My great aunt Stella has just turned 95. Her ongoing advice to me has been to be grateful for what I have and to make sure I really live my life.
This is sage advice from a woman who continues to have an amazing mind and sense of humour and who is stuck in a body that struggles to do anything. She longs for the days when she had her independence and got more enjoyment from her life.
I know many people who take their freedom to move freely for granted. This hits home every time I am in contact with people who have lost the use of a body part or never had it to begin with.
Some people don’t need Spring to inspire a clean. For those who are like me, it can sometimes be a challenge to move ‘things’ on from your life.
While throwing stuff out can be hard, giving things away graciously is a totally different story. I’ve started asking myself: “Who could use this more than me?”
When the Black Saturday bushfires hit, I had no hesitation in donating good quality items to people who’d lost everything. The more I gave, the easier it was, especially where I had duplications. It’s a trend I have continued.
Do you really notice what you own? Walk around your house and notice objects that have happy memories for you.
Pick one special possession and allow happy recollections associated with it to wash over you. Remember where it came from and feel gratitude for having it.
Find something else you like and do the same exercise. Start looking at everything you possess in a similar way. If you encounter items which bring back bad memories, either find a way to refocus your feelings about it and its origin or remove it from you life. Remember objects aren’t good or bad – you are in charge of the feeling you attach to them.
It’s amazing how quickly I am noticing that the more I focus on the positive aspects of everyone around me, the easier it is to actually see something good in everyone.
Even if I can do nothing more than find three things to be grateful for each day, I’m still #winning.
So to recap, I started by getting a journal to record at least three things a day I am grateful for in my life. I encouraged others to do the same and it’s not too late to begin if you are new to visiting this site – or you meant to get around to it yesterday and never quite got there.
Today I am resurrecting one of my favourite challenges. It’s to smile at strangers – and I mean a big hearty smile – and notice how you feel when you get a smile back.
Too often people walk around looking at their feet. Hold your head high and smile like the world depends on it. Sometimes little things matter. Smiling is one of those things.