As you go through your day, do you ever find yourself acting? If so, do you ever ask yourself why? Is there something about the real you that you think is lacking and you'd like to improve? Or, maybe, the real you is just fine and you should adjust your perspective to be comfortable with that. There will always be people that we want to impress or events in which we'd like to participate. But, is doing so worth the sacrifice of your genuineness, your integrity? Why not simply be the best person you can be at all times and let the chips fall as they may? You can't control the chips anyway, and you'll find real comfort in your sense of self worth. Leave acting to the actors.
Gratitude means so much more than saying thank you. It is a life approach that appreciates every minute of every day, an understanding that you get to choose what you are doing at that moment, and to celebrate the freedom of that choice. It is surely compassionate to acknowledge that others in the world are not as fortunate as you are, but a life of gratitude should also inspire you to do something to improve your life and the lives of those others. Every step toward a greater sense of gratitude is a healthy one. Mindful activities can often help you on your way - quiet moments, journal writing, yoga, meditation - but only you can find what best motivates you to find the meaning in each day, in each moment. Start today.
Following up on last week's post, our life's "job" to be kind and good to others shouldn't feel at all like "work." Recall moments in which you have helped or been generous to another, particularly a stranger. Maybe you held open a door, helped push a stalled car, gave directions or an extra big tip. Didn't it just feel right and good to do so? You were fully present in that moment in which the real you came out - kindhearted and giving. You were also likely aware (consciously or not) of the universal human connection through kindness and compassion. Every generous act engenders another as the recipient feels comforted or appreciated, and wants to pass that feeling along. If this is indeed our life's "work," it's a "job" we should be happy to show up for every day.
For me, the Jewish New Year is a reminder of what we should be working on every day - the work we are here to do as human beings. Put simply, our job is to be kind and good to others, to make the world a better place for all. Here are a few of the reminders that I find so meaningful: to yearn for justice and mount the courage to pursue it; to yearn for peace and find the strength to work for it; to yearn for righteousness and muster the determination to live it; to yearn for love and develop the understanding to earn it; to yearn for reconciliation and and seek the wisdom to obtain it. Every day presents an opportunity to renew our determination to work harder at the only truly important job we will ever have. If we help each other along this path, the world will be amazing.
What would you choose as your top emotional wellness priority? Self-awareness, stress reduction, community involvement, being present? If you want to better yourself, you should think about what is most important to you and make a plan to improve. Mine is to deepen my existing relationships with family and friends to make them as meaningful as possible. It will involve more time, careful listening, understanding and appreciation, all ways to find true compassion for others' lives. We can't ever really walk in another's shoes, but a genuine friend will try earnestly to learn and understand a friend's thoughts and hopes, likes and dislikes, fears and concerns - to know their heart. The friendship will be a precious asset to both, and each will be an compassionate, honest and unselfish resource for the other. Simply by committing myself to this goal, I am on my way. Choose your priority and make the change a heartfelt intention.
The Mira Costa athletic trainer for 30 years, Tim was one of the most positive and caring people you could ever meet. He nurtured and mentored thousands of student athletes, modeling a life of compassion and love for all to remember. What an incredible legacy.
Life will have it's ups and downs, but positivity and kindness should always be your guide; they are your "ticket" to a contented life and meaningful legacy. If we model or teach negative or hypocritical behavior, it will not only cause us emotional distress, but will also be returned to us by those we touch. What goes around, comes around - let it be love.