At first this prompt led to a list because I am still trying to figure that out. But as I started pondering on it further, and looking at the list, I decided it might all have a theme after all.
I want to live abundantly and encourage others to do so as well.
An abundant life, to me, does not mean financial wealth or material goods, although that may be part of it.
One definition I found of abundant was really intriguing: in plenteous supply but not excessive. That fits my image of what I mean by living abundantly.
It’s living a full life; one rich with experiences. It means growing and learning, and using what you learn to enrich the world around you. It doesn’t mean rushing through life, but rather being in the moment. It’s about having enough to give back, and giving of yourself rather than what you get out of it.
The neat part is that when you give, joyously, you do receive in kind; you become rich in ways money can’t quantify. You have meaningful relationships and make memories. You create beauty around you. You touch others’ souls.
I do still have that list. For example, to “live fully” I know I don’t want to be unable to do anything but sit in a chair in a nursing home for decades of my life. To do that, I need to live a healthy lifestyle – eat well, exercise, keep my body and my brain active.
Another example is that I want to be open to possibilities, rather than limit myself with doubts or pre-conceived notions. Age is just one example. I don’t want to be “old” in thought, limiting what I am capable of because of a number that says how long I have been on earth. Right now, there are body-building champions in their 70’s and 80’s. I just read an article about a woman who started teaching yoga at 103. My trainer and very good friend, Dougal Macdonald, was in a horrible surfing accident and broke his neck from C1 to C4. If he had listened to what others said was possible, he’d never have walked again. Yet he rehabbed back to being a physical trainer and is even, at the time of writing this, preparing for his first body building competition.
None of those things would have been possible if those folks had let self-limiting thoughts (or societies limits) prevail.
As part of that, I also want to encourage others to think positively, aim to be the best person they can, stretch their boundaries by replacing “I can’t. . .” with “What if I can?”
I also want to improve the world around me. I was appalled to learn that Monarchs were “at risk”. In other words, they were not officially endangered yet, but getting closer. Several species of bees also have rapidly declining populations. If we lose these valuable pollinators, we lose food crops too! So many people desire a lush, perfect carpet of turf, when a sustainable garden of native plants would require less water, less maintenance and fewer toxic chemicals. And by the way, I personally think it would be more beautiful, too. So I’d like to do what I can to improve my little corner of the world and create a haven for butterflies, bees, birds, and other wildlife.
I want to use my photography to celebrate the beauty in nature; share it with others.
I believe that we influence others even when we don’t realize it and aren’t trying to; just the way we live can be an example to someone we encounter. I want to be an example of someone who celebrates the wonder of life, who tries to improve their world in little ways, and uses their blessings in life to bless others. Because if I, just by being the best person I can be, inspire someone else be the best they can be, then I have made a difference.