I’ve always been interested in journaling, but not about the day’s events. That felt too mundane for me and I would almost immediately quit. As I grew older, I became very interested in positive reading and music. I wanted to compile my favorite inspirations somewhere other than my Facebook wall. I felt every bogged down by the world’s negative energy. I needed to recharge-to boost my happiness level and stay positive. The idea struck me to start a happiness journal and it actually stuck!
First, I purchased the handmade sari journal from a B&N in D.C. in 2014. I started collecting quotes and anything that inspired me. It is a very special journal that calms and grounds me. I can’t even explain my love for this one. I even keep a bucket list in the back (it is a work-in-progress).
The green notebook came next. I started coming up with five things that I’m grateful for every morning. This stemmed from my efforts to make my days more positive and productive. I needed something to write them in and grabbed a cheap journal (notebook) while I was in the store. Hey, at least it’s cute and fits me perfectly!
The yellow journal is one that I am very excited about. I am planning on visiting an ashram in about a month, and wanted something to take notes in. I started getting back into chanting and decided to also keep chants/verses and notes on yogic living in this journal also. This way, I always have them together and accessible.
I find this type of journaling relaxing and uplifting. Most people like to read inspirational or positive quotes. Why not compile your favorites? It has been a very positive change, and I can’t wait to see how it grows and helps me to spiritually evolve.
I read somewhere that we should ask ourselves one question every morning: If today were my last day alive, how would I want to spend it?
Obviously, my mind immediately attaches to family and travel. In the simplest sense, my mind is correct; however, there is a much broader way of thinking that is required in order to think so abstractly. It isn’t realistic for most of us to abandon all of our responsibilities each day in order to do something more meaningful to us. For daily life improvement, this question requires us to think a bit deeper than that.
Everything that we do and every reaction to it is a choice. The dishes still need to get done, but how do I want to feel about doing them? I still have that meeting today, but what do I want to get out of it so that it isn’t wasting my time? The kids are already bouncing off of the walls, so how do I want to handle my parenting attitude today? It is so easy for these daily situations to cause stress or negative reactions. What isn’t easy, is training your mind to create positive feelings and reactions, but it is worth it.
Positivity training takes time and a lot of effort. There will be difficult days that test your patience and dedication to your practice. It is important to maintain some thread of positive thinking, even if it means having someone hold you accountable or leaving notes to yourself around your home. The best time for me to practice, is first thing in the morning before I get out of bed. I’ve noticed that my attitude about the day is set before my feet hit the floor. Really pay attention to your morning routine and see when your attitude about the day is set. It is likely that it happens before your feet hit the floor, but it could be different for everyone. Tailor your training to your schedule and needs.
So, today is your last day alive. How are you spending it? Is it full of frustration and anger, or love and appreciation?
My hand hurts. Duh, right? I broke it.
Well, when my hand is hurt, so is my heart and mind. I can’t do some of the things that I love to do each day that put me in a great mood: yoga, hooping, playing the ukulele, etc. I was seriously bummed about this for the last few days. Then, I had a very obvious realization: I still can. I can play songs with two or three chords, I can hoop on-body, and I can practice hatha yoga. Turning my can’ts into cans completely changed my mood.
My hand hurts and there are some things that I genuinely can’t do (such as hand-washing the dishes, I know, sad face), but turning my can’ts into cans reopened my day to happiness, peace, and joy; not just because of my ability to do those specific things, but because I had control over my day and my mood by not carrying around a defeated attitude.
Everything that is broken can be fixed, except for our day. Time is something that we can’t redo. Don’t waste it by listing the things you can’t do and start living it by experiencing the things that you can do.
Right when it was getting good…
I was just getting into a yoga groove and feeling like I was establishing a habit within the past week. That has come to a halt. Yesterday, I was playing football with my two older kids, when I made a bad catch. I am 99% sure that my pinkie is broken. One thing is for sure, it is too painful to use it and I am unable to move it without screaming in pain. So much Zen…….not.
I will say that it has at least taught me a valuable lesson (aside from how not to catch a football). It has been a challenge in positivity. I may not be able to practice hatha yoga right now (for the most part), but that leaves room for more meditation. There is always a silver lining and a way to look at the bright side. We can always be thankful for something. In this case, meaning even if at the least, I am thankful that I didn’t break my arm and that I have health insurance to see a doctor. It is all about gratitude and perception.