5 Values for Better Living in 2015

Epictetus Quotes As I do every year, I’ve started re-reading The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Sharon Labell. This modern interpretation of the works of Epictetus is probably the most well read book in my library.

Not only do I read it every year (or throughout every year) it’s also a book that I have lent out to nearly everyone I have struck up a conversation with on philosophy, life, self help or self discovery. If you haven’t read it, and you enjoy philosophy, or self help, I would suggest that you pick this book up, or borrow it from me.

The section I have been mulling over is the first page I opened to on the first day of the new year. “Learn to distinguish what you can and cannot control.” The premise of this section is that we can control our thoughts and our opinions and how we react to the world. We cannot control what other people or society want or think of us.

He tells us that when we focus on what others think or what society thinks we should do then we be consumed with worry and might I add anxiety. Epictetus believes that the path to enlightenment, the path to freedom and peace of mind is started by differentiating between what you have control over and what you don’t, and then focusing on what you can control and then making the necessary changes.

First of all, how appropriate for me.

Then today I came across this article on Huffington Post. Entitled “How to find clarity in the face of life’s biggest questions” it talks about stepping away from the herd (society, family, friends) and making decisions and resolutions that fit you as a person, not the person you think the world is expecting you to be.

Am I the only one who still struggles with what I want out of life and the expectations that I think others have for me? These two pieces of writing imply that I’m not unique, and that’s both encouraging and discouraging all at the same time.

The thought that we move within this herd mentality and struggle to step out of the path made by those before us, put life into perspective for me. I don’t want to be a sheep, or an elephant, or a wildebeest. I don’t want to be consumed with the worry of what should be or where I should be in life.

I want to be that free spirit who roams the world like a fearless unicorn or some other utterly unique and beautiful being who is consumed by nothing but what will inspire me and bring me happiness. I want to be confident in myself and my choices……

The article on Huffington Post also talks about making a set of personal values to help you determine your priorities in the next year as opposed to making resolutions or goals. Now I’ve already made my ‘goals’ for this year but as an exercise in flexibility here are my values for 2015.

In 2015 I will place value on

1. A healthy work/life harmony

2. Family relationships

3. Inspirational Friendships

4. Focus in all that I do, work, writing, cleaning……

5. My health, not just physical health but mental and emotional health as well.

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A New Year | A New Life

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve last posted on here. In all honesty it’s been a long time since I’ve written for anything other than work. Even as I sit here it’s difficult to find my flow and actually write.

In the past I’ve laid down big plans for this blog, and each and every time they have fallen through. Either I get too caught up in work, or life, or love, or I find myself so overwhelmed by the “have to’s” that I don’t actually start writing anything.

This marks half way through my 32nd year I’m blown away by the changes I’ve made since hitting the big 3-0. For me 30 was a life changer. Instead of walking up to fear each new grey hair or previously unseen wrinkle, I awoke with the determination that I would wait no more, I would settle no more.

And then I set about to change my life.

I’ve done pretty well so far. Ending a relationship in which my spirit was wasting away and finding a man a two years later who embodies all that I never thought I’d actually find.

I said good bye to my closest friend and felt grief in ways I had not imagined. I then opened my arms and my heart to welcome a new soul into our lives and I’m remembering why it’s so important to me to rescue those ‘unwanted’ animals that crowd our shelters.

I’ve started to rebuild relationships that I’ve let crumble in the past and today I can say I am better for it. And I’ve been kinder to myself these past few months, which amazingly enough has helped my spirit greatly.

For 2015 I have set 15 goals for the new year, #6 is write every day for at least 10 minutes if not 100 words. Although I will not always write on this blog (there are so many writing idea’s in my head) I will endeavour to post more often this year.

Anis Nin Quotes
Found on https://www.flickr.com/photos/kellystrongdesigns/6711671531/

My Chaos; Project Life 365

I do this all the time.

I have great plans for daily, no weekly, no monthly posts that are inspiring, enlightening and fun. In reality, I write one post, start 12 and loose myself on Pinterest for three weeks. By the way, are you following me on Pinterest? I’m rather addicted….and yes, I did make pool noodle light sabers and they were almost as cool as the slow motion video we filmed with them in the park.

So this year I’m going to attempt the Project Life 365, a series of pictures depicting my life so that if I don’t actually write, I at least update my blog more often…..which will be good as it was feeling left out now that Pinterest is getting all the ‘fun Karen’ time.