When do you feel most alive?
It seems crazy to me that we have to think so hard about what makes us vibrate with positive energy, and yet until I took the time to focus inward and become aware, I didn’t have an answer to this.
I know from experience it is possible not to know. In my case I was always looking ahead and had lost my ability to connect to the present moment, and with it, my ability to discern when my mind, body + spirit needed rejuvenating.
Along the way my answer to the question has changed as I have grown. I used to think that helping others energized me, and it still does get me fired up at times, but I also recognize it can drain me if the person I am helping isn't ready to make real changes. If someone isn't ready, no amount of “helping” in the world can create forward motion. And when a person relies on a outside situation like helping someone else move forward to energize them, they are giving away their power to that outward focus. That is what I was doing. And it meant I was on a roller coaster. The kind of alive I am asking about in my original question needs to come from inside you, not conditional to a person or a situation outside of you.
So, when do I feel optimum, whole, balanced, and buzzing with intention?
I feel most alive when I have spent time in nature. Walking or sitting in the forest is my favorite, with my beloved trees.
How did I forget how important time outside was for me? I knew this as a kid. I spent endless hours of alone time in the woods daydreaming in the shade, searching for rocks in the tree-lined river, netting turtles out of the tree rimmed pond, walking the tree filled paths around our family cabin, or cross country skiing through the snow covered woods. I let my grown up life and responsibilities push aside my need for connection with the earth.
Yet a few years back even as I began to recognize my need to spend more time outside, I began walking with someone else, or I wore headphones and listened to music. Not exactly the best way for me to be present to the experience of being outside. Headphones silenced the sounds of the "now", giving me way too much time in my little bubble to overthink and talking with someone while walking isn’t very mindful either.
What I needed was to tune into the sounds of the world around me, not to continue to tune them out. Noticing things like the breeze rustling through the top of the trees, hearing the birds chattering to each other from nearby branches or the scurrying of little feet in the forest, are what bring me back to the present moment. The sun on my face, wind in my hair, and quiet time with the trees grounds me, balances me and rejuvenates me.
I encourage you to find your own personal fountain of youth by tuning into what makes you feel more alive. Maybe next time your energy is low or leaking, you should try taking a walk in nature and see if my solution works for you? If not, figure out what your own personal recipe to rejuvenation is. Once you uncover what fuels you make it a priority to do more of it!