Growth is the energy of life. You can invite the light of growth into your life in simple daily ways. Small changes add up to big ones, and every positive step you take for yourself can advance you on your path to a healthy, balanced, beautiful life.
In all my work inspiring people to choose enlightened lifestyles, I've found that change is contagious. See how embracing growth can empower your best self in mind, body and spirit.
Here are a few of my favorite ideas for expanding your life energy.
- Start a journal
- Eat outside the box
- Join a group
- Quit a group
- Try a new workout
- Take an acquaintance to lunch
- Enrich your color palette
- Be a tourist in your own town
- Rearrange your living room
- Plant something
- Set a daring goal and make a plan to achieve it
- Break the language barrier
- Make a date with a child
Start a Journal
Freedom of expression is always at your fingertips when you keep a journal. Browse stationery or bookstores for a journal that sparks your imagination. Whether it's the weight of the pages, the colors on the cover, the size that slips into your purse, pick the one that feels just right. You might customize your journal by collaging the cover or pasting pictures on pages. Then, write! Try free association first thing in the morning, a sentence describing the brightest moment of each day, snippets of songs or poems or overheard conversations. Reflect on your goals and dreams, and log the progress you make.
Eat Outside the Box
To open your mind to new pleasures, try a dish or cuisine you've never tasted -- perhaps a Vietnamese spring roll wrapped in a lettuce leaf, genuine Jamaican jerk (meat rubbed with a unique spice mix and grilled), or something exotic from the imported produce section at the market. Hit an authentic restaurant or pick up a cookbook from the bookstore or library and explore in your own kitchen. Feel your taste buds come alive! (P.S. Watch your portions and skip the high-fat dishes.)
Join a Group
Great things happen in groups. Consider joining a community choir, the Sierra Club, Big Brothers or Sisters, a book club, charitable board, neighborhood committee or political campaign. Pursue your passions, share with like-minded people and let your voice be heard.
Quit a Group
Has one of your affiliations gone stale? Have you contributed and learned all that you can? Say goodbye to clear the slate for new adventures to come.
Try a New Workout
There's nothing like a change of pace to revamp your exercise routine. The workout world has become a global village, and you can sample international treats from tai chi (China) to Pilates (Germany), karate (Japan), capoeira (Brazil), yoga (India) and more -- or just get that tennis ace friend to finally give you a lesson.
Take an Acquaintance to Lunch
We all work or interact with someone we don't really know. For no reason at all, ask this mysterious individual to join you for a noonday salad. See what you discover.
Enrich Your Color Palette
Buy or borrow a piece of clothing or accessory in a color you never wear. Wear it. How do you feel?
Be a Tourist in Your Own Town
Whether you live in a sparkling metropolis, sleepy suburb, small town or the countryside, there's guaranteed to be something you haven't done or seen right in your backyard. Take a day in which you pretend you're a tourist from another country here to see the sights. Put on your walking shoes and go.
Rearrange Your Living Room
(Don't try this at home alone.) Does your living room lag behind your current lifestyle or simply feel frozen in time? With an able-bodied assistant or two, clear out all the tired items and move around the furniture and remaining accessories and accents. Bask in your new point of view.
On a city balcony or in a big backyard, putting your hands in the dirt is a primal connection to growth energy. Plant a pot of herbs, a precious orchid bulb, a bed of peonies or a vine of tomatoes to ripen in the sweet summer heat. Tend your plant and grow along with it.
Set a Daring Goal and Make a Plan to Achieve It
When you strip away the blinders of self-doubt, what would you really love to do? Travel the world, become a teacher, write a book, start a business, dance in a Broadway play? Think blue sky! No matter how unrealistic your venture might seem, daring to write it down and assess the steps that could take you there can be a profoundly liberating experience.
Break the Language Barrier
Communication plants seeds of peace and positive growth for the world. Learn how to introduce yourself to someone in another language. Do it. (This has greatest effect if you share your new greeting with a native speaker of that language.)
If you're like most busy people, I bet it's been awhile since you really got your groove on. Hit a salsa club (try the early lesson to learn a few steps), take a jazz or ballet class at a dance studio, or grab a friend and head out to a live venue. Let the music move you.
Make a Date With a Child
Kids grow and change at the speed of light, and even overloaded parents can gain insight by taking some time out with a child-yours or someone else's to-do something special. Try a favorite activity from your own childhood, or the fantastic event you only ever wished for as a kid.