What does living well mean for you? We just returned from a trip to Vermont and the green mountains were filled with vibrant color. I observed that "live well" for the locals meant a lifestyle and mindset that was comprised of; appreciating talents of others, blending work and personal needs, and taking time to appreciate surroundings, and family & friends. It wasn't about building wealth, even though we suspect it is a goal for some. It seemed more about building experience and relationships. The locals told us that folks coming to Vermont to experience the changing leaves are called "leaf peepers." Within 3-4 weeks the leaves change and by November they have fallen. The shift to barren trees and arriving snow, accelerates their joy of seeing, smelling and being outdoors with their friends. They truly cherish the change and appreciate the idyllic surroundings.
I know we have city life to contend with here in OC and LA, which brings complexity, however, what if we were to adopt one practice that brought us closer to this "live well" mindset? Consider the following practices;
Creative collaboration - Inn Keeper, farmer and chefs collaborate in Vermont - and they have fun doing so. Do you have a trio of strategic collaborators?
Sharing of Expertise - On our cycling tour there were various experts to help us on trails, transport, bikes, yoga and more. It seemed everyone was generous in helping us get what we needed and find our way when we were lost! What expertise can you pay forward?
Adaptability - A variety of cycling skills, changes in weather and unexpected rain plays a big part on a "Cycling Tour" in the hills of Vermont. It requires being flexible, adapting to what a group of newbies and experienced riders require. How adaptable are you when what you expect changes direction?
I think our city attitudes and fast pace make us react, when reflecting and appreciating the moment is more satisfying and healthy. There are clear trade-offs and I am not suggesting we all move to the country; however, step back and be mindful or intentional (as our friend Jeremy Hunter might say) and live well. I am learning that laughing often, appreciating positive energy in people, moving in dance, or simply taking a walk allows me to live well. Finally, try giving more than getting which puts a genuine smile on everyone's face. Find your own Vermont and enjoy!