NOTE: THIS IS THE SECOND OF A TWO-PART SERIES
We all know that becoming older is supposed to be our time for harvesting, for reaping the rewards of our lives. But for many of us who have plowed and sown seed, we are not very good at the harvesting part. We have to get past our conditioning that has taught us that enjoyment is supposed to come only after all the work has been done, which seems to be never. Harvesting is a learned skill. Many people retire hoping to finally reap the rewards of all their hard work. But they simply have never learned how to harvest their lives, and therefore a fair number find their retirement disappointing or depressing.
Here are some secrets about how to gather the riches every day of our lives; about how to live well and enjoy life:
- What are you grateful for? Where is your life abundant? It’s so easy to ignore what we have or what’s good in our lives, and to focus on what we don’t have, or what has disappointed us. Look mindfully and deeply at the blessings in your life. As we start looking for the good, our focus is automatically taken off the bad.
- Train yourself to be appreciative of your life every day. Each night before you go to sleep, create a word or two that embodies a sense of appreciation of all that has been given to you during the day. And as you close your eyes to go off to sleep, fall asleep to the words “thank you.” This simple ritual will keep you from dwelling on annoying and petty daily events that might ordinarily keep you awake. Any of the following words might also work for you: embrace, breathe, trust, heal, open, lighten, enjoy, delight, appreciate, care, share, enough, savor, receive, let go, touch, flow, I am at peace, I trust, I am blessed. So much would be added to our lives if we could just learn how to revel in the incredible gifts inherent in our ordinary lives and ordinary experiences.
- Learn the art of jumping for joy. Many of us have not jumped for joy (literally or figuratively) in a very long time. We must remember to celebrate every inner or outer “win” in our lives. Learn how to wisely whoop-di-do your successes and accomplishments. Astarius Reiki-Om reminds us “It does not matter how much or how little we achieve. If we don’t jump for joy about it, we don’t feel the emotional mileage.”
- Don’t hang on so tightly to the way it’s “supposed” to be. Trust that whatever happens—good or bad—will still provide you with ample opportunities to learn and grow, to better yourself and to realize your highest potential. The ebb and flow of life can be faced from a place of harmony rather than from struggle.
- Focus your attention on your senses. On seeing the beauty around you. On hearing the rich collection of sounds most of us simply take for granted.
“Give every day the chance to be the best day of your life.” Margaret Mitchell
Source: End The Struggle and Dance With Life by Susan Jeffers (St. Martins Griffin)