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8 Ways To Cultivate More Love in Life

8 Ways To Cultivate More Love in Life

As we grow more connected to the outside world, we also paradoxically distance ourselves from the “real” people right in front of us. Between Twitter, Facebook, email, and the ever-increasing prevalence of the computer in our lives, it’s becoming increasingly rare to have a face-to-face conversation about anything at all, let alone anything of real substantive value to ourselves and our loved ones.

I advocate a “back to basics” approach that cuts off the ongoing encroachment of technology and reminds us that we’re not cyborgs, but fully functioning human beings. Here are 8 ways to cultivate more love in life that will help you “ground” yourself and interact more completely with your life, instead of just reporting on it on social media.

1) Take a technology detox.

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technology

    You mean…

    Yes. I mean.

    Take a full day. That’s 24 hours. From the time you get up to the time you go to bed, no computer, cell phone, email, or “just popping on to check out what Miley Cyrus did today.” None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Instead of watching TV, radio (music’s still okay, but try to steer clear of the computer to get at it, hmm?), or playing on the computer, take a walk, call some friends, or do something‒ANYTHING!‒but avoid messing around with social media or anything that might somehow tempt you to do so. Post a sign if you have to, so all your friends will know that NO, you haven’t seen Charlene’s latest Facebook update about her breakup with her boyfriend. You can catch up tomorrow. Promise.

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    2) Read a good book.

    This is perhaps one of the most overlooked “simple pleasures” we have. A Kindle’s great, a PDF will do in a pinch, but there is just no substitute for the feel and smell of wood pulp in your hands and actually, physically turning the pages of a book. Many people say that, although e-reading is great, there’s just something about being able to physically touch a book that gives a deeper connection to it. I don’t know how it works, since I’m a writer and not a psychologist, but I can tell you with absolute, 100% certainty that it does. Make today the day you rediscover an old favorite, or support your local independent bookstore and see about scoring some new ones!

    3) Meditate on who you are.

    meditate

      It’s almost a cliche that although we can look back through Facebook and tell you what we ate for breakfast three years, two months, sixteen days and ten hours ago, we have no idea who we really are today. You can counter this tendency by taking a little time to quietly ponder who you are and who you’ve become. Do you like what you see? Are some changes in order? This is a great way to inject some love into your life, because if you don’t like who you are, now is the time to change it. Not on New Year’s Eve, not next week. If you really want to change, the time is now.

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      4) Remind yourself that you, and others, are worthy of love and attention.

      If you feel like you’re being ignored a lot, ask yourself if you’re giving what you’d like to receive. If you are, then it’s time to seek out a new social circle, because the people you’re hanging out with are clearly too self-absorbed. If you’re not, then this is a good time to start giving out what you want to receive. You’ll be liked a lot more, and people will be more likely to pay attention to you when you need them as well.

      5) Ask, “How was your day?”and LISTEN to the answer.

      How To Be A Good Listener That Others Want To Talk To

        “How was your day?” is almost a pro forma question these days. We hear the answer, but don’t really listen because we just can’t wait to get on to the really important topic of OUR day. if you’re not willing to listen to the answer, don’t ask the question; conversely, if you’re going to ask, you owe it to yourself and the other person to listen. Otherwise you’re just wasting your breath asking, and they’re wasting their breath telling you. You can tell if this is happening in your life because when you ask, the other person is reluctant to say anything at all. The more love, attention, and respect you give, the more compassion you’ll receive.

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        6) Touch.

        beach_kiss_250x167.jpg

          This is such a simple thing, but too often it goes ignored. The act of touching conveys much more than simple physical contact. It is a sign that you care about someone enough to get in their space, and to allow them into yours as well. Human beings need touch in order to feel secure and comfortable; it is a social and spiritual act. This can be a friendly or amorous touch, familial or comradely, but everything from a high-five to sex with your lover shows that you care. If you feel lonely, isolated, or unloved, try touching someone you care about. You may be surprised where it leads.

          7) Schedule a game night.

          No, I don’t mean watching football, hockey, or soccer. I mean an old-fashioned table game. Whether you like to play dice, cards, Monopoly, or even beer pong, a game night is a good way to break up the routine and allow some real socialization with friends or family (Sorry, online versions don’t count here). This is an excellent way to reconnect with others and disconnect from the Internet for a night. You’ll be surprised at how much warmer and more cared-for you’ll feel at the end of the evening, too!

          8) Watch the sunset.

          20090107-sunset1

            There are just some things that cannot be simulated or duplicated. Why not take your lover out around sunset and watch the sun go down? Not only is it a great, intimate way to spend a little time, but it will also help you think about some of life’s bigger questions, like why the things we place such a premium on really don’t matter much in the end. This is a perfect time to tell your partner, “I love you and I’m so thankful that you’re in my life.” You’ll also feel more at peace, which is always a worthy outcome!

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            Last Updated on August 19, 2019

            How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

            How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

            We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

            When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

            In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

            Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

            If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

            According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

            No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

            When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

            Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

            1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

            When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

            Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

            When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

            Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

            In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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            It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

            You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

            Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

            What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

            You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

            That’s where we all should be.

            So, answer me this:

            How are you, really?

            And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

            Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

            Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

            Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

            Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

            It’s taking control.

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            2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

            You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

            You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

            In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

            Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

            You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

            Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

            But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

            It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

            In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

            It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

            Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

            Change will happen.

            Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

            You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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            And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

            You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

            That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

            You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

            When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

            There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

            3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

            Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

            In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

            If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

            Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

            Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

            How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

            Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

            “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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            Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

            Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

            It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

            Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

            “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

            What would you do if you felt you were enough?

            By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

            So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

            Final Thoughts

            By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

            Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

            When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

            You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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            Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

            Reference

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