We live in a culture that worships youth and beauty and often disregards, disrespects and diminishes age. This is a shame for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that everyone is growing older every day.
Don't be defined by it. Don't allow the culture to define you. Don't allow others to diminish you in any way. It's time to take back control of your life and live in the present moment. It's time to become "Soul Selfish."
Some people get hung up on words, like "selfish." They are immediately repelled thinking it means lack of consideration for others and being only concerned with one's own personal profit or pleasure, but Soul Selfish is just the opposite.
Soul Selfish means rather than looking to others to make you happy, you take your own power in your own hands; Happiness first comes from within. Then you can help others -- if you want to.
For example, when you're flying and those masks drop down, you are always instructed to breathe deeply first, and then you may assist others. But in daily life, most people have this backwards. They are trying to get others to make them happy, or take care of them in some way, and are actually being quite manipulative.
Everyone does this to one degree or another until they figure out no one else can make you happy. That's your job.
I understand what it means to be Soul Selfish. And because of that, I often receive comments such as, "I can’t believe your age — you look 15 or 20 years younger than you are." And, "I wish I could be like you when I grow up."
It's not that I'm doing anything all that special, such as buying and slathering on the latest skin creams, struggling with the latest, most popular diet craze, or doing that special 9-Step Formula to Live a Great Life as touted by the latest life coach guru. No. But I am taking time each day to look inside myself, act on the inspiring actions I receive. I find myself available to others around me, and I'm a lot nicer to be around! I'm grateful that a byproduct of that is looking and feeling youthful.
Here is a list of tips on how you, too, can live a Soul Selfish life and feel a lot better in the process:
Once a day set aside time just for yourself. Sit down in a comfortable place where you will be undisturbed for at least 20 minutes. Pull out a journal. Take some deep breaths, relax, and begin:
Become aware of the present moment: Notice the chatter in your mind without trying to stop it and without judgment. After a while, it will die down, and within days the quiet is easier to access.
Focus on gratitude. Ask yourself, "What am I most grateful for today?" Pause, and see what comes up. Think about your family and friends. Your work. Your home. The fact that you're alive. What is it you're grateful for? Take some time to really feel your gratitude.
Do some daily "inner house cleaning." Take some time now to review recent experiences and consider the following questions:
* What experiences didn’t feel good? Write down everything that comes to mind. It could be one or two things, or perhaps an entire list. Write them all down.
* Then face it. Take a good look at what bothered you and why.
* Clear it out. Is there an action you need to take, such as a conversation with someone else? If not, maybe you need to simply have a good cry. Punch a pillow. Go for a run (then come back to this list). Do what you can to release the stress. Look at it, feel it, and then...
* Let it go. Just let it go. Clearing out the negative is essential in order to create space for the new to come into being.
Define your deepest desires. We only have so much time on this Earth. What do you want to have, do or be? What experiences do you want to create? It isn't enough to just have it rolling around inside your head. Write it down. There is power in doing so.
Do one thing toward fulfilling each of your desires. Next to each item you've written down, what is the next action step you can take to begin creating them? Write down all your ideas. You can sort through them later. For now, just get them down. Consider creating a vision board, which means finding visuals and graphics depicting what you want. Gather them together in a form where you can see them every day on your computer or on an old-school piece of tagboard. You will be amazed as you see your desires become reality.
Who and what do you value? Ask yourself, "Who do I love? Who loves me? What is important to me? My family? My friends? Pets?" How much time do you spend with each them? Do you value books or art? Nature? After writing them down, prioritize them in order of importance, most important to less important.
What are your interests? What lights you up, turns you on, and makes you happy? Your list might contain your current passions, and it may include items from last year, or when you were five years old. What do you find fun? Do you love music? When did you last attend a concert? Theater? Have you seen a great show recently? Travel? What is your dream trip?
What do you want to learn? To experience? What new things do you want to try? Qigong? Hot yoga? Skydiving? Bridge? If you're married or have a life partner, ask him or her what is on their list. Do they want to go to Argentina to learn the Argentine Tango? Do they love Philip Glass and dream of attending all his concerts around the world? Are you dreaming of seeing ABBA back together?
Do you have a bucket list? Now is the time to write that list and get it out of your head. There is power in the list.
Prioritize pleasure. What makes you feel fabulous? Is it appreciating nature? Laughing? Dancing? Playing? Focus on pleasure for yourself and in your relationship. Do you enjoy floating on an air mattress on a lake, or going on a hay ride, or taking a trip to a faraway place? Write them down and schedule time to do them. There is something miraculous about writing it down in a calendar. It happens.
Self Care: List all the activities you would like to create or begin as a way of taking care of yourself. Lead a healthy lifestyle — In what ways are you physically active? Do you need to add things to this list? Then do so.
* Learn to be a great receiver. When given a gift, do you say, "Oh no, you shouldn't have," or do you gush over with excitement telling the gift giver how wonderful he or she is to have thought of you and how much you absolutely love it? Try the latter. The gift giver will feel wonderful too.
* Listen to and follow your intuition — both hunches and premonitions. Our culture is highly focused on doing and speaking. Both have enormous value, but adding deep listening will contribute more happiness and effectiveness. When you get an inner nudge to call someone, or change a plan or do something else, listen to it and follow through.
* Fall in love with your inner and outer beauty. What makes you feel beautiful? Is it wearing beautiful clothes? Is it meditation? Whatever it is, do more of it, and if you don't know what that is, now is the time to explore.
* Feel connected to your body, its beauty, sensuality and power. Stay fit by going to the gym, do Pilates, take walks, or dancing lessons. Keep moving. Heighten your senses by focusing and having more awareness of what feels pleasing to you via sights, sounds, tastes, smells and touch.
* Enjoy your sexuality, know and ask for what gives you pleasure.
* Explore your creativity. How do you express your creativity? What would you like to create? Would you like to write, fulfill your interest in beauty? How specifically would you do that? Do you have an interest in fashion? Think of ways you can you bring that into your life? Take a class in fashion? Maybe you want to focus on home decor? Look for online opportunities or on the ground classed in your area. Check www.meetups.com.
* Expand your network. If you only socialize with people your own age, mix it up. Find ways to spend time with people of different age groups and backgrounds. Common special interest is a great way to do this. Book clubs, community associations, photography. cooking, art, exercise classes, gardening, sports, and personal development. The list is practically endless, so follow your interests and meet like-minded people of all ages.
To be Soul Selfish means to understand that life is an inside out process. We create our lives from our beliefs which in turn create our feelings and then our choices and actions. IF you want to change a situation in your life, drop the belief that isn't working and create a new one. It isn't hard to do.
Simply look within daily and clear up whatever needs attention through meditating, listening for guidance, being in nature, or whatever works best for you. Expansion is available to all throughout our lives, but there usually is more time to be soul selfish once you've helped your children to launch their own lives, and the demands of your full-time career have lessened. Remember, it's time to live in the present.
Soul Selfish: The Awakening of a Good Girl
by Jane Wyker
Jane Wyker’s memoir Soul Selfish shows the way to happiness comes from within instead of looking to others to supply it. Jane remained a ”good girl” into her mid-thirties, bent on pleasing others in the hope of receiving love. This all changed when she embarked on a courageous and passionate inner journey that led her to ownership of her talents, self-reliance and self-love.Through insightful and spiritually uplifting stories, Jane invites us on her passage from “good girl” to empowered woman, as she slays the personal demons that many have yet to confront.Let Jane’s journey inspire the possibility for you to become soul selfish, ever more willing to connect to your truth — your soul.
Click here for more info and/or to order this hardcover book and/or download the Kindle edition.
In her memoir, Soul Selfish: The Awakening of a Good Girl, Jane Wyker shares the vast experience of her 46-year inner journey. Working in over a dozen disciplines, she had the courage and faith to follow the guidance of many teachers and, ultimately, her own soul. Now 82, and still learning, she models a life prioritizing happiness that sources from within. A graduate of Cornell University and former elementary school teacher, Jane was a pioneer in parent education. This led her to her Family Counseling practice that dealt with marriage, parenting, self-development, career and loss. She presented seminars in Fortune 500 companies, raised four children, managed a thriving career and pursued her own spiritual growth. Jane saw that when selfish enough to live from her soul, love and wisdom flow. She believes that is true for all of us. http://janewyker.com/