Beatitudes of my life

Being grateful for everything in my life…. no matter what…

Developing an Attitude of Gratitude May 27, 2014

Simple things… they are the things that make everything in life so much sweeter.   Recognizing these morsels of sweetness can be both difficult and rewarding, but being grateful for each one is even more important.  It’s the idea of developing an Attitude of Gratitude that can be your individual key to happiness.

Think about a time when you were given some bad news.  Maybe it had to do with a medical diagnosis you didn’t expect to hear.  Did you face it head-on or did you bury your head in the sand?  Did you work to think about all the positive things that are possible or did you dwell on what you may eventually lose?  Did you turn to God for His divine support or did you close yourself off and try to handle everything on your own?  Your reaction, and ultimately your attitude, is a choice… it’s one that you’ll make daily in both large and small ways, but understand that it is a choice.  You can choose to be happy or you can choose to be miserable.  This is where I believe that an attitude of gratitude comes into play.grateful1

It’s not easy to be grateful for everything in your life, but your life will be infinitely better if you are grateful… for everything.  I love this blog post in Psychology Today that talks about how developing a habit of gratitude can lead to happiness.  I had never read this blog posting before, but I have uses their suggested technique many times over the years.  Each time, there’s been a large event (medical diagnosis, move, etc) that has precipitated my need to focus on the positive aspects of my life… and each time, this plan has helped me turn my mental focus into something more productive.

The idea is simple… which is why it works so incredibly well.  Each night, before you lay head to pillow, take a piece of paper and write down three things for which you are grateful.  I’m not suggesting that you write a paragraph about your day and how things went… that’s not the reason for this exercise.  Your list can be as short and concise as the following:

  1. Got dressed before 10AM
  2. Ate lunch
  3. Talked/texted with my sister

Nothing exciting or overly thrilling, but these three small things help you recognize that there were some positive aspects to your day.  If I were to write a list from yesterday, it would look like this:

  1. Spent time with my cousins
  2. Spent time with my entire family (both boys included)
  3. Made a really cool dessert that M suggested and everyone loved

Nothing earth-shattering, but it reminds me that I now live in MD, so we’re close enough to be able to do this more often than we have in the past.   It’s the simple aspect of spending time with family that sweetens my day and allows me to appreciate those moments even more than I might have otherwise.

I also want to add this short vine of a llama jumping across the field. Each time I see it, it makes me laugh and that can easily be one of those things for your journal. This animal is simply hopping across the pen, but listening to the music that’s been added can make just about anyone laugh hysterically.  It’s something totally unexpected and incongruent with your expectations of this animal… and it makes you grateful for the person who thought of putting these two things together.  See?  Two of your “three things” for the day done in less than one minute…. Bam!

Don’t wait until you have “the perfect notebook” or “the perfect pen” before you start a journal of gratitude.  Your attitude and your outlook is more important than the paper upon which you will write. It’s the physical act of putting pen to paper, coupled with the mental exercise of focusing on the positive, that’s most important.  Promise yourself that you’ll commit to writing in your journal every night for a month before you reevaluate this project. Developing an attitude of gratitude is not something that happens overnight… it happens over time.

I wish you a more positive tomorrow and a brighter outlook for your future.

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Because I’m Happy… February 20, 2014

Filed under: Blessings,Life Balance,Random Thoughts — beatitudesofmylife @ 4:02 pm
Tags: ,

Wow… has this song by Pharrell Williams resonated with me recently.  I love the tune, love the lyrics, love the sentiment, and just can’t stop playing this song.  It feels as if it’s my mantra, and honestly, how bad can things be if “happy” is your mantra?

Have you heard this song yet?  If not, here’s the YouTube video of it.  Just click on it and take a few minutes to let the tune sink into your bones.  Let the upbeat tone and smiles of everyone shown just flow over you.  It’s really worth those few minutes… I’ll wait…

Oh, and here’s the Richmond RVA-version of that same video… we just love Richmond and want everyone else to love it too!

Now, did you catch all the words?  If not, here they are, in all their glory:

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

[Hook:]
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

[Verse 2:]
Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Here’s why

[Hook]

Hey, come on

[Bridge:]
(happy)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said

[Hook 2x]

Hey, come on

(happy)
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level’s too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)

Amazing, right?  I could easily listen to this song for days and not get tired of it.  It gets my head bopping, my feet tapping, and I have a hard time sitting still.  I turn the radio up when it comes on just so I can try and drown out the artist and get every word right (which, of course, never happens, but I keep trying anyway).  It’s such an upbeat, fun song that I love it.

HappyPlate

There’s so much un-happiness in this world today that I just have to focus on the positive and do my best to be “happy”.  My husband lovingly calls me a “happy yellow lab”.  No, he’s not calling me a dog… he’s recognizing that my outlook focuses on the fun/happy/positive parts of life rather than sinking into the negative.  My college roommate once gave me a platter with the word “Happy” on it because she said that it just seemed like me.  I had to include a photo of it here: Isn’t it just something that would make you smile every time you used it?  I was really touched that she felt that way about me… and took it as pretty high praise.

Being a happy person doesn’t mean that you don’t have bad days or let things get you down… being happy just simply means, to me, that you make a very concerted effort not to “sweat the small stuff”.   Life can hand you lots of different challenges, but to focus on the happier side of life can sometimes make those challenges easier to face.  You don’t have to allow the negative side of life to take over… just do your best to look on the brighter side of things.   It may sound pithy, but try it sometime… you may just surprise yourself and have a better day than you expected!

 

 
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