"Living Your Best Life"

Jessica Schatz

It started out to be a promising day, with my morning wellness rituals on point - meditation, gratitude, Pilates, and yoga, all of which had followed a good night’s sleep. I felt great, and in the perfect frame of mind to work on my upcoming blog about – a subject of my choosing – “Living Your Best Life.”

Things quickly changed, and the day was actually shit. The first calamity was fairly minor. After opening a fresh, delicious-smelling bag of coffee, I filled the Bialetti with water and coffee grounds, only to drop the entire thing on the floor. A kitchen floor filled with water and wet coffee grounds in front of me, and still no coffee in my system, on my hands and knees, I did my best to clean it up with towels and such - a task that felt like it would never end (coffee grounds are the gift that keeps on giving).

Soon after, when getting my breakfast together (and finally drinking coffee), I dropped a full jar of almond butter onto the floor that broke upon impact. Glass and almond butter on the recently cleaned up kitchen floor. Yep. 0 for 2.

After “Cinderella-ing” the floor again, I did my best to breathe, stay mindful, and move forward with my day without screaming. However as the day went on, I continued to hit wall after wall, and face hurdle after hurdle - professional, personal, financial, even physical, and of course, emotional. On a side note, I continued to spill just about everything one is capable of spilling.

Throughout all of this, looming over me was my deadline (self-imposed) for writing my blog, “Living Your Best Life”! Seriously?! How on earth was I supposed to know how to do that when all I wanted to do was have a temper tantrum and move to Maui?

Then I remembered something. I am allowed to have a bad day. What? Nuh-uh. But there’s no time! I have so much to do, and accomplish! Not just today but in my life! Then I said it out loud, “You’re allowed to have a bad day.”

My life’s work is about inspiring and teaching others how to live happier, healthier lives. In fact my philosophy – “I believe everyone has the opportunity to live a better life” - is all over everything about which I write and speak. But maybe, in this moment, living my best life means giving myself a break and remembering that “everyone” includes me too! And maybe it means that I’m going to hit the pause button, start the blog tomorrow, and take a bubble bath while drinking a delicious cup of tea.

Have you ever wondered what is even meant by this current catchphrase “living your best life?” How do we achieve it? And, why does it feel like so many people “out there” have the formula figured out? I’d like to bet that, in fact, they don’t.

When I scroll through Instagram and see the hashtag #livingyourbestlife, it’s almost always accompanied by a post of a perfectly designed interior, a beautiful landscape, flawless bodies posing on sunny beaches, a stunning yoga pose, fabulous apparel, plants in full bloom, mouth watering avocado recipes, the latest travel destination, and the list goes on and on. In this current ‘culture of comparison,’ it can be easy to idealize lifestyles that seem unachievable. Sometimes we forget that social media isn’t a true representation of our lives.

Our online presentation of ourselves is most often carefully and strategically planned – highlighting only our happiest, prettiest, and most successful moments. This promotes a belief that living your best life is something external, living up to impossible standards imposed upon us from the outside. When in fact, living your best life comes from within.

The most limiting word in the phrase “Living Your Best Life” is Best, as it has a clear definition that praises the finish line and ignores all the work it took to get there. With such an emphasis on grand accolades and accomplishments, the phrase doesn’t leave room for the simpler moments in life that may also be worthy of acknowledgment and praise.

The most important word in the phrase “Living Your Best Life” is Your. Because we are living our best lives when we follow our own core beliefs and values that align with who we are. And that is different for everyone. Self-awareness, growth, and becoming more fulfilled is a fluid and ongoing process, which has no finite end point that can be captured in an Instagram post. And it means something different today than it will tomorrow. Most importantly, it’s subjective. For you it may be taking the first small step towards a conscious health journey, or perhaps learning to practice self-love, finding meaning in small moments, and so on.

At this point, living my best life means taking steps to live my passion and purpose, and making aligned choices that support my health and well-being. It means knowing when to say yes. And, when to say no. Perhaps sometime in the future it will be planning that long awaited trip to London and Paris. Maybe soon it will mean going on another yoga retreat! But for right now, “living my best life” means waking up each day and choosing love over hate, it means writing this blog, it means acknowledging the highs and lows. These are small but lovable choices. They make me feel more confident in who I am, and therefore more confident in my larger choices. Now it’s time for that delicious cup of tea. Let’s hope I don’t spill it.

Rick Krusky