A Blogazine, based out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, that features fun and interesting articles. Topics include: parenting, society, real estate, career, style, spirituality and more. Written contributions are always welcome!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ten Steps to a Zen Lifestyle

By Chrysta Lea Baker

It’s a fast-paced world and most of us or going and going and going until it seems like we can’t go anymore, but then somehow we manage to continue moving forward some more without really enjoying the ride. Life is about the experiences we have and really enjoying those little moments as they happen, but oftentimes we get so caught up in the final destination that we lose sight of the original goal and forget to have a little fun while we’re on our journey through life.

So, it’s a good idea to take a break at regular intervals to look back, reevaluate, and course-correct if necessary in order to achieve the goals we want to achieve while also enjoying the ride. In order to do this, try applying one or more of these 10 Zen lifestyle tips to your everyday life for a less stressed, more fulfilled, refocused you.

1. Focus on one thing at a time rather than trying to complete everything at once. Multitasking is not necessarily a good thing because you never fully start and finish a task to its fullest potential because you are distracted with multiple focal points. Try choosing one thing, finishing it, and then move on to the next task.

2. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake and take chances. Rather than throwing different things at the wall at once and seeing what sticks, pick one course of action, see it through, if it doesn’t come out the way you thought it would, change it and try again. Avoid getting hung up on multiple options because you will tend to avoid choosing one because you’re afraid that you will fail. Choosing and failing is better than not choosing at all.

3. Stay positive and don’t wallow in negativity or self-pity. While we all get down in the dumps at certain points in our lives (or throughout the day), don’t let it take over your life. If you’re having a difficult time, feel it, accept it, and then move on to get past it.

4. Don’t blame others for your misfortunes or missteps. While other people or situations may truly be the cause for a negative aspect in your life, you are responsible for how you let it affect the rest of your life. While bumps in the road come along on everyone’s journey, it’s how you get around that bump that determines your success.

5. Live in the here and now, not in a fantasy or in the past. People tend to get caught up in what they wished had happened in their lives or relive moments in the past that are impossible to change. Fantasies and memories are not real, they are not changeable, and they should not affect your life in any real way. Live in reality and make choices that will make your current and future life better rather than wallowing in the past.

6. Appreciate the people and things around you and recognize that everyone and everything is connected. Think about where your food really comes from and be grateful for how it made it to your plate with little effort on your part; empathize with other people and realize that their lives are as complicated and stressful as yours; and just take a moment to truly enjoy the world around you and appreciate what it has to offer you.

7. Look towards the future while focusing on the now. It’s easy to lose sight of the everyday when you’re focusing on the big picture or the big prize at the end of the journey. Pay attention to what you’re doing today and understand that every tiny step eventually leads to the finish line as long as you keep moving forward every day.

8. Take time for yourself and appreciate who you are and what you do. There is only one you and there will never be another you, so embrace that, nurture that, and revel in the knowledge that you are unique and special in the universe and throughout time.

9. Clearly establish what you what to achieve or where you want to go and then focus on that end goal. Many people think they know what they want out of life, but when asked what that specifically is they either don’t have a clear answer or come up with a list of things that they don’t want out of life instead. You need to know exactly where you’re going before you can get there or you might end up somewhere else.

10. Don’t worry about what other people think of you and celebrate the many unique things that make you a unique soul. Most people want to fit in so badly that they will do, say, or think anything in order to be accepted by the group. Instead, realize who you are, what makes you happy, and be comfortable in your own skin.