Thursday, October 13, 2011

Good-Hearted Living

"Follow these daily practices to prevent Hardening of the Attitudes and add more laughter to your life" ~ Steve Wilson

One of the nuggets that I took home from our Laughter Yoga class, was a one page hand out on "Good-Hearted Living".

The idea is to be mindful of developing habits that incorporate positive thinking and actions into your day-to-day living. The ultimate goal is for these habits to become second nature. In doing so, it brings joy, happiness and laughter into your life.

Throughout regular exposure to speakers, positive thinking articles, Oprah, forwarded inspirational email messages and just a general 'keeping my eyes and ears open' to positive energy ... I found myself already living the good-hearted way.

The journey into a new career has been a challenge. When I was feeling myself in an abyss of despair on a semi-regular basis, I knew that I had lost my happiness. My joy for living.

I slowly but surely reincorporated what I knew worked for me in the past and made a conscious effort to turn my thoughts around.

I started looking for the positive in a situation and spreading it around. Speaking of the positives, complimenting people and simply being aware opened my eyes and widened my focus. Suddenly my own challenges felt smaller when I looked at the bigger picture.

I became quiet. I absorbed as much information as I could retain. I listened. I became conscious of the unwritten 'rules' which would make my life easier. I found ways to learn and do what I needed to know and get done. I learned that there is more than one way to accomplish a goal. I opened my mind to learning new things in new ways. I was flexible.

Gratitude has long been my fall-back coping mechanism. When all else fails, be grateful. Gratitude for the smallest of things brings life into focus for me. Start small ... and it grows. Pass it along ... and it becomes contagious. I once heard that if the only prayer you say is one of gratitude ... it is enough. I endeavor to live a life of eternal gratitude.

The Golden Rule. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. This is ingrained in my thinking. Kindness begets kindness (most of the time). Even if it doesn't, I feel better knowing that I acted in kindness. When I replay the tape of the day, I want to have the peace of mind that I was kind to those that crossed my path during the day. It helps me sleep at night.

Forgiveness. Even when I don't understand what motivates people to act the way they do ... I must accept 'it is what it is'. I must learn how to react in a way that does not belittle me or the other person and forge onward. "Accept the things you cannot change ..." Holding a grudge or letting anger rule my thoughts is a waste of energy. I choose forgiveness.

Indulgence. I have given myself what I need, to regenerate myself so keep taking those forward steps. Initially, I found myself wanting to cocoon myself in the peace, serenity and safety of my home. Eventually, I started adding 'people' into the equation. I have started surrounding myself with friends and family. I've ate a little 'chocolate' from time to time too.

I have come full circle and have come back to Good-Hearted Living quite by accident.

To read the article in full, click here:

The abbreviated version from "Good-Hearted Living" by Steve Wilson is:

Mondays are for Compliments
Tuesdays are for Flexibility
Wednesdays are for Gratitude
Thursdays are for Kindness
Fridays are for Forgiveness
Weekends are for Chocolate

Now ... go and have yourself a day filled with kindness. Happy Thursday!!

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