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The Art of Being Alive Series: On Meaningful Living

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The art of being alive is an inspirational and humanities project that explores what it means to live a meaningful life and to live fully alive. It seeks to bring the interesting aspects of life combined with people's stories to create a mind-blowing picture evoking the feel of awe and wonder, community and warmth, inspiration and global glimpse of life as can be indeed intriguing...

The ART of life lies in the things that gives our lives a sense of meaning and aliveness; it's in finding the things in life that brings us to a deep sense of awareness about who we are and who we are meant to be in the world.

I conduct interviews that will be profiled in the book, seeking to collect a new perspective and paradigm of life. We are in a global world filled with culture and diversity. Everyone carries a unique perspective and paradigm to life with their own world view, but there is always something to derive of hearing another's story, which is why I am making this project a collaborative one by connecting with individuals over their stories exploring unique aspects of life, which I hope to bring to you in this invigorating coffee table book.

I am finding from steadily doing these interviews the things that inspire us in life are the things that truly keep us going, so I wonder where do we find inspiration from as individuals looking to live in our best selves as possible feeling alive.

Find it in our closest relationships, we find it in travel, we find it in passion, we find it in love, we find it in arts and crafts, we find it in plants and flowers, we find it in food, we find it in real nature like the mountains and deserts, trees, rivers, lakes, wild life, ice lands, oceans... sunsets and rain, we find it in passionate work that feels good, lush, plus and makes us feel radiant, we find it in animals -- the land and sea creatures that when we imagine about what's beneath the sea we can only feel awe; we find it in pandas (especially pandas because who doesn't love pandas); we find it in people, we find it in children, we find it in architectural fun like parks and roller coasters, we find it in our stories you know the good and the bad, the painful and the pleasurable ones, we find it in each other, we find it in ourselves and we find it every single thing and bits of our experience...

This week's interviews, we are finding it in our compassionate self from the story of a lady "Carina Lyall" who conducts a popular podcast show "The Self-compassionate Woman," which has weekly guests for a talk about life, womanhood, self-love and compassion. We are finding it in travel from a traveler "Ginger Kern" who traveled to 25 countries around the world by her 25th birthday. We are finding it in food and nature from a culinary chef "Andrew Matthews," who learned the importance of creating food with a desire, passion, and respect for the ingredients along with the practice of sustainable farm to table cuisine. We are also finding it in passion from a most recent published author "Tracee Gluhaich" who inspires women to seek strong, not skinny; to seek health, not a number on the scale; to seek fit, not a jean size.

We take a snippet from the full profiles and stories that will be in the book, to share with you words of what keeps them going on meaningful living... Just in case you needed some reminder that your experience of life is not strange but in fact very similar; I hope you evolve from the depths of what ever life looks like to you right now, to know that you can consciously seek to find IT (the inspiration) to give your life meaning...

Finding Meaning:
In Compassionate Self...

"The little things in life. They all come together and bring richness to experience. After working in the Balkans in 2001-2003, the following years were filled with anxiety and a fear of life really. I slowly shut my system down -- isolated myself, stayed indoors, gained a lot of weight, numbed myself and couldn't cope with too many social activities.


Photo Credit: Carina Lyall (Edited by Adedayo)

"Coming back to life meant opening up to the closer experiences. It wasn't about pay raises, or big holiday trips, or the sensational events. It came down to going outside, being in nature, feeling closeness, a belly laugh, good food, love, music, my senses. These things are still what makes me feel alive. Being mindful of what's around me, and gratitude for it. Another one thing that has become more and more important is play!" -- Carina Lyall

In Travel...
"The greatest fear I've had to overcome is the fear I had while I was depressed for months during a very dark winter, after a terrible breakup, without a community of close friends in Frankfurt, Germany... It was the fear that I would never get 'back to my normal self.' I was afraid that my heart wouldn't heal, and that I would never be as happy as I used to be."


Photo Credit: Ginger Kern (edited by Adedayo)

"I believe that travel is not just about exploring other countries. I know how it feels to be bold and adventurous abroad and I actively seek to avoid "playing it safe" with routines. By asking myself, 'where are my boundaries?' 'how can I be more open?' and 'how can I be more courageous?' I stay in the traveler's mindset. It's my way of living a life of adventure, more courageous? I stay in the traveler's mindset. It's my way of living a life of adventure, no matter where I am in the world." -- Ginger Kern

In Food, Nature...
A feel alive accomplishment is when "We got to teach elementary school children how to cook food using ingredients that they grew in their school garden. There is a deep connection to the Earth you experience growing your own food, then preparing it and eating it in good company. You then digest the food and it becomes your cells, it becomes who you are. Being a part of that process that the kids got to experience was amazing. School gardens used to be a requirement even up until the first half of the 1900s. They were phased out with the advent of industrialized agriculture and are now making a comeback.


Photo Credit: Andrew Matthews (Edited by Adedayo)

"I inspire myself to keep going. A lot of times, we as humans rely on outside sources for our inspiration. Although I strive to keep myself inspired, my daughter is always a huge inspiration to me. I always want to make sure that she gets the best because that's what she deserves. Being out in nature or going on hikes always gets the creative juices working for me as well." -- Andrews Matthews

In Passion Work...
"From the age of 8 years old, I was on a quest for getting skinny. I went through periods of dieting, bingeing, and starving, was stressed out and unhappy. I raised my kids on Mac n Cheese and Tony's pizza. Finally exhausted from the dieting roller coaster, I attended nutrition school and my eyes were opened. Finally I started releasing my bad habits and wanted to share my experience with others."


Photo Credit: Tracee Gluhaich (Edited by Adedayo)

"Believing in myself -- that I am good enough. Old demons of 'I'm not thin enough,' 'I'm not smart enough,' 'Who is going to believe me' used to paralyze me. But not that I am almost 50, it's seldom that I feel that way. I love that Dr. Seuss quote, 'Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.'" -- Tracee Gluhaich

What are you finding IT in these days, that makes life feel more meaningful to you? Where are you finding you inspiration to keep going from? I will like to know, maybe something you say might excite someone else too!

If you will like to be interviewed for this series and for a chance to be in the book as well, I'm currently collecting stories in the areas of travel, love, passion work, causes and projects that are creating change in the society, food, arts, culture... what are you doing that is giving your life meaning and you'll love to share the story of your inspirational journey so far... That's what I'm looking for!

Use this form, to submit your story and I always do one on one follow ups so we can connect!