Welcome to my monthly (or so) collection of exceptional posts from around the web, a good book or two, and practical resources to help you live the best possible life. Enjoy!
Archives for November 2014
“After all, all human beings are the same – made of human flesh, bones and blood. We all want happiness and want to avoid suffering. Further, we have an equal right to be happy. In other words, it is important to realize our sameness as human beings.” – The Dalai Lama
What would happen if you started to see people as another “you?”
- Like you, they just want to be happy and they don’t want to suffer. But they don’t necessarily know how to be happy so they engage in behaviors that bring the opposite of what they desire for themselves and others. Addiction, overeating, obsessive ambition, perfectionism – the list of confused behaviors is endless and they all stem from wanting happiness, but going about it the wrong way.
- Like you, they have unconscious, deeply rooted patterns that govern much of their behavior. Half the time, they don’t know why they do what they do or can’t control the storm of emotions that dominates their life.
- Like you, their true nature is divine. But they don’t realize it. So they take their thoughts and emotions to be real and as their entire identity. Instead they could find spaciousness and ease by recognizing thoughts as ever-changing, refusing to hold onto them, and aligning with their true essence.
Deep down, everyone is really just like you with the similar confusions and the same incredible potential for good.
That’s the word one of my relatives uses to describe her experience of the holiday season from beginning to end.
I wonder, “Why?”
Why would anyone succumb to such a life-draining emotion – and all its tentacle feelings like resentment, anxiety, and repressed fury – for 2 whole months (or more)?
On the other hand, I realize It’s not easy to extricate yourself from the automatic holiday programming.
Thanks to neuroscience, we know our beliefs and resulting habits are deeply ingrained in the curves of our gray matter. Societal expectations, provocative marketers, and the presumptions (or even the demands) of our family and personal circle can reinforce unhappy holiday ways too.
So I really do understand how people get stuck in dread or another negative state of mind around the holidays. But still, I wish every single person could have a holiday season they truly enjoy – whether that means going full tilt (keeping the environment in mind) or doing nothing at all.
Seriously, you’re not sentenced to a lifetime of holiday despair no matter how long you’ve followed the same routine. If the holidays bring you more angst than excitement, you can turn it around, little by little. Or even take a big leap if you’d like.
In this mini-guide to holiday joy, we’ll consider:
- Getting in touch with what brings you joy.
- Saying “yes” to you and “no” to what doesn’t work for you.
- Replacing dread or whatever negative emotion disturbs you with joy.
And if you already love the holidays, this might make them even better.
Ready to go?
In her best-selling memoir, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, Bronnie Ware shares 5 disappointments people commonly express as they near death. See if any of these ring true for you:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Do one or more of these fit for you? Then you know where to begin to avoid last minute regrets. And it would be good to start now because it takes time to change habits.
However, your regrets may have an entirely different flavor. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until you’re dying to know what you’ll regret. Just take an honest look at your life right now.
If you died this very moment, what would you regret?
Grab a piece of paper and jot down what immediately comes to mind. Then sit with it for awhile.