Macrobiotics, when broken down into its greek origins means big/large/long (Makros) & life (Bios). Macrobiotics = BIG LIFE.
Ok, so that's great, but what does that actually mean in terms of day-to-day living? What IS a BIG life, and how to do you get one?!
Dainty Pig Tips for Living a BIG LIFE
Each person is very very different, and I highly recommend taking a look at the physical & energetic body your soul is living in to find out what you yourself want to accomplish and enjoy in this life. Of course I am no expert in this area, that's for sure, but I have come to learn many things through relentless & sometimes unwanted self-observation, and have become more aware of the things that allow ME to live a big life. Here they are:
Do something that makes you happy first thing in the morning.
For myself, this one is absolutely crucial. Some mornings I sneak out of bed so that I can sit by a sunny window alone with my thoughts & a good cup of tea. Other mornings, I'm in a sweaty yoga pretzel. And some mornings, T & I will eat our breakfast together out on the front steps with the sun in our faces.
The pace you set in the morning is the pace for the whole day. I repeat: how you are in the morning is how you'll be all day. So even if you have to get up super early for work, get up 5 minutes earlier and do something you love: cuddle, garden, drink tea, sit in pure quiet. A happy morning makes for a happy day.
Always give yourself more sleep than you think you need.
I'm a master at not doing this. For years I put everything before sleeping. And I didn't think it affected me...until I actually knew what it was like to properly sleep.
Lack of sleep makes you grumpy & un-fun (duh), but it also makes you more prone to negative thoughts. It makes you less metabolically active, more likely to make poor food choices by choosing things that give you a quick rush, and it can lower your body's ability to regulate hormones. And besides, haven't you heard of BEAUTY sleep?
It's not just about number of hours: it also matters when you go to bed. Ideally, if you can be asleep by 11pm, you will give your body the best chance of rejuvenation, as many of the organs are restored between 11PM-1AM.
Eat in a way that supports your life.
If you want to live a big life, you need to eat for a big life.
Food plays a large role in the amount of energy & physical health you have and need to do all the things you want to do in your life. If you feel sluggish and tired, what you're eating could be a big culprit. If you get grumpy and have frequent ups & downs look at what you're eating. Your body gives you many clues when things aren't working. Bad digestion, low energy, rashes, poor circulation, trouble falling asleep & waking up all indicate that your food choices are not working for you.
Each person will feel the best eating different foods. Don't worry about labels such as vegan, paleo dieter, raw foodist etc. Just keep an open mind; try many many many new foods. And also, be willing to let go of foods you love if they no longer serve your health & big life.
Also, give things a chance to either work or not work. If you change up your eating routine every few days, you'll likely never feel that great. It takes a bit of time for your body to adjust to any dietary changes, so be patient.
When in doubt, get out (side). I dare you to not feel better after a 10 minute walk, bike ride through the trees, or picnic in the sun.
"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
This quote from Joseph Campbell is one of my all time favourites. It's an especially nice little reminder for Type A's like myself. Really, it's a long way of saying: go with the flow. If you prevent change, life gets nasty and grey. If you allow yourself to move into new directions (jobs, cities, friends, lifestyles), by following what feels right, you will move into the life that is right for YOU. And I'm pretty sure it will be a BIG LIFE.
"Do small things with great love."
I try to apply this wisdom from Mother Teresa in my daily life. Your cooking will taste MUCH better if you put a little bit of care & love into it. Your hugs will feel amazing if you put a bit of love into them. You will also spill & stumble less if you move with care & love. Brush your hair with love. Stir your soup with love. Water your plants with love. Say "I love you" with love. Remember, BIG THINGS are nothing but LOTS of little things :)
Needs & Wants - Find out how to discern between the two, & which one to favour when.
one is tricky, and I still work on a daily basis trying to discern if
what I'm eating / doing / spending my time on is something that I
actually NEED. Sometimes, what you actually need IS the thing you want. Sometimes not.
For myself, a NEED is something that I require to feel "good". Healthy food, sleep, joy, laughter, fun, love, moving my body, fresh air, meaningful work & social connections, and quiet time alone all make up what I need.
As is true for everyone, sometimes what I want isn't what I truly need. For example, I might want to go out with friends, but what I really need is a night at home to catch up on my rest. Other times it's the opposite: I want to stay home, but what I really need is some more fun & laughter a hang time with my pals. I'm getting better at figuring this out, but it can be tricky. My belly usually tells me if I've made the wrong choice.
Sometimes it's wise to favour your needs, such as eating healthy food, and sometimes choose what you want: perhaps letting go and enjoying special treat foods with people you love. There's a fine line. Be willing to slip-up & keep trying, and listen to your body for cues.
Energy Flows Where Attention Goes
It's true. What you put your attention on becomes your life and your reality. Spend your time thinking & dreaming/daydreaming (subconscious attention counts too!) about the things you love & what you want, and that's what you'll get. And vice-versa is true too. So where is your attention going? Where do you WANT it to go?
Lastly: There's nothing that a good cup of tea in a pretty mug can't make better.
What kinds of things make up YOUR Big Life?!