Three Simple Things
Sometimes I get caught up in worrying about my experiences being universal. Sometimes I worry that they may not be helpful at all. Regardless of those wondering(s), I sit and type from time to time, thinking there might be something from what I have learned that may help someone else in some small way. What follows are three simple things that help me smile more than I frown (though I do still frown on occasion).
One thing I do everyday, is bend over. It is the one thing that makes me notice I am growing older and have new limits physically more than any other thing. Whether bending to tie my shoes or to pick something up, there comes the normal “older person” aches and pains with each effort. It used to be a real drag to pick something up off the ground.
Rather than moan and groan about my age, or the aches and pains, I say to myself, and sometimes out loud and to the Universe, “Thank you for everything I have”. Or, “Thank you for peace”. What used to be a way to beat myself up over my weight, age, or physical condition, has become a very real way of practicing gratitude. This has not only given me a better outlook on living, but it has replaced the dread of bending over with an enthusiasm for everything good in my life.
Give Up on Being Right.
Being right is important in life. It helps us do things that matter. Most of the arguments I have been involved in, and really, the ones I have seen in the world (when I care to pay any mind to the world), center and grow around participants needing to prove they are “right”. Regardless of the debate or issue, whether anyone is right has little to do with a positive solution. So much time is wasted proving we know what we are talking about, instead of hearing others.
There can be more than one way to do things the right way. There can be two perspectives, by virtue of where we are seeing things, that can be different, and also right, at the same time. But giving up on being right is not about believing another person’s opinion might be right, as well. We can allow others to be wrong in our opinion while they believe they are right. Our purpose is so much more than making “thought-clones” out of everyone we meet.
Contemplate a Sunflower
Sunflower, special person, fond memory, or a great feeling you have had and would like to have again. Any of these work. Our minds have a lot, and I mean A LOT of free time. Intentional, on purpose thinking, leads to better things than letting our minds wander into whatever vortex outside forces thrust upon us. We can be governed by a simple, positive thought when we find ourselves reacting to things rather than creating joy for ourselves and others.
For me, lately, this thought is a sunflower. From time to time I look for pictures of sunflowers on my cell phone. I imagine myself in a field of sunflowers. I think of sunflowers I saw as a child riding my bicycle through our neighborhood and remember the warm breeze as I turned the corner at top speed in an effort to take the next hill with more ease. I think of those in my life, both living and passed, that love sunflowers. And as silly or useless as this sounds, it takes the place of worrying for things beyond my control.
Can It Be This Simple?
Be grateful. Be content knowing what we do, without having the need to convince others we know why we do what what we do. Be intentional about what we think about. Be hope to others, all the while knowing, that compassion is not about conformity, kindness is not about compliance, and that our happiness is our responsibility and not for others to guarantee.