Rich Inner Life

Posted by on Aug 14, 2016 in Featured Articles | 0 comments

Rich Inner Life

Rich Inner Life
Every Tuesday afternoon, on the corner of a busy intersection a man greets passersby with a big smile and a “Good day to you!” from his wheelchair near the crosswalk. I don’t know the man’s name; I call him “Happy.” Happy looks like he’s seen some hard times. His clothes and shoes are a little worse for wear; his once black hat now faded to a dull grey. I wonder about him, a lot. I wonder what life’s like for him. Is he homeless? Does he have family? And, my most pressing question: How does he maintain such a positive outlook despite his circumstance?

My current theory is that this man has a rich inner life.

The term “rich inner life” is somewhat vague, and thus open to interpretation. There are, however, certain qualities that are conducive to a rich inner life. Those qualities are: Resilience, Contentment, Imagination, Being present with Self, and Liking your own company.
1. Resilience – The ability to recover quickly from difficulties
Tip: People who are resilient tend to have a sense of purpose in life, believe in their abilities, utilize problem solving skills, have a strong support network, and are open to change.

2. Contentment – A state of mind where you are at peace with your lot in life
Tip: People who are content practice gratitude, allow themselves to experience moments of joy, spend time in nature every day, don’t compare themselves to others.

3. Imagination – The creative ability to form images, ideas, and sensations in the mind without direct input from the senses
Tip: To cultivate imagination, try doodling, making up stories, role-playing, reversing your assumptions, or thinking in metaphor.

4. Being present with Self – The ability to be completely focused on and connected to your mind, body, and spirit in present moment
Tip: People who have this quality allow themselves to slow down and focus on what they’re feeling in the moment, practice radical acceptance of who they are in the moment, accept situations as they are.

5. Liking your own company – Enjoying time spent alone with yourself
Tip: People who like their own company do things they love to do, practice unconditional acceptance of self, treat themselves the way they would a best friend, and allow themselves to be creative.
Cultivating a rich inner life is no easy task, but well worth the effort. Bottom line: Change yourself and you’ll change your life.

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