Living your best life every day is about feeling good – or how about great? It’s possible! And we’re human, so we all have days when we’re feeling not-so-great; living your best life is also about being at peace with that. If you imagine what your best life looks like, living it means you’re looking for that in every moment – being grateful for that life every day as you create it, no matter what comes your way.
Recently I had the honor of interviewing Taylor Wells at her home in Newton, Massachusetts. Taylor is the owner of Prana Power Yoga studios, creator of the blog Super-Mom.com, blogger and columnist for the Boston Herald, blogger on wholepregnancy.org, and author of Create the Best Life Ever (book and cards) – as well as a dedicated wife to her “soulmate”, and mother of five children. The vibe in her house is a refreshing mix of giddy and calm — sparkling ceramic cupcakes and wooden Buddhas. While we spoke, her children where fluttering in and out of the kitchen where we were talking, but respected their mom’s work time. In our interview she was clear, happy, and totally present. Taylor believes you can live your ideal life and make every day “your best day ever” – and she practices what she preaches.
It’s hard for some moms to even find time to shower or put dinner on the table – how can you live your ideal life when you feel overscheduled and exhausted? Taylor notes that a very important step in moving from where you are now to your ideal life is using the power of written affirmations. “Your mind is always moving,” Taylor says, “so it’s important to just catch it” – and move it in the right direction. “I used to write myself little reminders and leave them around the house – ‘breathe’ on the bathroom mirror, ‘relax more, appreciate more, all is well’ in my bag. I’d be feeling overwhelmed and then I’d come across one of these notes.” The messages helped pull her out of autopilot and point her toward the life she wanted: one of happiness, love, positivity, focus, calm, and more. It all begins with your beliefs, what you consider your reality. If you’re saying “I’m exhausted,” you affirm that, and create more of the same. If you catch yourself and affirm “relax more, all is well,” you feel calmer – and you create more of the same.
I’ve been using these reminders for about 20 years – in my own life, and to help others,” Taylor says. “Some of my clients needed help creating positive messages, so I’d share my quotes with them, which they’d use in their own daily lives. After seeing how well they worked, I recently developed them into a deck of cards for anyone who can benefit.” Taylor made a deck of cards from her reminders, so other people can use the same messages to guide them toward a more fulfilling and peaceful life. Each card has a quote on each side that helps you focus on what’s going right – to help you see the positive, feel good, move toward your best day, your best life. The cards take maybe 10 seconds to read, but make a huge impact; they literally change your life. For example – what if you unexpectedly get a couple hours free and you go get a manicure instead of cleaning the house? “I think a lot of moms feel guilty all the time, no matter what they do,” Taylor says. “If they work, if they don’t work, if they go to the gym, if they don’t go to the gym, if they get a manicure … but our guilt doesn’t have to do with others; it has to do with us. So I have a new card that says, ‘My happiness is the biggest gift I can give anyone.’” If getting a manicure feels good, do it. Caring for yourself allows you to care for others. “When you’re happy, your family is happy.”
Making time for self-care is important – but how can you fit it into your busy schedule? “‘Busy’ is a four letter word!” Taylor laughs. “I use the word ‘abundant’ … and I have a set of Time cards just for moms, including ‘I have all the time I need,’ and ‘I do things in a relaxed and focused manner.’ The Time cards change your relationship to time, and then you actually do really have all the time you need.” And she notes that your kids also pick up on that – how you handle pressure and stress. “I think teaching your kids through your own actions that you have all the time you need is one of the best gifts we can give them.”
Should people just use the deck, or write their own cards too? “Wherever you are on the emotional scale, there’s something in here for everyone,” she says, so for many, using just the deck can be enough. “These work for anyone – but sometimes you will want to hand-pick. And I do really believe the more you do this practice, you pick exactly what you need. It’s uncanny.” You can also write your own, using positive affirmations in the present tense. “I encourage people to do whatever feels good – everyone is so different and everyone is always changing.”
She also notes that one card can speak to someone one way, and the same card can mean something totally different to someone else – and both are right. “One of my cards says, ‘When I’m overwhelmed the Universe is giving me what I asked for, I’m just not ready to receive it.’ We’re all human, we get overwhelmed. But if the card helps you to catch yourself in that moment and say, ‘this is just what I asked for,’ you’ll calm down. Or that card will motivate you to either a) take some stuff off your plate, or b) stomp your foot and say, ‘I’m supermom. I asked for this and I’m ready for it – yes, this is just what I asked for.’ I love that card! It gives me the chills.”
I do my best with breath.
–from Taylor’s Best Life Ever Deck
Taylor uses the cards every day. “In my bathroom, in my kitchen. And I will pull some randomly and put them out – sometimes I’ll pull one or two and put them on the counter, sometimes I put a bunch out while I’m brushing my teeth so I see them every time I go into the bathroom.” It’s just a part of her lifestyle – and her family’s. “For the kids, it’s having them read the messages, but it’s also that they see me using them all the time – and they see them up on the wall. But I also have paper copies of the cards and put them in their lunch boxes.” She even includes messages in the lunches of her youngest who aren’t reading yet. “Their teachers read it to them. The phrase might not be totally applicable to a three year old, but I’m just always planting the seeds.” And the positive effects on the whole family are noticeable over time. Taylor remembers a time years ago when she felt overwhelmed while preparing for a big trip.
“Inevitably the day we were leaving, some big thing blew up where I had to take care of things that were completely unrelated. My daughter asked me to take her somewhere, and I said, ‘I’m just so overwhelmed!’ And she said to me, ‘you know, I heard that when you’re overwhelmed you’re getting what you want, but you’re just not ready to receive it’ – she quoted me back to me! And I stopped dead in my tracks. And then I just started laughing and I was totally fine. So the Universe will always give you just what you need.”
In her book, Create the Best Life Ever, Taylor talks about her pillars toward living her best life – movement, eating mindfully, her daily affirmations. But as a wife, mother of five, author, blogger and businesswoman – how does she do it? Taylor notes that creating a daily practice is the foundation for all of the other steps you can take toward creating your best life. “I love creating my day every day. But it takes effort; it is a daily, focused practice. I know a lot of parents are just surviving, and they feel overwhelmed – feeling like, ‘I can’t create anything, I’m just getting by.’ I’m creating and manifesting amongst the normal chaos of life. But it’s a conscious decision.” Create a daily practice, no matter now little time you start with. Everything starts with a first step – take that first step and commit to it every day. Then integrate the next step. You will head in the right direction, toward the best life you’ve imagined, and soon you’ll see you’re living your best life every day.
And Taylor continues to write her cards according to what is happening in her life now. For instance, she has been writing more cards focused on time. “One of my favorite new cards is not ‘I am caught up on everything,’ but ‘I am always ahead on everything.’ I wrote that because I used to say to my husband all the time, ‘I just want to get caught up! Just clear out the email!’ So one day it occurred to me, just those two words – ‘caught up’ – indicate what? That I’m behind.” Taylor realized she kept affirming she was behind, even as she was focusing every day on catching up. “I used to get up at 4:00 a.m. years ago and just write emails for hours before I started my day, and finally I was like, ‘This is terrible! I have to find a better way.’ So that moment, I wrote: ‘I’m always ahead on everything.’ The next day, within 24 hours, I was ahead on everything – the emails, the blogs, the photo albums online – everything. True story! All I know is that everything came together: the card calmed me down, and then the reality presented itself.” That’s the power of affirmations.
Your thoughts and words really do create your reality. So think big!
Clearing your chakras
An excerpt from Taylor’s book, Create the Best Life Ever: Real Life Stories to Get Inspired
It’s important to keep your energy clean and clear. Sometimesothers may “suck you dry” (unintentionally of course), and sometimes situations or environments drain our energy. That is why clearing our energy is an important tool. Here are five steps to protect your energy:
- Every morning when you wake up, before you get out of bed, thank the Universe for all that you are grateful for.
- Close your eyes and visualize your second chakra open like a flower. Perhaps use your hands to mimic an open flower. See the flower (maybe a daisy or any flower with petals) and see its color and texture. The color and texture may change daily.
- See the open flower (chakra) closing, perhaps using your hands to mimic a flower closing its petals. Once it’s “closed” that chakra is shielded.
- Move to the third chakra (solar plexus) and repeat steps two
- Move to your heart chakra and do almost the same things described in steps two and three, except don’t close it. See it open and beautiful.
- For Moms: If doing all five steps feels like too much at first, begin with the first step and slowly build on the other steps as you feel comfortable.
For Kids: Add a gratitude exercise into your day — at the dinner table or tucked into bed at night, have your kids share what they are grateful for.