Not sure why these popped out at me this morning, actually I'm feeling a bit smug, that these don't really apply to me, but we know that can change in an instant! Hope this has something in it for you and you'll remind me to reread it when I do need it!
Sophie Keller’s column on How Happy is your
This article is about letting go of habits and behaviors that cause us to waste a lot of precious energy. You might recognize that you have a habit of doing one of these things or all five, but all of them subtly drain our internal resources. My intention in giving you these tips this week is to help you release that self imposed, extra weight that we carry around on our shoulders.
TIP 1: Stop being so hard on yourself to be so many things, to so many people, so much of the time, especially to yourself. A driving need to prove your special ness can be very tiring. If you start from the place of being ordinary and use your natural gifts and abilities to express yourself in your unique fashion and make a difference in the world it will take so much less effort. If you let go of the need to be special, you will probably achieve way more by being a bit more relaxed with yourself.
TIP 2: We connect with others through our vulnerability, rather than putting on an armored front of being able to cope with anything. So if you need help, advice or support, ask for it. Many of us really feel happy and fulfilled if we have the ability to help someone else out. We like to feel useful and needed and tend to get a lot of joy from giving to others. So by asking for help, you are also giving to the other person who you are asking for it from.
TIP3: Strip the word 'failure' from your vocabulary and replace it with feedback. The idea that we have failed at something is so emotionally tiring and debilitating, it leaves us feeling inadequate and not good enough. But if we replace the word 'failure' with 'feedback' there is a sense that we are flexible enough to take what we are aiming to achieve and if our approach hasn't worked, to try approaching it from another perspective, without beating ourselves up that the last way didn't work.
TIP 4: Accept that you have a dark side and embrace it. So maybe you have times when you feel envious, that you are being selfish or insensitive. So what! Put your hand in the air and cop to it. These feelings come and go and they are not who you are. There's something so self-accepting in recognizing that we can be dark and have negative emotions. Stuffing these negative feelings down is so draining as it takes so much effort to pretend that they don't exist. Instead, look at what the negative emotion is about, as it gives us an indication where we need to heal. E.g. If it's jealousy, maybe you have a fear that there isn't enough to go round. But when you really look in to it, it's obvious that there is. By the way, fear is usually at the bottom of it.
TIP 5: Stop judging others and being critical. Decide not to say a bad word about anybody. It will really help raise your vibration, help you store energy and make you more pleasant to be around. When you talk badly of others, usually the person listening will see it more of a reflection of who you are, than the person you are discussing. It always bothers me when someone does this, as I know that they could just as easily talk badly about me. For many, this can be a tough one, but taking a judgmental position is really non-conducive for retaining energy. It also doesn't help build trust in relationships and isn't too good for your karma either!_
The Joy Of Following A Turquoise Brick Road
Some of the roads we take in life are far more problematic -- have many more lions and tigers and bears, oh my. In fact, if I'd been with Dorothy on her journey, at a certain point I'd have suggested she consider trying a less troublesome path than her Yellow Brick Road.
Same goes for you and your road of life.
If lately you feel like wicked people are forever blocking your way -- and houses of trouble are falling from the sky -- now is the time to reassess your path.
In "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" there is a small but mighty poem called "Autobiography in Five Chapters" which wisely describes the need to change those more treacherous tracks in swap for more peaceful paths.
"Autobiography in Five Chapters"
1) I walk down the street._There is a deep hole in the sidewalk._I fall in._I am lost . . .I am hopeless._It isn't my fault._It takes forever to find a way out.
2) I walk down the same street._There is a deep hole in the sidewalk._I pretend I don't see it._I fall in again._I can't believe I am in the same place._But it isn't my fault._It still takes a long time to get out.
3) I walk down the same street._There is a deep hole in the sidewalk._I see it is there._I still fall in...it's a habit._My eyes are open_I know where I am_It is my fault_I get out immediately.
4) I walk down the same street._There's a hole in the sidewalk._I walk around it.
5) I walk down another street.
My question to you: Are you staying on your troublesome path because it's familiar? If you took the time, and faced up to your fear of the unknown, don't you think you could find a more trouble-free path - one in which you could better ease on down the road and still reach your goals - maybe even finding a pothole-free shorter cut?
Rebegin your life journey with your ends in mind. Where do you want to be in 5 years, 10 years, 50 years? Be honest with yourself. Are you on the least-bumpy, least-circuitous road to take you there? How have other people gotten to where you'd like to be? Ask them to share their maps!
Remember, the best paths and things in life are not always the most difficult paths and things in life!
Going through a bumpy time right now? THE BOUNCE BACK BOOK offers all kinds of tips on how to thrive in the face of adversity - from_psychology, philosophy, nutrition, etc. For more info about resiliency and happiness, visit: www.notsalmon.com.