The following article popped into my inbox last week from US-based personal development blog, Marc and Angel. It really touched me and right after reading it, I emailed Angel to ask her if I could re-publish it here for all of us. It’s all about positive daily rituals that can serve your well-being and your relationships.
This is a new day. A new beginning. And things will change.
This morning I was jogging along a nature path near my home when a woman I had just passed began screaming for help. I turned around to see that her husband had fallen to the ground and appeared to be unconscious. I ran over and checked his pulse. He barely had one, and he was not breathing. The woman called 911 on her mobile phone while I performed CPR on her husband. Somehow, miraculously, I got him in a more stabilized state before the paramedics arrived. And although I have no idea how this couple’s story will end, I’m optimistically hopeful. Now I’m sitting here reflecting on the whole incident, and especially on the words the woman repeated over and over through heavy tears as I was attending to her husband: “It’s not his time. Oh please, it’s not his time!” Her words keep echoing in my mind, reminding me that life is fragile and fleeting, and that I need to start allocating my time properly again. Life has been extremely busy lately, and certain things have fallen by the wayside. But enough is enough! It’s time to revive and resume the positive daily rituals that best serve my well-being and my relationships. And I hope YOU will join me. Think about it…
- It’s time to start taking better care of yourself again. – You are like a building with stained-glass windows. You always shimmer and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in your true magnificence is revealed only if there is light shining from within you. It’s your duty, and yours alone, to keep your inner light shining bright. So learn to love yourself first, instead of loving the idea of other people loving you. Loving yourself does not mean being selfish, or disregarding others. Rather, it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart and mind—a guest worthy of extra care. Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it. That’s a great way to start.
- It’s time to start indulging in your passions and hobbies again. – Do fall in love, not always with a person, but with an aim, an ambition, a passion. If you lost everything but your mind, heart and health, what would be your reason to wake up every morning with a smile? There’s definitely a fire burning inside you. It’s your job to find it and keep it lit. As we grow older, with all of our responsibilities, our passions and hobbies often seem like an indulgence. They shouldn’t be. They should be a requirement. Even if you can only dedicate 20 minutes a day to something you love, DO IT. No excuses, no regrets.
- It’s time to start spreading joy again. – BE the change you want to see. Love fearlessly and without limits. No act of love or kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion, compassion, humor, generosity, and kindness, and using these tools to improve the lives of those around you. Smile, and help others smile too. If you don’t have the power or strength to write someone’s happiness, then try to help them remove their sadness instead. And don’t let the numbers overwhelm you. You can’t help everyone. Focus on assisting one person at a time, and start with the one closest to you.
- It’s time to start up quality conversations with loved ones again. – Death is a real challenge. It tells us not to waste time. It tells us to make time right now to tell each other that we love each other. It tells us to stop texting and tweeting every second and actually open the floodgates to real, long, heartfelt conversations with the people we love. Relationships flourish when two people are able to share their innermost feelings and thoughts about themselves and each other. To be fully heard by someone, in raw form, and be adored anyhow, is what true love is. Making time for these deep connections and conversations is worth it. (Marc and I discuss this in detail in the “Relationships” chapter of our New York Times bestselling book, Getting Back to Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials into Triumphs.)
- It’s time to start listening to others (without judgment) again. – Be selective in your battles. Let go a bit and just listen and smile. Most of the time being peaceful and compassionate is far better than being right. So keep in mind that wisdom is not just knowing when to stand up and speak, but when to sit down quietly and listen. It’s about knowing that your ears will never get you in trouble, and will always give you a chance to learn something new.
- It’s time to start enjoying peaceful downtime again. – You deserve quiet moments away from the daily hustle, in which no problems are confronted, no solutions are explored, and no demands are being made of your time. Schedule time every day to not be busy. At least twice a day, withdraw yourself from the sources of stress that refuse to withdraw from you. Do so for a few minutes and simply be and breathe. Don’t fool yourself; you’re not so busy that you can’t afford a few minutes of sanity.
- It’s time to start reading good books again. – Books are truly the perfect entertainment: no advertisements, no batteries, hours of delight and education, and no cost with a library card. What you have to ask yourself is: Why not carry a book around for those inevitable gaps of wasteful waiting time—five minutes here and ten minutes there. Bring that dead time back to life. And remember, it is what you read and learn when you don’t have to that determines what you will be capable of when you have no other choice.
- It’s time to start cooking real, wholesome food again. – Your body is a temple. You are what you eat. So do not eat processed food, fast food, and all the filth the big processed food companies try to pass off as “healthy.” Most foods that you don’t have to prepare manually statistically cause sickness, cancer, and disease. Do they taste good? Sure. It’s all well-seasoned, pre-packaged poison. This is why so many people are sick—mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually—because of being hooked to the taste of poison, instead of being hooked on the truth and to real foods that heal and provide you with good health and wellness. (Read Super Immunity.)
- It’s time to start allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes again. – The greatest mistake many of us make is living in constant fear that we will make one. Life is just too short to berate yourself for making mistakes. After all, mistakes in life are as certain as sunsets and detours. So why exert energy avoiding the unavoidable? The truth is you aren’t really free until you give yourself the freedom to make mistakes. So liberate yourself! Cut yourself some slack. Shift your energy from protecting yourself from failure to squeezing more life out of every one of your days.
- It’s time to start celebrating the small victories of each day again. – Sure, not every day will be good, but there will be something good about every day. Notice these things and celebrate them. Train your mind to see what’s right. Positivity is a choice. The happiness of your life heavily depends on the quality of your thoughts.
(Note: Marc and I customize and implement all of the aforementioned points with our students in the Getting Back to Happy Course & Coaching.)
The floor is yours…
Truth be told, the most important decision you will ever make is what you do with the time that is given to you. Let every day be a part of a dream you can touch. Let every day contain love you can feel. Let every day be a great example of a life truly lived. Leave a comment below and let us know… What do you need to start making time for again?
This post appeared first on Marc and Angel. Re-published here with permission from Angel.