You may already know that I don't always wake up on the sunny side of the bed. Despite having a beautiful life in many ways, it's easy for me to feel inadequate, frustrated, afraid, or just plain uncertain about what I'm supposed to be doing on this planet!
Recently, I was talking with a friend who had some serious questions about how to access her inner spring of Living Water - you know, the one the sages promise will well up into a satisfying life during our time on Earth. Yes, satisfaction is possible, they tell us! But when we're feeling empty, existentially thirsty, or struggling to find the point, it can seem frustratingly elusive.
After our conversation, I decided to make a list of what makes me feel alive, and here it is! Below, I've included the process for developing your own list, so scroll down if you'd like to try.
The next post in the series (Stage 2, coming soon...) will include suggestions for how to get more of these experiences in your life.
Robin's List of Living Water Experiences
Walking by any body of water (ocean, river, even someone's backyard fountain - makes no difference!)
Having fun consulting with or coaching others, not stressing about saying the "perfect" thing
Opening myself to the universe's messages, whether with divination tools or just honoring insight and inspiration
Creating beautiful things
Making something new out of something old, hopefully rescuing something about to be thrown away (makes me feel like I am doing Divine work!)
Prayer and meditation (when I can get past my anxiety...)
Feeling like I am a small part of something larger (e.g. staring up at the night sky or contemplating the immensity of the forest)
Noticing details in nature - our local nutrias, herons, hawks, dragonflies, even the gnats hovering over seaweed at the beach have provided innumerable lessons
Seeing animals going about their happy lives, not worrying about success or accomplishment
In the next installment, we'll talk more about how to add satisfying experiences to optional as well as mandatory daily activities (anyone up for more enjoyment while washing dishes or doing laundry?)
For now, take a step towards increasing satisfaction.
Here's how to develop your own list!
Write down your answers to the following questions. (Some suggestions are provided, but feel free to expand beyond as you’re inspired.)
Step 1: Identify your preferred feelings.
____________ (add your own)
What feelings help me enjoy life?
What do I look forward to feeling during the day?
What feelings make me most most satisfied or content?
What would I like to feel more often?
Step 2: Identify circumstances and situations in which you have felt them.
Below are a few general categories - it's most effective if you drill down from these. Try to be as specific as possible.
Time with friends or family
Memorable past experiences
Vacations or travel
Places in your home or neighborhood
____________ (add your own)
What kinds of work or school projects have brought out my best energies?
What memories make me think, "I wish I could experience that again"?
What activities would I do even if nobody noticed or I was never rewarded externally?
What do I fondly remember doing for fun when I was a child?
What about those experiences made me feel so good?
Optional Extra Step: If you know your Inner Spiritual Adventurer type, consider the following suggestions.
If you don't know your Inner Spiritual Adventurer type, here's a button linking to my website quiz. Take it to get lots of ideas for enjoying your spiritual gifts and proclivities.
Wisdom Seeker: gathering information; increasing expertise; exploring new concepts; investigating academic, historical or technical background
Connection Captain: building relationships, talking to people, making connections, feeling like you're part of a greater whole
Sensitive Sojourner: experiencing the "feel" of a place or action, reaching out to your environment, absorbing an object's energy, changing your vibration, immersing yourself in sensation
Power Packer: building your abilities, feeling like you've mastered a skill, creating something concrete, achieving a milestone, seeing results improve
Step 3: Find common themes or threads.
For example, you may discover that you excelled at school or work projects when you were allowed to do things your own way and didn’t have to follow your boss's or teacher's guidelines. Or perhaps it’s the opposite - you did better when you had guidelines to follow.
Be open to surprising or counter-intuitive realizations. One friend initially said she rarely felt connected to her Divine source. Then she remembered conversations when a great idea popped into her head that made her feel like her divine inspiration was right there with her! She was trying to connect in solitary prayer, only to realize that actually she feels most connected when she's interacting with others.
Your astrology chart might give you a clue about this. For example, lots of planets in the 7th House of relationships can be a clue to finding deep enjoyment in interpersonal connection. If you'd like a hand understanding your natal chart, contact me!
Once you have identified your favorite experiences, make sure to record them - written down or even dictated into an email draft on your phone. Spend time thinking it over. Ask the universe and your inner self to help you remember anything significant.
You'll need this list for Stage 2: Getting More Living Water into Daily Life, coming soon!
I'm still working on adding more joy to daily life (maybe that's just a lifelong quest!) But my list has already made a big difference. I'm thinking more about happiness and satisfaction during required activities - getting up, getting dressed, eating food - and being more intentional about free time. Should I burden myself with more busy work or manufacture feeling virtuous by doing chores? Or could I add in one of my wonderful, joyful, life-enriching experiences?
I hope this process will lead you to more intentional choices, creating a life that feels more wonderful to you.