Your exercise today is to stop and breathe. When you feel like you’re hurrying and rushing like crazy, just stop yourself and look around. Is there something that you’re missing? Maybe your child is unhappy, or your dog needs a little extra loving, or it might even be you that needs some tender loving care. So just STOP every time you’re rushing and breathe. Sit down if you’re standing up… stop if you’re walking fast… and just breathe. (But don’t stop the car in the middle of the road if you’re driving!)
It’s absolutely OK if dinner is at 6:40 or 7 PM instead of 6:30, believe me. I learned from my child that dinner is absolutely fine if it’s a little late. It’s being together to share the meal that counts!
I know when you see the simple title of this chapter, you might roll your eyes and think, and “I’ve heard that before!” But please hear me out. I have done this myself, days when I was feeling down or depressed. I would force myself to smile at everyone, the guy at the grocery store, the random person crossing the street while I was in my car, or even a neighbor. It definitely lifted my spirits. I don’t know how or why, but it absolutely did! And so much research is out there that would prove my point.
This topic reminds me of an acquaintance of mine, who is a teacher. She had a habit of always smiling. Every time I would run into her, she would give me a gigantic genuine smile and say, “Hi!” It was nice some days, but other days I felt annoyed about her cheerful outlook on life. So many times when I was feeling down, I would become irritated when she would repeatedly greet me with a smile.
Finally I asked her how she could always be so happy. Her answer changed my life forever. She told me (with a smile, of course), “Honey, that’s the only thing I have left to fight this cancer with. Chemo and radiation aren’t strong enough to get rid of those cancer cells, but a positive attitude is.”
9- NAVIGATE YOUR SOUL
Start noticing the small things that make your heart smile. If it’s taking pictures of nature, then do more of it. If it’s preparing healthy meals, then spend time doing that. Navigate your soul towards what you love to do. Feel the little “text messages” that your soul sends you. Listen when your soul tells you not to jump into something and navigate your soul towards the things that make your heart smile.
Take the reins of your life and steer it towards your inner greatness. Don’t be shy. You can achieve anything if you don’t stop in the middle and stay persistent. You will go through turns and twists, but eventually you will get there. Use your soul as your personal GPS; notice what makes it happy and content. Spend at least 10% of your time doing that. Slowly increase that time and it will make you a happier person.
8-DREAM AND SMILE
I have e a dear friend of mine who has been instrumental in helping me through this journey that we call “Life.” Every time I would be stressed, my dear friend would say, “Dream and smile.” It never made sense to me because, at those moments in my life, I was too busy being negative and grumpy.
When I embarked on my detox journey, I was looking back at my old journals and found this phrase – dream and smile. All of a sudden, it made sense! I needed to dream my biggest dream and believe that the Universe would assist me in fulfilling it.
So I wrote down my dream; it was a simple one – I wanted to be able to write and be appreciated for what I was writing. Once I wrote my dream, I smiled every time I thought about it. The thought just il- luminated my heart. I had turned it over to the Universe to make it happen, and miraculously before my 30 day detox was over, I became an official blogger for The Huffington Post! It was unbelievable. I had been working as a teacher for the past 12 years and this opportunity just opened up for me. I knew that this wasn’t my final destination, but it was the beginning of my soul’s journey to meet the greatness that I was created for.
7- FACE THE FEAR
Today is your day to face your fears. By fear, I don’t mean the fear of heights or jumping out of an airplane, but the fear of a worst case scenario. You might fear for the future, fear facing someone who you’ve been feuding with, fear being great, or even maybe just fear living life to the fullest. But this needs to stop, because the truth is that fear (like anger) is just an emotion that comes and goes. Fear is what truthfully
holds us back from being the greatest person that we can be. Unfortunately, a lot of women today have a fear of spending their lives alone, so they settle for the wrong kind of guy – someone who abuses them. For these readers, I say learn to be with yourself, to be
your own best companion.
For myself, what I did was that I actually sat down and created an
image of my worst case scenario. I can’t draw to save my life, but it was a fun experience to try. I actually also cut out pictures from magazines and created an anti-dream board – things I feared and didn’t want to deal with in the future. I made my beautiful board, laughed while do- ing it, and smiled at the things I feared and it became a fun experience.
Once I was done, I took a good look at all the things on my board and then I ripped it up. I ripped it into a hundred pieces and threw it away. It was such a relief.
6-REIN IN THE RESENTMENT
Resentment is something that most people-pleasers deal with. We tend to keep the needs of others ahead of our own. In our tendency to make the world a happier place, we forget ourselves. Then, later on, when we realize that others don’t do the same or our needs aren’t reciprocated, we resent the other people and the world.
I sat down in a comfortable position and first wrote down what I resented most – for me, it was just not being able to stand up to the bullies in my life. So I wrote that down. Then I closed my eyes and visualized myself sitting with each one of these bullies. I told them nicely that I was handing back all the resentment that I had towards them and that I forgave them. I wasn’t able to do this in one sitting so I spread it out over the day. I did one bully at a time. By the end of the day, I felt so light and like a feather. It was so liberating and exciting. I did eventually come face-to-face with one of these people I had identified as a bully, and after this exercise, I saw her as weak and vulnerable. I wasn’t threatened by her in anyway, which interestingly caused her to back off.
Remember that bullies are just humans like us- they are just hurting from the inside!
5- SLASH THE DEMON- ANGER
This is what I do
So I sat down for my morning session and closed my eyes, and I chose to question my anger. I asked myself what were the things that made me angry, in the past and in the present. After I started to get my answers, I opened my eyes and wrote them down no matter how many tears fell. I continued to write everything I remembered that angered me – the people, the moments, the emotions and even the sights. It was really difficult as my anger rose and fell, but I had no one else to blame for keeping that inside of me.
Once I was a bit calmer, I then blessed every person and moment that had caused these negative feelings in me. I said, “I bless you my ex-friend even though you made me angry.” By blessing it, I removed the poison that was flowing in my veins and changed it into love and forgiveness. I had never before tried to get rid of negative feelings and replace them with positive ones, and believe me, I felt physically lighter when I did. It was like I weighed less! I felt like someone had removed a huge rock from my brain.
So when you feel anger – slash that demon with love!!!
4- EXPLAIN THE GRATITUDE
This is something we have all heard before… to be grateful for what you have and to keep a gratitude journal. For years, I had done this, but one day as I was looking back at my journals, and I realized something. I saw that I had written things down, and now I couldn’t remember the reason. I was feeling down, and one of my previous entries said, “I am thankful for a stranger.” I wanted to know and remember what that stranger had done, but I just couldn’t recall. I decided that it was important to explain my gratitude, for the days I was just not feeling thankful. That way, I could be inspired by something from the past.
So today and everyday remember to explain your gratitude incase you need little “pick up”
3-USE YOUR IMAGINATION
Once you know what you want and where you want to be, start imagining yourself in that place or as that person.Close your eyes and see how you want to see yourself. This is actually a difficult thing to do. As human beings, we are scared to feel the greatness within us. So we stay in the form of a mediocre person, someone that we are OK being.
Today look inside and see the best YOU!! Imaging your self as the best YOU will bring about small changes everyday!
2-START WITH THE END IN MIND
When you drive your car and are trying to reach your destination, you keep your eye on the end. You follow your GPS to take you in the right direction. If the freeway is jammed or there is construction on the road, you wait until you are able to move ahead. Yet in life we want to rush to our destinations jumping over minor setbacks. Instead, keep your destination in mind and deal with what comes up and then continue to move on.
What is your destination? What do you have to do to be the happiest?
1-BEGIN TO TAP INTO YOUR GOAL
Your ultimate goal should be something in your soul that you really want or it could be something that you want to get rid of or that is pulling you down. It could even be something that you’re amazing at but you’ve hidden it from the world, and now you want to bring it out. What were you created to do? What is it that makes your heart smile? This is a goal that will enhance your life or make you feel better from the inside out.
What is that goal for you? Think big or small – every goal that lives in our heart is important and reachable!
From the book Detox your Soul-A 30 Day Roadmap to Loving Yourself.