My 200th Post: The Good Things Jar

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Happy Friday! ¬†We made it ūüėČ ¬†I’m excited to announce this is my 200th post on this blog. ¬†That is quite an accomplishment, I must say. ¬†It signifies a commitment to my writing practice and to you, my dear readers. ¬†It’s important to celebrate all those milestones, no matter how big or small they seem in the moment.

One way we can do that is to create a Good Things Jar.  I first saw this concept posted on Facebook, but there are many different versions of it.  In fact, a friend of mine and fellow blogger recently posted about The Happiness Jar, a kind of gratitude jar, which was introduced by writer Elizabeth Gilbert.

The Good Things Jar helps you focus on something good that happened each week. ¬†You write it down on a slip of paper and place it in your jar. ¬†Then, at the end of the year, maybe even on New Year’s Eve, you can open the jar and read about all the good things that happened in 2017.

Alternatively, if you don’t have time or space for a jar, you can simply make a list and keep track that way, but it might not be as much fun. ¬†I realized I was actually doing this last year when I kept a list of “miracles” (big and small) that occurred to me or someone else I cared about. ¬†This was in response to my word of the year.

But whatever you decide to do, keeping track of your successes, what you are grateful for, and the general positives in your life is guaranteed to be uplifting.

May you have a year filled with many good things!

Trusting the Heart-Centered Voice Within

“…while I pondered, weak and weary…” –from The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

When taking an unmarked path in life, sometimes it’s hard to know which way to go. ¬†But remember, you always have an internal compass: your inner voice. ¬†You might have to pause and listen quietly to hear it, but it’s always there, waiting.

I read something recently that suggested your inner voice is your career partner and manager. ¬†It’s easy to fall into the trap of looking elsewhere for advice and forgetting to trust yourself, your resourcefulness, and your intuition.

The best way to find your inner voice is by meditating.  But I think there are other ways.  Any time you are doing something you love, you are connecting to self.

Lynn Newman wrote a post on Tiny Buddha where she talks about finding the greatest happiness and freedom while at meditation retreats. She talks about letting go and “juicing up [her] heart.”

She then lists 10 Simple Tips to Live Happy, Wild, and Free.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Write a list of simple things that bring you joy such as eating a juicy piece of fruit, watching the sun set or rise, taking a bubble bath, or drinking a cup of tea while reading a good book. ¬†Make sure to engage in these activities several times a week. ¬†Remember, it only takes a moment to experience a blissful state of mind!
  • Take a cold shower (especially rejuvenating in the summer)
  • Talk less and practice heart-centered listening
  • Enjoy nature and appreciate its timing. ¬†This will help remind you that your path will lead you to the right place at the right time. ¬†(Remember you are growing at this very moment!)
  • Affirm your authentic self (ex. I am enough, I am worthy, I am a success)

As we chug along in life, it’s easy to feel caught up in the day-to-day struggle to get ahead. ¬†But when we stop struggling, we realize we can float. ¬†Taking time to relax and let go helps us rejuvenate and reconnect with our inner core of strength. ¬†And in that moment, when our inner voice speaks to us of our deepest desires, we know exactly what to do.

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.”– Carl Jung

 

 

 

 

 

Quote for the Day: Happiness

We all want to be happy.  The pursuit of happiness is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.  Will Smith even starred in a movie about it.  But what does it really mean to be happy?

I recently watched a TED Talk that offered another model for this ideal.

“The happiness of pursuit”

Instead of always trying to accomplish something in order to find happiness, we might want to consider finding happiness as we try to accomplish something.

Shawn Achor says in his talk entitled The Happy Secret to Better Work,¬†“Every time your brain has a success,¬†you just changed the goalpost of what success looked like.¬†You got good grades, now you have to get better grades,¬†you got into a good school and after you get into a better one,¬†you got a good job, now you have to get a better job,¬†you hit your sales target, we’re going to change it.¬†And if happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there.”

So go after what you want.  But instead of viewing happiness as a destination, see if you can find happiness along the way.

 

The Glass Is Half

Be Happy

This advice either sounds really easy or really hard, depending on your perspective.

But here’s an affirmation that might help you out either way.

“I am confident, and it’s a wonderful day. ¬†I am the architect of my life, and I have talents I will use today.”

I found this quote in the April 2015 issue of Redbook magazine.

According to Aunna Pourang, M.D., a holistic family physician in Los Angeles and author of¬†Meditate, Don’t Medicate, affirmations can help reduce stress and create change.

Whatever affirmation you use, say it every day. ¬†Better yet, say it with a smile while looking at yourself in the mirror ūüôā

 

 

Stay Positive

Here are two ways of thinking that have changed my life.

#1.¬† No matter what the circumstance, ask yourself “What good will come from this?”

–from¬†Zen and the Art of Happiness¬†

#2. “What else is possible?”¬† –from 3 Tips for Dealing with Disappointment