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  • michelle m. davis

The Exceptional Life

Have you ever wondered what if there was more?

“More what?” you may ask. After all, many of us are blessed with really nice lives. Shouldn’t we be grateful for what is?

But what if you could shift your life from really nice to exceptional? Would you be willing to do what it takes to make this happen? Are you ready to challenge yourself to let go of what’s become comfortable, perhaps a bit too comfortable, and try on amazing?

Perhaps this sounds fabulous, or maybe the idea appears daunting. Besides, what exactly does “exceptional” mean?

Please know that I’m not equating an exceptional life to possessions, fame, success, or money. While it could include any of these factors, they certainly are not prerequisites. The components for an exceptional life aren’t quantifiable—instead think happiness, joy, confidence, compassion, gratitude—any emotion that raises your vibration.

Maybe you’re at a stage of life you’d label really nice. Everything is good, and you feel inordinately grateful for family, health, friendships, spirituality, and financial stability … but something’s missing. At first, you may not be able to place a finger on it. In fact, the root cause may seem to evade you, almost as if on purpose. Yet, when you take the time to become quiet and dig deep, you’ll be amazed at what appears.

For me, I realized I had reached a point in life when I was gliding by. While all was absolutely fine, even lovely, it was also incredibly predictable and somewhat predetermined. I knew I needed more, but I wasn’t sure what more equated to.

If we push too hard and try to force the answer to what’s missing in our life, we’re apt to become frustrated or even follow a wrong path. Luckily, my husband was at a similar place. So instead of trying to control and “figure out” what was missing, we became present and allowed what we needed to find us.

Most likely you won’t feel an urge to make huge life changes. Instead, you may find it’s the little alterations that create the biggest difference. And if you’re like me, your transformation—whether it be slow and steady or unexpectedly forceful—will lead you to feeling more contentment, happiness, and joy. You might even notice your perspectives and beliefs have shifted.

I’ve found these practices helpful:

1. Show up as your authentic self—in all situations, regardless of who you are with.

2. Spend time with positive individuals.

3. Take care of your body—eat clean, drink plenty of water, meditate, exercise, and rest.

4. Avoid judging yourself or others. Instead, focus on accepting people as they are without trying to “fix” them.

5. Know when to speak your mind and when to remain silent. Saying nothing can move more mountains than the most eloquent words.

6. Examine your belief systems and consider new perspectives.

7. Learn something new—challenge yourself.

In no way am I suggesting that by following the above, your life will become perfect. Believe me, I constantly face limiting beliefs and still struggle with patience, control, worry, and fears. However, when we move toward an exceptional life, we no longer see these issues as insurmountable obstacles, rather they become opportunities for growth. Slowly, we understand it’s not about doing. Instead, we experience the change when we focus on being aware, trusting, letting go, and allowing.

Awareness may sound easy but being fully present can be quite difficult. Frequently lost in my own thoughts, I have a tendency to zone out, not be attuned to my environment. However, when we can be in the moment and stop doing, then we witness what is. This pause permits us to notice sounds, observe people’s reactions, better understand life’s subtleties, and feel energy. Being aware brings us to the here and now, an important first step in transitioning from good to exceptional.

Trust is the next crucial element, because if we do not trust, how can we release our grasp? Yet trust requires faith, something that many of us struggle with. Sure, it’s easy to claim we believe, but do you? If you’re not quite sure, don’t feel as if you’re alone. But trust me when I tell you it’s worth the investment to build your faith. While it may not be rock solid all of the time, just the slightest whisper from above, reinforcing there is something much bigger than all of us, can be the game changer. Whether you identify this something as God, Source, the Universe is not important. What is vital is belief.

The third step, letting go, is a big deal for me. I like to be in control, to know what is going to occur next. An unpredictable future always seemed unsettling, and I would do whatever I could to direct the path ahead. But when we are able to surrender, the magic occurs. Letting go can show up in so many ways—how we deal with others, difficult situations, or even ourselves. Sometimes we have to release a lot—possessions, relationships, limiting beliefs, or the need to be right. It’s certainly no cake walk, but the freedom that follows cannot be duplicated. As soon as we began to trust the Universe knows what’s in our best interest, it becomes a bit easier to have faith and loosen our tight grip.

After we become aware, find trust, and let go, we can finally allow. The beauty of this is when we accept what is, we do not have to do anything. All that is required is to get out of our own way and let what is happen. Like the other steps, this was difficult for me. I’d revert to my controlling tendencies. But slowly, I’m resisting the urge to fix, alter, or mold things as I want them to be. It’s hard but worth the effort because the more we resist, the more something persists. Yet when we allow and accept things as they appear, life begins to flow more smoothly.

Do I have an exceptional life? I don’t know. While I most definitely face challenges, have many flaws, and continue to struggle with reoccurring themes, life is pretty awesome. And, for the first time in forever, I can honestly say that I am happy—with my relationships, my faith, my work, my community, and myself. There are most definitely numerous opportunities for evolution and improvement. But isn’t that exciting, and don’t you think growth is necessary for exceptionality? For if we know what lies ahead and had all of the tools to deal with tomorrow, where would the adventure be? And having access to that crystal ball so we could see our future might actually suppress what we capable of becoming.

Consider exceptionality … push the limits … discover what could be … elevate ... so that you can experience your greatest life.


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