Feeling Alive

A dock at sunset on White Sands Island in the Maldives. Ever get the feeling that all you do is work and be responsible? Do the days seem to run into each other because the same thing happens day in and day out? Do you feel “stuck”? Henry David Thoreau said “Most people lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Do you sometimes feel that Thoreau is talking about you? (note: you would be saddened and shocked by the number of people that would say yes to that question.)

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day humdrum. When you ask people how they are doing, how often do you get “Same s..t, different day.”?

If you can relate to what I’m talking about, then you need to change some things up. You need to do something different. Here are some tips to bring more joy, aliveness and passion into you life. It all starts with connecting with those things that fill you up inside. The great thing about it, is that they are relatively simple things. Seems to be all about the simple stuff, doesn’t it?

  • Listen to music. Music is healing. Music speaks to our souls. Turn off the TV, and sit instead with your eyes closed listening to your favorite type of music. When was the last time you did that? Make a compilation CD of your favorite songs and listen to them in your car instead of listening to the news. I love classical music, and when I’m feeling dulled by life, I listen to Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony or Bach’s Sonatas and Partidas for Solo Violin.
  • Play music or sing. Do you have a dusty instrument laying around? Pull it out and see if you can become friends again. Could be as simple as a wooden flute with holes or as complex as a grand piano. Have you always wanted to learn an instrument? When would now be the best time to start? Guitar is easy and cheap.
  • Watch your all time favorite movie. Turn of the phone, grab your favorite brew and be taken away. My favorites: “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Casablanca”
  • Read.Something that keeps you turning the pages. Something inspiring and interesting. Make regular time to savor it. If you learn something, that’s a bonus.
  • Do some art. Let your artistic side come out. Do you like to draw? Paint? Photography? Work with clay? I don’t know how much a bag of sculpey is but I’m sure it’s not a lot. You don’t need to know “how”.  Just play, see what happens.
  • Dance.If you find yourself alone and the mood strikes you then get up and bust a move. Don’t be shy to dance alone. It’s all about freedom of expression. If you want to but can’t call me and I’ll help you bust loose. I dance. Usually by myself. Sometimes in front of kids and my wife. This morning I heard someone say they were so happy with their printer that they danced a jig. Cool. That’s my favorite “by myself” dance.
  • Start a garden. Plant a seed. Nurture it. Watch it grow.  Maybe you end up with fruit, vegetables or a pretty flower. Be a partner in the miracle of life. Get filled up with wonder. That will make you wonderful (or more wonderful than you already are).
  • Get a pet.Dogs, cats, birds, whatever. Play with your pet if you have one. Not just walk them. No room or too much hassle?  Get a fish. They’re easy and they don’t mess up your house. Mine just died. I had him for almost three years. We had a ceremony and buried him under the plumeria. Aquariums are peaceful. Get some frogs, or newts. Some people like snakes and lizards. They’re not for me but whatever floats your boat.
  • Get out into nature. Very Powerful. Go to a park and walk barefoot in the grass. Take a drive up into the mountains. Take a hike. I like lakes and streams, there’s magic in those places. My personal local favorite: Monrovia Canyon Park. Take the Sawpit Canyon Fire Road to the Ben Overturf Trail. Stop and hang out where it crosses the stream. I once saw hundreds of California Newts there after a rain.
  • Go to a museum.Want to get inspired? Stand in front of a painting that is 500 years old. It’s quiet and cool in museums. My favorite: Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. Check out the Japanese Garden. Check out the Portrait of Pauline Astor at the Scott Gallery. Amazing.
  • Build something. Anything. A shed. A box. A model airplane. A real airplane.
  • Take a vacation. Yeah, I know. They disrupt my routine. Can’t afford it. You can’t afford not to.
  • Develop a spiritual practice.Whatever is meaningful to you.

It’s all about connecting with your inner sense of wonder and creativity and getting inspired. We are creative beings and when deprived of these essential qualities we shrivel and die. Perhaps not a physical death, but certainly a spiritual one. It’s up to you to give yourself what you need to thrive.

If you liked this post, please leave a comment and/or share it with your social networks. To hear a podcast of this blog,  check out episode 44 at www.tedinyourhead.com


 Ted A. Moreno
Personal/Small Business Coach
Certified Hypnotherapist
 (626) 826-0612
16 replies
  1. Kyle
    Kyle says:

    All work & no play makes Kyle a dull boy… thanks Ted. Little things mean a lot, just do them on a regular basis. Love the picture!

  2. Jeri
    Jeri says:

    Love the picture Ted.
    And everything you suggested, I have taken up dancing and feel great after!

  3. nancy
    nancy says:

    Great post. To all of the above I kept saying, “yes!” I also like taking a routine task and experiencing it with as many senses as possible, like cutting the peels off oranges for our morning smoothie but putting them in a small red bowl for visual interest, and smelling them every now and then while doing the rest of the kitchen chores. Or putting just a taste of something wonderful in your mouth and taking a minute to really savor it–will put a smile in the hour ahead– nutella works the best 🙂

  4. Gina Moreno
    Gina Moreno says:

    I absolutely agree to all of the above and as a matter of fact I do LOVE to dance. Also, we are getting a dog later today new addition to the family, talk about change! What I have found inspiring is volunteering. I reflect back on the days when I volunteered at Millers Childrens Hosp and it brought sheer fulfillment to be around those children. My suggestion is volunteer work can definitely break the everyday humdrum…

    • Ted Moreno
      Ted Moreno says:

      Thanks for the great input Gina! I knew I would leave something out…volunteering is definitely a great way to add meaning to one’s life.

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