Saturday, August 23, 2008

Open the Little Gifts in Your Life

The absolute best way to be happy right now is to see yourself as someone with a grateful heart. Mixonian recommends starting each day writing down, or thinking about, 5 wonderful things in life as it is presently constituted. Julia Cameron advises to practice accepting gifts in whatever form they come to you.

You may have noticed that on the day-to-day basis, life is full of surprises, while in the longer run, things tend to turn out as we expected.

Sometimes we get so involved in the major goals we're working on, we fail to see and enjoy the little gifts that show up in our lives. One way to see these gifts is to look for progress or baby steps, instead of having a narrow focus on the ultimate accomplishment.

Let's say, for example, Eunice has the goal of getting fine new appliances for her kitchen. She wants the best, and surely she will have it. But in the meantime, her cruddy old refrigerator breaks down and she is forced to buy a new one.

To make the situation more interesting, she wants a top-brand refrigerator, she needs a new one right now, but doesn't have the finances to get the one she wants. Is this a failure? A disappointment?

Absolutely not. She buys the model she can afford, it is surely somewhat better than the old clunker, and she celebrates a step in the right direction!

In her book, The Vein of Gold, creative Cameron suggests an exercise to help you welcome unexpected gifts in your life:

Write down the phrase, "It would be really nice if_________________" twenty times. Put the list where you see it regularly.

Be alert for gifts that arrive in response to this Wish List! Celebrate baby steps, just as we celebrate a baby's early steps, even as he repeatedly falls on his bottom.