bridge through a garden in japan
Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Whose Fault is it, Anyway?

“When you blame others,

you give up your power to change.”

Robert Anthony

http://www.awakenthegreatnesswithin.com/

Blame and finding fault teaches us to avoid facing up to some truth about ourselves.

It encourages us to search for what is wrong and who we think was responsible because of an underlying often unconscious belief, we carry, that infers if we are always right, we will be happy. If we could control other people and their actions, then that might be possible.

We all know that controlling others is, pretty much, impossible.

When controlling others fails, as it inevitably does, our innate Plan B might be to use guilt, fear, domination or manipulation; even conditional love and criticism to get what we think we want, or feel that we need.

If there is no value in holding on to guilt, why do we do so? Why is it so hard to let things go?

Forgiveness is the key.

Forgive yourself as well as others, for your own sake.

Tolstoy suggested a bad mood might be the reason we blame others. How often do we hear:

“If only they/it would/didn’t/can ………”

Yet blaming others is not likely to lead to feelings of serenity. Instead it may create more negative feelings and paint your own self as a victim, as the following quote alludes.

“Some people love being victims because they love being able to blame someone else. Accountability is too much for them. They don’t like being responsible for who they have become or where they are in life.” Anonymous

http://www.awakenthegreatnesswithin.com

Therein, blaming may be linked to feelings of remorse, or regret, about where one is in life’s journey.

The only thing we might ever really change is our own attitude.

Trondheim
blogging, Mental Health, Philosophy

Kindness – An Antidote to Self Criticism

“The happiness of life is made up of the little charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment.”

~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In the wake of #Black Lives Matter, some folk appear inclined to believe that being strong is a way to win respect, when it is just a way to promulgate fear.

They may have mistakenly learnt that in being strong they achieve more, or receive more. Does being strong ever bring happiness and contentment?

The two just don’t seem to go hand in hand.

Does a staunch or rigid boss even win respect from his workers by being hard-core? Or they do live in fear of disappointing him? Does a hard-line leader win support through negativity or merely decrease morale?

If a boss shows too much kindness in the workplace, do they feel they are a push-over?

Kindness is not to be mistaken for weakness, nor forgiveness for acceptance. It’s about knowing resentment of any kind is not on the path to happiness.

Unknown

Weekly Proverb

Self – Criticism

We may be in the habit of berating or criticising ourselves for perceived shortcomings, constantly putting our own needs last, or inadvertantly disallowing ourselves the time, space and patience we deeply need to rest, heal and, ultimately to feel more content. In short, we are unwittingly being unkind to ourselves.

We may be our harshest critic; it may have become second nature to criticise ourselves and very challenging to praise and comfort ourselves or others.

But we cannot pour from an empty cup.

Kindness can fortify life, and seeing ourselves and others through a kinder lens can make a world of difference to all.

Regular practice of kind words and actions is infectious and it might just be the highest real success we achieve in this life. And it needn’t cost a thing.

Ultimately it is up to us as the sole creator of our thoughts.

Do you think you will appear weak if you show kindness to others?

Would it feel indulgent or selfish to show kindness to yourself?

Is there a time when you must display strength, without kindness, to survive?

Join the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Dissatisfaction

Are You Expecting Too Much? Is it time to evaluate or eliminate unreasonable rules and expectations.

When we are feeling a bit dissatisfied with the way life is, we tend to make judgements about other’s actions that are somewhat misaligned or skewed.

We might miscontrue their intentions, place expectations on others and inadvertantly set up rules for how life should be, when there may be an alternative explanation.

Do you ever catch yourself thinking:

“He was late, so he must not care about me.” – Or –

perhaps he just got caught in traffic.

“If I can’t do this correctly, then I must not be smart enough.” – Or –

perhaps you just need more practice.

“I haven’t heard back from my doctor, so the test results must be bad.” – Or

– perhaps the lab is just really busy and your results aren’t available yet.

Marc and Angel

Inventing rules like these about how life must be, based on stubborn expectations, may lead to dissatifaction. We must deal with the world the way it is, not the way you expect it to be. 

Life is under no obligation to give you exactly what you expect. 

This isn’t to say that you should never expect anything at all from yourself and others such as diligence, honesty, ambition, but rather that the rules that govern your expectations should not steer you toward unreasonably negative conclusions.

Just because it didn’t turn out like you had envisioned, doesn’t mean it isn’t exactly what you need to get to where you ultimately want to go.

Marc and Angel

If you feel dissatisfied or let down by an outcome, then you might have been thinking or expecting something quite different. 

Were your expectations too high/narrow?”

“What new truths have you learned from this experience?”

Keeping an external focus allows us to find a lesson somewhere from every experience. When we find the lesson, we can grow from such an experience, rather than retreat into misery or unhelpful mindsets.

We must be careful to see and accept things as they are instead of allowing ourselves to be upset that things are not as you hoped, wished, or expected them to be. 

Acceptance can be empowering.

Japanese garden
Community, Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday sayings – Frustration Tolerance

banksia

Everything is a gift of the universe–even joy, anger, jealousy, frustration, or separateness. Everything is perfect either for our growth or our enjoyment.” – Ken Keyes Jr.

Frustration is an emotion that arises from challenges that stand in the way of us achieving our goals. How we deal with frustration depends on how much we can tolerate that discomfort.

Do you give up easily or procrastinate when starting difficult tasks?

If you find it difficult to suffer fools, or become irritated by everyday inconveniences like traffic jams, noisy kids, or waiting in line, you might fall on the lower end of the frustration tolerance spectrum.

People with a low frustration tolerance may often have difficult relationships as they tend to have a short fuse and are easily triggered.

Annan manns lyte er lette å sjå.

The blemishes of another are easily seen.

Swedish Proverb

Signs of Low Tolerance to Frustration

  • Frequent procrastination due to an inability to tolerate the frustration associated with a tough or boring task
  • Impulsive attempts to “fix” a situation due to impatience rather than waiting for the issue to correct itself
  • Exaggerating temporary discomfort
  • Insisting on pursuing immediate gratification
  • Giving up immediately when presented with a challenge or obstacle
  • Growing irritable or angry about everyday stressors
  • Thinking or insisting, “I can’t stand this.”
  • Avoiding tasks that might cause distress

Causes

  • Depression and Anxiety lower our frustration levels.
  • Intrinsic personality traits – some have less/more patience and less/more expectations with others.
  • Core beliefs and values may contribute to how each person deals with frustration. Using language such as “It isn’t fair,” or “Life should be easy,” or “Why don’t they just do it.” [this way.]

Changing Frustration Tolerance

Frustration tolerance can be learned. Life will throw some curveballs. Thinking that you have a harder life than most, or are singled out for unfair treatment fuels thoughts that kick off frustration triggers. Sitting with mild discomfort of a distressing thought, for short periods is part of acceptance.

“Why do these things always happen to me! This is horrible.”

Is this something you can change or do you need to change the way you respond?

Can you re-think your attitude, or is it better to accept it and move on?”

Do not Doubt your Ability to Cope

A certain amount of frustration can stem from doubting your inability to tolerate distress. Thinking “I can’t stand to wait in line,” or “I am too old/broken or overwhelmed to try again,” will only increase your frustration. These thoughts do not help or support you and can even stop you from achieving any growth or progress.

Breathe.

Deep breathing is the best instrument you have at your disposal to calm your body.

Breathe deeply and sit (for a short time), with the uncomfortable thought or feeling, before taking any action. Meditation, exercise or muscular relaxation can also assist in calming the mind and body.

We can alter some feelings by keeping it real, more often. Instead of thinking about how “unfair” life is, that it is always going to be bad, we might reduce runaway and triggering thoughts by questioning the reality of what we were thinking. There are going to be difficult moments in anyone’s life.

Like any new skill, dealing with discomfort and thinking more realistically takes practice. A low frustration tolerance doesn’t have to be permanent.

You can take steps which could lead to a more fulfilling life experience.

How do you deal with frustration?

Community, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Hurtful words

This week in Australia, there has been many hurtful words slung in the fight for supplies in supermarkets – primarily panic buying on toilet paper. The premise is flawed as we have enough supplies and manufacture it here. But still, folks panic buy a trolley load! Brawls have erupted in the toilet paper isles of the major supermarkets! Hurtful words have been said.

beach

Feeling Irritated

A few weeks ago I was discussing what happens when we feel irritated by someone else’s words.

I asked:

What do we gain by feeling irritated? Is there any kind of benefit in this?

  • We get to feel like a martyr – meaning I AM still okay so you are NOT
  • We get to blame others for our feelings
  • We get to feel unhappy and it’s someone else’s fault

Ultimately, all of us need to take responsibility for our own feelings and aim to be more accepting of other people, their temperaments and priorities.

But what about the other side of irritation? The fall out from those spiteful words said in a moment of anger that are often regretted? It is not always easy to repair the damaged relationship, nor unsay what has already been said.

Hurtful words are often said when we do not have, or cannot find, the words to clearly express our needs, clearly or succinctly. It seems like frustration and pain often lie behind the words that are spoken.

Te Mata Peak New Zealand

Weekly Quotes

“Let your hopes, not your hurts shape your future” – Robert Schuller

The Hidden Meaning Behind Hurtful Words

from pamfullerton.com

“In making hurtful comments, we are usually trying to communicate strong, unresolved feelings. However, this seems to work against us as it causes pain in ourselves and others.”

And if we don’t transform pain, we might transmit it.

Thinking about what it is that we really want to communicate when we say hurtful words to, someone we know, is useful.

Some examples:

Angry statement: “You never spend time with me anymore – you don’t care about anyone but yourself!”

The real meaning: “I miss you and sometimes I feel unloved & lonely when we don’t spend time together”

Said with frustration: “Calm down”

The real meaning: “I’m at a loss, I feel inadequate because I have no idea how to help you”

Said with hurt: “I’m done – I want out”

The real meaning: “I don’t want to be hurt anymore and I’m at a loss as to how to make things better between us”

Said in exasperation: “Get over it and just deal with it”

The real meaning: I can’t help anymore, as I am out of useful suggestions.

Expressing our true feelings can makes us feel vulnerable, and if the other person fails to respond to our admissions, with empathy, or begins to accuse or blame, the hurt will be felt even more acutely.

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“Spiteful words can hurt your feelings, but silence breaks your heart.” Source – unknown

Do you ever get the silent treatment in times of conflict? Phone calls that are blocked or remain unanswered?

Could this communication breakdown be a method of coping with the situation or possibly freezing you out so that reconciliation is impossible and the other party will be seen to be right? Are they finding it impossible to find any words to convey their true emotions?

Hurtful words damage the trust we feel in any relationship.

Quotes and proverbs provide us with some wisdoms:

“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.”

-Archibald MacLeish

Weekly Proverb

A gentle word opens the strongest lock

– Old English Proverb

Sunday Sayings – Something to Ponder About

beach
Mental Health

Sunday Sayings – Annoying People

“No I don’t need anger management. You need to stop pissing me off.

https://www.coolnsmart.com/annoying_people_quotes/

You are having a difficult day, right? The sales assistant in a local store refuses to do what you need them to do and you’re running late, that new work colleague continues to micro manages every aspect of your work, (despite the fact you have been doing the tasks perfectly well for five years or more), and to cap the day off, you get home, the baby is screaming, house is a mess and said partner has left the toilet seat up!

Feeling a little annoyed?

Suddenly, it is all too much!

People who think they know it all are especially annoying to those of us who do

Anonymous

When we feel irritated by people’s behaviour, feelings can build up inside us and we might blurt out harsh words or criticism, that is later regretted.

Feeling annoyed at other people’s behavious not only damages our work and personal relationships but detracts from our level of contentment in life and even might affect our self -esteem.

In any other context, or situation, these actions would be almost meaningless, (such as leaving the toilet seat up), so we must ask ourselves:

Why are we so irritated by their behaviour?

IF YOU LET SOMETHING ABOUT A PERSON ANNOY US, (eg. eating noisily), PEOPLE WILL KEEP DOING IT TO US.

What is it that prevents us from seeing the person’s good points and focusing on something bad?

Why do we seem to ascribe a negative meaning to another’s behaviour in our own minds, yet feel annoyance and irritation in ourselves?

 

riverfire

What ARE we gaining by being irritated?

We do it because it gives us a payoff.

  • We get to feel like a martyr – meaning I AM still okay so you are NOT
  • We get to blame others for our feelings
  • We get to feel unhappy and it’s someone else’s fault

The alternative is to take responsibility for our feelings and aim to be more flexible and more accepting of other people’s temperaments and priorities.

Because:

Everyone IS different.

Some shout and scream, others never open up, some hoard their money and others spend it. Some love Donald Trump and other abhore him. Some like to be alone, others need to be around people. Some are loud, funny or raucous, others quiet, mellow or aloof.

If we want to be accepted as we are, we must therefore accept others just as they are, too.

Give other people space to be who they are.

Moffat Beach
Tooway Creek, Moffat Beach

No matter how big your house is,

how recent your car is,

how big your bank account balance is,

our graves will always be the same size,

STAY HUMBLE

Unknown – Let me know if you know who wrote this

Respect others enough to allow them the opportunity to experience life in their own way. Being irritated or upset is fine, unless it gets in the way of our own enjoyment of life.

It is much preferable to not become upset. [This might take practice if you have been irritated with other people, for a long time.]

Putting conditions on how others should behave around us, cuts us off from life itself. If your friends are much sillier, more serious, more talkative, drink more, ruder, more overly polite or more boring, liking or hating your favourite politician, delight in these differences of the folk who make up your world around you.

Everyone is unique

Enjoy their uniqueness for what it is, and do yourself a favour.

Practise Tolerance.

Everyone has a right to enjoy their life as they see fit.

Practise tolerance to feel happier!

Something to Ponder About this Sunday.

Community, Mental Health, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Holding on

Weekly Proverb

“Insignificant damage accumulates.”

Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge.

Weekly Quote

“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.”

Jim Rohn
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I read this somewhere: Sometimes you have to walk away from people, not because you don’t care, but because they don’t. 

When someone repeatedly hurts you over and over again, you might have to accept the fact that they don’t really care about you.

That is hard to contemplate or hear, especially if you really care about them but sometimes it is necessary for you to hear this in order for you to let them go. 

Do NOT strive to impress them any further. Waste not another second of your time trying to prove something to them. Nothing needs to be proven.  Do not act with any thought of them ever again.

Give yourself permission to let those folk go from your life……

A sobering thought for Sunday Sayings.

Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ on my blog.

I became fascinated with traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within just a few, succinct words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.

They offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.

old bridge trondheim
Community, Mental Health, Motivational

Oh Gosh, I am still an Idealist

Young and Idealistic

When we are young we are enthusiastic, fully of energy and want to change the world for the better. We think it can be easily changed in dramatic and beneficial ways. You could say we are somewhat naive and idealistic.

norway
Slightly more pragmatic

We haven’t experienced enough of life to develop pragmatism, or even cynicism. Wisdom comes much later in our lives, if we are fortunate and keep an open mind.

A quick Google search reveals:

Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.

Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.

An idealist is someone who envisions an ideal world rather than the real one. Some people consider idealists to be naive, impractical, and out of touch with reality. Idealists think that striving for perfection might make the world a better place. The main root of idealist is “ideal,” which comes from the Latin word idea. But a practical one, I think.

Is that a waste or unrealistic to let idealism and logic pervade one’s thinking?

pensive thoughful looking upward

Idealistic describes someone whose plans or goals of helping others are lofty, grand, and possibly unrealistic.

To dream of an end to child trafficking, poverty and environmental vandalism.

Idealistic? – Guilty

I don’t understand how people can litter – there is rubbish bins to be found or take your rubbish home with you.

Idealistic? – Guilty

I can’t easily comprehend disposing of something that can potentially be recycled.

Idealistic? – Guilty

Yes it seems I could seemingly be classified as a pragmatic idealist mixed up with a healthy dose of suburban cynicism. Wisdom – I am still working on that.

Agree or disagree?

When did you lose your idealism? Or gain a degree of cynicism and/or wisdom?

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helnaes
Motivational

Sunday Sayings – Worry

Does worry serve or support us?

Our mind perceives a potential threat and becomes stuck on seeking an answer or solution, a way forward to a safer or more secure state where everything is more predictable, controlled or orderly. This is worry. For some, worry leads to anxiety.

For every behaviour, there is a perceived mental pay-off. What’s the pay-off for the time we devote to this practise of worrying?

Do we feel better for worrying? Or worse? Does it rob us of valuable time and energy?

WEEKLY PROVERB

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow”

~Swedish Proverb

sunnfjord
Sunnfjord

WEEKLY QUOTE

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know.

That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else”

~ Sara Blakely (American businesswoman)

Great ocean Road

Worry takes our attention away from the present, from what is real and we are dwelling in possibilities – either in the past, or the possible future. The more possible outcomes, the more we worry, and the harder it is to let go.  It makes us feel helpless or trapped.

Sara Blakely’s words can apply to many different situations.

Let your uncertainty be your strength.

More on worrying here.

How do you see worry? Does it serve a purpose for you? What have you found effective in counteracting worry?

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned.

Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Community

Proverbial Friday – Jealousy

south bank at night 20150605_195413//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Love sees sharply, hatred sees even more sharp, but Jealousy sees the sharpest, for it is love and hate at the same time.

Arab Proverb
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“Jealousy is rubbing salt into your own wound. “

 Terri Guillemets



 How often does a partner, family member or friend have a behaviour that makes you feel jealous or uncomfortable? Have you ever tried to change it, or them? It seldom works and often times they will hate you for it.  Has that been your experience?

If someone feels they get more attention, than them, they feel less worthy because we think there is a limit to their love!

There is not. 

Let them be right if that’s what they need.

Mark and Angel


Maroochy River  Proverbial friday

It is far easier to change yourself.

What has worked for you? Join in the discussion.

Everyone’s opinion is important.  Tell me yours.

Proverbial Friday – always Something to Ponder About

Community

Poetry Challenge – October Prompt

A and I Poetry Challenge Hosts are a Blogger and Writer, from New Zealand, Ineke, of Scrapydo2 and Blogger from Australia, Amanda, of  Something to Ponder About.

Amanda and Ineke

Amanda’s Poetry challenge is  in English and Ineke’s Poetry Challenge is in Afrikaans, (with many translations in English). Everyone is welcome to join in. October is the final month of this challenge! Please do join in!

You can write in either language, however, please post a link back, and comment at both WordPress blogs to indicate your interest and include the tag  A and I Poetry Challenge.

For Full guidelines on joining in, click here.

 

October Prompt:

~ Write a poem to, or about, your future self.

How might you see yourself, or your life, in ten years time.

 

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

This prompt is merely a suggestion and you may choose a topic of your liking and still be included in the challenge.

Remember to add the tag A and I Poetry Challenge, to your post, so that I can link to your blog in the final end of month round up of contributors.

 

The challenge is open to everyone, from complete beginners to advanced writers or aspiring poets. The challenge will include writing tips and link backs for contributors. Beginner poet, hobbyist or Advanced writer We hope you will join in.

You can write in either language, however, please post a link back, and comment at both WordPress blogs to indicate your interest and include the tag  A and I Poetry Challenge. 

In this way, we can find you and read your poetry.

 

Have fun!

A and I Poetry Challenge

Something poetic to ponder About

Scrapydo2

Community

Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.

 

 

 

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

– Israeli Proverb

 

heart

 

In the chilly southern hemispheric temperatures with gardens lying dormant, the following quotes seemed apt:

 

 

 

Time isn’t something you can turn back.

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

– Veronica A. Shoffstall

 

 

Your problem is you’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness.

– Ram Dass, Philosopher

 

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves. 

– Bohemian Austrian Poet and Novelist, Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Flowers
Time – less flowers!

 

What do you make of this week’s words? Do you have an opinion?

Are the questions more important than the answers?

Are you really holding on to your unworthiness?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

 

Something Proverbial to Ponder About

 

~Amanda

 

 

 

schnauzer animation
Community

Finding Happiness

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Everyone wants it, and we constantly seek it, yet it can be illusive to many. It makes us smile, feel joy, and stay positive about everyday life. But is it possible to be happy all the time? Or is it enough to be satisfied or content? Is your Happiness dependent on others?

Some say happiness is not the fulfillment of what we wish for, but an appreciation of what we do already have around us!  Happiness will come when we quit complaining about troubles and are simply grateful for all the troubles we don’t have.Appreciate Life

“Mr or Ms. Dreary moans about everything, he or she thinks people are horrible, and the world is going downhill and nothing is worth the effort. Well guess what? There is some who consider that He or She has choice and is acting out that choice.

Such a person looks at their options and decides that to be happy is much too difficult at that moment and declines to make any effort to think otherwise. He or she decides it is easier to be miserable and inadvertently drags others around him down, as well.

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If someone wants to be miserable, or depressed it is their absolute right to be so. Misery is but one part of learning to manage our own independent lives.  If a person chooses to feel permanently depressed, let them also be so. Some folks will find every reason to be unable, as they feel that is more real.

If you say, ” Snap out of it. Life is great” or even, “just think positive.” They might feel or think that they just aren’t ready to agree or decide life is great.

Only with a change in their attitude, is it possible for them to see things differently and then they might be ready to snap out of it.

 

A change in attitude allows us to view life in a different way.

 

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Say What?

“Consciously or unconsciously we choose our thoughts and actions, or reactions; we assign meaning to others’ words or actions.  Our own thoughts about those words or actions, impact the way we feel.  Thus accepting what is, and maintaining focus on the present moment as opposed to mentally re-hashing what has happened in the past, may cause a shift in our thoughts and therefore also in our feelings.” www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/where-science-meets-the-steps/

 

jaws

 

Stay present in the moment

Only the present moment is real, the past and the future are at this point, only illusions. Focus and be mindful on the present moment. It is here that that you live your life. Past mistakes are gone. You do not and can not live in the past, as much as you might try to think that. What is done, is done, and can’t be revisited, so why dwell on it? Look forward to what you can do and just soften in to looking to thoughts of things you are grateful for!

 

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Chart your Gratitude

As cliched as it sounds, every morning, get up as soon as you wake and write down or think of three things, you can be thankful for. Slowly you will build the neurological pathway to positivity in your brain. For instance:

The sunshine caressing your face, the rain invigorating the plants, looking on a garden of flowers, a caring text, a smile from a co-worker, a treasured possession, the freedom of movement and of thought.

It becomes a beautiful record of all the positives in your life, for when you are feeling down.

 

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” –Alphonse Karr

 

Look hard and you can find much to be grateful for.

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