What are the success factors for a truly fulfilled life? Could it be fame, wealth, beauty, or success that brings us the greatest joy from living?…As enticing as these things may sound and apparently more comfortable they may seem to make our lifestyle; life fulfilment, in my opinion, comes from another source entirely.
Growing up people used to comment on how I should become a model, dancer or actress. I remember having the great opportunity open up when I was sixteen and received a contract from Australia’s biggest agency at the time. How different things would have been if I’d signed on the dotted line, I’m so truly glad I didn’t! I’m not saying my life couldn’t have been fulfilled or beautiful, but I feel I wouldn’t be the ‘at peace’ me I am now. ♡
I’d lived in 40-something places up and down the East coast of Aus by the time I was 12. I didn’t complete high school. Actually, I hardly even started my eighth school year! We moved so much in my childhood. I married my first boyfriend, still husband today quite early. I was 16, which sounds so young now! From age 19 I was blessed with 3 gorgeous children, isolation, bread-making, house-wifery (oh gasp! I can hear you) gardening, extensive hours preparing delicious plant based meals, endless moments in nature with the loves of my life. The exchange was easy for me. My first childhood dream was to be a mother. Although my children are so grown up, it’s still my number one occupation. Pre-social media in those early days made things effortless, simple to enjoy, real in-the-moment chapters were lived out slowly, and beautifully with my young ones.
A FULFILLED LIFE
What makes a fulfilled life? Is it endless exotic travel destinations, followers, the accomplishment of wondrous dreams (such as becoming a model or Author – example), experiencing all the best the world has to offer…is it loving yourself first and making sure you get your personal utmost out of life? Is it ticking off the 100-must-do-before-you-die list? I wonder…
I can only speak from my own experience. My daughter (23) said to me the other day ‘Mum, you should write something on how to live a life of fulfilment…because you have that…and it’s something not many people have…” this made me think to share a little here.
I believe true fulfilment comes from service, smiling, giving, achieving, loving. I think pre-social media generations were a lot more focused on reality, people, family, goals worth living for, faith, things spiritual, duty, thinking outside of themselves. I’m not judging, I’m half snowed under with the distraction of social media these days myself! I’m just sharing my experience. I also listen to my young adults speaking about what is not fulfilling to them, and feel that much of this is because of the huge swing to focus so much upon ourselves.
Dot points for my ‘fulfilled life’, though I’ve come through much pain and at times devastating loss are as follows:
- Faith. To have ‘faith’ in ‘something’ or ‘someone’ (for me this is God – Creator – Saviour) gives a sense of purpose at the foundation of who you are. Whatever your ‘faith’ choice may be, there is scientific evidence to prove that people who have a belief/code/religion/hope live longer, and are happier.
- Love others first. Ok so this is hugely different to the current uber-trend that you must go within you to be genuinely happy etc. Actually, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take care of yourself, your health mentally, physically, spiritually. Of course preserving your overall wellbeing is essential to being able to love others better. I’m just sharing from my personal experience with relation to ‘fulfilment’, and I think that one reason I am so fulfilled as a human being is because I do tend to automatically place others ‘first’ and have practiced living this way from very young. This would be due to my Christian faith, as I believe Jesus did that for everyone around Him. For example, if my family need me I’ll serve them and put their needs before my own chasing of my ‘dreams’ or something like that. And I’m a real dreamer type! I know lots of readers won’t like this idea…but it’s what I’ve done, just sharing. I’m still doing this now, as my family still need me so much!
- You don’t have to experience everything right now, or even while you’re young, to be happy and fulfilled. Actually if you go and experience everything now, you may find yourself depressed later on when you’re tied down with work/family/life commitments or looking older or perhaps feel chained to a place that may seem at times like it isn’t ‘as fun’ as your many previous adventures! There’s so much I haven’t yet experienced. I’m 43, have hardly travelled, am limited in so much knowledge I’d like to understand, as I spent so many years focused on mothering…etc. Only it’s great now in my middle years with my family almost all grown, to think of the fun adventures I’ll have with my husband in the future. I think because we see so much of what everyone else is doing on SM these days, we feel that we’re missing out if we don’t do all those things too. Maybe we need to stop looking so much at our phones, start listening more to our hearts, reading, spending good times with the people we love now.
- Really love and care for your Mum and Dad! You’ll never get them back, and they won’t be around forever. Siblings too! Your family really are the best thing in all the world.
- Somehow connect with the Earth. I know, sounds cliche, but you need it as much as I do! This can even be spending time in your local city park or taking a trip to the seaside or national park. It can be as simple as learning to care for a few indoor plants and walking on mown grass…somewhere! Eat well, mostly plants, be kind to your body.
- Life’s stresses great and small can drive us to a dependancy on alcohol, coffee, drugs, etc. I’m not saying you need to be like me…but I’ve never been drunk, and I’m thankful that when bad times come I look for something (like a great big walk) to create happier endorphins and release stress from my mind and body. I did consume far too much organic coffee when I lost my beautiful sister, my mother and had the heavy load of my son’s anxiety weighing upon me. It’s not over yet. Overall crutches don’t really help, they just take joy or energy from tomorrow and next week to try to cope with the moment. Somewhere it catches up with you! Look for natural ways to deal with problematic days such as hydrotherapy, extra delicious nutrient rich foods, massages, essential oils, fasting, exercise in your favourite non-stressful way, prayer, outings with a friend. Whatever is going on, don’t let the precious light in your heart go out, hope is life.
- Trust. I believe in miracles, dreams, hugging trees (yeah I’m crazy), and that whatever is meant to be for me, will be. I used to wish I was model once. Now, without asking or really trying (I live in the hinterland for goodness sake!) I’ve had some great opportunities open up, modelling with some of Australia’s top teams and well known brands. Once upon a time I dreamed of creating a book – and I did – all by myself from this little country place I love so well. Vogue even recommended it, and it went on TV! So what I’m saying here is, if you’re just a tinsy bit like me – in that you have a dream – any dream, don’t be afraid to ‘give it up’ for your family or greatest loves of your life. It may very well come back to you! Like mine did! Better than this, you’ll have the truest fulfilment at your core whatever happens. Because some things in life are so much more precious than any dream we could ever wish for. My loves are my real life. Some people dream and do it all, it all comes true, but they might never have what I have now. Love is everything. Don’t swap it for anything. Don’t let those dreamy stars clutter your true vision.
- See the best in the world, and others. As I’ve experienced there’s no fulfilment in focusing on the darkness, it presses my heart so heavy I feel I cannot breathe. No! Squash that badness away, I’d rather choose the love and light. Light and beauty in you, in me, in this gorgeous world of creation, and I want to make it a better place. To have purpose. Have passion. Have an idea all of your own, or jump on board the good ideas and opportunities springing up world over, and let’s make this Earth a better place for all of it’s people, creatures and beautiful eco systems.
Love to hear what makes your life fulfilled? Every one has a different story.
Time for me to venture out on a nice brisk walk! Have a great day wherever you are! Smile!