14 Jun 2012
For me, as with pretty much everything else in my world, arriving at real living has been a process.
A very circuitous path.
I started down this road close to nineteen years ago with nary an iota of healthy lifestyle awareness.
I was an egocentric 20-something. I valued being skinny over feeling fit. I consumed fat-free anything and pretty much shunned healthy food options.
I was young in body and mind.
Almost two decades later I’m finally living authentically.
I’m older in mind and body, yet living more fully and vibrantly than ever before.
For me, the definition of real living has taken the shape of being mindful and present in all I do.
I am mindful with my food. Yes, if you were to follow me around for a day or two you’d notice I make mainly healthy choices. It would appear as though I have a healthy eating plan, but it’s (finally) a “plan” which isn’t written down or appropriated from a guru. It’s intuitive. My body now knows instinctively what it needs. I’m mindful in what foods I surround myself with so health options abound for my family. More than anything, however, I want to teach my daughter to be mindful and listen to her growing, changing body. It too knows what it wants and I work to teach her—in shorter than the two decades it took me—to listen.
I am mindful in the way I live. Yes I have healthy lifestyle habits, yet those extend far beyond the exercise and eating realm. I’m mindful with regard to my intake no matter the form. I strive to ingest only uplifting messages. I’ve tremendously cut back on brain-junk (from movies to magazines) in an effort to live more positively. I also work to be mindful of what I contribute to the world around me. I’m careful what messages I put out to others be it with my mood, my writing, my thoughts or just overall negativity. Real living, for me, is being mindful in how I live and interact with others.
I am mindful—period. I am present. I strive never to do the disservice of being with people yet NOT fully being present with them. I put down the smart phone. I turn off the television. I mono-task. I recognize for me real living may mean achieving less—according to the mainstream definition of success—yet what I achieve will be more meaningful. I work to make all my actions and interactions mindful choices and not distracted gestures.
It has taken close to 43 years for me to formulate my definition of real living.
I wonder, if I’m lucky enough to still be around in another 43 years, if my definition will have changed.
What does real living mean to you?
Has your definition changed and evolved over the years?
CarlaCheck out my latest posts here