Would the world be different if we took the time to practice more gratitude and appreciation? If we sent a little “Thank You” note to the neighbor who helped us out, or to the friend who was there for us in an hour of need; if we sent a “thinking of you” note to someone we have not connected with in a while.
Do you smell the roses? Do you take time, a minute here and a minute there, to inhale the beauty around us, and to digest our beautiful world in which every single creature has its own, important place?
I read about a film called “365 Grateful” that is being produced. It has a website; in the introductory video, Hailey, a young woman, is smiling, laughing, and full of happiness and gratitude. The first thing to notice about it is a big, huge smile, and the sounds of a good belly laugh!
In 2008, Hailey was fighting depression. She was wondering how she could help herself, and decided to look at life positively, one day at a time. For 365 days, on each day, she took a photograph of something she felt grateful for, a beautiful bird, a book she was given, a picture, a flower, the beach. Can you imagine how difficult this must have been for her to do while she was suffering from depression?
Over the following months, Hailey slowly became better; not only did she improve physically, her entire life changed!
When I was sitting on the pub’s patio, enjoying an evening of talk, good food and a nice, cold beer one evening, a bit further on, a couple, both of them ignorant of their surroundings, was typing on their Blackberry’s. It looked as if they were texting each other. I was inclined to think that they had lost the ability to speak. Even after their dinner arrived, one of them continued texting.
Many of us have made phone calls while sitting in a restaurant, or sent text messages; I admit it, I am guilty too. We race through life in a constant bubble of noise: cars tooting their horns, music everywhere … boom, boom, boom; people shouting. We hammer on our phones’ keyboards as if our life depended on it; so many obligations, and we are conditioned to respond to all demands – immediately please!
Our world is not going to fall apart if we take time for ourselves, just a wee bit every day. Let’s sit in the garden, deeply inhaling the smell of a beautiful flower; listen to a bird chirping a song for us, or give a big smile to someone we don’t know. Let’s open our hearts to our beautiful world in gratefulness.
We are the designers of our own life; let’s live it consciously, with appreciation of the beauty that is around us, and compassion.
I would love to hear how you escape the hectic of your life. Do you take time to smell the roses?
When I read this poem for the first time, it stopped me dead in my tracks.
“Come to the edge” the voice said softly
“No” they said it’s too high”
“Come to the edge” the voice insisted
“No” she said it’s too dangerous
“Come to the edge” the voice demanded
“No” she said “I might fall”
“Come to the edge” the voice commanded
Reluctantly, I came to the edge
He pushed me off
And I flew.
by Guillaume Apollinaire, 1870 – 1918
What touched me so deeply was how much I recognized myself in these simple words. This was exactly how I had lived for so long.
Last year I consciously decided to do things I have never done before and that felt uncomfortable: I took challenges; I looked for challenges. It began with a group of wonderful women taking a weekend trip to do zip-lining. When I saw myself on the last of five steps leading into nothing, my heart started its own concert, hammering … boom, boom, boom! All I wanted to do was run back up as fast as I could. “This is a one-way street, and there is no return. You better get on with it,” I heard someone say, and I knew I had to do it. Eventually, I gathered my courage, let go and jumped!
I flew; and I shouted in joy; I felt like a bird soaring high over Mother Earth; I felt jubilant.
Next came a live interview at “ThatChannel – Liquid Lunch” Internet TV, a hurdle I never dreamt I would pursue; it left me excited and proud: I had done it! Para-sailing in California, passing the intense NLP Practitioner Certification course, and an eight-week “Speaking Club” were next on the list. Each of these activities helped me grow in ways I could not have foreseen.
It is so much easier for us to stick with the ‘same old same old’ than to take risks; it feels comfortable like an old blanket to wrap ourselves in; nothing can go wrong, we think; why change?
Wrong! As a Virtual Assistant and business owner, I work in client relationships. My clients expect me to be the expert. Through learning and experience I have gathered the knowledge about many tools that help my clients’ productivity and growth. I am insanely curious; I want to learn more, delve deeper, and become a better partner to my clients. I need to try things, jump into the cold water and swim; sinking is no option!
We must take our hearts in hand and take risks to grow. When we overcome hesitation and fear, we climb up on the ladder of confidence, and competency, and we glow.
I have not yet decided what the next challenge will be; there are options, though, that are exciting; I am looking forward to conquering the next hurdles.
What challenges do you have and how do you overcome them? I’d love to hear from you.