375: How to Become a More Skilled Participant in the Living of Our Life
Wednesday February 21, 2024

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Sometimes life can feel small, as if the reality of our lives right now is all there is even if we are an aware individual, we know that the world’s awesome vastness stretches beyond our comprehension. However, because we will always be in our own company, we forget that what we see now isn’t always what will be.

Think of it this way. What we see now didn’t not occur solely because of our efforts. Most definitely our efforts, or lack of effort, played a role, but not the only role.

Much like the photo above of Norman on the Oregon coast, he is a petite entity on a piece of ground that is a minuscule part of a grander whole. We cannot know what will be. We only know and will only ever be in the now and how we dance with it with contribute to what unfolds. And today’s post explains two important skills that pertain to how we dance with it.

The concluding note to readers that author, yoga and meditation instructor Deborah Adele shares in her book Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice includes the wish that they become more skilled participants in the living of their lives. And with the wisdom she shares in her book, she provides them with the tools to do just that.

Having shared various insights here on the blog gained from her book, specifically in this post about the simple conscious everyday choice that leads to true fulfillment, and as we conclude the two month-long series of ‘new year, new life’ as you continued along the way to making the change you set to bring to be as the new year began, I wanted to explore two simple, yet powerfully crucial habits that will make the difference you seek inevitable.

A skilled participant.

In order to be ‘skilled’ we must know the skills that would be beneficial to acquire. And in order to embody being a participant in our lives, we must be engaged, we must act, we must take part.

While we have covered multiple skills throughout this podcast, here on the blog and in TSLL’s books (and will compile and detail them all in a linear approach to cultivating contentment in TSLL’s upcoming Contentment Master Class video course), the two skills, I want to talk about today are simple to adopt and when we do, the quality of our life and everydays is amplified for the better:

  • Choose to live instead of wait. In other words, Living vs. Waiting – choose the former.
  • Choose to savor rather than to rush. In other words, Savoring vs. Rushing – again, choose the former.

Living vs. Waiting

As planners, as goal-setters, anyone who looks ahead and dreams, choosing to do any one or all of these tasks plays a role in the quality of our lives as they unfold; however, we cannot live in the future.

We must plan and then let go so as to live in the present moment. So our new habit to engage in once we have a vision and are pointing ourselves in the desired direction is to then remember to tend to how we are ‘driving’ in the now. In other words to live, do not wait.

Which is to say, make sure you have followed the ideas shared in episode #372create simple rituals that will enhance the quality of your everydays. It is not that you are forgetting about your intention and hoped for outcome that will eventually materialize if you continue along your path; rather, consider this analogy. You have a home and a mortgage: you make the monthly payments – living in the now – even though you know your mortgage will take some time to be paid off. But, to use the example of the mortgage, if you wait to live only when the day comes 30 years down the road and only scrim and save and work and never live in the now during those 30 years, yes, the goal of pay-off may come, but have you enjoyed your 30 years?

Along the journey to the hoped for outcome, it is the living that stirs the soil of possibilities, that invites opportunity to cross our path.

Screenshot 2024 02 21 At 9.44.07 am

It is by taking action every single day, not necessarily directly towards our goal, but living in alignment with our values and honor our true self, listening and heeding our curiosity, that in fact, we are progressing toward the life we have envisioned for our future. We are gaining information that will likely enhance not only how we travel and the quality of experience we have, but even improve the desired outcome when it arrives, and perhaps even change what we actual want the desired outcome to be.

In my own life, as I have shared, I have two intentions I am embodying in my everydays and hope to bring a desired outcome into fruition down the road. My goal is in six months, but we will see how the universe wants to dance with me. 🙂 Recently, as I have continued forward, sticking to a few new habits, unexpected events have happened – mostly for the benefit and increased progression toward the goal, but one was a slight hiccup; however, it gave me an opportunity to hone a skill I needed that actually did benefit me once I practiced it. Then out of seemingly nowhere a gift arrived that I didn’t ask for or expect. Share this, and I share it conceptually, because I chose to engage fully with my days here in the now, even with the hiccup, and by engaging with the hiccup, I learned something and bolstered my confidence. The gift happened due to something entirely outside of my control, but I had put myself in a good position to be able to receive it, again, living fully in the now, doing what I can do right now in the moment to the best of my ability and letting go once I have done what I can do.

In each instance, the moments of connection with others were positive and life lifting, but if I had just stopped living and had decided to wait for the timeline I had set, I wouldn’t have experienced the benefits along the way that I could never have anticipated.

All of this is to say, there is magic in our everydays waiting to dance with us, even when it initially seems as though it is an unwanted happenstance. The magic can only be discovered if we are living in the now. Because if we instead choose to wait on the sidelines, we miss so much of what makes life a joy to live.

Savoring vs. Rushing

Once you have adopted the above new habit of living instead of waiting, you might be thinking to yourself, well then, if I am living in the now, maybe I can speed things up to reach my desired outcome more quickly! Whoaaaa. Hold on a sec.

By living, we are not saying, do more in the now to make your desired outcome happen sooner. No, likely what you have set as an intention will take time no matter how much effort you apply. The body needs to rest, interests needs time to accrue, etc., etc. So rushing will not help and will actually, again, take you out of the present moment.

Whenever we are living with a future outcome in mind, we are not present. Often when we are living with that future outcome dancing in our minds, standing at the forefront, we are ‘wanting’. We are wanting something that we, at this current moment, do not possess. And as was shared in this post, the skill of letting go of want will deepen the quality of our lives, because when we let go of wanting, we bring ourselves back to the present moment which is where life is ALWAYS lived.

It is vital that after we come to the decision with thoughtful clarity of what we wish to change and point ourselves in that direct, informing ourself of the new habits we will begin to engage in (or which old habits we will be letting go of), we need to stop thinking about it and appreciate where we are right now.

The skill of appreciation becomes strengthened, as do most skills and habits, with regular practice and reinforcement. And when we practice gratitude (simply taking a note mentally or physically writing it down or expressing it verbally), we stand fully in the present moment.

From time to time here on the blog, I will express my aha for something that brings me delight with the simple repetitious phrase, “Savor, Savor, Savor”. This is not by accident nor it is me forgetting what I said and saying it again and again. Nope. It is with intention that I write in triplet. Let me explain.

The verb savor is repeated three times as a reminder to (1) savor fully the Present moment, bringing our full attention and open mind to what is without expectation; to (2) savor and thereby slow down while enjoying meals, conversation and activities that involve our senses; and lastly, underscoring it all, to (3) savor where we find ourselves along our unique life journey whether our current location and self is desired or unwanted because both are offering a gift. How so? If unwanted hiccups arise, we are given an opportunity to learn a necessary piece of information that if accepted as such will enable us to travel well forward. These hiccups deepen appreciation, clarify our priorities and bestow upon us an opportunity to become more aware of our true capabilities. Contrarily, during moments where our hopes are answered, happiness abounds and we are filled with peace, we savor by letting go of wanting more and reveling in all that is

And so, our modus operandi as we embrace living simply luxuriously is to savor, savor, savor


All of the magic and delightful, elevating life moments will not pass us by if we become skilled participant in our daily lives. These two simple skills will shift your life in wondrous ways and before you know it, you will be both enjoying every single day leading up to where you wish to arrive, so that when you do arrive at your intended outcome, it becomes all the more joyous of an occasion.

~Explore all 10 posts and episodes that were part of 2024’s New Year, New Life series here.

~Classic FM, the UK’s go-to classical music station (listen on Global Player)

Episode 331 2


4 thoughts on “375: How to Become a More Skilled Participant in the Living of Our Life

  1. Shannon. Thank you for an inspiring podcast. I listen to your podcasts while I and Carl (the dog 😊) take our daily walk. My day after my walk is to make another batch of croissants, which as you said, are improving with each batch. While I roll the layers now I am listening to “Classic FM”. So happy today. Thank you

    1. Penny,

      Your entire comment brought a smile! Thank you for sharing all that you have and for tuning in. 😌 So happy you (and Carl ❤️🐾) enjoyed the episode and the Petit Plaisir !

  2. Hi Shannon, I really enjoyed this episode. Two simple concepts, but which change everything! Thank you for this series of podcasts. I’m going to listening again to the earlier ones too. I love this journey of making the most of our lives! Regarding Classic FM – did you know that BBC Radio 3 is all classical music? No advertising!!! I struggle with the ads on Classic FM. They cater to a particular demographic assuming anyone who loves classical music is rather elderly! I don’t know if you access BBC radio in the US? Would have thought so. Worth a go! 🎶❤️🎶

    1. Krys,

      Good morning and thank you very much for your comment! You are very right about the observation of the ads on Classic FM! 🙂 And that is the only drawback – ads on that station. So I will definitely check out BBC 3. Thank you! Wishing you a wonderful start to the week

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