Five Steps to Really Living

This post originally appeared as a guest post on the Attune Foods blog.

1. Do, according to your values.

What you actually do every day is important. That may be for work, or outside of work.  What matters is that your actions are aligned with your values — whatever they may be.

In my previous career, I spent much of my time working as a lighting designer for cruise ship shows.  It was cool, the money was good, and I got to travel the world — but deep down, I knew that ships were not aligned with my core values. Eventually I had to leave — even though I didn’t fully know what I would be doing next.  But I followed my passion, doors have appeared (and opened) that I never could have imagined, and now I do work that I believe makes the world a better place. And I haven’t looked back.

2. Eat, according to your values.

Eating is one of the most impactful things we do each day. It affects our own bodies, the environment, and, unless you’re vegan, the animals.  Choose to “eat your values” — local, sustainable, organic, unprocessed… whatever is important to you, and it will make a difference, I promise.

This is an ongoing process that takes time and effort. Nobody’s perfect here, and the food “culture” in America doesn’t make it easy. I’m still learning and exploring, too. I recently decided to try grass-fed, raw milk, and found a local farm that is fundamentally aligned with my values. (I haven’t actually been to the farm, but their Youtube videos have convinced me that they’re the real deal.) I’ve already had some of their delicious, raw cheddar, and can’t wait to try their whole milk!

3. Get outside and move.

Getting outside and moving more have both been shown to improve quality of life. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the gym, but if you can find a way to get outside, your body and soul will thank you all the more.

Just walking — that’s it — for thirty minutes a day may be the single most important thing you can do to improve your health.  (Not convinced? Watch this terrific animated talk.)

Even better?  Go find some trees.

4. Surround yourself with truly supportive people.

Friends, family, co-workers. It seems they’re either with you or against you — even if they aren’t trying to be. It may take time and patience to help the people in your life learn how to be truly supportive — but be persistent, and approach everything with care and love, and eventually they’ll come around.

And in the meantime, if you’re not finding support in your day-to-day network, find it elsewhere. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, volunteering… there are tons of places you can find people who will be supportive.

5. Do it.

Whatever it is that’s been on your list, that’s been nagging you, that you just know you have to do.  Do it. Don’t put it off anymore. Find a way to do it. There’s always a way.

There’s an old saying I’ve always loved: “The best time to plant a tree is 100 years ago.  The second-best time is today.”

Photo by Percy Duran, used under Creative Commons license.

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