How to Go from Stuck to Full Speed Ahead

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SPIRIT AND INSPIRATION

I love the benefits one receives as one ages. Things that used to upset me no longer do. Our perspective changes to reveal an amazing unfoldment of life that could only have been designed by a Higher Power/God/Supreme Being/Source or whatever you choose to call it. So many things have become clear as a bell, confusion taking a back seat. And one truth has revealed itself making my life so full and wonderful: A grateful heart is an open heart. An open heart allows us to welcome in good relationships, good experiences and a happier life.

So many of my earlier years were spent experiencing angst over crazy things. I worried about so many things that ended up being inconsequential or things that worked themselves out perfectly, even though I didn’t think so at the time. But with the perspective that time can give you, things ended up perfectly perfect.

A dear friend of mine recently shared about a workshop she attended and they were asked as part of the workshop to start each day writing down things they were grateful for. She told me it was making a huge difference in her life. They were not to repeat things day after day but rather find new things to write down. And she had not had a bit of trouble finding new things every day.

This was a new twist on the gratitude practice which by now has become a well honed habit for me. So I began to try it and by gum, she is right. Once you dive into this practice it is simple to find new things every day to be thankful for.

Another friend said we also have to be thankful for those things that aren’t so great but that lead us to a new understanding, or a new experience or a new perspective. And she is right as well. Being thankful for our challenges is harder, much harder, but a great practice. I have found that giving thanks for problems, worries and challenges, while hard, helps to lighten them somehow and I often find I see new opportunities within them as I bless them and say a humble “thank you”.

There is much written about gratitude these days but how grateful are you? What is your gratitude practice and how faithful are you to it? Do you give thanks only when things go your way? Or are you able to accept your troubles as teachers and way finders?

Understanding the power and wisdom of a gratitude practice will lead you to a new reality. If you don’t do it already, begin each day with a litany of things you give thanks for that day. And continue throughout the day as you recognize your blessings, however small. I promise you your life will change.

 

 

INSPIRATION

“Gratitude is an opener of locked up blessings.” ~ Marianne Williamson

 

“Most of the greatest speeches I have ever given, have been in the dedicated silence of my actions.” ~ Steve Maraboli

 

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” ~unknown

 

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.” ~Meister Eckhart

 

“Praise the bridge that carried you over.” ~George Colman

 

“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.” ~Neale Donald Walsch

 

“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.” ~Gerald Good

 

Habits

Crossroads

So many times I’ve tried to set a habit and after a while it fades into the past. Other times I’ve had some success in spite of myself which is always so welcome!

I’ve been sorting out what works and what doesn’t work around habits and for me, the main thing seems to be rigidity and expectations that are far too high for success.

For example, if I say to myself I am going to walk 3 miles every morning is a sure set up for failure. Reframing it saying I will do SOMETHING for exercise every day (or most days) is far more relaxed and achievable. Maybe the thing will be going to the mall to do errands and I walk from one end to the other a few times, or maybe after a day of work I’ll come home and swim for half an hour, or maybe if I am up quite early I’ll get a good long walk in. Or maybe if it is a very busy or stress filled day I might only eke out a walk around the block with the dog, but it is something and that is my goal, rather than something I cannot achieve every single day.

The point is that by not being so rigid, I open myself up to success by allowing some air to flow into my decision to create a habit.

I tend to be very hard on myself and set very high standards that are not achievable. Knowing and admitting this to myself has helped me see that I had been setting myself up for failure, not success. Then of course I began to berate myself for being lazy, weak, or whathaveyou because I couldn’t reach the high bar I had set.

I guess I am a slow learner because it took me a very long time to figure this out! Hopefully, you will be a lot smarter than I and realize that when you set the bar “just right”, you have a chance at success.

I tried to start a meditation program years and years ago by getting up at 5 before the family began to stir and get ready for school and work. In theory I loved the idea of being alone in that predawn peace and watching the sun rise after a half hour of peaceful, mindful meditation.

Well, that lasted less than a week because I am not an early morning person. Meditating at that hour for me was not working for my body, mind or spirit. I became groggy and ill tempered in the morning as I fixed breakfast for everyone before they started on their day. I dragged through my own day because I hadn’t had enough sleep. And the next day would be the same and everything built up until I decided my peace of mind and the wellbeing of my family would do much better without the added pressure of a meditation practice that was not working for me. Better to meditate before bed, or in the afternoon before everyone got home. Or just when it seemed to flow naturally into my day.

So there you have it. When you create a new habit or rewrite an old one, take into account YOUR own body, mind and spirit and what is optimal for YOU. Don’t make the habit so tight that it is unachievable. And then allow for some wiggle room so you can tweak your habit to fit all kinds of situations and days which present different challenges.

“Habits are safer than rules; you don’t have to watch them. And you don’t have to keep them, either. They keep you.” Frank Crane