When we embrace the fabulous flavors of life, the less palatable moments are made more manageable. 

Life is magnificent, imposing, full of magic, hope, and possibility. It’s also rife with challenges, loss, struggle, and – ideally – personal growth, which (let’s be honest), typically comes with a few growing pains.

When we are caught up in life’s daily doing, it can be easy to lose sight of the grace and abundance with which we are blessed. When life gets tough, we sometimes forget all the beauty surrounding and sustaining us. 

The fabulous flavors of life can quickly get lost in the sauce, which is why it’s so essential to make an effort to create them, embrace them, have gratitude for them, and save them up for the certainty of a rainy day. 

There are a  few ways that I embrace the flavors of life – perhaps you have a few of your own. I’d love to hear about them! 

Practice the art of doing nothing

A friend of mine once told me that someone once asked her, “Don’t you ever just do nothing?” She answered, “Of course- all the time. I lay in the hammock and read a book or listen to music or watch a movie on Netflix.” 

To which her friend replied, “No. I mean NOTHING. Like, just sit and BE.” 

Surprised by this, my friend thought about it and realized that she struggled with the art of doing nothing. 

Many of us struggle with the art of doing nothing. There was a time that it was definitely something I grappled with. I felt I was lazy, getting behind, or losing ground if I was idle. 

That’s normal. Many of us come from a culture that says we have to go go go all the time – and many of us feel guilty if we are not working, producing, or doing something every minute of every day. 

Doing nothing gives you a chance to let your mind wander, for creativity to unfold, and for you to get your mind and body into a relaxed, stress-free state. 

In practicing the art of doing nothing, you can find the beauty and joy in stillness and bathe your soul in a healing balm of tranquility. 

Make every meal an occasion

In the united states, most of us tend to rush through meals - always on the go and always in a hurry; we rarely sit down to really enjoy our meals. The one exception to that may be dinner. 

In other cultures, where there tends to be less obesity, stress, and heart disease, folks enjoy their meals. 

Taking the time to sit down, have a moment of gratitude before eating,  and calmly consume your meals – perhaps with the company of loved ones and good conversation– allows your body to enter into a parasympathetic state which allows for healthier digestion. 

In addition to the physical health benefits of sitting down to enjoy one’s meals, there is a mind-spirit satisfaction of appreciation, enjoyment, and gratitude that comes with really savoring the delicious bounty that we have to nourish our bodies. 

Take time to read

Not only does reading spark your imagination and grow you intellectually, but reading is also a relaxing, fun, feel-good activity.

Through reading, you can travel to any time or place in the universe and witness different cultures, lifestyles, and perspectives. You can also experience life from thousands of different angles, feel all the feels, and infinitely explore all that the world has to offer and a lot of what it doesn’t. 

I think George R.R. Martin put it best when he said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” 

Seek out culture and soak it up

Embracing cultural activities is a beautiful way to get more involved in the community and increase your art knowledge. Getting your art on can give your soul more depth, more passion, and an artistic flair that can make you feel vibrant and alive. 

If it’s impossible to attend a concert or visit a museum, you can access plenty of culture right at home through your computer, home library, music collection, or even television. 

Nurture Yourself in Nature

Many cultures have long recognized the importance of the natural world to human health.

In the 1980s, the Japanese embraced a form of eco-therapy called shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”). In the following decade, researchers began studying the physiological benefits of forest bathing, providing the science to support what we innately know: time spent immersed in nature is good for us

Even if you live in a big city, you can seek out nature or create space for it. Here are a few ideas:

  • Fill your home with plants or perhaps an aquarium
  • Create a lush garden that draws hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, and bees into your yard 
  • Head out for a day of hiking at your nearest hiking trail park 
  • Take nature-rich vacations to places like Costa Rica, Yosemite National Park, the Adirondack Mountains of New York, New Zealand, or Hawaii  

Take it slow and steady

Similar to mindful eating is the concept of just taking most everything in life slow and steady. Take your time with your morning routine. 

Take moments out of your busy day to sit in mediation or take a long, leisurely walk. 

Don’t rush. Take it easy. Know that time is your friend. Your overall well-being will benefit. 

Schedule in Time for Pleasure

If you follow my podcast, you may have heard my recent episode on using your calendar to change your beliefs. In that episode, I talk about many things, but one of the most important ideas is scheduling time for yourself and pleasure. By that, I mean literally blocking out time on your calendar for self-care.  

If you want to be someone who shows up consistently for yourself, you can use your calendar to make that happen and thereby create evidence that you are a woman who loves and cares for herself. 

And what does that do? You guessed it. It transforms your self-image.

Fill Yourself Up With Life’s Many Flavors 

As cliché as it may sound, practicing the “joy of living” is one of the most fundamental components of a life well-lived. 

Think of it as a savings account. If you fill your account with joy, abundance, laughter, sensual pleasures, connection, love, warmth, and positivity, then you’ll have all that to rely on for a rainy day. 

These flavors of life will not only bolster you when times are tough, they will create a fullness in your life that creates a life well-lived and loved.

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