1.) Don’t be afraid to be a beginner!
I saw a bumper sticker once that said, “Question what you Know”. After struggling for so many years to obtain the absolute answer to everything, a few years ago I finally threw my hands in the air and proclaimed to the Universe that “I know nothing!” It felt so good to admit! For the control freak that I was, this was the ultimate surrender. I was creating the space to learn and to grow and to receive. When we’re so jammed full of our own absolute knowing, it leaves little room for expansion. (And it makes us not very fun to be around.)
2.) Cultivate Gratitude.
Absolutely essential. Every experience we have, no matter how horrific, has given us the opportunity to become a stronger, more resilient person of depth and wisdom. If we continually focus on what is wrong with our lives, it leaves little room for misunderstanding. Like-energy attracts like-energy. Give the Universe a new blueprint. If we are tired of being besieged with the challenges of life, then perhaps we should stop dwelling on them. Change your channel to a new frequency. Where is the silver lining to each travesty? It’s there, waiting to be acknowledged. Focusing on that gift—even in the face of horrendous pain—brings powerful transformation.
3.) See a fresh perspective.
Remember when we were kids and we’d hang our heads off the edge of the bed and pretend the ceiling was the floor? (Come on, you did this too, admit it!) I did it all the time. I grew up in chaos. My beleaguered mom had five children all within a seven year span. She had absolutely no help with anything at home. On any given day our house looked like a war zone, literally so messy we’d have to create paths through mountains of stuff in order to walk through a room. As my own little coping strategy, I’d hang my head over the edge of the couch or my bed or a chair- anything- in order to pretend that the floor of my house was as empty and clean as the expansive white ceiling. I’d imagine walking through all this clean space… it was medicine for me! We never lose the capacity for a new perspective. Our thoughts create our internal reality. Practice this and feel your spirit thrive.
4.) Claim Your Power.
No more victim mentality! Even those of us with plenty of reason to focus on our own past hurts will suffer from the inability to transcend the Scarlet “V” perpetually worn on our chest. Studies conclusively show that the act of dwelling on the memory of past traumas creates the very same physiological changes as when the trauma actually occurred. So stop! Make a choice to never again claim your identity by your wounds alone. Take back your power from those who have harmed you. Move forward without constantly giving energy to the past, and create a new reality for your future.
5.) Schedule Joy as a top priority.
It’s astonishing how depleted we can become in today’s world. The headlines, the media, the talk around the water cooler- so often these are filled with the energy of dread. Combine that with navigating a killer schedule day to day and the tank can find a permanent home on empty. I hear it all the time, “I don’t have time for joy,” just a resignation to a life lived without energy or vitality. I don’t care what you have to do to make time for the things you absolutely love to do, but do it. Schedule it in your week like everything else. Go to a movie. Go for a hike with your dog. Spend three hours editing digital photographs. Bake cookies with your kids. Whatever it needs to be, find it and do it, because let me tell you Friends, the Zombie Apocalypse is alive and kicking and we’re all the stars! Without connecting to those things that bring you back to life, you’re just another stumbling Extra mumbling “brainz…!”
I’m thankful for the great question and I welcome your feedback. What is your top five? Feel free to share.