What Does It Mean to Enjoy Life? + free guide on how to do it

By Follow Your Own Rhythm

 

 

You live near the ocean or the mountains but you never go.

You have a great husband/wife or family but you never spend time with them. 

You have a pool right next to your house but you never go swimming.

You know how to cook delicious food, but you never cook.

You have a lot of cute clothes but you never wear them.

You love to paint, but you never get around to painting a picture.

You have an idea in your head but you don’t act on it.

There is a change in plans, and you worry instead of adjust.

There is an opportunity for adventure and spontaneity, and you decline because it’s not what you normally do.

You have an exciting change in your life, and you are too busy focusing on what you have to do next or why this situation isn’t perfect.

In other words, you don’t take advantage of the beautiful things that are right in front of you.

You don’t seize the moment.  Instead of flowing with life, you block it.  You put up self-made obstacles that prevent you from truly enjoying the moment.

You stay stuck in your head and continue with incessant thinking, and forget that life is happening right now, right in front of you. 

You do things for the IDEA of doing them, but you don’t actually enjoy them.  You aren’t actually THERE.  You aren’t actually present.

These are all signs that you are not enjoying life to its fullest potential.

To enjoy something means to be IN JOY of something, which means to be in a state of complete contentment, peace and awareness.  And the way you enjoy something is by actually using it, taking advantage of it (in a good way), loving it, embracing it, appreciating it, observing it, playing with it, engaging with it, and giving it your full attention.

Not by ignoring it, being numb to it, doing it to check it off your bucket list, or engaging with it half-heartedly. 

Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes, shoes, and purses; things that you never wear?  How about a deck in the back of your house that you never use?  How about a nice car you never drive because you don't want to put miles on it? Or a trail by your house you never walk on? What do you have in your life that could be enjoyed, and could add some value and variety to your life, but you are not enjoying???

And if you are not enjoying these things because you are not interested in them, then why do you have them? Why do you have the things that you have, why do you live where you live, and why do you seek out the experiences that you do, if it’s not for enjoyment and fulfillment?

Is it to reflect a certain image to the world of who you want them to think you are, or even worse, to fool yourself that you are “this person?” Is it to be liked or accepted, to follow a norm, or to gain a false sense of happiness and satisfaction? 

These are all inauthentic reasons to own or do anything.  All they do is satisfy your ego, but not your soul.

As far as the things and the experiences that you seek out, the bottom line is, if you can’t enjoy them, you either shouldn’t have them or you should start enjoying them.

As for beautiful moments…

Do you have a child you don’t engage with fully when they talk to you?

Do you have a dog or cat that you never observe as it plays, eats, or sleeps?

Do you have an acquaintance you never try to learn more about by asking them questions?

A person you don’t fully listen to as they open up to you?  

A flower, tree, bird, river, or mountain you don’t become awestruck by?  

A stranger who smiles at you that you don’t take a moment to appreciate?  

These are those precious moments of life that need more of our attention! This is how you enjoy life! You pay attention to the simple, subtle, but oh so sacred moments and take it in as if this was the first time you’ve ever seen it (because it IS). 

So ask yourself:

How can I enjoy the things that I already have in my life?    

How can I welcome new experiences without letting my expectations of how they should be get in the way?

How can I enjoy the moment fully?

How can I focus more of my attention on the subtle and simple moments all around me?  

After all, what is the point of life if you don’t know how to ENJOY it?  If you don’t know how to take advantage of an opportunity? If you don’t know how to let loose? If you don’t know how to be spontaneous, curious, and flexible? If you don’t know how to let go of your expectations, worries, and agendas, and just enjoy the moment the way it is?

The truth is, we all have to slow down.  We have to get out of our heads.  And we have to get in touch with our surroundings.  We have become so disconnected from LIFE, that we don’t know how to enjoy simple moments and simple things.  We expect life to be a certain way in order for us to be happy, but when it doesn’t work out the way we want, we worry and stress. 

Why does our happiness depend on outside circumstances?  Life just happens, and it is not here to hurt us or to purposely throw obstacles in our way.  Life just IS.  The reason we become unhappy and can’t enjoy life, is because of how we interpret “life.”  We interpret inconvenient life situations as problems, as threats, as something that is here to make our lives worse.  When in reality, they are just neutral moments that we choose to interpret as either good or bad.

So the key to enjoying life is to appreciate and embrace what you already have, to bring as much attention as you can to your surroundings, and to truly to take it in and accept it for what it is.  Let go of your expectations, let go of your worries, let go of distracting thoughts, let go of negativity, and just be there fully. 

Some examples of how you can practice being in the present moment is to observe, be aware of, focus on, pay attention to, witness, watch, taste, touch, smell, hear, and fully engage with the things that are happening or that you see around you.

2 tips for getting in the mindset of enjoying life:

1. Pretend like you are on vacation.  What do you do when you are on vacation? You try new things, you explore new places, you do spontaneous and adventurous things, you relax, you appreciate where you are, and you have fun. Get in that SAME MINDSET in your everyday life.  Pretend like you are on vacation, because really, your whole life is one long vacation.  There is no need to travel 1000 miles to see something new, beautiful, and exciting. It's right in your back yard. 

2.  Pretend you are a tourist.  SAME MINDSET.  What do tourists do?  They try to see everything there is to see in a particular place or town.  They talk to locals, learn about the culture, go sight seeing, try new foods, and really take advantage of everything that is around them because they know their time is limited.  Well so is yours.  Who knows when YOUR time is over, or when you will suddenly relocate due to a life circumstance.  Don't take what you have around you for granted; enjoy it like a tourist.  

Here is a step-by-step breakdown of what you can do to start enjoying life:

Download worksheet below to help you answer these questions.

Version 2
 
 

STEP 1:  Look around your house. 

What in your house do you have that you can give more attention to and use?  What do you have that you are not using, wearing, playing with, reading, spending time with, exploring, or bringing to life? A bicycle you never ride, a book you never read, a piano you never play, a sitting room you never sit in, clothes you never wear? Write it down. Make an effort to start using and enjoying these things.

STEP 2:  Think of the people in your life. 

Who do you have that lives in your house that you are not spending enough time with or giving enough attention to?  Who lives close to you that you never visit? Who that lives far away do you not call, write, or keep in touch with? Write it down.  Make the effort to spend quality time with or reach out to the people you love.

STEP 3: Look at your outside surroundings. 

What do you have outside of your house or in your vicinity that you are not taking full advantage of? Do you have a patio you’re not enjoying? A trail you’re not walking on? An ocean, lake or mountain you don’t visit? A bike trail you never ride? A cozy coffee shop you never go to?  Write it down.  Go explore these places and start to incorporate it into your everyday life.

STEP 4: Look inside of you. 

What skill or passion do you have that you are not bringing to life? What hobby do you have that you never spend time on? What do you love doing that you don’t do? What change have you been wanting to make that you’ve been ignoring?  Write it down.  Start taking care of yourself and doing what you love doing!

STEP 5:  Look around you. 

What do you see? What do you hear? Observe what is happening in your environment.  Take it in.  Appreciate it.  See the beauty.  Enjoy the moment. 

And remember to bring this sense of awareness to your relationships, interactions, and life experiences.  Be there with it FULLY.  Give it your attention.  Focus on the good and see how you can learn and grow from everything that you experience.  Always focus on the silver lining. The more you do this, the more natural it will become. 

When life isn’t going the way you want and there is nothing you can do about it, practice accepting it for what it is.  

When you CAN do something about a situation, instead of dwelling on how bad or annoying it is, focus on SOLUTIONS.  What can you do to solve this problem or change it for the better?  Use your energy for creativity and not for negative thinking and dwelling on the past.  

When you can’t relax because you are worried about a future event, let it go and trust that everything will flow together and work out.  Since you can’t do anything about it anyway, why worry? It’s better to have faith in the process and trust that everything will be okay.  

So now, identify moments in your life that you can take in more fully.  What beautiful, simple life moments do you let pass you by on a regular basis because you’re too busy doing other stuff? What moments deserve more attention, love, and appreciation?  Write it down.

Start engaging with life more fully.


Download the free PDF worksheet so you can reflect on how you can start enjoying life right now!



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