100 Ways to Have a Love Affair with Life

how to love life

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
― Mary Oliver

Ooh la la…Mary Oliver’s quote gets me every time.  I remember the first time I heard it was at a dinner table in the South of France when an Irishman recited it word for word.

It struck a deep nerve within me, because up until then I had ignored my deep desires and spent most of my time trying to rearrange my external world – trying to lose weight, have the perfect relationship and make more money – to offer me relief.  As a result, I was constantly overwhelmed, worried and anxious about my future.

Life felt more like an enemy to be conquered than a lover to be adored.

Something had to change, and that something was the relationship I had with life.

Having worked as a critical care nurse and being present with people on their deathbeds, I have a deep understanding of what life is truly about, and contrary to what people try to convince you, it’s not about making 6 or 7 figures, being a size 2 or finding the perfect relationship.    None of these things guarantee you a full life.

Yet, if those are your desires (and there’s nothing wrong with wanting what you want; I happen to love luxury, being fit and great relationships), falling in love with life, as it is right now, is the secret to attracting it all – with ease, grace and joie de vivre. 

If you want your life to change, change how you treat your life! (tweet it)

Because . . .

When You French Kiss Life, Life Kisses You Back!

Here are some ways I’m having a love affair with life:

  • Say thank you often
  • Eat what I want without guilt (I also lost weight with this approach)
  • Dance every day
  • Keep fresh flowers in your home
  • Flirt
  • Invest in good linens
  • Do something that scares you every day
  • Create your unique definition of success
  • Kiss a lot
  • Create beautiful spaces to enjoy
  • Wake up each morning and envision your day
  • Go to bed celebrating your successes
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Take yourself on a date – get dressed up, reserve the best table at the best restaurant and enjoy your own company
  • Dress up, even in little ways, each day (a great accessory, beautiful shoes or a stunning scarf)
  • Take a different route to work (mix things up a little to break out of the daily rut)
  • Find your signature scent
  • Throw a dinner party
  • Write love letters on beautiful stationery
  • Host a game night
  • Visit a museum
  • Stop using excuses as a way to settle
  • Mix it up and try something new in the bedroom (don’t treat sex like a chore)
  • If you don’t have a partner, please yourself
  • Forgive those who have hurt you (no need to continue hurting yourself)
  • Always be willing to grow and change
  • Go to Sunday brunch with your girlfriends
  • Create plans that excite you
  • Simplify, simplify, simplify
  • Spend money on things you truly value
  • Trust your instincts
  • Allow yourself to feel fully
  • Stop being so serious; be a little playful
  • Surprise someone with a small gift
  • Break the rules; make your own
  • Don’t be a copycat; create from your divine heart
  • Practice living in the moment
  • Meet friends for Happy Hour
  • Volunteer
  • Pack a picnic, grab a book and head to secret spot
  • Visit the dog park
  • Plant a garden
  • Cook a 5-course meal and spend 3 hours savoring your creation
  • Learn to accept and love your body (as it is right now)
  • Leave a $5 bill stuffed in an area of the grocery store to be found
  • Place lavender drops on your pillowcase at night
  • Use your fancy china on an ordinary night
  • Pick your favorite era and spend the day pretending that you’ve stepped back in time
  • Go skinny dipping
  • Unplug from technology once a week
  • Spend a day doing only what you absolutely desire
  • Connect with someone new (new people mean new perspectives)
  • Stay out of everyone else’s business (their opinions, beliefs and drama)
  • Cuddle…with your partner, kids, friends or pet
  • Send BIG love energy to everyone you encounter today
  • Wear something that you’d normally not wear (hat, scarves, big fancy sunglasses)
  • Through out the day, stop and wink at the sky and say merci!
  • Have a tarot reading
  • Order something from the menu you’ve never tasted
  • Learn a new sport (tennis, croquet, ping pong)
  • Buy decadent soaps
  • Buy the most luxurious chocolate you can find, pour yourself a cup of tea and savor every bite
  • Look for beauty in everything
  • Take 5 things off your to-do list and replace it with something  you really want to do
  • Look for miracles in everything – the unpredictable, heartbreaks, perceived failures . . . they are there if you seek them
  • Choose do go about your daily tasks with passion – from cleaning the toilet to paying bills
  • Allow yourself to cry when you need a good cry
  • Take responsibility for your own happiness and fulfillment
  • Stop complaining and gossiping
  • Paint or draw; open up the channels of creativity
  • Stop hanging out with energy drainers
  • Eat only the best of whatever you choose to eat – aka no crap
  • Each morning, choose who you want to BE first, then what you want to DO
  • Have a secret garden
  • Stop comparing.  There is only one you, and that’s a pretty special place to be
  • Get outside and get some Vitamin D – one of the greatest epidemics of our time is lack of sunshine
  • For the love of God, stop the insane dieting; when you’re in love, you naturally eat a little less and move a little more – focus on LOVE
  • Stop the 100% productivity mode.  I’m giving you permission to not be so productive.  You may find that taking that pressure off leads to smarter productivity
  • What did you love to do when you were little? Do that!
  • Hang out with fellow life lovers – those who curate fascinating and inspiring conversations
  • Don’t follow trends; create your own
  • Always choose kindness, especially towards yourself
  • Write a love letter to life
  • Dream every day
  • Put your wishes in a bottle and release them into a river
  • Understand your triggers and patterns so you can elegantly navigate them
  • Always ask yourself: how can I make this fun?
  • Be open to the mystery of life; rigidity may lead to certain outcomes, but it will never lead to adventure and the good stuff of life
  • When in doubt, always, always follow your heart
  • And, if you’re going to have a love affair with life, put on some lipstick and pucker up[/do]

Want to add to the list? I’d love to know how you are having a love affair with life in the comments below.

Lover of Love,

Signature

Tonya

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8 Responses to 100 Ways to Have a Love Affair with Life

  1. Dark chocolate every day.

    Create something artsy, anything.

    Hike in a secret place near a waterfall.

    Chat with strangers anywhere.

    Most recent affirmation: I LOVE the way my life is unfolding!

    Carry a small notebook everywhere and jot down dreams, inspiration, poetry, ideas, etc. I have found that over the years what I write, does happen.

    This whole concept could be a book! What a wonderful gift it would be to compile for the world!!

    <3

  2. Your thoughts are ALWAYS uplifting and motivational!!! GREAT ideas! Also, LOVE some good music to put you in the mood!!!! (for whatever!!)

  3. Thank you for this Tonya! I’m going to print this list out and cut each item out. Then I’m placing them in a jar and picking a “prize” each day; doing something each day, like a fun daily task. This is perfect! Thank you again!

  4. How can you write such magnificent posts? Seriously, no one has impressed me the way your blog has! I’m here from the Philippines (halfway around the world) but my biggest dream is to travel in style in Paris and live my life with passion and elegance. Your words deeply touch my heart. Please keep inspiring women to be their best, elegant self.

      • I love this list! It is my new bucket list. I know I won’t finish it today, but that’s okay, as it’s a pleasure list – not a to do list.

        Today I went to a playground and swung on a swing.. in the rain… in my pajamas. It was exhilarating! I was 7 years old again, filled with excitement! The lady across the street was peering through her window, and I didn’t care! Remember when you tilted your head back on the swing and tried to catch the raindrops? Did that too. As I Superman jumped off the swing (though less high, my 41 year young body doesn’t quite comply with my inner youth) I wooped with delight! The sunset was the encore to a beautiful day. I can’t wait for Day 2. Joie de vivre!

  5. “Stop the 100% productivity mode. I’m giving you permission to not be so productive. You may find that taking that pressure off leads to smarter productivity” – Merci beaucoup, Tonya. This is my biggest struggle, and this little affirmation couldn’t be coming on a better day.

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