31 Mar Three Ways to Sweeten Your Life
Several years ago Briana and I wrote The Well Life, a book on how to achieve wellness and balance in all domains of life – physical, mental, spiritual, financial, career, community, etc. It was a monumental effort; we put so much energy, care, and professional experience into it. So I was flattered and grateful – but not entirely surprised – when it got excellent reviews and many readers raved that it changed their lives.
What did surprise me were all the requests by readers of The Well Life (and The Dreambook) for some form of certification that would allow them to teach these concepts to others and guide them through the processes. That led to the creation of our life coach training program, which has been incredibly successful and fulfilling.
In case you haven’t read or listened to The Well Life, I want to share one of its central concepts today. Throughout the book, we talk about the balance of three elements: Sweetness, Structure, and Space.
Sweetness is our term for all the good-feeling, soul-nourishing, enjoyable experiences of life. Playing, being in nature, singing, stretching, exploring, cooking, eating, loving, connecting, laughing, and creating are all ways that we revel in the sweetness. Sweetness not only makes life satisfying, it also makes us stronger and more resilient.
While you might think sweetness would be people’s primary reason to live, it’s often superseded by other drives, like protecting against the loss of the sweetness. If most of our time, energy, and attention goes to securing the future – and other tangles like media, conflict, and a “just get through it” attitude toward life – there’s little left for the sweetness itself.
We believe that balance is possible even in chaotic times, and that you can – you must – choose to prioritize sweetness in the midst of managing your obligations and pursuing your goals. Don’t postpone the sweetness. We say this not only because we believe you shouldn’t have to wait until retirement to enjoy life, but also because when you feed yourself with sweetness, you become more effective at bringing your potential into the world and shaping this life however you choose.
Furthermore, if you fill your life with sweet activities and make a habit of noticing and appreciating all the sweetness around you, you move many steps closer to the life of your dreams, regardless of the outcome of any particular goal. If things don’t turn out according to plan, at least you won’t have spent years neglecting the sweet stuff. Just the opposite: you will have used the time doing work that feels good and significant, living your purpose, sharing your gifts, treating yourself well, enjoying the world, and serving your species. It doesn’t get much better than that.
There are three main ways to boost the sweetness of your life:
(1) Add sweet activities to your calendar. Give or receive a massage. Make art. Sing with friends. Take a bath with candles and music. Read a story to a child. Remember to set aside time for it (that’s the Structure part); then you’ll be doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing during that time.
(2) Find ways to sweeten what you already have to do. How can you make the mundane more enjoyable? Put flowers on your desk. Diffuse essential oils into the air. Turn on some music. Smile. Listen to comedy. Invite a friend. Make a game of it. Dance while dusting. Get creative.
(3) Throughout your day, notice the sweetness in whatever you’re doing. Pay attention to the here and now. This is the most transformative practice, because it changes your perspective and brings you into the present. Be fascinated and delighted by the details. Notice the sweetness that’s present even when everyone else is missing it.
Also, consider this: What would it be like to guide others through this work? How would it feel to help a client make sweetness their top priority? Think you’d be good at it and enjoy this kind of work? Then check out the Dragontree Life Coaching program! Enrollment is happening now.