How to Live Your Best Life. / by Kia Jarmon

“I’m living my best life…”

I truly am living my absolute best life. But let me tell you, much like owning a small business, or building relationships with others, or being a parent, it is a lot of ongoing, hard work.

As I reflect on that work, it sometimes feels very “Iyanla Fix My Life-ish.” Though, quite frankly it’s not made for tv.

While we are in the season of endings and beginnings and gratitude and thanksgiving, I thought I’d share some of my tools to living my absolute best life.

I do hope it helps.

Smile -

Why? Because you’re alive. Somebody you know didn’t make it, and that’s enough to smile for. You’re healthier than the person who was buried today. Likely, even in challenging moments, you’ve been afforded something to smile about. Notice that I’m not telling you to be happy. That will take more work. But smiling either out of true joy or anticipation of it, can change your days outcome. When I catch myself, even while writing this, I crack a smile because it changes my outlook but also the frown in my forehead, the glow in my eyes, and my posture. Try it.

kia jarmon smile

Give grace…

…to yourself: It’s really, really easy to criticize every moment you consider a mistake or shortcoming. But here’s another perspective. Did you die? Did the building burn down? Were you severely harmed? Or, was your ego bruised? Likely the latter is what provokes the spirit of perfection. Perfection can be damaging. There are always areas to improve upon. That’s how we learn and grow. Give yourself room to do that. Constantly seek grace for yourself, or you might find yourself unable to pull it together in the roughest moments. Extending grace today can be helpful as you build a reserve of future grace-filled moments.

…to others: it’s equally as easy to cast doubt, hate, and a snide view on others. Let’s be honest, every day we teeter between judgement and curiosity, often landing on the former. Find a way to remember when you needed someone to have grace for you. Remember a time when you were in a similar position and sought help and no one was there. Remember when you prayed for a different outcome and received it. All of those moments could be different with or without grace. A person who looks like you or is different from you, speaks like you or can’t speak at all, lives in your neighborhood or is two lifetimes away, they all need grace.

Be accountable…

…to yourself: my dad used to say, “you can lie to me, but you can’t lie to yourself.” There is something about being accountable for your behavior, your attitude, or your thinking, and the way you manage them all. After you’ve accessed those areas of your life, there is likely nothing that a person can say to you that you don’t know about yourself. It might not feel great or you might not like the person that it came from, but you can stand strongly in your own stuff. And, you can seek, everyday, to make a change. Accountability is the mirror we are often running from. Stand in the physical mirror and know that you are who you are, and to change, you must first hold yourself accountable.

And, hold others accountable, too.

As you’re doing the work of holding yourself accountable, you also have to hold others accountable. Let’s be clear, this is not about holding them to what you want for yourself - though I believe that could be important too as you set boundaries and rules. Instead, this is about holding them to what they say and do. You are not responsible for holding others up when they aren’t willing to also stand in their truth. You might even have to hold them accountable from a distance, that is ok too.

Incorporate a gratitude statement or affirmation.

It’s not always easy to find the words that express your gratitude for the life you have. I have found that you have to appreciate that now-ness of where you are in order to seek and receive a future worth also being grateful for. To do that, you might have to find or write your own affirmation or gratitude statement.

I’ve placed a couple of my own affirmations written a few years ago below for you to use, as you need. Read the same one daily or until you are ready to move to another one.

Serve others -

Last, but certainly not least, we are to serve others. In our most brokenness or our abundance, in our most joyful or in depressive economic times, we are to give to others. Serving others is the highest calling we have. There are countless videos, podcasts, and news stories to remind us that there are folks worse than we are. We are often wrapped up in our own “stuff” that we forget that it takes absolutely nothing but an able body or mind to help another person. Sometimes it is as simple as a share on social media, an email introduction, or sitting with someone during their times of despair. Other times, it’s showing up during the most inconvenient times to convenience someone else. No matter the magnitude, it’s our responsibility, especially if we’ve lived a life of gratitude, to create a path for someone else to walk a little lighter.

Did any of this help you? I hope it is a reminder that you are likely already living a life worth living that is amazing and filled with special-ness. It’s my responsibility to help you see a different perspective to achieve a different outcome. Let me know how you’re doing as you navigate your way to your best life.

kia jarmon affirmation

Oh, and have you developed an affirmation you love? Share below!

Affirm today with Kia J:

- I will forget yesterday and not think about tomorrow but instead be totally present for today. I desire to experience the fullness of the day; celebrating even the smallest successes, appreciating love that blossoms, and providing smiles for mishaps that try and push there way through. And so it is.

- This day was made just for me. Every second is intentionally gifted so that I can make the most of it. I recognize that whatever time I waste I have to repay to myself. So, I will spend every moment like it’s the only one. And so it is.

- When my feet hit the floor it seals the confirmation and promise that my Source gave me that my day is filled with abundant expectations. I will not take my first step without preparing my heart and mind for the receipt of a fulfilled day. And so it is.