Why is it that the most important things on your “to do list” get pushed away?
I am not talking the daily to dos of life I am talking about the ones that we will forever remember, be impacted by or have impact for others.
You know the story, what is it that you want on your tombstone: “worked your buns off for your employer and made them lots of money”; or was the worlds best “fill in the blank” (wife, sister, mom, daughter, aunt, grandma, friend- etc.)? -btw I am using all the feminine words here to balance having to usually default to the male when both are implied, guys know you are included.
Seriously I am talking about the stuff that sticks in your heart. The things that you will always have or carry. Those moments when you wish you could have just supported, listened or been there.
I have been graced with amazing family, friends and community in my life. Honestly at times the support and love shocks me. (in a good way!) There are moments when this really hits home, when I am motivated to be the best I can and yet somehow that reminder fades only to be brought up face first again when I am least suspecting.
Beating myself up over it doesn’t help. If I can’t be kind to myself how can I be to others?
I am left with two things. The desire to strive to be more than I was yesterday, and the act of gratitude.
Most have heard of the benefits of a regular gratitude practice, but do we embrace it? I admit to being rather sporadic. At least this is better than 20 years ago when it didn’t exist at all. I suppose I have reached a point in life where reflection and review are constant. I do sometimes shake my head at my twenty-year-old self and actions. What was I thinking??? But really it would even be more shocking if I didn’t…that would indicate a lack of growth. Or, maybe that is my optimistic self putting a positive spin on things, I really don’t know.
This musing is today and today I am striving to be a kinder more thoughtful me than yesterday and that must be enough since that is all there really is.
If you are keen to step up to the plate with a gratitude practice, there are an endless list of ways to do it. Here are some of my first thought suggestions:
- The popular one is a gratitude journal where daily you list some key items you are grateful for;
- A twist on the journal is to maybe list a few things (3?) and to avoid getting stale or repetitive mixing it up to include some things you might have forgotten…thinking back to turning points in your life and what made the difference;
- How about playing with paying it forward, your thank you to the universe;
- If you are the structured type schedule it in with a weekly or monthly act that maybe takes more action/effort than the daily kind words/smile gig? (charity work, volunteering, extra time with someone etc.)
- Verbally, or in a written way (old fashioned cards really are best) express your appreciation to someone that isn’t expecting it at the moment;
- Take a walk in the woods and appreciate the glory of nature and the gifts it brings;
- Find and seek stories of the good in the world. The news daily brings a multitude of stories that speak to the dark side, what would it be like to shut this out for a while and just bring in the good; or
- Live in the moment, let past hurts and future worries have a rest, what is the joy of this moment (it truly will never exist again)?
Good luck with your gratitude practice! I would love to hear what yours might be or if you have any suggestions…