The ART of life lies in the things that gives our lives a sense of meaning and aliveness; it’s in finding the things in life that brings us to a deep sense of awareness about who we are and who we are meant to be in the world.
In this series, we conduct interviews and explore topics related to mental health and the future of wellbeing. We are in a global world filled with culture and diversity. Everyone carries a unique perspective and paradigm to life with their own world view which is why there is always something to derive from storytelling.
What makes you feel you alive? What inspires you?
The art of being alive can be found in the simplest things of life. We find it in our closest relationships, in our travels, things we have a passion for, love, arts and crafts, plants and flowers, food, real nature like the mountains and deserts, trees, rivers, lakes, wildlife, ice lands, oceans, sunsets, rain, passionate work that feels good and makes us feel radiant.
The art of being alive can be found in ourselves and in bits of our experiences.
In this piece, we are finding it in our compassionate self from the story of a lady “Carina Lyall” who conducts a popular podcast show “The Self-compassionate Woman,” which hosts weekly guests for a talk about life, womanhood, self-love and compassion. We are finding it in travel from a traveler “Ginger Kern” who traveled to 25 countries around the world by her 25th birthday. We are finding it in food and nature from a culinary chef “Andrew Matthews,” who learned the importance of creating food with a desire, passion, and respect for the ingredients along with the practice of sustainable farm to table cuisine. We are also finding it in passion from a most recent published author “Tracee Gluhaich” who inspires women to seek strong, not skinny; to seek health, not a number on the scale; to seek fit, not a jean size.
They all have unique ideas on what makes them feel fully alive and how they find meaning:
In Compassionate Self…
“The little things in life. They all come together and bring richness to experience. After working in the Balkans in 2001-2003, the following years were filled with anxiety and a fear of life really. I slowly shut my system down — isolated myself, stayed indoors, gained a lot of weight, numbed myself and couldn’t cope with too many social activities.
“Coming back to life meant opening up to the closer experiences. It wasn’t about pay raises, or big holiday trips, or the sensational events. It came down to going outside, being in nature, feeling closeness, a belly laugh, good food, love, music, my senses. These things are still what makes me feel alive. Being mindful of what’s around me, and gratitude for it. Another one thing that has become more and more important is play!” — Carina Lyall
“The greatest fear I’ve had to overcome is the fear I had while I was depressed for months during a very dark winter, after a terrible breakup, without a community of close friends in Frankfurt, Germany… It was the fear that I would never get ‘back to my normal self.’ I was afraid that my heart wouldn’t heal, and that I would never be as happy as I used to be.”
“I believe that travel is not just about exploring other countries. I know how it feels to be bold and adventurous abroad and I actively seek to avoid “playing it safe” with routines. By asking myself, ‘where are my boundaries?’ ‘how can I be more open?’ and ‘how can I be more courageous?’ I stay in the traveler’s mindset. It’s my way of living a life of adventure, more courageous? I stay in the traveler’s mindset. It’s my way of living a life of adventure, no matter where I am in the world.” — Ginger Kern
In Food, Nature…
A feel alive accomplishment is when “We got to teach elementary school children how to cook food using ingredients that they grew in their school garden. There is a deep connection to the Earth you experience growing your own food, then preparing it and eating it in good company. You then digest the food and it becomes your cells, it becomes who you are. Being a part of that process that the kids got to experience was amazing. School gardens used to be a requirement even up until the first half of the 1900s. They were phased out with the advent of industrialized agriculture and are now making a comeback.
“I inspire myself to keep going. A lot of times, we as humans rely on outside sources for our inspiration. Although I strive to keep myself inspired, my daughter is always a huge inspiration to me. I always want to make sure that she gets the best because that’s what she deserves. Being out in nature or going on hikes always gets the creative juices working for me as well.” — Andrews Matthews
In Passionate Work…
“From the age of 8 years old, I was on a quest for getting skinny. I went through periods of dieting, bingeing, and starving, was stressed out and unhappy. I raised my kids on Mac n Cheese and Tony’s pizza. Finally exhausted from the dieting roller coaster, I attended nutrition school and my eyes were opened. Finally I started releasing my bad habits and wanted to share my experience with others.”
“Believing in myself — that I am good enough. Old demons of ‘I’m not thin enough,’ ‘I’m not smart enough,’ ‘Who is going to believe me’ used to paralyze me. But not that I am almost 50, it’s seldom that I feel that way. I love that Dr. Seuss quote, ‘Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.’” — Tracee Gluhaich
What are you finding IT in these days, that makes life feel more meaningful to you? Where are you finding you inspiration to keep going from?