Monday, December 5, 2016
There are plenty of things to be grateful for. Material things. Relationships. The life situation you are in. It is important to be mindful of our relationship to ourselves and how it affects the perceived “outside” world. There are plenty of practices you can perform express your gratitude.
You can write down things you are grateful on a daily basis or moment to moment. Bringing your appreciation and gratitude to light is an essential part of maturation and inner growth. The awareness and vulnerability to simply redirect your thought process towards gratitude can have immense effects on everything in your life situation.
We all find ourselves in hard times and emotional struggles from time to time. This is part of the immense spectrum of emotion that has been gifted to us at birth. How amazing is it to be able to feel so many emotions?
We tend to want to grasp onto the good and “rewarding” emotions because it makes us feel content, comfortable and what we can label and perceive as “happy”. When something like sadness, anger or depression hits us, we want to escape it like it’s the plague or an annoying mosquito. None of us want to hold onto sadness. That would perpetuate more sadness, but continuing to resist these “bad” emotions can lead to more destructive behaviors further down the line. The more you resist, the more these self perceived inconvenient emotions will persist with more strength and potency.
“Fix your Attitude.”
What do you think of this phrase? I am sure you have heard something like this before. Maybe you were acting irritable, stubborn or anxious and someone wanted to simply change your whole emotional disposition. Although the intention of this might be good, it doesn’t really help the situation at large. The person telling you to fix your attitude is trying to whether he or she knows it or not, to control your behavior in order to suit their own agenda and comfort. This phrase shouldn’t be retaliated against with more aggression. That would be extremely unproductive. Just because they can’t accept your emotional landscape at the moment, doesn’t mean you should try to fix their unconscious behavior. Get the picture?
So how can we take responsibility for our emotions and not try to escape our current emotion with resistance and “acting out”?
This is a great question. We must take responsibility for our actions and emotions. This is fundamental in the human growth mindset.
First: You feel those emotions. Feel them in your body. Breathe. Don’t try to suppress them. Refrain from saying “ I’ll be ok”. You will be. It will pass. Experience that inconvenient emotion with your whole body. You can choose to simply “relax” through it.
It may be hard. Good. That’s your mind trying to retreat from experiencing the negativity and discomfort in your body. No need to push back, just think of that passing emotion as an enclosed water slide. There is an end to it. Might as as well enjoy the unexpected twist and turns and the flow of the water, right?
Second: So you’ve made it through the hardest step.
How can we work on that attitude now?
Do you feel slightly less heavy than before?
Do you feel more “in control”?
Do you feel somewhat balanced?
If not, that’s ok. Patience is key.
Let’s tie this in with the gratitude we talked about above.
You may have the inkling to just try to relax through this whole emotional turmoil or try to think of all the negative things your mind was throwing at you.
What if you were to do the radical thing and switch that negativity switch to gratitude mode?
Think of it as reformatting your internal hard drive. Fixing glitches in the software. Upgrading your mental operating system. Rerouting those Neural Pathways.
What are you grateful for?
Think of 3 things.
Just at the top of your head.
Don’t question them, just accept them. Let them in. Remember what I told you about resistance. No need for that here.
Does your mind end at 3 grateful things?
Surely, there is more? Right?
Gratitude has no ending. No period. No exclamation mark. No pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That’s the beautiful thing. From the tiniest to the biggest. Everything counts. Everything holds fabulous weight.
You can be grateful for:
That mole on your left arm
The ability to afford groceries.
The ability to drive a car.
Your central air.
Onward and Upward.
The snowballing of gratitude. The domino effect of thankfulness.
The Immense Power of Acceptance.
Look at the list above.
See what I did there. I literally just listed things I was grateful for at the top of head. Straight off the dome. No rehearsal. No premeditation. As I was doing this, I felt a warmness. A warmness that filled my heart and soothed my mental reward centers. It is a win win scenario.
What beauty comes from spontaneity. The embracing of uncertainty.
The yielding to vulnerability and whole hearted living.
You fix your attitude by fixing your gratitude.
Your GR( ATTITUDE ).
You can even be grateful for things that you see as “negative”.
Maybe something bad happened to you or you yelled at a close friend. There are so many things we wish we could have done better. There are many things that we think we regret. There are many things that have made us feel guilt and shame. This is progress. Why not be grateful for the “bad things” that have waken you up and contributed to your growth as a person? Why not be grateful for the lessons you have learned from trying times? All in all, when you become more grateful, you see the sheer absurdity in the past negative reactions and thought processes of the past. You can move past that negative mind and be present. What a gift to be able to emerge from darkness with strength, wisdom and the ability to grow.
What do you choose?
When that negativity seed gets planted in your head, how are you going to make it grow. Are you just going to let it sit there in the dark? Are you just going to let it sit there and fuel your negative energy? Or. Are you going to let it emerge from that soil of darkness and bloom? Bloom into a flower of gratitude. A flower resilient to anything that is thrown at it.
Flowers grow from Sh*t.