13. Practice being grateful
It is quite amazing how we can complain about things if you consider what a good life we have. Living in a peaceful country, having a nice roof above our heads, having plenty to eat and many things to wear. The abundance is sometime such that we take it so for granted. And then there are the social aspects, family and friends, hobbies and many enjoyable things to do. It is probably such that having less rather than more of all this would make you appreciate it more.
Habits and thoughts
But if we are safe, taken care of and loved, what else do we really need? It is our habits and our constant thoughts that tend to make us miserable at times. The habits that make our lives to busy and do not help us focus our time and energy on what is really important. The thoughts that make us sorry, about bad things that may have happened to us or make us feel nervous about everything that still needs to be done. The constant distractions by the constant media and information available, the pressure of staying on top of information and requests that come in any time of day. We seem to feel that the expectations people have of us continue to rise and we try really hard to be as perfect as possible.
I have tried now for a while to slow things down. And even without a job at the moment I experience sometimes how these habits and thoughts can bug me down. The great thing is, that I have now created time to reflect during the day. This really helps in understanding why I do what I do, so I can slowly start to change these. One important part of this is to realise, how great the current moment is. I am so grateful that I have the possibility to write this blog for example. It helps me sort my thoughts and express some of my feelings. I am also very grateful I have the time to spend with my children, to work through some more complex topics, like deciding which school to go to and discuss issues teenagers deal with these days. I can so enjoy going to a concert or for a nice walk and let the experience really sink in. Looking back over the last 4-5 weeks I am amazed at my progress doing yoga and learning the piano. I should be more grateful for that when I am in the middle of my practice and struggling sometimes. We work so hard to get things right and try to keep so many balls in the air, but too often forget to enjoy the moment.
What is next
How can I not be at peace with where I am at? Because there is one more thing on my list of what I considered my focus areas? This month I will be focussing on meeting new people and getting more connected with my family and friends. Isn’t that a great topic for the month of December? It may be a stretch for my introverted self, but I am sure I will enjoy being more relaxed around people. Hearing their points of view and opinions is what inspires me in many ways. May it be to be less hard on myself or to take the next steps in my journey. To learn something new or to just enjoy life more and have a good laugh. My life is so rich and there is so much more to be grateful for. Perhaps all it takes is just being aware of it more often. And being grateful is a great basis for being more compassionate, which makes you more connected with others.