7 Steps to Live the Vital Life


Image: © Jinyoung Lee | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The Vital Life is what we are all looking for: health, that sense of well-being, being who you truly are, having energy and strength to carry out your life’s purpose.

7 Steps to the Vital Life

But first, a quick story. I was living in Silicon Valley, working for a large, chic, cool software firm. I had the 80-hour weeks, the cool job with expensive dinners, and I was getting fat and my knee was in pain. I didn’t know what to do, so I started to shed that life in pieces. First, I made time out of my working day to go for a run. Then I started doing yoga, every day. Then I shifted my garden to organics. Then I began hiking for a hobby. Little by little, I became more, well, Vital. I lost weight. I made better decisions about food, and even about work. It all culminated in selling our Silicon Valley house and its lifestyle and traveling in a tricked out 1995 Ford E150 from the Olympic Peninsula to the Yucatan Peninsula. Now I am an integrative practitioner in the Boulder, CO area, and well, I’m still finding out what the Vital Life is, every day. And I want to share it with you.

So here it is: 7 ways to live the Vital Life:

Live Life Like it is Your Life

Because it is. This may mean that you keep your job, your car, your house, but you find the subtle meaning that is larger than just going to work every day. What were you meant to do in life? Can you do it at your current work, even in some small way? Find the meaning in your actions. Take 1 minute Every Day to Be Silent Breathe. For. One. Minute. Yes, that seemed like a long time, didn’t it? This is what Einstein meant by time dilation. Things slow down when you slow down and experience them. Take a minute each day (10 is better, but not always easy), to listen to your breath. Weed the garden, but be present weeding the garden. Sweep the kitchen floor, but turn off that voice in your head that hates sweeping. You’ll be amazed at how much more you get out of being present. And of course, enjoy the moment when your dog is funny, or you are looking at a gorgeous vista on your hike.

Move Your Body

We often call this exercise, but really, it’s about the pure joy of being strong and capable. I like to call it “Connecting to the Web of Life”. Feel the wind on your face. Feel the strength in your body. It can include things like digging in the dirt (great probiotics from the earth!) or hiking around and seeing how the world is connected to itself, and how you are connected to it. We put so much emphasis on exercise, but we forget that we need to find connection, to our world, and our bodies. In line with that goal, choose something at which you want to be strong and capable. Not all of us enjoy running. Turn on the music and dance like there is no tomorrow. Find a yoga class that resonates with you. Run around the yard with your dog acting like a 6 year old. Just be sure to enjoy yourself, and also, breathe hard and use all of your muscles. Cultivate the enjoyment of a strong body.

Enjoy Your Food Like It is the Last food You Will Ever Have

Neuroscience tells us that the experience of something like food, or a good wine, is different depending on the circumstances that we have them in. Which means your enjoyment of your food can’t be separated from the conditions in which you eat your food. Slow down. Think of something that would just taste awesome (and I don’t mean sugar). Put this yummy food on a plate. Take a deep breath and think about where that food came from (hopefully somewhere local). Take in the smell of the food. Now take a deep breath and take a bite. Use some of that practice above to pay attention to your food as you chew it. Taste it. Yum. Doesn’t that taste better? (if it doesn’t then find some better food. It’s worth it!) And hey, if it’s the last food you will ever have, make sure it is the best quality food ever!

Sleep Until Your Body is Done Sleeping

Get enough sleep. Studies tell us that can range from 7 to 10 hours depending on the individual. Sometimes this is not possible, or your body is stressed to the point that it can’t find good sleep again. I can help you with that. But sometimes, it’s just a matter of not doing the first 4 things. Take the time to get rest, and everything works better. Develop the Conviction That Your Body can Heal Itself This is where Classical Homeopathy comes in. When I was unhealthy working 80-hour weeks, I still had the conviction that my body could heal itself. The problem was I couldn’t find any interventions that trusted my body, too. Steadfast homeopathic treatment was that intervention, and it was supported by all the other things that I did to be well: eating well, sleeping well, and reconnecting to the web of life. It can “make all the boats rise”. Sleep, energy and mood improve, and by the way, that problem has gone away. Find Gentle Ways to Get Rid of Those Aches and Pains We sometimes don’t pay attention to the aches and pains that we live with day in and day out. Think of these as a conversation your body is trying to have with you. Realigning the body helps it function better. Bowenwork will realign and reset your body so those aches and pains subside, and you will have more energy to enjoy the things you love.

Get started on the Vital Life

Health is a balance, and being vital involves making choices. Sometimes it’s hard to make choices with lots of noise and craziness that goes on in everyday life, but with these simple steps, you will be on your way to a Vital Life. Keep in mind that the goal is to develop strength, stamina, and especially, joy.

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