According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of lifestyle is the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture.
In health and medical circles, the phrase “lifestyle factors” is a popular way to identify choices an individual makes and how that translates to their level of health, wellness, and longevity. Healthy lifestyle factors are great, but in my opinion, lifestyle is more than just if you smoke, drink, eat fast food, or exercise.
You can design your lifestyle in any way you choose. Sure, labels may help define certain aspects of the human experience, but they absolutely do NOT define the actual human. I think that is worth repeating: labels may help define certain aspects of the human experience, but they absolutely do NOT define the actual human. Every day of life is an adventure and your experience and lifestyle can change dramatically as you evolve.
About a decade ago, my lifestyle included smoking at least a pack of Parliament Lights per day, eating huge amounts of Cool Ranch Doritos and Sour Patch Kids, taking a very intense cocktail of pharmaceutical medications, and working out maybe once every few months. Maybe. I believed that the labels assigned to me (obese, IBS, depression, eczema, attention deficit disorder, anxiety) were the official hand of cards that I was given to play with for this round. I was told I had these cards no matter what, so I assumed I had no options to go fish for new ones.
For years I played that hand following the status quo of tools made available to me by western medicine (see above: medications and giving in to labels). To be honest with you, that hand, and frankly that whole deck of cards, got real old. I wanted a new deck.
I wanted more.
To start, I began questioning my deep-rooted beliefs about my labels, my future, my possibilities, and myself. I began asking questions of the medical professionals, colleagues, and counselors in my life. I began reading thought-provoking non-fiction about health and the power we all have within ourselves to heal and live the life of our dreams. I began the process of coming home to myself by returning to some of the hobbies and activities that made me feel pure joy: passions that I had disconnected from over the years as I fell down this unhealthy rabbit hole. I began changing my lifestyle from one of a dull, disconnected, going-through-the-motions existence, to a lifestyle of true sparkle.
This shift didn’t happen overnight. It took time, patience, and curiosity. I explored many different ideas and tools, and found some that I loved and some that weren’t really sparkle inducing for me. While I am always exploring new options to untap my sparkle further, there are a few parts of my life that I would now consider my sparkle lifestyle foundation. Unlike the standard healthy lifestyle factors we are all familiar with, your sparkle lifestyle factors are specific to YOU.
My sparkle lifestyle factors include:
- Daily meditation
- Spending time moving my body in nature at least 4 days per week
- Eating whole, real foods (bonus points if there is no ingredient list involved at all!) and using Whole30 as a tool to reset when needed
- Avoiding counting/tracking anything food related (not points, not calories, etc.)
- Regularly practicing self-care rituals
- Embracing and owning my passion for all things woo-woo
- Buying and loving crystals
- Reading horoscopes and talking sun/moon signs
- Practicing intuition exercises
- Reading about animal medicine
- Using spirit, animal, tarot and angel oracle cards
- Following moon cycles
- Space clearing rituals using sage, Palo Santo, and crystal sprays
- Self-healing with Reiki
- Using specific journal prompts and meditation to tap into Akashic Records
- Prioritizing hobbies that bring me pure joy
- Spending time with dear friends
- Putting my feet in the ocean
- Listening to music that brings me joy (and making playlists like this one!)
- Surrounding myself with interesting books
- Reading often
- Seeing as much live music as possible and dancing my ass off
- Cooking a delicious healthy, whole meal that I am proud to have made
- Nerding out over gut health, microbiome research, and all things digestion
- Sending love notes to the people I adore
These aren’t the only things that make me sparkle, but are a few of my requirements. What are your personal sparkle lifestyle factors? What specifically makes you shimmer and shine? It is okay if you don’t know for sure today. Every single day is a new chance to explore and experiment. Not sure where to start? I can help. Sparkle exploration is my specialty.