I know we could all use a bit of daily inspiration these days, so I thought about what might spark some good feelings and I came up with this. Keep going! Sounds somewhat simplistic, and maybe not what some of you want to hear right now because you just can’t possibly think one more thought, or feel anything other than sadness and hopelessness during the times we are in. But, I fully believe that when we are in a negative space, the only answer is to keep going. One step at a time, one moment of moving towards a better feeling thought, one action that propels you higher, is all it takes.
There have been so many times that I was down so far, I thought I’d never see or feel the kind of joy I am experiencing in my life now, regardless of what is happening around me. But, I kept going. I refused to accept the sadness. I wanted to be unconditionally joyful, but I had no idea if that day would ever come, or how to get to that point. But, I eventually started feeling better, not because my situation changed, or because I suddenly had everything I wanted. My joy was an inside job. I couldn’t wait for my life to change for joy to be present, I had to make joy present first, then my life changed.
The only thing absolutely necessary for anyone to have the life they dream of, is to never give up. You were not meant to settle for a life you don’t want. We are all meant to be joyful, it’s our natural state. I’m not saying my entire life is perfect, but most of it is! I don’t feel happiness all day everyday, but it’s close. The difference now is, I know that any unhappiness, anger, or negative emotion I feel at anytime is temporary and can be changed if I choose. It took years of ups and downs emotionally before I understood that I was in charge of how I felt. If I woke up in a bad mood, I had the power to change that mood into a great one. It was my choice to continue my day as a grump, which might have been the easier route, or decide to be happy, which was the better route. I also used to let rude comments offend me all the time. With lots of practice and perseverance, I learned how to not take anything personally, and not let the bad mood of another affect me. I had the choice to be joyful regardless of what anyone said or did to me. I was so exhausted by letting situations or people influence my mood. I was done with it. When I finally made the decision to learn another way, it was not an overnight accomplishment, to say the least. Even now, I occasionally fall back into old habits and allow something outside of me to put me in a bad mood. But now it doesn’t last more than a couple of minutes, because I know I have the choice to remain stuck, or turn it around. It takes practice to not let outside circumstances dictate how you are feeling, but it’s so worth it.
I’d like to share with you my recipe to live a more intended joyful life. It has worked for me very well over many years, and because I kept moving forward, little by little, moment by moment, it became easier. Remember, when you are learning anything new, it takes practice to become proficient at it. The important thing is that you keep going, and don’t give up if you fall back into your old way of thinking and being. One small, positive thought of appreciation will bring you back up. That’s all it takes!
The following list is what I like to remember everyday:
- Remember that each day is a reset. It does not matter what happened yesterday, or the day before, or the year before. Start with a fresh outlook everyday!
- Before you get out of bed, go on a rampage of gratitude or appreciation for your life, your body, or anything you want. Just go crazy with gratitude overload! If you start the moment you wake up, you will set the tone for the day. Your good mood may only last a couple of minutes, but that’s okay. It’s better than getting out of bed cursing how much you have to do today. You may very well have the day from hell ahead of you, but it’s much easier to get through if your mindset is positive and loving. When you choose to appreciate the good things in your life, you create a space for more good things to come.
- If you find your mind reverting back to complaining, or being sad, or anything negative, just stop if you can, take a breath, and focus on something that makes you smile. This is the time where I begin another rampage of appreciation. Some days you may find yourself absolutely unable to stop and change your thoughts, and that’s okay too. Tomorrow is a reset! Keep going!
- Before you sleep, do not rehash the negative parts of your day, but instead think of five things that went well. If you can’t think of five things, pick one and focus on that. When you fall asleep with only positive, loving thoughts, the chances are pretty good you will wake up happy. But, if you don’t, see #1. And remember to keep going! You’re doing great!