Ready for a little game? What if you had all the money you could dream of? What would you be doing differently in your life? What would you spend that money on? A wonderful exercise to do is to make a list of all the things you would do.
There are two ways to play with on this one.
First of all, if you plan your finances well (would you like a link to a program that will help with that?), you can do anything you want. Not everything you want but pretty much what ever goals you have, you can save for the top most important or fulfilling money goals.
Also, if you play this out, you may notice that there's a pattern of a kind of experience you want in life. You might find a pattern that leads you on a creative path. Many people find that they are interested in leaving a positive mark in the world with some kind of service.
As you look at each item on your list, ask yourself what the experience is that you're looking for. Then ask yourself, "How can I achieve that experience in my life right now?"
As a young woman I had an experience of giving that changed my life. I didn't have a lot but I had more than a young couple I met and I was able to give to them in a way that was sweet and surprising to them and at the same time, something that I could afford. It changed the way I looked at giving.
You don't have to wait "until" you have enough time, money, energy or what ever. You can start right now, right from where you are. The idea here is to fine tune what would mean the most to you and then go for it.
It doesn't happen all at once. But one step at a time and you'll be living the life of your dreams.
So what's one small step you can take right now?
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What is the secret to happiness? It's not really that complicated.
Step into gratitude.
I just heard the quote, "If you're grateful for everything, you're grateful for nothing," and that means get detailed with your gratitude. I just took a workshop that taught us to be very detailed with gratitude. How detailed? Well, think of something you're grateful for. Do you love to paint? How about the hairs of smallest brush you have or the color carmine red? Are you grateful for summer? Well, how about gratitude for the leaves of your favorite shade tree, or the pulp in lemons?
Are you starting to get the idea? So here's the thing: You have to practice gratitude every day; really do it. Personally I usually start each morning with a very short prayer of gratitude for coming back into the world. I like to go to sleep listing things I'm grateful for as I fall asleep. When I'm really feeling down, I like to play what I call "The Gratitude Game" with my husband or a friend. Take turns listing things you're grateful for.
If you find it hard to think about what you might be grateful for, then this is really the right exercise for you. Think about the sparkle on the greeting card you got. Think about the knobs on the drawers that make them easy to open. Think about the filter on your faucet so you don't get sand in your water.
Still not sure? Experiment with this daily for a month and I guarantee your life and attitude will change for the better. You will feel better and happier. Start now.
Watch this short video called "Can You Trust Your Eyes?" and then keep reading
So now you understand that your eyes give information to your brain and your brain fills in more information. Only you've just seen that even when something is provable, that doesn't mean you'll see it as it is.
What if our other perceptions were like that too? What if you think something is one way but in fact, it might not be at all? Maybe you can use this to your advantage.
What I'm trying to get to is a sort of "fake it 'til you make it" kind of thinking, or perhaps "reframing". If you can bring yourself more peace and well being on the inside by allowing yourself to know that perhaps there is a "benefit of the doubt" to a situation that is causing you mental or emotional anguish. Perhaps you can even imagine your way out of mental or emotional pain.
Can you think of ways you can use this idea to give yourself the gift of freedom? What you thought was dark grey was really light grey visually, so maybe what you thought was not so nice, could really turn out to have a big benefit for you?
What are the ways you can think of to use this idea to make some area of your life happier?
Let me know,
The problem with communication is that people think it's done just because they said something one time.
You think you told your _______ (fill in the blank: spouse, friend, parent, child, coworker, employee, employer...) about ______ (fill in the blank: your plans, your thoughts, your feelings, when you are coming home etc.) and in fact you did say what you wanted to say. But could they really hear you?
Sometimes I'm working on the computer (like right now when I write these posts) and my husband says something to me. I am in another world. Even though we are in the same room, I may not even register anything more than the fact that he just said something, but what ever the heck he said, it didn't register.
Guideline #1: Make sure you are both fully present. Have eye contact and that the person you're speaking with is really with you and not in another mental realm.
Guideline #2: Benefit of the doubt.
Assume harmless intentions.
How many times have you said something with only good intentions just to have the other person jump all over you like you just attacked? Or have you been on the other end, and thought the other person was putting you down only to discover later that wasn't the case at all?
Once someone said something that could have been taken as a complete put down. The man that said it to me was a great teacher and very generous of spirit so I took it as feedback. I made a comment that horrified him because he then understood how I misunderstood what he meant. He was actually trying to be modest of his own position, not put me down. Wow, so glad that was cleared up.
Apply these two simple tips for better connections in communicating. Over time these tips will add up to much better results.
"A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable
but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." ~ George Bernard Shaw
Don't be afraid of making mistakes. It's one of the ways we learn. Learn from your mistakes and then move forward.
Dream your dreams, do the thing that gives your life meaning. If you're doing something that doesn't make your heart sing--in the big picture, nothing is always perfectly wonderful, there are challenges in even the best of choices--you can always change direction, change your mind, regroup, and move ahead in the direction you want to be moving!
One of the beautiful gifts that life experience brings is that each mistake you make shapes you. You have more experience and you get to make more choices from a position of deeper understanding.
Be true to you. (and be honest with yourself!)
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." ~ Albert Einstein
Thanks to morguefile for the photo
How's your life journey going? Are you enjoying the journey?
Guess what? You get to step into the life you dream of living. YES. You do!
Life has its challenging moments and life also has its blissful moments--all outside of our control. On the other hand, there is something very powerful, I mean very powerful that you can control: You have free will to guide your thoughts. Whoa. I'm not kidding. You have free will to pilot your thoughts and guide your awareness to see the good.
What you create in your life will begin with your thoughts. You may need to "snap out of" the negative thoughts and plan for where you will direct your thoughts. Your actions will follow. Your mind and all of creation will support you no matter what you choose--that is how powerful your thoughts are.
Now just in case you're having a hard time with being stuck in negative thoughts, you come at it from a different direction; you also have the option of changing your actions. You can stop doing the things that bring you down and better yet, start filling your time with activities that fill your life with meaning. Can we go a little deeper with this? Even when you're doing something mundane, you can give it meaning. Like what? Fantastic that you have a job! How wonderful that you have vegetables to cut up. How blessed that you have a car to put gas into. Look at all these nice clothes you have to wash... Get the picture?
On this path of life, you can choose to spend your time blaming, or choose to dance into your power. Sometimes simple awareness makes all the difference!
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I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain. ~James Arthur Baldwin
As painful as it might be, feeling the feelings that come up for you are important. There's an expression: "Let it flow, then let it go." There are processes that ask you to follow your feelings, name them, then just see what comes up next, and when you do that, eventually you come to a place that is clear of the negative emotions. When you allow for the feelings, you'll be in a better position it let them go.
While forgiving is a process that is for you and not even for the other person, it may be true that some things are unforgivable. So then what? The idea is can you set yourself free? Can you?
My father taught me one way he used to relax himself to sleep at night. He would go through the muscles of his body, tense a group of muscles, then release. Eventually he would fall asleep. When I am stressed one of my most effective exercises is listing what I am grateful for, from the tiniest to the biggest (if you're a regular here, you must know this by now!). Sometimes when I am so upset, I just write and write about the upset, or I rant and rave privately (so no one else can hear me). It's kind of like puking (yes, vomiting!). You don't feel great to begin with but you sure feel better to have the poison out.
Feeling hate has a price to pay and the longer you hold on to it, the more you stew in it, the more damage it will cause (this is NOT about revenge, do you hear me?!).
OK, so we're all human, I am not asking you to stuff the feelings. I am suggesting that you can put your focus and attention to the things in life that will BUILD you. Break the cycle and set yourself free!
Freedom involves the abandonment of hate,
because hate is the abdication of freedom.
It is the projection of our conflicts onto an external force
whom we can then blame,
but only at the cost of denying responsibility.
~Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks
Thanks to Morguefile.com and Anita Peppers for the photo
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Want to be happy? You have to choose it. There are abundant opportunities to be sad, angry, bummed, disappointed. But happiness? You have to grab it with both hands and cling to the idea and feelings like a pit bull with a bone! This is no small thing.
Now, just because you decide that you want to be happy is not a guarantee. But it has to start with the decision and commitment.
Let's say you want to clean your bathroom. You can want a clean bathroom all day long but eventually you'll have to pick up a sponge or a rag or a toilet brush and start scrubbing. Right? If you only have time to spray and wipe down the mirror, that's ok, now your mirror is clean and that's a great start. Get the idea? Decide you want happiness and then take action to create the habits and mindset of happiness.
A happy life does not happen all at once. You work for it. You commit to it. You take action to clean away the muck and mire. Little by little your choices add up. The kind of music you listen to, the people you spend time with, the entertainment you choose, the way you talk to yourself and others, etc.
If you want to be fit, you don't work out all in one day, you have to change your food and activity. Make sense? So for happiness, dig in and plan your emotional, physical, and mental environments to clear out what isn't working and implement what does bring you joy, true joy. Step by step. And Providence will step in as your partner in joy.
How about starting out by generously sharing your smile? Experiment with greeting someone new warmly, as if he or she is an old friend. Let me know what happens.
Thanks to Scott Liddlle (hotblack) and Morguefile.com for the great photo!
Sometimes you gotta get stuff off your chest, rant, blow off some steam. But that doesn't mean you have to do it in a destructive way. Gossip, talking about other people, is a pretty destructive way to go. It won't really help you in the long run, and in truth, gossiping about other people will hurt you, the listener, and the subject in ways we don't even fathom.
That's not to say you can't talk about things ever but when other people are involved, caution is important. Once you let the words go, you can't get them back.
One way I have dealt with my hardest of feelings, hurt, anger, disappointment and so on, is to write it out. Let it loose and say what you need to say. The idea here is that you will not be sending it. Just spill out the feelings and get clear. Clear out the hurt and anger and maybe even get clear about what you need to learn from the situation, if you can.
Some people rip up the paper after they write the letter. Some people even burn it up. I was very upset about a few things and wrote a bunch of letters in my journal. At first I thought I might send them but in the end, I felt better and there was no reason to send the letters. That would not have served anyone at all.
The issue here is how you are inside yourself when times or relationships are challenging. You'll be happier and more peaceful inside your own skin and that will have a ripple effect in positive ways.
So, spill your guts onto paper and then let it go. Delete the hurt and keep the growth.
What do you do if those old, familiar, dark thoughts threaten to haunt you by popping into your mind? What if those cruddy, crusty thoughts pop into your head more than you even want? What if, worst of all, you don't even know of another way to be? If you've never learned how to work with your thought environment, here is a game plan.
Flood your mind with the kind of thoughts you want. What are the thoughts you really want swimming in your awareness? Do you want thoughts that are positive? Then PLAN for the positive thoughts you want.
Positive landslides anchor new notions.
P = Positive
L = Landslides
A = Anchor
N = New Notions
Take the time right now to plan the new thoughts that you want to invite and promote into your mind. That means that the next time you catch yourself thinking negatively, you jump on the chance to flood your mind with the positive thoughts.
One of the thoughts I personally use is the attitude of gratitude. It's my first "go to" thought process when I feel stuck or down. But don't stop there.
You can do this!
Live the extraordinary life you deserve.
Aunt Laya inspires and encourages you to live the life you want for yourself! She'll tell you the truth, even when it's not always so easy to hear so that you can learn to handle the hard stuff of life and be your best, happiest self. Always with love and caring.