With sunshine and mild temperatures all year around, Southern California lays the groundwork for a living lightly approach to life. If you have ever spent some time especially in the beach areas of SoCal, you have most likely come across friendly, laid-back, and outgoing people that seem to enjoy their existence. It’s as if they are just a little happier, a little more carefree, enjoying life just a little more. One could think the vitamin D makes for happy thoughts and an elevated mood. And while this might partially be true, we believe that many southern Californians accept who they are, living out their true personalities.

Taking It One Day at a Time

SoCal I
Seeing life through the net of equanimity and balance – Venice Beach, CA, USA

Here by the Pacific Ocean, down south in California, the majority of residents seem to see life through the net of equanimity. One gets the impression that the alignment of the physical and mental space plays a bigger role than anywhere else. Balance is a great concept and it comes with what’s at their fingertips: the diverse natural surroundings. Those have a great impact on how people feel and choose to live life. The circumstances make it easier to define a life of happiness and actively choose to be more aware of the alignment between body, spirit, and soul.

Oh Joie de Vivre

Here, you get sucked into a lifestyle that is refreshing and rejuvenating. The underlying philosophy makes total sense: relax a little more, go with the flow. And then, take it one day at a time. This lighthearted approach to life is true inspiration. It’s easy and energizing like the mild, salty ocean breeze on our faces as we watch the peaceful sunset.

If you are in a beautiful place where you can enjoy sunrise and sunset, then you are living […] – Nathan Phillips

Even if you meet people in SoCal who are financially not as blessed, the joie de vivre they exude is contagious. They don’t always think about what tomorrow will bring; they don’t worry life away. It’s the present that seems to matter more than anything else.

We get inspired to trust in the process – each dusk and dawn cycle at a time. Why not simply let life guide you? Let’s not be too hard on ourselves.

SoCal’s creative approach to life is inspiring. When you can be anything you want and chase after whatever vision you have in a more playful way, living lighter becomes easier, as the constraints of society are being shaken off.

Creating a “Light Life” for Yourself

SoCal II
Actively choosing to do what fuels our souls to live a happier life – Venice Beach, CA, USA

The “Living Light Philosophy” goes back to Mr. Richard P. Goodwin. It’s also more commonly known as the “Law of Personal Responsibility”. In that sense, we are solely responsible for our own lives. If this sounds slightly intimidating and like too much responsibility, because we all like a little bit of fate guiding our lives in the right direction, we should let a positive light shine on it. This only gives us the opportunity to choose the path we want to take, and especially how we want to walk it. We have been given choice. Hence, this philosophy emphasizes the fact that we are the masters of our own fate. We can choose our experiences, how we want to act and react to life’s curveballs and other surprises that we might not have thorough control over.

Happiness Is a Decision

Based on the thought above, we can create a “light” life for ourselves, in that we have the power to control our thoughts and acts, tailored to the life we envision. At any given time, we can consciously decide to go for happiness.

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute […] – Denis Waitley

And it seems that, especially here in southern California, people – whether knowingly or simply based on their nature – have understood and internalized this philosophy. They appear carefree, expressing themselves in different creative forms, even enjoying life with less. Many of them go about their days after the basic principles of “living lightly” – oftentimes literally. Granted, the work-life balance – having to make money for a living but also fueling soul and spirit – is easier to achieve in a place like SoCal.

Awareness and Mindfulness

Reminding yourself to practice mindfulness and even a tad bit of spirituality is key to experiencing a lifestyle like SoCal residents do. Find your inner zen and build on it.

We can free ourselves from the patterns that imprison us, the stress, and the busy lifestyles we live. Let SoCal be the inspiration. You just have to spend a few minutes on a beach boardwalk to see: people are just living life. With all the feelings and emotions. Wonderfully light. They embrace it.

We have the ability to take action, take it back one step and choose to go slower, to be able to feel life, all its moments, and not just rush through it. It takes effort to step outside of those daily limitations, stop the autopilot, and realize that there are, indeed other, healthier ways to live. What do our souls seek? It’s that inner voice we need to listen to more closely. Have you tried it? Journey inward. How do certain things make you feel? Do they serve your true desires? If they don’t: Let go. It will make you feel free. It’s truly liberating. Weight is lifted off your shoulders and all of a sudden you feel light.