“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
Are you doing the inner work of being in the daily space of appreciation? Can you easily count your blessings?
Embracing gratitude in your own heart and mind is so essential for living ones most positive and joyful life. All the inspirational and motivational teachers encourage us to reach for that lovely “attitude of gratitude” — for when we can be in that energy, we are more optimistic and we draw more positive aspects into our reality. This definitely goes hand in hand with living an uplifting “Law of Attraction” kind of life!
Though on a theoretical level, I am totally on board with immersing myself in the feeling of appreciation, sometimes on a practical day-to-day basis, it is not always the easiest task for me personally. It is not that I am not grateful — I am certainly appreciative of my own unique and beautiful path. Sometimes it is too easy to let those “low vibration” feelings of being judgmental and critical take over. As humans living a very physical existence, we experience a wide spectrum of emotions. At times, you may find yourself sliding into the murkiness of those darker, less noble feelings. Of course, for your own well-being, it is so important to minimize these times, and motivate and teach yourself to spend way more time in “the light” with more uplifting and compassionate emotions.
Gratitude and appreciation are an excellent place to be! And sometimes when in the midst of challenges and judgement, you should just “stop, drop and APPRECIATE” — take stock of your blessings. Everyone has a list of aspects to be grateful for — even if you have to look a bit more closely to find happiness-inspiring things that you may have been taking for granted.
Appreciate the people in your life — who are those at the top of your list that bring such joy and love into your reality? Focus on them — be glad to have them… Let them know of your appreciation. Don’t ever be afraid or hesitant to say “I appreciate you.” Or hone in on something specific that someone has done that has been ultra-pleasing to you, and thank them for that wonderful action that they have taken on your behalf. They will be heartwarmingly delighted to hear of your appreciation and their vibrational level will go up — as will yours!
Be grateful for the STUFF in your life — whether it be as abstractly lovely as the scenic natural landscape outside your front door or as simple, modern and small as your brand new iPad mini… Find all things that you personally can appreciate. Look at aspects of your life in new and enchanting ways — allow your heart to be uplifted.
Remember, appreciation is a conscious choice! You have the ability to truly immerse in this — you just have to decide to take the steps and feel the feelings.
One idea is to keep a gratitude journal and write down several things each day for which you are grateful. This helps crystallize your thoughts and feelings into ones of optimistic, appreciative ones. And it may help you see more clearly the blessings that do exist for you.
Or make a mental “Gratitude List” — take a few moments of your day to do some brief reflecting on what you love and enjoy and feel blessed to have in your life. These will be moments well spent and leave you with that tingly, feel-good emotion.
Sitting in nature (even looking out a window that opens on a natural scene) can be uplifting — I enjoy being outside on a windy day in the warmer weather, when it is actually overcast. I find the warm wind blowing against my face and skin to somehow be both sweetly comforting and invigorating and in those moments I am in the beautiful space of mindfulness, peacefulness and appreciation — a feel-good “triple whammy” of positive emotion. I feel as if I am an integral part of nature, at one with the wind and the elements.
Of course, you don’t need to wait for a specific set of conditions to feel gratitude. But when those conditions happen for you (whatever they are) be sure to totally and deeply immerse yourself, because those feelings will stay with you and inspire you. Be open to the flow of gratitude and abundance.
And spend more time in that glorious place of pure appreciation — it will impact your life in an amazing and positive way!
- I live and breathe in the space of gratitude each day.
- I take time to reflect on all the uplifting elements in my life — to observe and appreciate my blessings!
- Optimism and appreciation are a conscious choice, and I choose to navigate in the ocean of feel-good emotion.
Actitud Positiva – Gratitud y Bendiciones
Traducción de Elena Calderaro
“Cultiva la costumbre de agradecer por todo el bien que recibes y dar gracias contínuamente. Y debido a que todas las cosas han contribuido a tu adelanto, debes incluirlas en tu gratitud.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“El fundamento de toda abundancia es reconocer el bien que ya existe en tu vida.”
— Eckhart Tolle, Una Nueva Tierra: Un Despertar al Propósito de su Vida
¿Estás trabajando con tu ser interior para vivir diariamente en actitud de agradecimiento? ¿Puedes contar tus bendiciones fácilmente?
Para vivir de manera positiva y feliz es esencial abrazar la gratitud en tu propio corazón y en tu mente. Todos los maestros inspiradores y motivadores nos animan a alcanzar el bello “estado de gratitud” — ya que cuando logramos estar en esa energía somos más optimistas y obtenemos aspectos más positivos en nuestra realidad. Esto y el vivir una vida al estilo “Ley de la Atracción”, ¡definitivamente van mano a mano!
Sin embargo, a nivel teórico, estoy totalmente de acuerdo con sumergirme en el sentimiento de gratitud, aunque al ponerlo en la práctica día-a-día no es una tarea fácil para mí personalmente. No es que no sea agradecida — francamente aprecio mi camino bello y único, pero algunas veces es muy fácil permitir que se apoderen los sentimientos de “baja vibración”, sentenciosos y críticos. Como humanos vivimos existencias muy físicas y experimentamos una amplia gama de emociones. A veces te encuentras deslizándote en la punumbra de los sentimientos más oscuros y menos nobles. Por supuesto que para tu propio bienestar es importante minimizar esos momentos y motivarte y enseñarte tú mismo a pasar más tiempo en “la luz”, con emociones más edificantes y compasivas.
¡Un lugar excelente donde debes estar es en la energía de gratitud y aprecio! Y a veces, en medio de desafíos y críticas, debes simplemente “parar, liberar y AGRADECER” — contar tus bendiciones. Cada uno tiene una lista de aspectos que agradecer — aunque debas buscarlos con más detenimiento para poder encontrar las circuntancias que inspiran en tí la felicidad que das por sentado.
Aprecia a las personas en tu vida — ¿quienes son las que están al comienzo de tu lista y que traen tanta felicidad y amor a tu realidad? Enfócate en ellas — alégrate de tenerlas… Déjales saber que las aprecias. No temas ni vaciles en decir “Te aprecio.” Analiza algo específico que alguien haya hecho por tí que te ha agradado enormemente y agradécele ese gesto maravilloso. Quedará encantado al saber que lo aprecias y su nivel vibracional se elevará — ¡al igual que el tuyo!
Agradece por todas las COSAS en tu vida — ya sea por la hermosa y pintoresca vista de la naturaleza frente a tu casa o simplemente por algo tan simple como tu moderno, pequeño y nuevo iPad mini… Encuentra las cosas que tú puedes apreciar personalmente. Analiza los aspectos en tu vida de maneras nuevas y encantadoras — permite que tu corazón se eleve.
Recuerda, el agradecimiento es una elección consciente! Tienes la habilidad para sumergirte verdaderamente en ésto — sólo tienes que decidir tomar los pasos y percibir los sentimientos.
Una buena idea es mantener un diario de gratitud y escribir todos los días varias cosas por las cuales estás agradecido. Esto te ayuda a cristalizar los pensamientos y sentimientos a unos más optimistas y agradecidos. Y te ayudará a ver más claro las bendiciones que existen en tu vida.
O haz una “Lista de Gratitud” mental — saca el rato cada día para reflexionar brevemente en lo que amas, disfrutas y te hace sentir bendecido de tener en tu vida. Estos serán ratos de buen provecho y te dejarán con una linda sensación de bienestar.
Estar en la naturaleza (o simplemente mirarla por la ventana) puede ser reconfortante — Yo disfruto del aire libre en los días ventosos y nublados del verano. Siento que el viento tibio en la cara y en la piel me estimula y vigoriza, y en esos momentos me encuentro en un espacio de conciencia, paz y agradecimiento — es como ganarse una lotería de triple emoción positiva. Siento como si fuera parte integral de la naturaleza, donde el viento, los elementos y yo somos uno.
Desde luego que para sentir agradecimiento no hay que esperar por ciertas condiciones específicas. Pero cuando te encuentras con esas condiciones (cualquiera que sea) asegúrate de sumergirte total y profundamente en ellas porque esos sentimientos permanecerán contigo y te inspirarán. Mantente abierto al flujo de la gratitud y la abundancia.
Y pasa más tiempo en ese glorioso lugar de agradecimiento puro — ¡ya que hará un impacto en tu vida de manera asombrosa y positiva!
- Todos los días vivo y respiro en el sentimiento de gratitud.
- Saco el rato para reflexionar sobre todos los elementos edificantes en mi vida — y para observar y agradecer mis bendiciones!
- El optimismo y el agradecimiento se eligen conscientemente, y yo elijo navegar en el mar de los buenos sentimientos.
What is the major malady that people complain about? What is the ailment that brings most of my clients to me for Reiki sessions? If you have guessed “stress” then you are absolutely right. Stress and its negative effects are a challenge to much of modern society.
We are all incredibly crazy-busy — multitasking throughout our daily lives, trying to juggle and balance all aspects and facets that fill up each day for us. Between all this time management of home/family, business/work — our lives are PACKED! Theoretically, technology should make things easier — but often it only serves to add more complex and time consuming tasks to our day-to-day reality. Yes, I refer to smartphones, tablets, iPads, computers, etc! We are a nation consumed by stuff to do and stuff to keep up with on our devices — because of this we never truly have any “time off.” I am reminded of this every day in my own personal world view. And I am certainly not immune to all the emotions that this encompasses.
Do you see yourself in this picture of total “full-plate” day-to-day living?
We used to speak about the optimistic perspective of looking at life with the glass “half full.” The current reality is that we look at life with the glass as “over-full” — little time for stillness or downtime. Quietude sometimes appears to be a thing of the past.
If you check out the actual definition of “stress” in a dictionary, there are varied meanings. However, in terms of physiology, stress is a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.
To me, stress is a buildup of extreme tension within ones body and energetic field, causing an imbalance or state of “disharmony”.
Let’s face it, when one is stressed, you feel anxious, uptight, tense — basically feeling not-so-good — and this results in negative thought patterns as well. When these negative thoughts remain with you for a prolonged period of time, the emotions surrounding them lodge even further in the physical/mental body and cause the manifestation of symptoms such as digestive issues, psychological imbalances, and even serious diseases…
So basically, you want to release stress — the feeling and thinking of it! You need to strive to be in the flow of peacefulness within — and if that sounds next to impossible, then just aim at being in the flow of “semi-serenity.” Living a peaceful modern life is a bit of an oxymoron… But for your own well-being, it is essential to adapt a “mindset of mindfulness” and personal quietude with an ability to go within when things outside you and surrounding you fall into disarray and turmoil.
Realistically, it is never truly possible to quiet every thing in your external world — life these days is pretty noisy. So it is so critical to quiet your internal world when you need a break from the frantic pace that life sometimes morphs into.
Meditation is a classic, timeless practice that can certainly help with this.
The attitude of mindfulness — of being truly present in the now moment — can help with this.
Just closing your eyes and focusing on your breath while taking some long, slow cleansing belly breaths can help with this.
Five to ten minutes of simply going into stillness and tuning out the clamor and clutter of a busy environment can be utterly rejuvenating.
And sometimes you just have to develop the determined outlook that in your heart, you are going to remain serene, no matter what discord people “throw” at you, no matter what hectic happenings crop up in your little corner of the world.
You do not have to allow stress to overtake you. You can choose to create your own unique perspective of tranquility. And that doesn’t mean you have to go meditate on a mountain top or follow a ritual of silence in a monastery…
You can always access the peace within — that beautiful, glorious inner light that reminds you of your Divine or Universal connection, that reminds you that at your core, you come from a place of serenity and clarity. And if you can connect in with this, you will be more in tune with your soul purpose here on Planet Earth…as well as more joyful and of course, more in that radiant stream of well-being…
- I tune in to my inner rhythms to remain peaceful, especially during challenging or turbulent times.
- Despite what happens around me, I remain tranquil within my heart and mind.
- I make a conscious choice each moment and each day to embrace an attitude of serenity!
Are you easily captivated by negative happenings in the news and the world? It is hard not to be these days with all so many varied acts of violence and terror not just in the United States but all over the world.
The horrific terrorist shooting in Orlando, FL and the attack on the Istanbul airport in Turkey are the latest in the list of tragedies. Of course, it is difficult not not get caught up in the wave of sadness and disgust over this. Any compassionate person would be moved and outraged. And the media coverage only serves to intensify the tragic focus on these events.
However, as riveted as you might be, it is important for your own sense of well being to not let yourself get riled up with a sense of animosity and hostility toward those responsible for these violent acts.
It is essential to remain in a place of personal peace.
For negativity begets more negativity. Violent thoughts lead to more hostility.
Sometimes one needs to take a step back from the incessant media coverage. And cultivate a “thick skin” to keep a sense of insulation against all the anger and animosity.
Of course, you will be in the know of what is happening. Yet, strive to be nonjudgmental and as non-reactive as possible.
Tune in to your own inner peace, your serene and beautiful inner light. This is a conscious action that you are absolutely capable of doing. Maybe it means turning off the TV. Or staying away from printed news articles. Or looking away from some of the internet coverage.
And do not feel guilty about stepping back from it. For peace certainly begins with YOU.
It is not like looking away — it is just looking within.
There are so many uplifting and positive things taking place in this world upon which to focus. Make an effort to give your attention to those happenings. To those feel-good stories and events — they will make your heart sing. And there ARE plenty of these that you can find in your outer reality — check Facebook for these too!
When you remain in the stream of peacefulness, you can then shine your own personal beacon — your joyful, loving light of tolerance and compassion… to illuminate those dark spaces where fear may reside… to engender an amazing and uplifting ripple effect around you and out into the world, beginning with you.
Be that enlightened bringer/bearer of love…
- It is joyful and healing for me to focus on positive things that happen in my environment and in the world.
- I tune in to the peace within, and strive to remain non-reactive and nonjudgmental toward that difficult happenings in my outer reality.
- I choose to be in the mindset of peacefulness and compassion — and to let my actions reflect this uplifting attitude.
How do you feel when you first awaken — when you first come to morning consciousness? Perhaps you awaken gently and peacefully — or you might be summoned awake by a piercing alarm. Either way, do you generally feel positive and eager to face the day? Or are you cranky and thinking of the overwhelm of everything you need to accomplish that day?
How you initially greet the day can have a very powerful impact on how your day unfolds. If you start out in a negative way, chances are the flow of the day will bring much of the same.
It is essential to strive to welcome your new set of 24 hours in a positive, joyful mindset. Even if everything in your life is not totally perfect (and let’s face it, whose life is completely perfect anyway) you can still muster a connection to optimistic thoughts. In fact, I believe it is to critical to do so for your own good…
In general, our attitude and our thought patterns affect our ability to align with the flow of well-being And it has certainly been shown that successful, happy people have an uncanny knack for thinking happy, fulfilling thoughts and keeping their mindset in the stream of positivity.
Anyone can do this — it is a purely conscious choice. However, for some it is easy and for others, it is such a challenge.
Personally, I believe that the morning is what sets your tone for the remainder of the day, so your morning thoughts — and your morning rituals — are seriously important.
Coming to consciousness and recognizing comfort in your immediate surrounding is a simple and easy way to begin. So instead of thinking: “I have that awful meeting today, or I have to deal with that difficult person, so and so…” move away from those negative, downtrodden thoughts that might appear first thing like annoying pop-ups in the computer window of your psyche. Instead, just think about how cozy your bed was for your evening’s respite, how soft your pillow is, how pretty the sunlight is streaming in the window, or how peaceful the gentle sound of rain is outside… or how sweet it is to have your beloved canine laying devotedly at the foot of the bed… Whatever you can personally quickly focus on for a momentary thought-saunter into the “positive” will be helpful
The next mental step is to reach for a more definite moment of gratitude or appreciation. Affirm that you look to this day with gratitude for all the uplifting possibilities it will hold. Open your arms wide (in actuality or just figuratively) and be receptive to all the GOOD that your day will bring. Set your intention for being in the space of RECEIVING.
If you have a morning practice, that is a beautiful way to start the day. And by this I mean meditation, prayer, intention, affirmations, etc.
My friend, Gloria, who is a hypnotherapist, presented a workshop where she encouraged participants to follow a simple, but very uplifting morning practice of positive statements to welcome their day. I so enjoy using these statements and here are a few:
Today will be a great day.
I have a good life.
My body is strong and healthy.
I move with vitality and vigor.
I am excited about the future.
Life is a fascinating adventure.
Can’t you just feel the joyfully magnetic pull of these words inspiring and uplifting you? Find several affirmations that resonate with you and recite them in the morning. Let them add a lovely flavor of optimism to your morning thought patterns.
If your morning can include a little physical exercise, that in itself can be invigorating and will awaken your endorphins to initiate you into a day of more positive sensations.
If you have breakfast (and the healthy experts advise us all to do this with nutritious fare that will fuel our physical bodies) then be mindful at breakfast. Really enjoy what you eat and focus on the nutrients energizing and preparing your body to have an amazing, strong and healthy day.
There are so many different ways you can move away from early morning negativity. Greet each day as if it counts, as if it is meaningful. Greet each day as if you are HAPPY — and as they say, if you need to “fake it till you make it” that is okay because acting happy will inspire real joy!
Begin tomorrow as you awaken — “carpe diem” — seize the day! And behold it from a powerfully positive perspective… You are WORTHY of happiness.
- I greet this day with positivity and appreciation.
- I am open to all the new and exciting possibilities that this day may bring.
- I set my intention to be mindful today, to focus on the present moment with clarity and optimism.
Are you tuned in, tapped in, connected — to technology, that is? Do you often check to see exactly where your smartphone is — maybe pat your pockets, check your purse etc.? If you should by any chance forget your phone for a short errand, do you panic and feel naked?
Welcome to modern life and the way it is here in our corner of Planet Earth.
At the beginning of all my Reiki sessions and classes I always ask clients and students to please silence their phones. And though everyone seems quick to agree to do this, I often find that people tend to leave their phone on vibrate. So sometimes during the session or a class, suddenly I will hear this distracting humming, moving vibration going on. It is almost as if people cannot bear to disconnect fully from their devices.
Are you personally guilty of an overly close connection to your mobile device or your tablet?
Don’t be embarrassed to admit it because I too, can totally relate to this feeling.
Our devices play a significant and essential role in our lives. With the internet literally at our fingertips, whatever information we need from that grand “encyclopedia” of the world wide web is right at our whim and command. Plus any kind of music we wish to hear is readily available!
What about that hypnotic draw of Social Media? It is easy to become addicted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The amount of information, videos, sayings, expressions, et al. can just keep ones attention riveted…
From buying movie tickets to grocery delivery to the huge variety of merchandise on Amazon Prime that comes right to our doorstep in a matter of days, these little devices have definitely revolutionized the way we live and make our purchases.
And our little ones — the children — are also extremely connected at young ages. From having the iPad accompany my grandson for dinner at times, as well as toddler videos playing for him before bedtime as a sleep aid, this way of life is going to shape the up and coming generations — and perhaps some of it might not be all that positive.
That is why, for all of us, no matter what age, it is essential to remember to take a break from those flickering, backlit screens and simply spend some time in quietude and stillness. Do you make a conscious effort to “disconnect” a little bit each day?
Spending time in nature — whether observing, walking or just sitting peacefully outdoors — begs us to just be in the NOW moment and silence our little chatty, dinging mobile “friend”. Outdoor time is so important for rejuvenating our psyche and our spirit — as well as our physical bodies. We need to just enjoy the beauty of Mother Earth. We need to place our feet on the earth — bare feet is even better as long as it is safe ground — to powerfully connect with the vibration of our beautiful planet.
And don’t forget about when you are out socially with other people, turn down the volume or silence the ringer and really immerse yourself in lovely company of your family or friends. Forget about your relationship with your phone for an hour — or four! I think the younger people are more guilty of this. I consider it “socially incorrect” but probably the younger generations consider it the norm. I see so many people at restaurants texting and emailing in the midst of family dinners and outings with friends. And do I do it once in awhile — sure — but I make that specific effort to put my phone away and really focus on those that I am with at the moment.
Moments of stillness, silence and peacefulness — even brief — can be remarkably re-energizing. Sometimes I just hear that little voice in my head (my inner guidance) chiding me “okay, enough work, enough computer/phone/tablet, enough DOING — just sit in the space of stillness for a few minutes.” Sometimes this “break” is an actual period of meditation. Sometimes it is purely just focusing on some deep slow breathing, just helping me center myself and relax. And sometimes it is just “stillness” — nothingness. No point of attention, no special breathing, just BEING. And I always feel better and re-charged afterward.
My cats do it all the time — engage in the practice of mindfulness, just sitting serenely, so in the moment, so JOYFUL! Of course, they don’t have little kitty iPhones to disconnect from. Though I have seen some Facebook videos of kitties playing with fishy games on tablets!
So I ask you to be more aware of your technology in terms of knowing when to shut it off or take some time away. Tune in to your own inner rhythm. Connect with the vibration of the Earth — or the Universe – and allow peacefulness to flow…
- I make time each day for moments of stillness and peacefulness.
- I unplug and disconnect from electronics, and take time to tune in to my inner guidance system.
- I am a focused listener and pay full attention when someone is sharing their thoughts and feelings.
Even When they Are Family
A Personal Experience Story
We forged a close bond in an unusual way. It was those long car commutes to and from my corporate job many years ago — I on my cell phone and she on her home phone 1000 miles away in southern Florida. We shared thoughts and experiences, and chatted about family — and we laughed together, my mother-in-law and me.
Because we lived so far apart, these caring and joyful conversations kept me company on those tedious (and sometimes stressful) trips in rush hour traffic. And it was the only way I got to know her in a more personal way after my husband and I were married and blended out families together.
Then the years passed — many years — and we all grew older. My MIL (mother-in-law) is now elderly, infirm, disabled. She is legally blind, hearing impaired and mobility impaired. Certainly many challenges. She reluctantly agreed to give up whatever little independence she had down in Florida and move up to an assisted living nearby to my home, so that my husband and I could help care for her.
Right before she moved here, we prepared for her arrival very diligently and happily — furnished her bright, lovely suite and made it as welcoming as possible. We believed that being near to family — particularly the great grandchildren — would be uplifting to her. We were looking forward to having a close relationship with her. We had no idea what the reality would be — and now it is 14 months later and the “honeymoon” is certainly over!
The actuality of her negative, stubborn personality has been incredibly difficult for us. As joyful, as positive as we have both attempted to treat her — there is absolutely no joyful response and no appreciation. She is solely self-involved, with extreme focus on each disability and each pain she feels.
The constant barrage of negative energy has shaken me to the core. However, I always consistently remind myself that yes, I do love her, despite these challenges. And every once in awhile, on a special outing or maybe when the inspired mood catches her, she might light up a bit and almost seem to have a glimmer of happiness in her countenance. I wish that would be more of the norm!
Though there are aides and skilled nurses at her facility, some real care still falls to me, as well as to her son. One of my responsibilities include taking her to her doctors appointments. In Florida, the business of “doctoring” is out of control with all the seniors, and when she was there, accompanied by her aid, she would visit doctors sometimes three times per week. That became the flow of her life and it was a comfort zone to her. Trying to replicate that absurd lifestyle cannot and will not happen here, much to her dismay. (Yes, she somehow enjoyed the doctors visits because it made her the center of attention.)
On the up side, MIL has finally become involved in some of the activities at her facility so that provides some minor busy-ness and interaction for her. And for that I am grateful.
However, the new challenge is that it appears she is at the beginning of some dementia, so on top of that challenging personality, we now have some mental decline to deal with. We cannot believe anything she tells us anymore, even though she states all things as if they are absolute reality.
My husband has waning patience — he works full time in the city and has limited time and energy to spend with her — and with her attitude in general, it is not conducive to encouraging him to want to spend time with her. It is a sad situation for both him and me.
My resolve as we entered this current year was to step back from the judgmental, self-centered world in which my MIL lives. Sure, I always cover my responsibilities and I provide care. Emotionally, I am remaining more aloof — for it is too easy to be overwhelmed with her constant drama.
So what is the lesson in all this? Why do I share this? Yes, I will admit it is in part to vent, partly cathartic. Perhaps you, too, have dealt with something (or someone) similar — or perhaps you will someday down the line. And maybe you will say, “ah, yes, I totally understand.”
Is this a clear illustration of “the best laid plans, etc.”? Sometimes as much as we do set goals, as we do make every positive attempt to help someone, they are not receptive to us. We might think our joyful intentions, our heartfelt drive is so powerful — how can someone not get caught up in the wave of our optimism? Believe me, there are obviously those that ARE unresponsive, those who make the personal choice to wallow in negativity, turbulence and victimhood. That is truly a depressing life choice.
We all have a choice about how we react to life — the sad thing is that many do not realize this. They remain unawakened.
And another lesson in all this is that powerful reminder that you can’t change anyone else. The only one you can change is yourself. That lesson keeps hitting home… But with my MIL, I was not trying to change her — just encourage her to be a bit more in the flow of peace and adaptability.
That is definitely my sincere wish for my MIL — peacefulness and acceptance of what is. Also, when it is her time (and I believe this is still far into the future), I truly pray that it will be quick and painless, and maybe she will just pass gently one overnight when her soul is ready to begin the next leg of her spiritual journey. As for now, we will continue to give her love as best as possible.
- I strive to remain patient and non-reactive with challenging people and situations.
- I let kindness and compassion flow to others, with positive intention and a pure heart.
- When challenging people and drama arise, I make sure to take care of myself in a nurturing, caring way — and remain peaceful within!
A recent personal experience served as a clear reminder that maybe I do not always take enough time to indulge that youngster that resides deep within.
I attended my grandson’s third birthday party at a trampoline-activity place. I had been looking forward to this for several weeks because the whole thought of it had rekindled a very distant memory from my own childhood. When I was about five years old, my mother took me to an outdoor trampoline place which was a bare-bones type place — trampoline material stretched over openings in the ground, all surrounded by cement or stone. Probably totally unsafe – but I spent time jumping with childish delight.
It was my first time on the trampoline and I thought it was the best thing in the world. I remember how happy my little heart was! I couldn’t wait to go back, but unfortunately the place closed down to make room for some other construction. My newfound fun disappeared and I was sorely disappointed.
Across the years I don’t remember too many opportunities to jump on a trampoline — maybe at some point with my own children when they were younger, but I do not clearly recall.
Fast forward to last weekend and I found myself at the most glorious, colorful state-of-the-art trampoline facility. And of course, I also found myself much, much older than my last recollection of jumping on a trampoline!
I hoped to jump with my grandson, but it turns out there were so many rules and restrictions. The petulant little child within me decided I really wanted a jump so I had to speak with someone who was in charge at the facility, and finally worked it out that I was able to purchase my own jumping pass — and sign a liability waiver, of course.
And suddenly — almost magically — I was on this huge area of trampolines, jumping and turning and running around with my grandson. It was such a strange but nearly euphoric sensation. My daughter captured my exultation in photos and I am grateful for that. I was definitely the oldest person who was jumping. Though I had some surprised glances from others who were my age and standing on the sidelines, I felt very smug and very free. And I personally, I don’t care what other people thought. I was having FUN!
My grandson appeared delighted that one of the older folks joined him on his spree of joy. For children — those pure little souls — know how best to be in the moment with great joy!
I know we always learn by contrast about what we do like and what we don’t like here on planet Earth. For me, this bubbly experience was a powerful reminder that we need to take a “fun break” from the mundane and ultra-busy parts of our lives to really experience that grand JOY of living. For sometimes we tend to just go through the routine motions of our everyday patterns and then wonder why we feel stuck or down. It is so essential to reconnect with that happy-go-lucky child that I believe still does reside in all of us.
So if you have the opportunity to do something a little silly, or a bit “outside the box,” seize that moment! And if you don’t generally have these opportunities, then you need to make time for them or seek them out. For you absolutely need to create fun and optimistic moments in your own life.
Yes, sometimes it is too easy to simply view life as a string of challenges — and occasionally that is exactly what our own perceptions tend to fall into. However, not ALL of life is challenging. I like to think of our journey as a “grand adventure” filled with a broad range of experiences and a wide variety of emotions that flourish within us.
But it is up to us as individuals to focus upon and explore those experiences that are unique, fun and enriching for us. And when you have those opportunities to really stretch outside your little comfort zone — and help you connect with that uplifting, curious child within — then go for it!
- I make time for fun and uplifting moments in my life!
- I view life as an enriching adventure and I learn from the contrast of my varied experiences.
- I strive to nurture my inner child, for I know that this is a most joyful and healthy way to be!
There has been so much written about finding that elusive state of being — profound happiness.
Our inspirational teachers have all come up with thousands of ways to help you be happy. Yet how many people feel they actually achieve that pinnacle of extreme exultation and positivity? And is it truly necessary for leading a fulfilling and rich life?
Optimism does not seem to be the natural way of the human condition and I am not sure why. Are we born relatively happy, and then life teaches us otherwise? Or are we born in a neutral space, and have to learn happiness? These are just questions that are food for thought.
In my years of experience here on Planet Earth, working first in the corporate world and then the holistic healing world, my observation is that people have a wide range of happiness ratio (whether they spend more time feeling good than bad.) It seems far easier for people to fall into that space of concern, stress, tension, confusion. Happiness seems to take work!
If you are one who naturally gravitates toward positive feelings, then I suspect you are more uplifted than most. If you get up in the morning, excited and optimistic about greeting the day, then you are in a beautiful space and probably among the minority.
However perhaps there is too much focus on the achievement of a total constant positive state of being — if we try hard and fall short, we feel in worse shape. And really, I don’t believe it is possible to be happy ALL the time! Part of the human experience here in the physical plane is to feel through a large range of emotions so we can understand contrast and learn the value of appreciation.
So what if we set our sights on a more neutral state of being rather than always pursuing some perfect state of bliss? That would be mindfulness — being present and focused in the now. Maybe we don’t always need to be happy, but simply “happily functioning” in the current moment, living purely right here, right now. Observing what is at hand and coping with what is right before us. Ready to move forward into our next moment, just greeting the unfolding of our own unique life experience with a sense of expectancy, openness and receptivity. As well as flexibility.
If you can wrap your mind about that kind of state, then you will likely be able to move into a more receptive space that includes peacefulness and harmony. So if you can just be peaceful (meaning non-reactive to all the challenges that happen in our surrounding reality) in the moment, with the task at hand, being in an attitude of “neutrality,” that does leave an opening for good things to flow in, thereby bringing that wave of happiness that may periodically flow with it.
It is completely spectacular to seize those clear moments of happiness, of course! Milk them for all the goodness you find streaming through you at that point in time. But don’t be judgmental when the flow abates, because like the ocean tide, there will be an ebb and flow of this sought-after emotion.
Accept yourself for who you are — and your own variety of emotions. Take those “steps” so that you are happy more than you are not happy — yes, go ahead and do the “inner work.” Yet know that it is okay if you find yourself in a sort of breezy, gentle place of “neutrality” for periods of time. The only place you DO NOT want to be is mired in serious sadness, stress or depression for any prolonged time frame. But don’t underestimate the gracefulness of living neutrally and mindfully in the moment.
“Happiness is not what makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy.” ~Br. David Steindl-Rast
- I focus on the now moment, allowing my life to unfold with a state of openness and expectancy.
- I strive to be in that space of neutrality and mindfulness, doing the inner work of remaining peaceful and non-reactive.
- I understand and accept that my human range of emotions brings a wonderful learning experience in the form of contrast.
Are you surrounded by mostly healthy relationships? If so, that is a joyful blessing! It is also a testament to your own mindset, outlook and personality — as well as the inner work you do to maintain and sustain these bonds.
Yet no matter how much focus we give, there are bound to be those questionable ties we have. Those relationships that make us pause and ask ourselves about how we can effectively cope with a specific person. Or silently wonder: why is that person still in my life? Some relationships are just blandly “okay” — not helpful, but not harmful. Others can be downright toxic to ones well being.
You should not remain in a relationship that is blatantly toxic. And toxic can have a range of meanings — from one that is merely somewhat unhealthy to one that is seriously emotionally abusive. If a friend is consistently putting you down in overt or perhaps even subtle ways, that is not a healthy friendship.
All the inspirational teachers say to surround ourselves with people who support us, lift us up — and cheer us on along our life path. If our friends authentically love us, then wouldn’t they want to be encouraging and uplifting to us?
Our connections with those around us should always be optimistic, loving and respectful. This makes perfect sense to us — and yet, why do we often get caught up in ties that are far less than stellar, far less then supportive?
I believe that most of us make every attempt to put our best foot forward, so to speak, and cultivate many relationships, simply assuming that if we set out to be a fine friend, then what we give out will be returned to us in kind. And though that is the case perhaps for most of the time, it does not hold true all the time.
Sometimes, despite trying to be a loving friend, the other person is not able to return that attitude. This can stem from extreme life challenges/obstacles; egotistical and narrow-minded beliefs; or sometimes simply a change in directions, as in paths becoming so divergent that there is no real commonality anymore.
And what about those fair weather friends — or barely there friends? They tend to possibly be more “takers” rather than “sharers.” They enjoy the bond and the company as long as things are going smoothly for you — but when a little turmoil lands across your path, they are suddenly GONE — or busy with their own stuff without even a sympathetic ear.
Sometimes you may experience the uncomfortable dance of trying to integrate a person into and out of your life, depending on how caring the friendship is at each moment in time. This can create havoc with your emotions… Relationships thrive on positive stability — knowing another is there for you. And of course, this should be a two way street. We need to be there for others in both peaceful and challenging times. Being totally able to count on each other when the going gets rough is essential to a healthy friendship.
Over the course of my life, I have learned that usually those vastly difficult relationships tend to dissolve out of my life (the Universe giving me some supportive assistance perhaps?) Some relationships thrive on drama. When you become aware of this and refuse to be reactive — and discourage all aspects of that volatility — the other person might simply retreat. For they are not receiving that atmosphere of emotional turmoil that they so crave.
So take the serene, shared road — be a remarkable friend. Immerse yourself in healthy relationships. Surround yourself with those who buoy you up. Release those who bring you down. And embrace those you care about with a kind, encouraging, honest, loving heart. If you strive to do the emotional “work” of sustaining healthy friendships, it is bound to bring greater joy, satisfaction and connection on this journey called LIFE…
- I treat others with understanding, compassion, support and encouragement.
- It is easy for me to lend a sympathetic ear to my friends, and truly listen with my heart.
- I remain peaceful and non reactive in the face of drama that others may create.
“Life is what you make of it…” That is a well known older saying. Which has recently resurfaced in my own mind and thoughts.
So I ask you this question: are you creating a life that is pleasing to you? One that resonates with your heartfelt desires and goals? One that is fulfilling the primal longing of your soul?
Sometimes we get caught up solely in the energy of challenges and obstacles — all forms of negativity. Downtrodden thoughts that bring us into feelings of powerlessness.
It is sadly the human condition to focus upon these aspects that are difficult as opposed to the beautiful aspect of life — our free will and our amazing ability to be able to make our own choices and decisions.
We have the remarkable power to design our lives to reflect the best and Highest versions of ourselves. It is just that most of us don’t truly get that — or don’t believe it. Or have no clue how to go about it.
Look back on those times that you have been strong, successful and fulfilled — even if those times were brief. There is no doubt that you have had experiences where you fully realized your own potential and inner strength. But then, instead of holding on to that knowing, you became adrift in the busy stream of life, forgetting how to tune in to your inner guidance, your core essence. You lost that Divine connection to your soul, your Higher consciousness or whatever you wish to call it.
Your physical vehicle (your being) needs to do the work of navigating life here on Planet Earth to have your most joyful, abundant and enriching experience. Part of this is to take care of YOU and realize the powerful creation abilities that you have. A second part is to understand our soulful connection in Oneness — and to have deep compassion for others and all of Life.
This realization is never easy. It requires steadfast energetic movement along your path in a most positive, uplifting way. Some general suggestions include:
2) Positive living resources — affirmations, self-empowerment teachings, spiritual and personal development books
3) Holistic modalities such as Reiki and the like
4) Immersing yourself in nature and the natural world
5) Consistent time with family and friends and a continuous widening of your Circle of connectedness
6) Events that empower and inspire
7) Life coaching or something similar
8) Religious/spiritual practices that truly resonate with you
Most significantly, will you “awaken” (yes, a very popular term these days) to the multidimensional, complex being that you are at your core essence? You are not some stick figure puppet meandering around our planet aimlessly and in isolation — though sometimes you may feel that way.
Though you are undeniably unique — you have a radiant connection to others. So truly let yourself enhance and appreciate that — not wallow in the state of separation. For I firmly believe that understanding and embracing our interconnection is essential, and actually complements and enhances our uniqueness and individuality.
Your life will be exactly what you make of it. Choose to take those steps — one thought at a time if need be — that will bring you the reality of a life that is pleasing and joyful to you. A life you are passionate about living.
- I seek to enhance my connection with others on a profound level of understanding.
- I take time to nurture myself with those things that inspire joy within me.
- I am a powerful creator of my life experience and I design a life that is fulfilling to me.