Sometimes in life, we’re chintzy; we hold back. This happens in all areas of our lives for countless reasons. Typically, it’s because we are afraid. Afraid of being: vulnerable, exposed, different, the same, our self, rejected, wrong, right… the list goes on.
I’ve written before that it takes courage to show up in this life. I believe that if we can find the courage and make the choice not to chintz ourselves and in turn those around us, the dividends will be abundant.
Here are 7 things that deserve to be experienced, shared and explored, rather than chintzed out on:
1. Kindness. Do not hold back on kindness, to yourself or others. Take that yoga class, go for that walk, call that friend and reconnect. Open the door for others; give your seat to someone on the bus; let go of needing to be right and try being kind instead.
2. Affection. Give and receive hugs, smiles, props – open up to intimacy. Open up to the physical giving of you; simply sharing a smile, eye contact, a hand shake or a pat on the back can make a huge difference in a person’s life (including your own).
3. Knowledge. Reading, writing, talking – pursue knowledge and understanding at every opportunity – sometimes we become complacent and lazy when it comes to the pursuit of knowledge. Be intentional. The opportunity to learn is around us all the time. Seize it, life is learning and knowledge is power – what will you learn today?
4. New Perspective. Keeping your eyes, mind and spirit open to new ideas, understanding and points of view will help to build empathy and compassion in you and in those around you. If your mind is closed it becomes stagnant, disallowing growth and opportunity. Rather than saying ‘That’s not how you do it…’ consider instead ‘Show me a new way...’ – you never know what paradigm may shift as a result.
5. Contribution. Share yourself at every opportunity – you are completely unique to this world – there is no other you, embrace this and share your own unique perspective, knowledge and qualities as often as you can, do not hold these gifts back from the world. These are the only things you have to truly give and the world is waiting. This does not meant that you need to be an expert, simply share your time; volunteer at a school or library reading to children, at a food bank or in a retirement residence, spending time with people in the final stages of their physical life – you do not need to be an expert in anything, you simply need to be present.
6. Acknowledgement of Mistakes. Life is not about being perfect, but rather recognizing that you’re not. Acknowledge when you make a mistake and own it. Apologizing for mistakes made, demonstrates a level of self-awareness, modesty and grace – particularly to our children. This will in turn foster humility, grace and responsibility, helping to build a society that recognizes this as a strength, rather than a weakness. It’s a big step in the direction of Peace.
7. Gratitude. Celebrate each breathe as a gift. The fact that you are here, on this earth, at this point in time is mind boggling. Consider all of the elements that had to come together at just the right time in just the right way in order for you to exist. It’s overwhelming. Be grateful. Rather than focus on what you believe is not working, flip it around and look at all in your life that is; breathing, sunshine, your ability to walk, your ability to see, your ability to think, contemplate and voice your opinion. And if you don’t have all of those things, consider what you do in fact have – if you are reading this be grateful.
There will always be people to whom you will compare yourself, remember, you have no idea what journey they are on. What may appear to be a life of happiness, may be a life clouded by grief… people are good at hiding. Rather than compare; be kind, affectionate, open, responsible and grateful.
It’s time to stop being chintzy with your life.
Embrace life, let go of holding on, holding back - just imagine, if you open up for life, what might life open up for you?