I watched my car being towed away this morning… The windscreen wipers stopped working on Christmas Eve so my plans were scuppered over Christmas to visit family and friends. This morning with the garages re-opening I thought I’d take it to the main dealer as they may have the parts in stock… however, this morning my car wouldn’t even start so I had no choice but to get the rescue service to tow it to the garage (for which I am grateful ).
The windscreen wipers seem such a trivial thing in many ways… two thin blades that swish across the screen and yet even when it’s not raining – prevent us from safely driving. I had to cancel my plans to visit my family over Christmas and now it seems my New Year plans maybe scuppered.
When our cars work we tend to take them for granted, but when they don’t, it is then that we really appreciate how magical it is to have our own transport (after all I don’t know how they work!).
I think that is true of so much in life. We can be so busy rushing here and there we don’t remember to take time to appreciate just how fortunate we are. We may not have all the material things we’d like to have or the perfect health – but there will be something for all of us to be grateful for. Perhaps having arms and legs that work? It may be having eyes to see your loved ones or ears to hear the birds singing? May be having a strong connection with friends and family feels good to you?
When was the last time you stopped what you were doing to feel gratitude for all that you have and all that you experience? When we choose to relax and feel gratitude, it changes our ‘state of being’; we become filled with a blissful feeling… and at that moment we cannot have negative emotions of fear or anger. Love and fear cannot be felt at the same time.
It’s so easy to change your emotional state – if you choose to. If you have just had something not very nice happen or said to you, if you’ve had cross words with someone or feel like everything is going wrong take a moment to STOP.
Take some deep breaths and feel some gratitude for what you do have or what you do love… if you’ve just fallen out with someone – think about the reasons you became friends with them or what they do that makes you laugh – or why you love them – choose to feel appreciation for something connected with them. It’s about choice – choose to feel better – letting the anger or disappointment go. Decide to put yourself back in control rather than a victim. Ask yourself “do I want to stay feeling annoyed or would I rather feel ok, or even happy?” We tend not to make good decisions when we’re angry or annoyed.
My girls and I often start our day with a question ‘what am I grateful for?’ Often they say “it’s not raining so I won’t get wet walking to school” or “Ghd’s (hair straighteners)”… it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s heartfelt. It can be a great way to start the day – something positive rather than pulling back the duvet and thinking… “ugh… it’s cold, I’ve got that horrible meeting today”…. having negative thoughts is so disempowering – wouldn’t you agree?
So I’m not sure when I’ll get my car back – but I’m going to choose to appreciate my friends for helping me, the public bus, the garage and the fact I can delay my New Year plans if I need to… I’m choosing to be ok with this unexpected adventure .
What are you grateful for? What can you see or hear right now? Think of a time when you felt really happy or bursting with laughter – what was that occasion? Can you feel the feelings again? How easy would it be for you to have this memory as something to draw on when you’re not feeling so good – a memory that can conjure up the good emotions? Perhaps, find a piece of paper (or better still a notebook) and write down a list of what you are grateful for – you can then refer to this list daily – or when you feel the negative feelings creeping up on you. We have choice, sometimes we forget – or don’t realise. It’s so much better when we focus on what we want instead of what we don’t want. As I blogged yesterday, sometimes our greatest growth comes from achieving what we think we cannot – consider what benefits may come from facing challenges more positively. Life is supposed to be fun! Let’s make it fun