The concept of living your best life is simultaneously a vague and clear directive. So what does it mean to live your best life? Is it the same for everyone? Is there a clear sign you’ve made it? For such a simple phrase, it sure elicits a lot of questions. The good news is, we can answer questions. The even better news is that those answers will empower you to move toward your best life and support a fulfilling journey toward it.
Know yourself now
From the time we are small, we have hopes of what we will become. Those hopes evolve into expectation as we grow, not just for ourselves but for our lives and the world at large. We often know what we want, and when we don’t, we know how we want to be perceived, and we move toward it. This is what we’re taught. But what happens when those expectations change, or when we do?
Because they will. They’re meant to. But understanding big changes in the calibration of our future can be painful. Finding meaning and purpose in those new shapes can push us to recalibrate our expectations in beneficial ways. Learning to adjust your hopes and needs is vital in creating your best life. After all, best is only best if it feels right for you.
Embrace the changes in who you are, how you feel and the things that matter to you. Use those changes to craft aspirations that feel good, and strive for them. If you’re working toward goals that mean something to you, whether big or small, the effort and the end goal will feel good.
Foster positive self-talk
Be kind to yourself first and ruthless when required. That might sound a little counterintuitive, but drawing a hard line in your own mind about the way you speak to yourself is a critical step in cultivating your best life. Speaking kindly to yourself is a gift that can lower stress, increase confidence and make you a better friend.
When your self-directed thoughts veer toward the critical or negative, put up a pause. Tell yourself, “You will not talk about my friend that way”. You are your own friend after all—the loudest and most persistent one. Enforcing a code of respect in this intimate relationship you share with yourself will set the standard for speaking with respect to others, and doing so in a positive framework. With lower stress and kinder words to reframe the situations you’re confronted with, you’ll be well on your way to a better mindset fit for your best life.
There is so much more to bringing fresh air and perspective into your body. Misnomers like “just breathe” or “just let it go” make us feel that it should be easy but breathing with your whole self doesn’t “just” happen. While mindful breathing can decrease anxiety, pain and sleep troubles, it’s also an exercise that requires regular training.
There are many breathing tools that can be employed to expand your health and restore your body’s clarity but pranayama has a special place in our hearts. Through this powerful breathwork, we can confront and heal the things holding us back in our bodies and reach more fully toward it. Through individual or supported pranayama work, overcoming your body’s resistance to risk can become an empowering tool in achieving your full potential.
Live with intent
With your adjusted expectations, kinder self-talk and grounding breaths, you’re ready to move toward a life cultivated with your personal best in mind. In order to reach that pinnacle of gratitude and fullness, we must first envision what that looks like and then set our intentions. Just as our expectations and goals change, so too will our intentions. It’s best to set them in the short term, but just how short term is up to you.
For some, it feels best to set intentions daily or every couple of days. Maybe a weekly or bi-weekly intention feels better. The great thing is- you can choose both, neither, or a combination of any timeframe you choose. It is your best, after all, and no one else’s schedule need apply to your intentions. What matters is that you set your intentions and then spend time with them. Visualize, or daydream what those intentions will look like as you work toward them and how you’ll achieve them. Let yourself spend time with those hopes and cement them as your plan instead of a dream.
Crafting your best life is an active process. It’s not a dream set in stone by a collective, and it isn’t something you must hold to. Your best life is a changeable thing that grows with you. It’s not a burden or a risk to take up or carry along, but a visualized collective of your aspirations and intentions. Whether you are working through the early steps of recovery or well along your path to healing, you are deserving of your best life and we are committed to helping you achieve it.