Six choices to live more Wild and Precious

I used to have a poster in my classroom when I was an 8th grade teacher – it was my favorite. It said, “Who runs your life? You do! You choose: your friends, your attitude, your goals, your dreams - It’s your life – make it a good one!”   I guess I had life coach tendencies even way back then! I referred to that poster all the time.

Check out this blurry version of the poster blown up from a snapshot I found of my former classroom.

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IMG_2229

That poster is right.  You choose.  Try these six choices to live more wild and precious and see what you think!

1. Choose what you really love, and don't skip it, no matter what. I love sitting in the grass, restoring my mind and spirit in nature, so I make sure it happens. Even if it’s a quick break in the grass in the front yard, I don’t skip it. I’ve taken to stopping by the Mississippi River on my way home from meetings just for a few minutes. It makes my day feel more delicious and expansive. I coach my local clients outside whenever I can so we can both soak in the grounding and healing power of the natural environment.   What do you most love? What would you do if you had a completely free day? Put a little taste of that in your every day.

Willows by the Mississippi River.
Willows by the Mississippi River.

2. Choose what you want to learn, and practice a little every day. I’m still learning a ton about dancing, so I attend dance class every week. Even though it still takes me forever to internalize the steps, I’m getting better! I also love reading new books or taking classes about self-help, coaching, and all kinds of other topics. What do you want to learn more about? What skill do you want to develop? Make sure you carve out time for that regularly.

3. Choose to be spontaneous whenever you can. – This is my favorite! Recently I was invited with less than 24 hours notice to go with a group of women to the Black Pot Festival, a Cajun dance, music, food and camping event a couple of hours away. My first reaction was, “I can’t do that –  I have so much work to catch up on!” Then I thought, “Wild and Precious, Wild and Precious!” I realized I could easily pack a tent and some clothes and have an amazing 24 hour vacation with tons of dancing, music, campfires and camaraderie! That’s when the idea for this Wild and Precious post was born.We made a silly “Wild and Precious” rap, sung to the tune of “Black and Yellow.” We created a Wild and Precious hand sign like people used to do with sorority letters back in college. We danced and played and stayed up until all hours.

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IMG_2018

On another weekend recently, a small group of us headed to Ship Island, but it was blowing too hard and the ferry wasn’t running. Rather than scrap the trip, we made a quick decision to keep driving east, almost all the way to Florida! We had an amazing day at the beach – maybe even better than if we had been able to stick with our original plan.

Wild and Precious at the Beach!
Wild and Precious at the Beach!

When a fun opportunity comes up, do you get practical and skip it? Or do you choose to see if you can embrace the chance for something different? Try choosing spontaneity!

4. Choose to check out when you need a break. At heart, I’m an introvert. I need quiet time, and time to recharge. I like time to nap or stare out the window. So sometimes I need to say no to fun opportunities that come up and stay home and enjoy being by myself. You know yourself best. Pay attention to your body and see what it really wants – time to be adventurous or time to cocoon?

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IMG_2073

5. Choose real relationships over digital ones, always, (and what feels good over what looks good.) In this social media era, you can easily find yourself caught up interacting with some online post instead of the person in the room with you, or imagining how to turn what’s happening into a pretty Instagram pic or Facebook post. But that’s never really the point. My most recent example of this was Halloween. Even though we live in New Orleans, ground zero for Halloween festivities, and Halloween was on a Friday night, we decided to lay pretty low. No big costumes or parties for us. We rode our bikes to our friends’ house, chatted and enjoyed tortilla soup, admired some spooky decorations in the neighborhood, and headed to bed early. It was perfect. It didn’t make for scintillating social media updates, and that was just fine.   Most of us desire deep meaningful connection and we have to consciously disconnect from the pull of our computers, tablets and phones to do that.

We skipped the crowds like on this packed to the gills streetcar heading downtown!
We skipped the crowds like on this packed to the gills streetcar heading downtown!

6. Choose self-care without fail. For me, this means a lot of #4. Rest. Naps. Unscheduled unstructured time. I crave that! It also means preparing and eating delicious healthy foods. Decide what self-care looks like for you. Prioritize it. It’s really hard to live your wild and precious life when you are hungry, stressed and exhausted!

The big idea: living your wild and precious life requires paying attention to what you really want and need, moment to moment. Just like the poster in my old classroom said, It’s your life! You choose. Make it a good one!

Share your own wild and precious tips in the comments, or use the tag, #wildandprecious to share examples of how you live your wild and precious life! We’re all different and I’d love to hear what makes your life wild and precious!