Just as the sun sets in this simple serene last moment of the day, we can chose how we begin and end our day. As I have written about before in my blog, for a very long time, I have chosen to begin each day by vocally saying my ‘gratitudes’ and prayer. Recently, I read about being grateful in advance for those things/people who will cross our paths the next day. I had to stop and think about that and decide if this was something I wanted to incorporate at the end of my day. The answer was YES, and so I have as I wrap up my day, thinking about tomorrow.
Choosing to be grateful is a conscious decision and can be a way to turn a negative challenge for us into a life giving gratitude, an intentional quest to find the good in an otherwise difficult situation. This is not easy!!! I repeat, this is not easy. I think it requires adjusting our mindset on what is really important, given any situation. There will always be difficulties, tragedies, crisis, and you name it because that is life! Yep, it happens doesn’t it?? Sometimes, it even feels like a tsunami! I don’t want to trivialize switching the mindset; maybe it is more like baby steps on finding that path of gratitude when the tsunami hits. Baby steps are positive and move us in the right direction. Our first step is to make the choice, the choice to find some part of the pain/loss/challenge that we are so grateful for that we know if it had not been a part of our lives, we would have missed the gift.
May you each feel the tender warmth of a grateful heart today, tomorrow and always.
PERFECTIONISM …TO BE OR NOT TO BE, THAT IS THE QUESTION:
Multi-tasking and managing lots of ‘stuff’ in life…….schedules, time, commitments, family life happenings, money, bills, health and our work domain have become the norm. Yet, we Type A personalities try to multi-task while always striving for perfectionism; but in reality, long term perfectionism IS NOT POSSIBLE! We drive ourselves crazy trying to keep it all together and everything in perfect, absolute perfect order.
It is certainly good to be organized in life, but that does not mean we have to be perfect. Are there options to getting it all completed and not everything perfect? Yes, I think there is an option, but it lies not out there; it lies in our thought process. The process that starts out like: “you know self, this project can be done a little differently involving a little less time and still be perfectly acceptable. It can be GOOD ENOUGH!”
An option is not having an all or nothing mindset. There is a lot in between all and nothing, and that is where our change in mindset lies……..in between. Learning to find that happy delicate balance between ‘this is good enough’ and ‘this still has work to become perfect’ is a process in and of itself. One has to let go of doing it until it is just perfect. Honestly, most of the time, no one will ever know that we stopped three steps ahead of our ideal perfect. Because, guess what? It turned out great and everyone loved it. Our stubborn steadfast ideals of perfect keep us from celebrating the much needed little victories we have in life. I will be the first to admit, I have gotten much better at this ‘good enough’ thing in life as I have aged. Maybe it has to do with that I have realized I have only so much time and I want to make it count with lots of memories, not how long I spent perfecting something.
Anne Wilson Schaef, author of various meditation books, states it well: “Perfection is self-abuse of the highest order.”
Where do you fall on that continuum of all or nothing?
It goes without saying that gratitude goes a long way in keeping one upbeat and moving forward with good PURPOSE and JOY. It requires some effort to develop this habit of gratitude. Not all days is it easy to have this spirit.
Our emotions can burst forth with gratitude when our hearts are stirred by a tragic event we hear on the radio or the television. When we are out and about and see someone who appears to be homeless, our thoughts of gratitude for our own warm home spring to life. The silent prayer of ‘thankful we have not experienced this’ is front and center when we see graphic images of tragedy. Other days, the general run of the mill day, gratitude may be elusive and seem out of reach. These days are the challenge.
Gratitude does not have to be all about the obvious and so-called Big Name events. It can be a simple holding of the door for someone who is less mobile or someone whose hands are full, or a heart-felt ‘thank you’ to that person that lets you go in front of them just because, or a nod/wave to the driver who gives you room to move into their lane, or a short note of appreciation to your friend/partner who spent time with you doing something you wanted to do. Cultivating this habit of gratitude on a daily basis brings a sense of JOY. Yes, it takes effort, but a definite ‘worth it’ habit.
What can you do tomorrow that would be an act of gratitude?