Archive for December, 2009

What Happy People Have

Recently in school, I learned what happy, successful people have in common.  They have two qualities which make their lives more successful.  In fact, they’ve learned to do two things that the 12 Step programs encourage us to do regularly. 

The first is to focus on Gratitude.  My first sponsor when mentoring me about how to live a life that I can be proud of, or at least satisfied with, required me to write a Gratitude List – every day.  She required me to list 25 things each day for which I was grateful.  Now this was in direct conflict with the philosophy of daily living with which I was raised.  While almost painful to do back then, it has been a part of my daily ritual ever since.  Thank God!  Really – it changed my life to focus on good things and how blessed I am in my life.

The second quality is to practice Forgiveness.  What forgiveness has come to mean to me is freedom.  Yes – freedom from resentment, excuses, blaming, boring conversation, anger, and wasting time.  Since I’m only human and still learning – who am I to be judgemental and intolerant and impatient and harsh.  What forgiveness has given me is compassion, interesting conversation, engaging relationships, fun, and adventure.  I just realized while writing this that I am describing myself as a happy person!  Oh my gosh!  What a blessing!  I never used to be capable of thinking of myself as happy!?!  I’m ecstatic just realizing it!  Isn’t that great!?!  See this is what gratitude has done for me – and it feels wooooooonderful!

I just noticed that I tend to exclaim frequently – with exclamation points.  A sign of life energy.  Something that I never used to have much of in my days.  Anyway, as mentioned above it was comforting to learn that what the 12 Step programs encourage us to do, and what I keep learning to do – practicing gratitude and forgiveness – are rated the two most important strengths that lead to happiness and success.  Hope they work for you too.  If you are still considering whether to use them or not, just give it a shot and keep an open mind.  Do the list for two weeks and see what happens.  You deserve it.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am grateful for today.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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Do What You Love

I’ve been on hiatus for the last 2 1/2 months.  Going back to school  after more than a decade usurped much of my previously available energy.  To those of you who were looking for regular new installments, I’m sorry that I did not give you notice.  My goal was to continue writing while in school, but I ended up writing only for school since October.  It’s been a good opportunity to be gentler with myself – lowering those still too high standards, and accepting my humanness.  Perhaps, with some well planned time management, writing can continue to be part of my morning ritual again and I’ll catch up on my posting goal.  I’ll work on that.

Meanwhile, what is becoming more evident to me as school continues is how imperative it is that I do work that I truly love!  I mean looooooooooove!  Right now in the background the movie “Julie and Julia,” is playing.  It’s the third time for me so I’m really inspired right now.  The movie reminds me repeatedly about filling my life with the solutions – with what I love.  Yesterday, a documentary called “Between The Folds,” reminded me again when an interviewee remarked that he does origami and his other work because it’s fun.  Now this is the umpteenth time that this message is blatantly presenting itself to me this year and I can’t tell you all how well the absence of writing this blog each week has left a huge gap in my life!

Okay, message received.  Emphatically!  One of the solutions is to do what we love.  If we don’t yet know how to do that in our work, we can do it in our leisure time – for fun.  It’s sooooooo simple.  So let’s keep it that way.  List of things to do –  create, keep writing, keep cooking new dishes (I’ve been on a roll since the summer garden), plan some travel, start painting again, look for new work, start sculpting again, smile more, start planning the new garden for next summer and dance dance dance!  I love to dance!  Doesn’t that sound like a great list?  It is.  I strongly suggest that we all make a list of what we love to do and stick to it.  The next step then is to make time in our schedules, in our heads, in our budgets to do what we love.  It’s one of the solutions that makes my life happy, truly and leads me to perfect days – like last summer, and today!

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am enjoying my day.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  For daily updates, press the orange RSS feed to the right for directions.

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