How to Live an Extraordinary Life, Starting Right Where You Are

“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” ~Rumi

“Isn’t this a miracle?” I asked myself in the milk aisle at Whole Foods.

After work on Wednesday, it was time to buy some staples for the coming week. This was an ordinary moment in a very ordinary day. Amazing.

Rewind a few years, same Whole Foods, same shopping list, and you’d find me absentmindedly wandering the aisles, lost in a head full of worries. I couldn’t tell you Get it nowWas I worried? then—the house, the kids, money, probably.

It would make my body tense with tears in my eyes.

“Isn’t this supposed to be a miracle?” I might have asked if I had the words to describe that feeling.

As long as I can recall, I wanted the opportunity to do interesting things such as paint murals or write novels. My goal was to visit every continent, learn as many languages and cultures as possible. I desired to feel. Get excitedBy my life.

Growing up, this was what I knew as a child.

However, as far as I can remember I lived with the belief that I could prove something. I was intelligent, worth it, and where I belong in the world.

These ideas eventually became one.

The part of me that believed her life would be exceptional began to doubt.

Can I do it?

Did I truly deserve it?

Could I be completely delusional?

It became an unrealistic childhood vision that I couldn’t keep from imagining an amazing life, and it stopped me from living it. Although I had a great reputation and worked hard, the excitement was overwhelming. fulfillmentIt was never out of reach.

I would let it go saying, it’ll come later, but as I checked off the boxes of life’s to-do list—degree, job, marriage, kids—I wasn’t feeling anything like I thought I would.

A feeling of something being off fuelled a restlessness I mistakenly thought was motivation. Although I was excited, I put my efforts into work and school. I think a part of me still believed that if you weren’t happy, you just weren’t working hard enough at it.

It was my entire life that was confusing me. It’s good. My family was growing and I had a secure job. Also, my house was safe. You see, I was actually buying. Organic milkI would love to have your cereal. That’s a privilege.

So, if nothing was “wrong,” why didn’t it feel Right?

I’d scold myself for not being more grateful, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I didn’t feel the way I wanted.

Unbeknownst to me, I had been squeezing in an email on a normal day when I got a break from work. Then, as I was typing, something struck me.

“You’re missing the point, Leslie.”

I was only able to stop time long enough to feel my heart racing.

Maybe you’ve had these epiphanies, where you’re amazed by your own wisdom and you feel so incredibly clear and awake. Perhaps it happened in a life-changing moment or perhaps it occurred every day, such as buying toothpaste or feeding the cats.

The immediate effect wasn’t anything extreme. The immediate effect was nothing more than a normal out-of body experience. There wasn’t any inexplicable knowledge or understanding of the universe. It was just an ordinary thought, which led to another ordinary thought.

What if living an extraordinary life isn’t about the details?

Every now and then, I’d pull out a list I made that day and add a thought or two to it.

The point is…


You can see more magic

It’s important to do what you love.

Being happy.

Being present.

You feel bright, bold, and brilliant.

It is a great feeling to wake up in the morning and take time to appreciate the mountain views.

Knowing how loved my children are makes me proud.

Thankful for everything that I have.

Allowing myself to be free.

Not approval, but alignment.

My own wisdom is my guide.

I am 100 percent satisfied.

It was a slow, everyday process that I finally figured out. That feeling I wanted wasn’t an outcome. It wasn’t something that would happen “when.” It wasn’t in the details at all. It’s your feelings, moment to moment, that make your life extraordinary.

No committee is keeping track and waiting for permission to start. There’s just us, the people we care about, our corner of the world, and those little moments. We have the power to choose what we do.

That feeling that something was wrong wasn’t about my reputation or my checklist. I was aware of the miracles in front of my eyes and willing to do meaningful, conscious steps that felt good. AmazingTo take.

My life has been transformed dramatically since that moment.

We live in the same house, we shop at the same store, I have the same job, but now, I’m also one of those people who is curious about everything. One who loses himself in creative projects Just because. Artist, poet, self-published author. I’ve become one of those people who sees even the most ordinary moment at Whole Foods on a Wednesday afternoon as extraordinary.

How did I do it? Let me start right from where I am.

You may have a completely different version of extraordinary, and that’s what’s so perfect. How to live an extraordinary life is entirely up to you—it’s You life, after all. The action itself isn’t as important as the intent behind it.

As long as your intent is to make something in your world just a little better, to learn something just a little deeper, to try something you’re just a little curious about, it’s foolproof. One option is to organize pizza Saturdays and another, to save endangered species. These are two extraordinary options.

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few things to try. I was forever changed by them.

1. Keep your optimism and appreciation high.

Slow down, look around. Next, take the time to appreciate everything and everyone. Thanks to the sun and the water. And thank you for the fresh air. Keep an eye out for funny things that happen on the way to work and beautiful sunsets. Even when everyone around you wants to complain about the boss, be the one who notices that it’s such a nice day.

In my daily reflections on the day I lived, I always started with something bad. Next, I set myself a small challenge. Lead with gratitude. I was determined to make positive connections as often as I could. Look aroundKeep your eyes open for the positive and keep them coming. This simple change allowed me to discover so much beauty all around me.

2. Definition You extraordinary.

Which of these things do you wish to accomplish in your lifetime? Which skills do you desire to acquire? How do you want to feel while you’re living your life?

I’d thought about these things before, of course, but they would quickly get taken over by something more serious. I didn’t want to waste time. After realizing that curiosity, engagement, and enjoyment were the key to my happiness, I changed my mind. Live!It was far more important to be productive than it was to be successful.

The week began with me setting my intentions. I’d write down an idea that excited me, a feeling I wanted to nurture, and something I wanted to learn or create. Next, I set myself small but meaningful goals that were in line with my intentions. Quickly, I filled my composition book by taking it with me.

3. Your body is your friend.

The body was designed to be lived in. Live It. It can be used in a way that will make your life better. Don’t just feed it, Get nourishment it. Allow it to move. It is your chance to relax and experience its wonderful senses. Rest it when it’s tired, heal it when it’s hurting, love it even when you want to change it, and thank it. When it has something to share, listen.

My body was treated like it didn’t have a purpose. I didn’t nourish it, I overworked its muscles, and I constantly tried to remodel it.

It wasn’t until I started paying attention to how I feel Get it nowThis is how I would handle a child, or animal that you care for.

I was able to answer that question with an emphatic yes No.

4. Allow yourself to be curious and creative.

Allow yourself to have fun. Take on a ridiculous project just because it lights you up, even if it’s silly, you’re “too old,” or it’s “wasting time.” Let it be messy. It can change direction. Let it fail. The outcome isn’t as important as the process of it.

My children and I paint together. Children are great at following their curiosity and creative ideas. While I’m painstakingly sketching a dog or a flower, they’re creating imaginary animals in underwater kingdoms and then covering the entire thing in handprints when the inspiration strikes.

Every time, I shake my head with a smile—This is supposed to have fun.

5. Be of service in a way that’s meaningful to you.

Give back. You can create something. Learn something. Go where you are masterful and add value to the world in any way that’s accessible to you. Volunteer in your local community, feed the hummingbirds and pick up trash. Big or small, it doesn’t matter; it’s the meaning behind it that makes all the difference.

My first step was to cultivate the type of presence that I wanted in my own lives. It was my goal to have a feeling of belonging. PresentFor one, I have reduced my expectations of myself at home. Our weekend at the park is extraordinary, even though it may look a little more messy.

If you’ve ever wanted to feel differently in your life, take one little, ordinary step. Continue to take small, everyday steps. Your feelings will guide you. The other side is where you will find your extraordinary life.

About Leslie Ralph

Leslie, a psychologist, writer and artist is on a mission making the world a more beautiful place. People who are looking to love and have unconditional self-love, as well as bring back the light in their lives, can find her work. She’s the author of How to Have Your Back: Simple Instructions for Loving Yourself Through the Ups and Downs of Life.Get her ritual to release and receive and make space in your life for clarity, courage and compassion.

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Tiny Buddha’s first post, How to Live Extraordinary Lives Starting Right Here appeared originally on Tiny Buddha.

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