CHANGE IT UP: Live Life to the Fullest

How to Live on the Bright Side

The Bright Side of Life is a Choice

Have you ever thought life sucks? I don’t happen to use that term, but I do get irritated with life. Part of the problem rests with me. I get tired of the same routine and its boring results. That’s a true confession. Sorry.

I’ve noticed, however, it’s up to me to change it up.

I have to take ownership of my part in the equation and then do something about it. If this is you, read on. Take some steps to live on the bright side of life.

You can choose to look on the bright side and do what the bright side does.

Depressed? Discouraged? Bored? Recovering? Looking for something to do? Out of new ideas? You have come to the right place.

I have a few suggestions for you, and, believe me, they work. At least they do for me. When I find myself sinking, I look for something to do to counter the negative mantra. I encourage you to read through this list and then pick one to concentrate on. Go for it

1. Meet up with a friend.

Have coffee and pastries at a cafe. Meet for lunch at a local favorite. Walk in the park and talk about life. Set a parameter for your conversation to avoid the negatives that tend to dominate.

Make a choice to the good and beneficial. Call a friend you’ve not seen in a long while, invite them over or go visit them according to their desires. Go to the movies, a concert or a play, then talk way into the night. Reach out to someone who could use some cheer. Forget your needs. Choose to address their needs. Focus your attention on them.

People benefit from personal contact. Let your agenda go for one day to meet with a friend you rarely see. Infuse goodness into the topics and find a commonality of interest.

2. Eat healthy food.

Oh my. A rich, rich, rich resource of life is the gift of healthy food.

Go the distance: Prepare and eat good food–not snacks, desserts, or fatty foods. For one meal, one day, one week, a month, or a year, make good choices for the benefit of personal health, which will transfer to spiritual health. The connection between the two is real. You feel better physically when you choose to eat clean. Advance planning is necessary.

A person feels more alive and energetic when care is given to eat foods that promote good health. Good food takes effort but the rewards are many. Try eating assorted raw nuts, whole grains, raw or home-cooked vegetables, assorted fruits and berries, organic produce, legumes, fresh herbs, a variety of teas, hard cheeses, salmon and other fish, and natural foods. To live on the bright side is not an automatic slam-dunk; it is a choice to the better life.

3. Enjoy the beauty of nature.

Take a walk. Go for a drive. Go to the park and sit on a bench. Drive to a lookout with a cup of coffee in hand.

Breathe deeply of the earth God has made for your enjoyment: Mountain meadows, sandy beach, high desert, sand dunes, lake, ocean, creek, pond, or river; fall colors, tide pools, winter snow, icicles, frosty window panes, and sand stone creations. Listen to the surf, wind in the trees, water cascading over rocks, the sound of water rushing in a waterfall, birds chirping in trees, water lapping on the shore, and waves crashing. Smell the salty air. Let it fill your being. Slow down. Rejuvenate.

Make life happen in the quietness of repose. Enjoy seagulls crying their incessant calls. Watch the animals, leaves, waves, people, clouds . . .  Touch the rock surfaces, an ocean spray, soft feather, sea shells, a dog’s fur, a seed plume, pine needle . . .  Taste of it all. Taste and see, the Lord is good.

4. Travel somewhere new to you.

Go where you’ve not been before. Plan a day trip or schedule a travel trip. Purpose to discover natural phenomenon.

Embrace the joy of learning and listening and discovery. Take someone with you. Let the new experiences wash over you. Stop being stuck. Find the intricacies of the place of choice, what it has to offer. Take pictures. Go for walks. Share your thoughts through pen, photo, on-line, mail, or recording. Celebrate the experience.

Look to the good. Problems? Let them go. Choose the good, always. A miracle unfolds in the presence of new realities and joyful living. Seek it as you travel. New discoveries await you.

5. Get alone by yourself.

We don’t always get the opportunity to be by ourselves, but sometimes we need to find a way to do so. Busyness takes a toll on us. The mind, body, and soul need a quiet time to mend and repair now and then. Plan it for yourself, or gift it to your mate. Give this to them or to yourself.

Working all day and stressing at home makes life empty of goodness. Goodness meets a need within us–to enjoy what we’ve been given–but it is often overlooked, day after day. Stop yourself, stop being busy for one or two hours. Sit in a patio chair. Turn off the devices and cell phone.

Escape. Absorb. Unwind. Smile. Enjoy. Think happy thoughts instead of camping on the worries and demands. Thank the Lord. Praise him. Rejoice in the little things. Relax. Remember happy times. Forgive what needs forgiving if you’re entrapped by your thoughts. Sing, pray, sigh, take deep breaths.

Relax your body, head to toe, one by one from the head down. This is an amazing practice for the tense individual. Open your mind and body to spiritual and physical renewal. I highly recommend this choice for living on the bright side.

6. Listen to music without being distracted.

Fill yourself with soul tunes. Relax. Calm your mind.

Choose your musical favorites; perky or romantic–happy boy meets lovely girl tunes; gospel or Christian choruses–full-bodied theology or inspirational praise; symphonic orchestra or jazz band–music of the great composers or dance tunes; rock n roll or country western–jiving or lyrical; hip-hop or soul–lively or melancholy.

Pick the music of choice to fit your mood. Be spontaneous; dance with a broom if you are in want of a partner.  Look up. Get down. Rejuvenate. Enjoy. Love life.

7. Learn something new.

Take that painting class. Learn that computer program. Try that new recipe. Determine to unlock that door. Make yourself apprehend that skill you’ve been avoiding. Open yourself to that opportunity. Ask that person to show you how to do that certain something.

Research the topic, the how-to-do-it on google search, then go about doing it. Share what you’re learning with someone. . . it’s fun to tell others. Find the best way to repair, fix, re-do, or make something happen. Re-stain your kitchen cabinets or learn how to revitalize them. Landscape your yard with a theme-based approach. Make your patio or entrance way more welcoming, or decorate your rooms to be more inviting. Organize your garage with all the bells and whistles. Then tell how you did it to someone who’s interested.

Active learning is one of the secrets to living a full life.

8. Fill your soul with God-Speak.

Meditate, visit a monastery, enter a chapel, read scripture in the outdoors, center your soul on whispers of God.

Take a block of time to contemplate the mysteries of God and the beauties found within his truths. Listen to spiritual speakers, music, thoughts, and books. Celebrate the things of God that speak to your soul. Be quiet. Be still.

Center your being in the music of God’s love. Let God in. Relax in his presence. Allow the conversation to begin.

9. Read a good book or do something you love for several hours.

I give you permission to spend a day reading that book (!). Don’t sweat the chores. Cleaning will always be there. Set your housework, yard work, writing tasks, fix-it projects, daily responsibilities and whatever is your daily routine, aside for one day.

Spend a full day reading or listening to a book you’ve been dying to read. Just do it! Forget the other stuff if you can or as much as possible. Let the family have a day off, so you can have a day off. Work will have to wait. Order take-out. Use paper plates and cups and plastic utensils if you have them. Plug your family in so you can take a day for personal renewal. Don’t feel guilty!

We all need release from the daily once in awhile. It’s best to tell your family what you are doing so they won’t become alarmed. I used to have sewing days–the house went to pot but the project got done, and I enjoyed it. On occasion I take a book reading day. I stay in my sweats, don’t answer the door bell, stay off the phone, minimize the online pull, and take a day for myself. Are you shocked? If that’s being selfish, I’m sorry. I don’t happen to see it that way.

I believe it is okay to take a day to do what you enjoy doing once in awhile. Then switch it up with your mate. Let them have a renewal day with no demands. Okay?

10. There you have it, for starters.

Living on the bright side of life will happen when you choose to do so. Sometimes we forget to do this, or we get buried with the troubles and complications of our lives. You may feel uncomfortable taking time for self. I think it’s okay and even necessary. Accomplishment and achievement can viciously drive us. We get burned-out when the demands never stop. Take some time, please do.

Your assignment.

Choose one of these venues or one of your own making, then take it on as a project.

After doing so, at project completion, please get back to me and leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post. I’d love that! Can you imagine 60 people posting what they did to change it up? I’ll do the same. Now, to pick the right one for this busy time of year. Happy choosing!

I have a suggestion, bookmark this blog. Refer to it when you need it.

Make some memories. 

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N. L. Brumbaugh likes to write contemplative thoughts about authentic spiritual living. A lot of heart goes into every one of her posts. She is a mix of reading specialist, country woman, writer, church leader, and storyteller. Norma loves creative artistry and celebrating life.