Hello, Hello! Let’s reflect on fortifying our inner strength. I figured that those who find artful living are those who design their life as they make mindful decisions with the ebb and flow of life circumstances. Destiny meets decisions. So, let’s get into it. Health and wealth (i.e., wealthy enough to pay the bills to live, financial security) give us peace and joy. It also reminds me of Ikigai (Japanese) philosophy where all small things must come together from daily life that gives the sum of happiness. So where do you begin?
Definitely ‘Routine.’ Routine and problem-solving are like the figure of 8.
By “routine”, I mean that you meticulously choose all things that are in your routine with care. The brush you choose to brush your teeth, the coffee you like, the cup you drink, the soap you use, the exercise routine you like, the food choices, the soft pajamas, bed linen can all be plugged into your routine. Advocate for yourself mindfully. “Commit” yourself to enjoy every present moment than prepare for the worst.
“Problem-solving” skill is a necessity in life. When a problem arises, crystallize it, step out of routine, meticulously think of many choices to solve the problem, and pick the best one out of those choices. Depend on your sharp mind. Strength comes from the pit of your stomach. Practice believing in yourself and recruit those who have your back.
In order to execute routine and problem solving effectively, you need “mental nutrition.” Here are the six facets.
(1) Thinking: Have agency, practice intentionality, lighten up, let things be, there is always a solution, you have the power to think on your feet, trust yourself. In lay-term, it is staying positive.
(2) Cognitive activities: Find activities with low-grade cognitive engagement. Doing activities that are fun. For example, I cook, read and paint. Many tell me they love baths with bath bombs, making playlists, doing mundane things like laundry, writing poetry, calling friends, watching cool shows on TV. Inject fun. In lay-term, staying busy will evict the ruminating negative occupants in your mind.
(3) Find emotional support: Pets and friends. I think scheduling on your calendar is critical with family and friends. Don’t ever be in a situation where you say you have not talked to them in a long time. Even if it’s a phone call, write it down in your calendar, space them out so you can get to them all. Schedule dates with them.
(4) Meditation: Centering, breathing, sitting quietly, 5 minutes to 10 minutes as you find time, buffering life, whenever and wherever- all come to my mind. Slow down. Reduce background noise.
(5) Safety bubble: Saying to yourself “I live my life” and imagining living in your safe capsule of routine and problem solving will bring stability. You have nothing to prove.
(6) Processing: Journaling, writing affirmations daily if you cannot easily access them, putting your worries on the paper by writing them down and jotting down solutions to them, processing with a mature therapist or great sage friend are all good. Understand the nuances of life. Do not ignore emotions, but use them as radar to get to what is bothering you. Let the emotions be not a destructive flame, but harnessed useful fire.
Finally, I want you to write down what you value the most in life and align daily with those values. Make a long list and get to what you truly prioritize. I am happy to share my values as an example. You will develop a signature YOU as you write yours. Believe in yourself. You can do this!
Value System (My IkiGai), My Northstar
1. Family: Servant’s heart, Build Memories
2. Husband: Sweet Best friend*
3. Character: Have the back of my people, kind, non-judgmental
4. Purpose: Helping people through my career
5. Health: Programmatic -Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Time for fun (NEST)
*Added “sweet” as I need to remember to be wise and not just logical (Am I cheeky?).