We all want to live a good life. So are there simple tools for a good life to support us in doing so?
We want to live well ourselves (whatever our definition of living well) and we aspire to be decent humans for others too.
But how do we move towards this way of living? This is a large and complex topic involving values and philosophy, individuality and community – but there is always a simple way to get into motion.
There are simple, practical, doable tools for a good life. These are the two that have had the largest and most positive impact on my life. I promote them to anyone and everyone as I truly believe in their life-enhancing capabilities. What are they?
- regular meditation, and
- a regular writing practice
Yesterday was my birthday which I celebrated away in the mountains.
It was glorious and has me feeling fresh and hopeful today. Birthdays can do that if we remember that we are lucky to be born and fortunate to grow older. We can allow birthdays to be fresh starts and opportunities for trying better ways of doing things.
We try to spend our time well – for ourselves and others, and available to us are tools which can help support us in creating and living this good life. Both regular meditation and regular writing can help us spend our time well.
I set myself monthly challenges – because I make progress in living more intentionally when I set myself goals and am held on track by some form of external accountability. On this birthday month of August, I chose to focus on daily meditation and writing.
1. Tools For A Good Life – Regular Meditation
I started meditating when lockdown-inspired anxiety needed an exit. Meditation has become the single most life-enhancing habit I have discovered.
Why? Because it makes life better.
- I think more clearly
- My days feel more spacious and less rushed
- More space allows for more responding and less reacting
- I parent with more compassion
- I sleep better
If there is one habit I would promote for a better life – this is it.
I meditate most days, but this month I have made a point of meditating every day. I always can find 10 minutes, and I lead a fairly full life.
As I am always interested in simple ways to do things, meditation can be as simple as pausing in your day and taking a few. measured. breaths.
Will you give it a try for a week?
2. Tools For A Good Life – Regular Writing
Regular writing is the other simple and change-making tool that has had a significant impact on my life.
Why? Because writing creates headspace by allowing the spaghetti of our thoughts and emotions to exit.
It can help clarify our intentional life direction and keep us on track as we progress.
Writing is an ancient medium of human communication.
It is also a current, practical, personal and simple way of helping us move from tangle to peace.
I started with Julia Cameron’s morning pages many years ago and have dipped in and out of the writing habit ever since.
As I am always interested in simple ways to do things, writing can be as simple as creating a habit of jotting down a single page of anything that comes out – no rules, no judgement.
On paper, online, and any which way that works for you – give writing a try for a week.
- stream of consciousness morning pages
- gratitude journaling
- creative writing
- regular newsletters or blog posts
So this week let’s agree to celebrate our unique, imperfect selves.
Let’s remember that life is a great and mysterious gift.
In order to make our daily lives feel even better, could we try taking a few intentional breaths every day this week? Could we find time to sit down, hand on heart and pause? I put together some simple breathing exercises that I return to regularly which you can grab here.
How about writing a page a day of anything to clear the cluttered mind? Try keeping a gratitude journal. I simply write down any small, medium and large things for which I am grateful. They range randomly from a momentary puff of a breeze to a loved one’s improved health.
Incorporating these two habits could improve the quality of your days.
Worth a try, not so?
As always – thanks for reading