Tag: gratitude (page 1 of 3)

Hiccups: Learning Patience

My posting plans changed this week when I sent my poor laptop to the repair shop. I made the mistake of leaving on my bed and kicking it (accidentally) to the ground. I didn’t realize the extend of the damage until the next day when I couldn’t charge it or even turn it on. It seems I’ve unintentionally broken the internal power connection.

I wondered… what does this inconvenience teach me?

One thing’s for sure, I’ll be grateful when I have it back in full-functioning order. But beyond that, what is it teaching me, to not have one of my go-to tools taken away (perhaps by my own distraction or carelessness… say what you will)?

I take for granted what I do have. Often.

I didn’t realize how convenient it was and how much I depended on having a laptop of my own. It makes my life so much easier than having to share, and yet, I took this piece of technology for granted. This made me think, wow, I do often forget how much I have, how much I’m given and how often I complain about what I *don’t* have. Perspective, perspective, perspective!

I drew this bit of inspiration when I most needed to read it.

I drew this bit of inspiration when I most needed to read it.

I have a kind, knowledgeable, supportive partner.

Scott didn’t make me feel worse for having broken parts of my computer, rendering it unusable until it was in laptop-surgery. Even though we’re preparing for an across-the-ocean trip and are very mindful of our budget to make it a debt-free trip. He knew I didn’t break *my* computer on purpose. I felt silly enough as it was… He also helped me establish a reasonable repair budget and he put his computer(s) at my disposal. (How else would I be writing this?)

It’s ok to slow down. In fact, it’s an act of self-care.

I felt terrible about not posting on this blog this week. I told myself I wasn’t showing up for myself, making time for something I cared about and letting followers and readers down. Then, I realized that I was being more respectful of mySelf by shaking off the pressure than ‘shoulding’ all over myself and letting that transpire in my writing. I rather write from a place of care (for me and for you) than writing from a place of irritation and obligation. Perhaps I broke my computer because I needed a break from things. Maybe on some level, I was careless because I could not care at the same level anymore; I needed to take a step back, regroup, breathe, make sense of my feelings and form some loving thoughts before putting more out into the world.

Scott picked these to cheer me up.

Scott picked these to cheer me up.

I went outside more than usual.

I wandered in my front and back gardens on sunny days. I lingered in the rain on my bike rides home and watched the ducks (heck, I was wet anyway). I stopped and smelled my flowers and admired their growth and their beauty. I felt so fortunate to see my irises introduce my fragrant peonies, ushering my rose buds into being. I’m excited to see all these beautiful lives popping out of the ground, seeking the sun, sharing their vitality and their perseverance. It made me realize that I am learning so much from my garden. What a gift!

I’m learning patience.

Strawberries from our garden! Take that, squirrels!

Strawberries from our garden! Take that, squirrels!

I even found strawberries in my vegetable patch. After three years, we finally beat the squirrels to these delicious treats! That’s patience! Our previous roommate had told us: “Squirrels are the most idiotically hopeful rodents. They will keep at your flowers buds and fruit until they find something worthwhile.” Squirrels are some pretty bratty teachers, let me tell you. But hey, if I beat ’em to their own game, doesn’t that make me…rightfully hopeful? It certainly proves that I know how to wait for my time and create my moment.

I read more and I listened more.

Not “conveniently” having access to Netflix made me sit with yummy books this week. I’ll shamelessly promote an author I love, here: Daily Love. Growing Into Grace by Mastin Kipp. It’s been one of my go-to reads in this period of serendipidous “dis-connect to tune-in”. I’ve also paid more attention to signs this week, listened to my inner voice and wisdom and that made me more available to listen to my loved ones (partner, friends, parents).

Meanwhile, as I wait for my lappy sidekick, tell me what challenge has made you more patient?
What events have caused you to pause and learn something valuable about yourself?

Drop the To-Do List

As Westerners, our lives revolve around productivity, efficiency and accomplishment. We feel we need to deserve our pleasure or our rest. Perhaps it’s a christian legacy, or perhaps it’s the remnants of an agricultural society. In either case, the traditional Christians did not indulge in so much material luxury to soothe their hard work (or hardships) and the farmers understood cycles of nature and of life. We seem to have tipped the balance of work and rest, pain and pleasure.

to-dos funny copyIn the film based on the book, Eat Pray Love, Luca Spagetthi says to Liz that Americans feel guilty for wanting pleasure or taking a break. This statement felt true for me and it got me thinking. What if I traded guilt for freedom? What if I found a way to shift my own thinking away from doing and more towards being?

Shifting our focus from productivity to presence enables us to take back our power.

Drop the To-Do List…Start a To-Feel List

Put down the list for a moment and stay with me.

Manifestation is made easier by our awareness, our presence in the moment.

Focusing our thoughts on recognizing and acknowledging feelings, and especially cultivating positive ones, helps us be in touch with what makes us happy, making it easier for us to manifest these moments and appreciate them on a regular basis.

Moreover, it puts us in touch with our inner worlds, allows us to shape our outside world.

Shape your interaction with the outside world. The idea isn’t the instrumentation of Feel Good About Your To-Do Listpeople or to manipulate other’s behaviour to suit your own, but rather to seek the outlook that most benefits us – and that’s an entirely internal process. We are refining our perception so that it best enables us to notice, cultivate and manifest situations that benefit us, for the greater good of all involved. The Universe responds to the beliefs we hold so why not make it a positive experience whenever we can?

Instead of making a list of to-dos that looks like this:

  • buy groceries
  • cook dinner
  • clean dishes
  • meet Josie
  • go to the gym / pilates / yoga class
  • book plane tickets

Try something like this:

  • Feel great about my healthy food choices
  • Cook dinner with love for those involved and those who share this meal with me
  • Feel grateful for the meal I had and the clean kitchen I can cook in
  • Take pleasure in catching up with my friend Josie
  • Feel my body’s strength and flexibility in the practice of…
  • Feel the excitement of the upcoming trip!

And if you want to take the exercise further, focus entirely on the feeling:

  • Feel good about nourishment
  • Make daily activities a ritual
  • Feel great about my space
  • Enjoy my friend’s company
  • Have fun moving my body through sport or activity
  • Give in to hope

Source: Cod Infographic

The first list is entirely practical and focuses on accomplishment. The second list helps me visualize how things will go and helps me look for the positive feelings out of each of those to-do’s. The third list is very broad and yet, it’s challenging, because it can be applied to so many things or just as easily forgotten. That’s why it’s an exercise!

The last two lists, however you choose to use them, are examples of how I’ve decided to shift my focus from productivity to BEING. When I feel, when I’m in the moment, when I acknowledge where I am in my journey, I am alive. I am be-ing. I am.

How do you feel about to-do lists? How do you shift from productivity-thinking into simply being?

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