I’ve found that by far the most important part of staying in a state of contentedness is gratitude.  This is a common thread that many schools of thought and religions believe is the key to sustained happiness. It is only through gratitude that one gains awareness of how truly blessed we are to be alive – especially those of us who live in western and democratic societies.  A modern day philosopher named Sadhguru reminds us of the most simple of reasons to be grateful; you woke up today.  There are about a million people on earth who did not wake up.  So at the very least you can feel blessed about that simple fact.  This statement was a revelation for me.  I was also reminded of a line from one of my favorite movies, Fight Club, in which Tyler Durden said that “your life is ending one minute at a time.”  How long do I really want to waste that time feeling oppressed or unlucky?  Ugly or afraid?  That now appears to me as being a ridiculous way to go through life.  It is so simple and yet so incredibly foreign for the average adult mind to grasp that we already have so many gifts.  Each of us can change our “stories” that we’ve created in our minds about what should be true or how other people should be in order for us to be happy.  We have invented ways of seeing ourselves that are limiting and destructive.

I heard another speaker recently who said we cannot possibly know another’s path and it is arrogant of us to wish things upon other people.  Even those of us whose loved ones are in the most painful of circumstances, there is a path for them.  And though it doesn’t seem like it because we can only be conscious of the current world we’re in, our souls chose a path for a reason.  This current go-round (this life, which is one of many, some believe) is to learn a lesson.  Some of us are further along the path to enlightenment than others. Some of us are still young and will have many more lives in this realm which will lead to further growth and development.

Of course there are those of us who believe there is no life after this one and we essentially just become dirt and bones and it ends there.  While that certainly is a possibility, is seems rather arrogant to believe that they know the truth and the rest of us are wrong.  A common argument of atheists is that there is no god.  How can one be so sure?  Their argument is that religious people are fooling themselves because they can’t possibly know what happens after they die unless they themselves have died.  The same is true for atheists.  It just seems so pessimistic. Since none of us know, it’s really just choice to believe in a higher power or not.  Just a choice.

I choose to believe in a powerful Universe that exists to help us and not punish us.  Famous self-help phenomenon Tony Robbins said, “if we can realize that the Universe is happening FOR us instead of TO us, the pain and suffering just goes away.”  We can be free.  What an incredible realization this has been for me.

So I am thankful; thankful for the many blessings in this life.  I have a reliable car; a roof over my head; heat and cool air that I can control with the touch of a button; internet connection in my home that allows me access to all the information I could possibly ever want or need; working reproductive organs that gave me my first child at 43; two adorable and sweet pugs that have enhanced my life for 11 years; a loving family; light and electricity; a beautiful back yard with flowers and time to tend to it.  Too many things to name.

Remember all the things you have to be grateful for every morning and every evening.  Life is too short to waste consumed with wanting more.

8 Ways to Reset the Day

1. Figure out your top 5 goals in life and write them down in a place you’ll see them every day.  Read them aloud or to yourself.

2. You’ve probably heard this a hundred times (well, if you’re a self-help addict like me, anyway), but I’m afraid it’s true.  Meditation – it’s the best way to calm the mind and gain focus. This is not as difficult as it seems.  There are umpteen guided meditations on YouTube that you can access at any time.  Check them out.  Use them.  They last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or more.  Start small and give it a try.  Guided meditation is the easiest place to start.  You aren’t left to your own devices to just “quiet the mind” which seems like an impossibility when you first sit down to do it.  Let someone else walk you through it.

3. Count your blessings. What you have right now; today.  You are so much more blessed than you realize.  Start with the simplest things.  I woke up this morning.  I am breathing clean air.  I have 2 legs and 2 arms.  There are millions of people who cannot list those very same things.  You are truly blessed.  Until you can be grateful for what you have, you cannot access the infinite blessings coming your way.

4. Don’t watch TV today. Or at least for the rest of the day.  This is coming from a TV Junkie.  Just try it for one day.  Is it impossible?  Did you find other interesting things to do?  What do you feel now?

5. Take action toward something you’ve been putting off; something you like but are “too tired” to do or “don’t have time” for.

6. Don’t blame anyone else for what went wrong today.  Or yesterday.  Try that on for size.  You are the only one responsible for your state of mind.  You can control only two things in this world – your thoughts and your behavior.  What are you going to choose to do and say today?

7. Stop Negative self-talk. I know.  Easier said than done.  But this is one of the best and easiest ways to begin reprogramming your subconscious mind.

8. Daily Affirmations. Listen to or say affirmations on a daily basis.

You can use religious text, a daily meditation book, or even make up your own and record your voice.  Listen to it at night.  Do it when you wake up.  Do it whenever, but just do it.  You can say them on your way to work in the morning or while brushing your teeth at night.  It is now well-known in the neurological community that you can change your neuropathways (neuroplasticity).  Neuropathways can be changed by new habits.  Therefore a new habit of positive affirmation can actually CHANGE YOUR BRAIN.  Henry Ford famously said, “whether you think you can or you can’t, either way you’re right.”



LDB · April 12, 2017 at 4:14 pm

I’ve heard there are different kinds of meditation (transcendental, kundalini, etc). How do I know which one is the right one for me?

    Holly · April 12, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks for reading. Yes, there are many types and when you google it, it could be very overwhelming. But they are essentially the same for the beginner. You are focusing on your breath, regulating it while you visualize or do your best to clear your mind. If I were just starting out I’d just do a simple guided meditation on YouTube.

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