inside and you will cheer someone’s day as well.
8. Leave Expectation Behind
Expectation leads to disappointment. My wise Brother Y, used to say and he is so right. When you do something for someone, many of us expect some type of return help and that type of expectation always leads to regret and disappointment.
I remember Once I gave something pricey (that I would not spend for myself) but I did that for that person because I wanted that person to feel good. While the recipient was happy to get that gift, eventually that person gave that gift to someone else and I was so hurt inside and remained that way for months. The person obviously had not clue to hurt caused by it and I am sure it was not personal but I took it very personally. Since then, I have learned when I give away something, it is no longer mine and I do not expect anything in return (I am mostly successful in doing this).
Do things for others and yourself, because you want to, not because you will gain or get something back. I write many things here from my heart and hopefully it is inspirational for you all. I do it because I enjoy it, and I write when I have time and something worthwhile to say.
9. Listen to Your Gut Feeling
In modern times, we humans have stopped listening to our gut feeling or doing less so. I think it is natural, giving we have too many distractions and issues in our daily life. I have done that myself and listen to media, experts or sometimes even well meaning but clueless friends and results have not been the best.
Take time to listen to your own gut feelings and follow it what it says. When R was infant, I was told by many that he is breastfeeding too much and I should wean him and give him formula. I had hired lactation consultant who also eventually gave up after 3 meeting at home. I almost listened to everyone and almost weaned him, but I am glad now I followed my gut feelings and followed what I thought was right. I breastfed until it was comfortable for both of us and he had since weaned long ago and seemed to be content child. Follow your own instinct in your life, no one knows you more than your self.
10. Be Close with Nature.
Native American Tribes and olden Mayan culture and other Asian culture was close to nature, that included trees, animals and birds. People seemed to be in tune with nature, they knew how to live in nature with harmony. We in modern world seemed to have somehow lost that trait, myself included.
While, living in woods like Henry David Thoreau and it is not possible of many of us, we can live in city and still be one with nature. Be kind to birds and animals around us. If you have pets, be kind to them, go out in walk with your pets, play with them. Give bird seeds and water to visiting birds in your back yard or even at small apartment complex.
Go out in walk in Sunlight, go camping traditionally without TV, learn how birds and animal live in nature without disturbing or hurting their habitat. We can learn a lot from nature. Spend at least 15 minutes a day in nature if not more.