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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Tips for Living an Optimal Life

Feb 29, 2012 12:54PM ● By Chara Rodriguera

Living an optimal life begins with honoring who we are, maximizing what we have and enjoying the process of evolving for the better. It’s about becoming increasingly mindful and adept at aligning our thoughts, words and actions with the calling in our heart. It’s recognizing that success is best achieved when our outer world becomes an accurate reflection of our inner essence.

An optimal life is different than an “ideal” or “perfect” life.  Trying to live up to an ideal version of perfection just causes more stress. The concept of perfection is an illusion that causes us to judge and criticize ourselves, keeping us from truly enjoying all the wonderful things life has to offer. To live an optimal life simply means to make the most out of who we are and what we have so that we can reach our potential and live life fully.

Anyone can start living a more optimal life. Here are three tips you can put into practice today!

  1. Take more mindful breaths. Mindful breathing is simple, yet powerful, and can be done anywhere, anytime.  Breathe fully into your belly, up into your ribs and all the way up into your chest.  Then exhale completely.  Bring your attention to the feeling of expansion and possibility as you inhale and the feeling of release as you exhale.  Mindful breathing increases the flow of oxygen in your body for better overall health, decreases stress and helps you get in touch with the present moment.  Present moment awareness allows you to experience and appreciate more of life.  It’s here that you have the power to make conscious choices that support you.
  1. Listen to what your heart is asking for. Mindful breathing and present moment awareness help you connect to the truth in your heart. The mind is important, but when it comes to being truly fulfilled, your heart knows what you need.  Take between five and twenty mindful breaths, be present and listen to what your heart is calling for. Journaling what you hear can help you to clarify what you’re feeling. For example, you may initially have a sense of being overwhelmed.  Once you’ve taken the time to breathe mindfully and listen to your heart, you may discover that what you need is some downtime for wellness, rejuvenation and self-care.
  1. Take a small YES Action Step. Once you’ve clarified what your heart is asking for, you’re ready for action.  This can be scary, but if you keep it easy and specific, you will be able to move forward.  A YES Action Step is a small, simple step that you are excited about taking.  In other words, it feels like a YES.  (Think “fun baby steps.”)  Instead of pressuring yourself to book a week’s vacation to rejuvenate, commit to one yoga class, a lovely walk in the woods, or a luxurious bath. Honoring your heart is very empowering.  Taking a simple YES Action Step raises your energy and creates momentum so you can take more steps in the direction of your heart’s calling. 

If you’d like to decrease stress and experience a more mindful and joyful way of living, please join us for the upcoming Solazzare Optimal Life Program beginning Monday, April 16, at the New Ananda Yoga Studio in Morristown. For more information, please visit or call 908-202-1949.

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