When my son was 2 months old, and my daughter 2 years old, I began to feel like I was struggling to keep us alive. We battled colds, only leaving the house to go to Dr appointments for breathing treatments, oxygen, and steroids, because it was flu and cold season and my babies had contracted Bronchiolitis aka RSV. A combination of sleepless nights, Post-Partum Depression, mixed with unshakable congestion that was somehow causing frequent dizzy spells, left me feeling terrible, while my very bored toddler painted the walls with frozen blueberries, spilled milk, and my favorite lipstick. My husband was working all day, I was alone with the kids, and it was so hard. I was so scared about my kids health. Anxiety, stress, boredom, and exhaustion had become my new normal.
I began to reminisce about the times in my youth when I had once felt so alive. Whether I was hiking mountains, jumping off of 50- foot waterfalls, competing for my University’s Swim and Snow Board teams, hopping on trains and sleeping in parks as I explored Europe with my backpack, riding wild horses, skating with the Derby Girls, dancing with the Hare Krishnas, driving across the country all by myself on my quest to become a fashion designer , or becoming a travelling seamstress making light-up dresses for performance artists who performed on the stages of Coachella and Burning Man. It seemed like that vibrant free spirit I once was, was so far from the person I had become… Like I was now someone else, or that must have been me in a past life.
I began to wonder if the part of me that had once felt so alive was now gone forever.
I desperately tried to figure out ways to feel like myself again– free and alive and happy, now, in my role as a mother. And so I decided to put my Cultural Anthropology degree to use and dedicate my time to figure out ways to resurrect my spirit, from my couch, with an infant attached to my boob, and my toddler building magnet castles by my feet.
I enrolled in Cathy Heller’s Masterclass, because I needed a mentor and some accountability, and who better to turn to than the guru who used to teach me mindfulness and now is making 7 figures encouraging creative people to start living and chase their dreams and be successful at it.
This is why I started Free Spirit Culture. And through my blog, I began connecting with Free Spirits from Drag Queens, to Artists, Spiritual Leaders, Wanderlusters, Rock Stars, Trend Setters, Soul Seekers, Dream Chasers, Rule Breakers, Risk Takers… all those people who were being themselves and living life to the fullest, letting their true colors burst, while ignoring the skeptics, naysayers, and bullies.
And just like Gretchen Rubin discovered through her Happiness Project, (the book that speaks to my soul, which by the way I keep on my bedside table and frequently find myself reading while I walk on the treadmill), I began to realize that there are ways we can feel alive and free through daily habits and a shift in mindset, and I am so grateful to say, it wasn’t long before I began to feel as if I had come back to life.
Here are some ways you can feel more alive and more free, through the wisdom of people who are currently seizing the moment, in conjunction with spirituality, scientific research and historical evidence.
The underlying truth I’ve found so far, is that to really feel alive— is to be mindfully immersed in THIS moment!
If you’re looking to feel more alive, but don’t know where to start, you may find these tips helpful:
1. Be honest and vulnerable, and real, and say what you want to say.
2. Chase your dreams. Even little actions, 15 minutes a day towards your goal will make HUGE strides!
3. ask for help or guidance if you need it!
4. make time to do the things that make you happy, and try to stop doing anything you do not HAVE to do that sucks your energy or destroys your spirit.
5. get outside.
6. learn or practice a new skill.
7. listen to music that lights you up.
8. write stuff down… whether it’s a to do list, or “morning pages” or your hopes and dreams or your screen play.
10. work out. every day even for 15-30 minutes.
11. splurge on something fun. (a trip, a class, a local adventure, OR something that you’ll enjoy at home).
12. be kind. to everyone. animals and people. including YOURSELF!
13. Do Something You Thought You Couldn’t Do- push yourself out of your comfort zone, (something adventurous— like white water rafting, or get up and sing at kareoke night, or start to draw.
14. Create a 30-day challenge… (write 1 blog post a day without worrying about it being PERFECT. After 30 days, you’ll have so much content, you could turn it into a book! )
15. eat more vegetables, less fried and processed foods, less chemicals, and less sugar.
16. connect with nature… take your shoes off in the sand, pet a dog, smell the roses, jump in a lake, notice the moon, watch for shooting stars.
17. get more sleep, consume less caffeine.
18. ignore what other people think.
19. connect with people/ community/ friends/ family.
20. remember to be silly and play!
21. carpe diem. sieze the moment. do it now.
What helps you feel more alive?! Please write any tips you have in the comments!