If Julia Roberts can, so can we.

If Julia Roberts can, so can we.

A number of years ago, Julia Roberts played the lead role in a movie called “Eat, Pray, Love”.

It was a great movie (and a great book by Elizabeth Gilbert before that) about a woman who was unhappy with her life and decided quit her job to follow her passions.

She explored food in Italy, spirituality in Bali and in amongst all of that she met someone and fell in love.

I sometimes wish I was as strong and brave as the lead character.  I suspect I am not alone in this regard.

Given that yours and my reality is unlikely to be a Hollywood movie set and most of us are not paid the vast sums of money that Julia Roberts commands (and good luck to her !), perhaps there might be a lesson in there somewhere…..?

Perhaps this movie, book and famous phrase can provide a few clues towards a healthier, happier, more relaxed and reduced stress life for us “mere mortals” ?

As luck would have it, yes there is, and yes it can.

Here are three quick, easy and free (or at least very, very cheap) ways of getting more satisfaction, more meaning and more happiness that many of us desperately need.

1. Eat properly.

Most of us who are visitors here eat regularly.  We are very lucky in that regard.

However, do you eat properly ?

First of all, I am a musician and a computer nerd – not a dietician.  Please seek alternative information if you are after specific dietary advice.  My suggestions here are generalisations at best.

Elvis was not known for his culinary expertise and neither am I.  However…..

Chances are extremely high that you might remember your mother or father telling you to eat your vegetables because they’re good for you.  It turns out that they were right.Strawberry_Face

You also may or may not remember from primary school or early high school when you were probably taught about the 5 food groups, and the food pyramid.  Basically, the human body needs lots of rice and grains, fruit and vegetables, a smaller amount meat and fish and very little sugar, oils and fats.

Which is a more than a little disappointing, because ice cream, potato chips, brie and beer are a few of my favourite things…..

Anyway, healthy food does REALLY good things to your body. Eating correctly and regularly makes your body feel better.  And when your body feels better, YOU feel better.

When you feel good, your mind tells you that life is good.

There is truth in the statement that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Broccoli keeps the paediatrician away, and carrots keep the optometrist away too. Known facts, honest:-)

A healthy body can also think clearly and react correctly to any given situation.  This helps in the reduction of stress, anxiety and worry.

2. Pray in whatever manner works for you.

Like different foods, the term “prayer” is open to different tastes, smells and preparation. It can be used in many different contexts and situations.

However, in my opinion, irrespective of your spiritual or religious beliefs, prayer can have a wonderful effect on the mind and the body.

Whether you attend a church, or a mosque, or a temple, or calmly sit in a beanbag on your lounge room floor, or under a tree at the local park, the idea is still valid.Pray

Whether you pray to God, a Higher Power, a Prophet or a Spiritual Leader or Figurehead is the mechanism, but not the point.

The point is clearing your mind, calming down, unburdening your thoughts.

Prayer can also be a form of meditation.

Meditation and Guided Meditation is well known throughout many different cultures and can take many forms.  It can be a quiet (prayer) time in a house of worship, where you try to steer your thoughts towards your spiritual contemplation.  It can be a conscious effort to empty your mind of everything, to stop it racing, to stop the noise in your head.

It can also be a simple excuse to close your eyes and have a little power nap.

Sometimes it can be done in silence, sometimes it can be aided by some soothing and calming music, sometimes it can be done with group singing or speaking or chanting.

Arguably yoga or tai chi can be a form of exercise, spirituality and meditation, which can also be extremely beneficial to the human mind and body and can also be aided with the help of calming music.

Meditation, contemplation, prayer – can have a wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating effect on the mind and the body.

3. Love thy neighbour, love thyself.

In the Julia Roberts movie, if I recall correctly, her main character accidentally found love.

Perhaps she was simply in the right place at the right time – a lucky Hollywood coincidence.

Or perhaps it was because her charLove
acter was at peace with herself and thus was consciously or unconsciously able to allow love into her life.

Due to her deliberate choices of eating experiences and spirituality pursuits, she was healthier in both mind and body.

Because she was in a better frame of mind she was able to love herself, feel better about herself, and accept herself.

Because she was feeling good about herself, she was able to make friends easily, was open to helping others and was able to let others into her life more easily.

And she was happy.

But we’re not in a Julia Roberts movie.

In our hectic, busy, constantly connected world, we put enormous pressure on ourselves and on others near and dear to us.  We constantly feel that there is too much to do and too little time.

Work commitments, shopping, children to run around and look after, aging parents to run around and look after, washing, ironing, cleaning, family and work and social expectations – all massive time constraints.

When do we get the chance to look after ourselves ?

I put it to you that making the simple decision to Eat, Pray and Love will give us so much more.

We eat anyway – why not go out of your way to eat healthily ?

We should pray in some form or another – how and in what form is up to you.  However, the mental “time out” prayer can give you can do great things to your mind and outlook on life.

Everyone should love – at least themselves, but it’s nice to have social interaction, have friends, or, if you are extremely lucky, a partner.

The combination of these three concepts is quite likely to open up a new world for you.

Good luck with your transformational journey !

How do you relax ?

How do you take time out ?

What do you do to feel better about and within yourself ?

What are your healthy eating tips, and how do they benefit you ?

Please leave your comments below, and don’t forget to share this post by clicking on the social sharing buttons on the left of the screen.

Thanks,

Matthew

Calming Music Weekly

Flickr Photo credits:  Martino!   zuki   Shena Pamela

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