There’s always something to appreciate if you think about it. Even on dark, gloomy mornings, the fact that you woke up to see it, is a blessing. Life is something to be thankful for, and as tough as it may seem now, things change and the road levels off.
I find my own life goes more smoothly if I focus on gratitude at least once a day. Before going to bed is an excellent time to be reflective of the day just lived. I know, some days you’d like to forget. We all have those days. Bad things often happen to make room for new opportunities and growth.
If you can’t find the silver lining in that day, then look around at the people in your life. No doubt many of them love you more than you will ever realize. Love is always something to be grateful for. If there are no friends or loved-ones there, it’s an invitation to step outside your comfort zone—join a group or get involved in a charity or church group. Reach out to a neighbor, co-worker or a stranger who needs help. There are plenty of them around.
Some people keep a gratitude journal. While that doesn’t work for all (me included), it’s easy enough to say outloud five things (events, people, objects, feelings, etc.) you are grateful for each day. Be sure to actually feel the gratitude as you think about each one. Can’t do five? Start with three.
We frequently take people and things for granted. Remember to search for the joy in whatever and whoever is in your life. As the saying goes, tomorrow is promised to no one. Make the best of each day and remember that the more you appreciate your life and the people in it, the easier it will be for more good things to come your way.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”
— Eleanor Roosevelt
These are great words, attributed to a special lady. Do you believe this or do you frequently allow your self-image to be colored by the world around you? Are you aware of your own truth and goodness? Do you realize that what you think of yourself, good or bad, is always more important than what others think of you?
I truly believe that we all are born with a healthy dose of self-esteem. In our early years, however, it often begins to be chiseled away by normal childhood experiences. Dysfunctional parents, as well as the well-intended ones, contribute to this in addition to most school systems. During teenage years the desire to conform takes us a step further away from knowing and appreciating our true selves.
If negativity and self-doubt are allowed to gain a solid foothold, this snowballs until we are old enough to reflect back on our life and wonder what went wrong. Why am I not happy? Why do I always try harder to please others than myself? When will there be time for me?
If you find this happening, take a moment to reflect on your own self-worth. First of all, no one is “better” than anyone else. We are all different, but equal as human beings. What are your special gifts and talents? What do you like best about yourself? What are you doing when you are truly happy?
Most importantly, you don’t have to own anyone else’s opinion of “you.” What they think of you, is not your business; it’s theirs. Mind you own and appreciate yourself.
Follow your bliss…it’s a saying that is heard frequently. What does bliss mean exactly? I signed on to the internet to take a peek and found a general consensus among links that it is an “extreme state of happiness,” if nothing else. Sound’s good doesn’t it?
What does it mean to you? What makes you extremely happy, or even just happy? Of course, it’s different for each of us. Start small if you’re having trouble. Perhaps it’s eating some chocolate or a tasty piece of filet mignon. I’m in for both of those. Keep adding until you have a happiness checklist. It could be spending time with friends or that special someone. Maybe it’s a hobby that you get so lost in that you lose track of time. It’s wonderful if your profession is blissful, and you are doing what you love everyday at work.
So how do you follow your bliss? If you’re doing it, you already know. Your days are filled with moments of joy and deep satisfaction. If you’re still working on it, then keep the checklist handy and begin to integrate more of these happy options into your daily routine. I also use the “follow your bliss” concept when it comes to making simple choices like which housekeeping chore to do first. If I do first, the one I dislike the least, I find the rest of them go easier and faster. Of course, use it when making a big choice like selecting which house to buy. Choose the one that makes you smile and sings to your heart, assuming you can afford it, of course, or it won’t be a blissful choice for long.
I’m for bringing more blissful moments into each of our lives, week by week, day by day, moment by moment, until “following your bliss” becomes a wonderful habit. How about you?