Make Life More Valuable: Part I

In my life, my most treasured moments either stem from family or exploring. I am so thankful to have the ability to travel the world, explore new places and learn different culture. Even if it’s just a little weekend getaway in a cabin with my girlfriends or a ten day adventure to several European cities, I find that the art of travel brings creativity and inspiration to everyday life.

Last Winter, I took ballroom dancing lessons and never imagined it would bring such value to my life. But not even just ballroom dancing — dancing in any form is a beautiful way to express yourself. Have you ever gotten in the car, turned on your music as loud as possible and danced around in the driver’s seat all alone? Well, I tend to do that more often than I’d admit. There’s just something about losing yourself in moves that makes the worries in the world seem so minuscule.

Sometimes I forget to take a break. I run, run, run and then when I finally catch my breath, I am reminded how amazing it feels. I like to just rest…relax…read a book, drink a cup of tea on my balcony and watch the sunrise. Seriously, take time to relax because when you have a chance to actually see the world spinning, it’s a beautiful thing.

A healthy lifestyle makes for a healthy business and a healthy relationship with yourself and others. Fitness and nutrition have  always been an important part of my nature. My personal recipe for healthy living is: juice (once a day, usually breakfast) + cardio (three times per week) + weight lifting (three times per week) and if you’re good, you can build a routine to put them together alternating days on different muscles. One of the best things I’ve ever done for myself was hiring a personal trainer. I learned what type of weight lifting I should be doing for my body structure and goals.

Something I’ve struggled with for many years is my fear of loneliness. I’ve always been committed to overcoming that by trying to find things I enjoy doing by myself. That led me to moving into my first apartment by myself and really getting used to the feeling of solitude. In that time, I experienced some of my most creative moments. I painted, wrote poetry, read classic novels, watched foreign films and documentaries, shot some of my most compelling images and even learned how to grow a window garden (OK, so maybe I was still a little unsure of the whole living alone thing during that time.) But that point is, I did it.

Something that has added so much more value to my life of late is actually volunteering in order to improve the life of others. This year, I will be choosing one organization each month to donate my time and efforts to help those in need. After covering twelve different volunteer categories, I hope to find the ones that need the most and build a relationship with them and contribute as often as possible. Not only is volunteering a great way to give back to the community but you can also meet amazing individuals and learn a lot about yourself in the process.

These two simple words can change everything.

What is some of the best advice you’ve heard or given about making life more valuable?