Be Aware

Cover of "The Psychology of Gratitude (Se...

Cover via Amazon

We’re sitting at the piano practicing.  She is smart, reading for a year already, beautiful in a way that scares me at times, has advantages that surround her just because.  She isn’t thinking of these things though.  She thinks about the things she is not.  She says, “I can’t do that.  I don’t know how.”  She is not thankful just now about her opportunities.

I wondered, as I was sitting at the piano, if success and gratitude are collaborators.

Gratitude should not be conceived just in terms of a particular relationship. Gratitude is a philosophical emotion. It is, in a phrase, seeing the bigger picture.  …And so viewed, being grateful for one’s whole life is not a “grateful to whom?” question so much as it is a matter of being aware of one’s whole life, being reflective in a way that most of us are not, most of the time.

-Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, The Psychology of Gratitude

Seems like a little much to expect out of a 5 year-old?  Maybe, maybe not.  But it definitely is if her parent isn’t practicing awareness, reflection, gratitude.

We will have more success in our life’s ambitions if we practice gratitude.  This much I will do and maybe, my little girl will learn to see herself differently too.

Self Care Tip #30 – Be aware.  Be a friend to yourself.

Successful People

“Successful people expand their dreams to move them forward, others shrink their dreams to justify where they are.”
Sam Meers

How do you see yourself? To be truthful, any of us will find ourselves in a straddle. Which side we think we’re leaning towards will depend on emotional confidence at the time and our perception will flux accordingly. Getting yelled at by a respected mentor may make you see yourself as stalemate, but that doesn’t make it truth.

If we stayed on the exact course of our current, what do we imagine our lives will look like in 5 years? There are bits of tack and turn we influence. No matter the level of abuse suffered, individuals have a sense of their own person. Their separateness. Their choice is there held fast on the buoy of their human right.

While shrinking some dreams to justify condition, the mere courage to persist in life is a form of expansion. You might not agree with this. We all have people we scorn. But this isn’t a matter of opinion. Without expansion, we die, even the grossest of us. There are more obviously lovely examples of expansion, of going towards what is congruent with your inner self, of doing what gives you energy. When someone is in flow, aren’t we all drawn to them? When someone is not, it can be hard to make eye contact, even with yourself.

When getting friendly with yourself, give your straddle a nod of courtesy. Counter intuitive at times, this in fact promotes self-respect. The more we trust the ebb and flow down our river of dreams, the more a part of our own journey we can be.

However, if you can’t look yourself in the eye, if despite setting your jaw and keeping a strangle grip on life you still feel like the ground is sucking you under, think about a medical reason. You always have a choice.

I really liked what Mr. Meers said, but I’ll say it differently for our purposes:
Successful people expand their dreams to move them forward even while they shrink their dreams to justify where they are.

Self Care Tip # 21 – Be a success by joining your journey. Be a friend to yourself.