Create a life you love with passion & purpose in 5 steps - Judith JuhnkeApr 20, 2022
Looking at what it takes for a human being to live a happy and fulfilled life you can break it down into three key things that need to be given:
- Stable supply of food & water for our bodies
- A place we call home, where we live
- A sense of wellbeing or feeling good about ourselves and the world
The tricky part is, that we tend to focus on the first two and then fill the third one with what we think or what society tells us to “use” to make us feel good, happy, content and at ease.
Here’s where the mismatch happens and most people get stuck: we look to the outside world to fill the inner world by consuming adventures, things and relationships with the intention to feel good, happy, relaxed, content, free or that we can belong.
So here come 5 steps for you to practice on how to use and master your inner world so that you massively uplevel your state of wellbeing, happiness and fulfillment and become limitless in your life.
1. Step out of inner resistance and into a growth mindset
When we are overwhelmed with a situation, we tend to react emotionally and say “Boy, I feel stressed”. While “stressed” can be frustration for one person, it can be disappointment for another one or feeling helpless for a third one. When high on emotions our brain loses the ability to find solutions and we feel resistance to deal with the topic. That is called a fixed mindset.
Instead of drowning into the thought carousel and the overwhelm, practice the following when you notice you feel like this:
- take 3 deep breaths slowly in through your nose and slowly out through the mouth, each time to a count of 4
- acknowledge that you feel however you feel right now by saying to yourself in your mind: “Ok, right now this situation makes me feel xyz” - it is what it is in that moment without any judgment
- next ask yourself “what would be 5 different ways I could react/answer now?” or “what would be 5 different solutions I can think of now to move forwards with xyz?” and practise to be in the attitude of being curious about which new ideas and solutions you will find; you can even say that to yourself as well “Oh, I’m really curious what I will come up with!”
This process takes a bit of practice until it comes naturally, so I invite you to be gentle with yourself when you start implementing it. Be ok with yourself when trying it for the first time, you maybe “just” get to a) and b) and it makes you feel less stressed. Tell yourself “well done”
This is called a growth mindset and it involves accepting “what is” including how you think and feel in a particular moment, knowing that you can create and decide anew in the next moment. And in the next.
With this process you step out of resisting to accept what is which lowers your stress level and 10x your speed of decision making and solution creation.
2. Follow what sparks joy
In our fast paced world we tend to get lost in to-do-lists and “I have to…so that” tasks and situations. Over time that feels exhausting and we crave for ease and a lighter life.
This is how you can bring back more ease into your life by bringing back joyful activities in your week:
- ask yourself: What are activities or things I do that I get done super fast and that almost feel like “nothing” to me? Also check for things that others feedback to you in sentences like “oh wow, I wouldn’t have been able to do that like you did”. In these activities you will most likely find your strengths and those are things that come easy to us. Once you’ve identified 3-5 things or activities ask yourself what it specifically is that you enjoy in each and how it can spark joy for you
- write down 5-10 things that bring you joy (listening or dancing to your favorite song, having a cup of tea or coffee, playing a team sport, cooking, discovering new things,...) and integrate 1 or more in every day
- where focus goes, energy flows: close your day with writing down three good things that you experienced that day and notice how shifting your focus makes you feel
The more you practise this, the more you will notice how your overall mood shifts with your focus and how you will be able to see more joyful, light and easy things in your life.
3. Understand your emotions
Have you ever wondered why you are able to feel that many emotions? While you sometimes may think “wow, can this please go away - it feels uncomfortable and keeps me from moving forward”
In reality the opposite is the case. Your emotions serve you like a compass on what you should look at next and to be clear on what you need.
There is a fully neuro-scientific approach and methodology behind this, but in short: your emotions have a certain function. They serve you as a guide towards a need or desire you have thus giving you direction on what to give to yourself in order to feel better or uplevel your overall well-being.
For example frustration or anger tells you that your desire to be fully you, to speak your truth, to be seen & heard is not met at that moment. So you may ask yourself in case you feel frustration in a situation: “Where am I not really saying what I am thinking?” or “Who or what gets in the way of my plan and how could I (peacefully) find a solution to that?”
The overall lesson with emotions is: however you feel, it has to do with you - not the other person :)
What you can do to practise connecting more to yourself and your inner world is using the flow in step 1 and then ask yourself: “What do I really want right now?” or “What do I really desire that made me feel like xyz?”
4. Use your body
Your body is such a great resource to help you feel better and to shift into a different energy.
Remember: the thoughts you have in connection with the emotion tied to them determines how you feel. So challenge your thoughts on a regular basis with the question: Is this true for me?
To move from a weird or stressed state of feeling, use your body to support this shift of focus as thoughts can be nagging sometimes.
You can use these three things to support shifting into a lighter and more relaxed state:
- your breath: it controls your nervous system, so how anxious or relaxed you feel
When you find yourself stuck in a low energy mood or in high anxiety try this:
Stand or sit straight and relaxed and start to breathe in slowly through your nose starting in your lower belly region moving up the breath through your chest and as high as you can get it. The outer breath goes through your open mouth as slowly as the breath in just “backwards” and from the back of your mouth with a sound a bit like Darth Vader until you fully breathe out. Breathing in, your belly moves out, breathing out it moves in. Go with this count:
>Breathe in on a count of 4
>Hold your breath at the top on a count of 4
>Breathe out on a count of 6 (8 if you can)
>Hold your breath at the bottom on a count of 6 (8 if you can)
Repeat that process 4 times.
Trust me, it sounds more complicated as it is. The 4 cycles take 1,5-2 minutes.
By breathing out longer than in, you calm down and relax your nervous system, your emotional charge lowers, you gain clarity, maybe you can laugh about whatever you felt so stressed about just 2 minutes ago.
- touching yourself gently by giving yourself a big hug and rubbing your shoulders or your back for about a minute - it works because your system cannot really differentiate if that hug and gentle rubbing comes from another person or yourself and your body starts producing oxytocin which is known as the “cuddle-hormon” which supports you in feeling in harmony and belonging
- smile for 60 seconds - wear a big smile across your face and hold it for a minute, similar as with the hug is your system unable to differentiate if you really feel happy or content or not. After 60 seconds your body notices the muscles in your face in the position when smiling and it will produce serotonin which lets you feel happier and lighter
5. Find meaning in your life
A huge part that contributes to our overall well-being known from positive psychology is that we find what is meaningful to us in life. This term sometimes comes across a bit intangible, so let’s break it down. Meaning has four elements to it
- Purpose - activities that make sense to you, your “why” aka motivation based on the (painful) experiences in life you had so that you have a desire to create change in this so others do not need to suffer the way you did
- Transcendence - a state that gets you into your “zone”, when you are enjoying something so deeply either as you are creating something or immersing yourself fully into nature or art so that you feel like you loose sense of time in the most positive way - in this state ideas and inspiration can come through
- Belonging - true and honest acknowledgement and inclusion of you as a person with your authentic self. When you belong for the person you are and not for the way you behave or think. That is connection at heart and soul level and supports the power of community and co-creation in which things always move in an easier and faster way compared to doing it alone
- Storytelling - the stories you tell yourself about you. Or in other words your belief system. The story that you believe to be true about yourself, will always play out as true for you as long as you decide it to be true. The good news is: you can re-program your belief system
As a first step you can start with the following two exercises for yourself:
- to explore your purpose: what is the one thing in the world that you cannot stand and why? How does it make you feel? And how would you love to see that differently?
- to start re-arranging your belief system: set a timer to 10 min and write down everything that comes to mind about this question: How do I think and feel about myself? I am…
Make sure you keep writing to stay in the flow, it’s like a brain dump. Then review what you have written, see what you like and what you desire to be different.
Write down 3-5 sentences with new believes about yourself and practice them as your new affirmations every day (eg in the morning: speak out loud each of them for at least 30 times) for at least 30 days
Sounds like a chunk of work? :) Well, it is and you get to go step by step. Also it is a beautiful process with the most epic advantage that you can control every bit of it and you do not need anything beyond yourself to start.
Also I invite you to look at it with your new growth mindset and the thought:
If I invest 3-5 years of practice step by step, I will enjoy the benefits of it for the next 30-50 years.
Isn’t that a great investment case? :)
What are two things from the 5 steps above that you will start trying first?
With love & trust
Live your life to the fullest - limitless
This book holds 8 absolutely amazing stories with inspiration on how to start and the encouragement that you can always start shifting no matter your past experiences