DEVELOPING AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
I'm a pretty happy person overall. It's been a journey in getting here and, honestly, not every day is perfect. I often get asked how do I maintain my happiness. I'd like to take a moment in this post to talk about a couple of things that have helped me along in this journey. :)
First off, let me set the stage. I have learned that there is no such thing as perfection. I used to strive for it in many areas of my life only to "let myself down" and "beat myself up" about it. Once I begin to truly understand that I am fine just the way I am, I began to loosen the pressures that previously led to negativity, self doubt and insecurity.
Learning this has been a process. It has taken me a long time to really let go and melt into my being. Here are a couple of things that I have either picked up throughout the years or that I have developed on my own. Take or leave these things as you will as these are just simple things that have helped me lead a more balanced and truly happy life:1. Developing an attitude of gratitude:
I first heard this saying from Tony Robbins. He has this thing called "The hour of power." Basically, you wake up and take a hour for yourself first thing in the morning. During the hour you can do things like meditate, walk and take in the freshness of the morning, listen to the sounds of the birds, feel the air, etc. The goal is to be conscious that you are alive, to stay present in the moment and to really BE ALIVE, to be human. During that time you can say things to yourself out loud, or in your head. One of those things is to begin to develop an attitude of gratitude. You say things to yourself that you are thankful for; "I'm grateful for the sun coming out each day." "I'm grateful to have such a fantastic mom/dad/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend, for being _____________, for ______________, for laughing at my silly jokes, for challenging me when I need to be challenged, etc." You begin to consciously recollect things, people, situations in your life. The goal of this is that you become more conscious on a day-to-day level and your gratitude becomes more about the most simplest things; a smile that someone gave to you as they passed by, someone letting you in when the traffic was tight, for being strong enough to say, "no" when you knew you were overextended, for having an undo key on your keyboard, etc. The gratitude begins to build and becomes a part of your being.
2. Everything is playful:
I have learned that it is best to laugh first and ask questions later. I used to be very defensive when I felt someone was "attacking" me. The truth is that most people are afraid to be confrontational. Therefore I have found that for me it is better to air on the side of playfulness than to jump to conclusions. I strive to live this principle and can say that I do not always do it. When I am able to do it, I find that this usually sets the tone for much healthier and true connections with people. And, when I actually am able to do this, I give thanks to myself in my reflections. When I don't do it I remember that life is a learning experience and that I'm okay just the way I am and then I reflect on how I could have played with it more in the moment and this typically brings a smile to my face.
Being conscious of life, actions and reactions really has helped me tremendously in leading a full and fantastic life. I hope you find some things you can take from this. I know it's pretty touchy-feely. That's me and I love it! :)