Advertising
Advertising

4 New Words to Help You Love Your Life Now

4 New Words to Help You Love Your Life Now

This might be too much information, but the other day as I was sitting in the restroom of a coffee shop, I glanced at the wall in front of me where either bored or inspired patrons had inscribed their particular sentiments.

One scrawled word caught my eye: Exploreality.

    “What a cool word,” I thought to myself.

    Walking back to my table, I turned the word over and over in my head.

    Exploreality. Exploreality.

    I’m not sure what the artist meant when she scribbled the word on the wall, but it did what good art is supposed to do – it made me think.

    That’s how I understood the word and it got me pondering about what it meant to me.Explore reality.

    A portmanteau is a combination of two words into one new word such as exploreality. Here are a few of my own portmanteaus to sum up my thoughts about the inspirational restroom art.

    1. Extendenial

    Why did the bathroom writer encourage us to explore reality?

    Advertising

    Because we spend most of our time in a type of veiled, extended denial – extendenial.

    Denial sometimes gets a bad rap. When we are traumatized or experience severe adversity, denial is a protective factor that helps us rest before we actively address the trauma or problem.

    But used too much, denial gets in our way.

    It prevents us from seeing what is right in front of us – the life that we have, not the life that we think we should have.

    It’s this latter idea that forms our veil of extendenial. We don’t embrace the reality of what is in front of us because we hold an illusion that “someday” life will be ____________. (Fill in the blank with whatever you don’t have right now.)

    Don’t get me wrong. There is certainly nothing wrong with having goals.

    But how much of life are you missing by thinking, “I’ll be happy when . . .”?

    2. Busymbiotic

    A way to extendenial is to be busymbiotic – having a symbiotic relationship with being busy.

    Our social norm of “busy = productive = good” has caused us to glom onto busyness as though it is an integral and reciprocal part of us. Just like a symbiote, we think we need busyness in order to do well in the world and be happy.

    But busyness is just another way to engage in seeking the “someday” life and disengage from the life that you have right now, both the glory and the gloom.

    Advertising

    Someone commented on my blog the other day that she decided to put away the busyness of life so that she could get on with the business of life.

    Amen to that.

    3. Interactuality

     So, how do you stop being so busymbiotic that you’re in a state of extendenial?

    By interacting with your actual life – interactuality.

    Let me say again that there is certainly nothing wrong with having goals and being motivated to better yourself in life both emotionally and materially.

    But interact with your days now as you are working toward those goals.

    Enjoy friendships.

    Learn something new.

    Notice how you like the aroma of coffee in the morning but would be happy to not have to smell your partner’s burnt oatmeal again.

    Find something that you like about work and emphasize that in your mind. Note the difference between that feeling and the one that comes up when your annoying co-worker walks by.

    Advertising

    Life is good and bad, joy and misery, contentment and discontent, and many shades of gray in between those things.

    But it’s your actual life. Interact with it.

    Love your life now.

    4. Remindfulness

    Yes, this portmanteau is exactly what it looks like: reminding yourself to be mindful.

    Mindfulness is the art and practice of noticing your present experience without judgment.

    So maybe part of what inhibits you from exploring reality is that reality isn’t such a great place for you so it’s easier to be in extendenial.

    But is life really that bad or are you making it worse with judgmental thinking?

    The thing about mindfulness is that it allows you to be engaged in your current life experience without all of the drama that you add to it in your head.

    So for example, as I’ve been writing this, I’ve drifted in and out of extendenial and remindfulness.

    Although I enjoy writing, it’s very hard for me. It takes a long time and I can get very easily distracted.

    Advertising

    My thoughts tend to go something like this:

    Geez, this is taking forever. Maybe I’m just not meant to be a writer. I really want to do something else right now. Focus . . . focus . . . you can do this. Other people must be faster at this than I am. Maybe I should . . . squirrel!”

    You can see that I spend a lot of internal energy wishing my life was something other than it is at the moment.

    But when I remind myself to be mindful, I come into the present, take a breath and realize that I’m . . .  okay.

    Even with a mind that gets distracted by a squirrel or takes a long time to finish a sentence. It’s all okay and I recognize that my mind has been making me miserable only seconds before by judging my experience of writing.

    Now that I’m in the present and not judging it, I can accept that writing brings me both joy and frustration. Like you, I want the joy and not the frustration.

    But frustration is a part of life and mindfully accepting the emotion, not magnifying it in my head, and moving on frees me from getting stuck and wishing my life was something that it is not.

    Instead, I acknowledge that this is the life I have and to live fully is to interact with it consciously and with mindfulness.

    And, as I remind myself to be mindful by taking that deep breath, I look up and notice the sun outside my window and hear the sound of the chimes in the trees as they blow gently in the breeze.

    Reality.

    I’m exploring mine. What about you?

    Featured photo credit:

    Heart in Hands via Shutterstock

      More by this author

      How to Manage Your Customer’s Stress 7 Things to Say (and Not Say) to a Grieving Person 3 Specific Ways to Reduce Anxiety Warning: Believing These 10 Famous Myths Might Be Making You Dumb 4 New Words to Help You Love Your Life Now

      Trending in Lifestyle

      1 The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want 2 Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide) 3 5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life 4 How Many Hours of Sleep Do I Need? (What the Science Says) 5 How to Learn Yoga (The Beginner’s Guide)

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

        Why You Need a Vision

        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

        Advertising

        How to Create Your Life Vision

        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

        What Do You Want?

        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

        Advertising

        Some tips to guide you:

        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
        • Give yourself permission to dream.
        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

        Some questions to start your exploration:

        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
        • What qualities would you like to develop?
        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
        • What would you most like to accomplish?
        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

        Advertising

        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

        A few prompts to get you started:

        • What will you have accomplished already?
        • How will you feel about yourself?
        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
        • What does your ideal day look like?
        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
        • What would you be doing?
        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
        • How are you dressed?
        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

        Advertising

        Plan Backwards

        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
        • What important actions would you have had to take?
        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

        Read Next