Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How to Stop Taking Your Life and People for Granted

Close your eyes a moment. Take a few breaths and imagine the faces of all the people important in your life right now. 

Linger a moment on each of them, their eyes, their smiles ... their energy. Think about what each of those people gives you, what each of them adds to your life on a daily basis. 

Now imagine if they all disappeared.

Imagine what your life would be like without those people in it.

This is a good exercise to practice every time you get upset with any of these people or angry about something and take it out on them. It's a good exercise to practice on a daily basis, upon waking up, mid-way through your day, before going to bed.

It doesn't always have to be people either, it can also be a job, your kids, your pets, a situation, a home, etc. 

The reason I mention it is, in a way, when we take people, possessions, jobs and even something as simple as running water and fresh food for granted, we are not honoring their value in those moments ... in those moments, they may as well not exist in our lives for all the honor we are giving them right then.

It's a harsh thing to think about or admit, but once you realize it, it can change your life ... and the silver lining is, it can change your life in ways that oftentimes (unfortunately) only tragedy or loss will do. And I've read about, written about, experienced and seen enough loss in life that it really hits me hard these days how fragile it all truly is.

But if you let this practice be a part of your day, it will give you the power to honor and respect all the people, all the tangible things and intangible things in your life. It will change the way you talk to people you care about. It will change the way you view your job and all the things it provides you, it will change the way you view your pets, even when they're driving you nuts ;-) or kids, your parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.

The second thing you can do to help rewire your brain to focus on the positives in your life and to no longer take people and life for granted, is gratitude. When you actually sit down and write out all the things you can think of off the top of your head that you have to be thankful for, you will be quite surprised how long that list gets.

So the second you have a negative thought about a person, situation or experience, try to counter it with a positive thought about that person, or a pleasant experience you had that day. And stay with THAT feeling and emotion.

The third thing you can do ... is when you have an enjoyable moment during your day, or something makes you laugh, try to stay with that feeling for a few seconds longer than you normally do. Try to stay present throughout the day and give your presence to the people in front of you at any given moment. 

You will find you experience those people in ways you may never have before, you will notice things about them you haven't before ... and if you have the open mindedness ... you will appreciate them for who they are and what they offer just a little bit more than you might have the day before.

These are just a few things that come to mind. But I think the key is stopping periodically throughout your day and just taking a moment to really ... well, take it all in. Take your life in and all the people in it.

And imagine if they weren't there anymore.

Til next time ... be well my friends <3


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