This morning I had one of those magic moments when I remembered all I have to do today – is live today. Being reminded, filled me with a sense of peace.
I had been thinking about friends and family dealing with a variety of major issues; within a minute that morphed into thinking about other negative situations swirling around. Seconds later, crisis-level, cinematic images were streaming through my mind. I quickly became overwhelmed trying to figure out how I could help.
My mental panic lasted only a few seconds when I realized that I had created my panic – none of the scenes from my vivid, split-second, personal blockbuster of fear were real – I had made them up!
Instead of berating myself for thinking negatively – a pastime I employed way too often in the past – I knew it was time to switch gears. I fast-forwared to a beach scene in my mind and within seconds I was focused on the surf and how good the sand felt beneath my feet. I remembered standing in the water and thinking I could actually feel the earth move under my feet. (Cue Carol King.)
While reliving the beach scene, I relaxed and realized I only had to live today – I did not need to predict or solve anything. And, for me, the best way to be in tune with today was to do things I valued and enjoyed – exercise, meditation, talking to my husband, calling friends, reading or listening to something interesting or humorous, eating healthy and sipping coffee with frothy milk while I enjoyed my two-squares-day of rich, delicious dark chocolate. I immediately felt relaxed and renewed. Mental switch flipped.
My thoughts led me to a feeling of serenity that has not left me. Live today. The rest would take care of itself. Scary to think that way during tough times, it takes trust and courage, but I know it to be true.
Life has a way of working out, and since I truly have no control over anything other than my moment to moment choices, I have learned to trust those. Just like the surf, paths appear and fade. Friends, lovers, jobs, good health, and dreams ebb and flow.
I have also learned that solutions and creative options appear more readily when I am at ease and my emotional doors are wide open and my mental window curtains are pushed aside. And, since everything happens in its own time, I am much happier when I center my energy on my immediate choices and actions, rather than on any highly-charged disaster reels I create in my mind.
Serenity is one of our Top 10 Positive Emotions,” according to Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. In her research and her books Fredrickson shares that developing positive emotions in our lives undoes the lingering effects of negative emotions and helps us build resilience.
I know firsthand growing positive emotions works; my resiliency is what helped me realize and reroute my negative state of mind in a matter of minutes, and I am still reaping the benefits of the feelings of serenity that replaced it. (Our positive emotions can also increase our productivity; I don’t think I would be writing this post without them.)
Here’s to growing positive emotions, resetting our brains, and trusting ourselves to be strong enough during stressful times to simply live today.
Have a great Saturday.
Visit Wishful Thinking Works onFacebookand Instagram for more.
If you enjoyed this or any other post, please “Like” Wishful
Thinking Works on FB and share the post with your friends!
Studies show that those who are leading a purposeful life – live longer, are happier and experience a greater sense of resiliency and trust!
Would you like to: learn more about the concept of meaning, the role it plays in your life, and how to find yours? If so, join us to learn about meaning and how it can change your life – for the better.
Also learn my 5 R’s that can help you along the way. The first one is RETREAT, so you have already started! This event is open to the public, please share the link with a friend!
Meaning matters, and will enrich and expand your life! If you have been thinking about attending a Wishful Thinking Women event, but haven’t made it yet, this is an easy way to start.
This post was originally written in 2015, but I thought I would reshare since this is the perfect time to put Wishful Thinking to use. Beginning planting the seeds to give them a chance to bloom in your life. I know it Works, and this post shares one of the many reasons why . . .
I have mentioned a number of times that my life caught-up with my dreams in the Peace Corps. For me that means the “pinch-me” moments came back-to-back.
Such as, pinch me: I can’t believe I celebrated Easter in 2009 with folks I barely knew, eating lamb roasted on a spit, while sipping wine along the water on the Greek Isle of Corfu in the Ionian Sea, which is just south of the Adriatic Sea and an arm of the Mediterranean and I loved every minute of it! I had an absolutely fantastic time for 5 days at a total cost of $250.
You see, there was a time when I truly believed I would never be on a Greek Island, and certainly not for only $250. (Travel booked in Europe is cheaper than you can ever imagine.) Oh, I wanted to be on a Greek island; I just couldn’t figure out how it would happen. Too expensive, too far, too many other places to go first, no time, etc., etc., etc.
I thought I had to have it all figured out for “it” to happen.
I was wrong.
And, you may be to, about your life and what is ahead.
You don’t have to have it all figured out. You just have to begin imagining what you do want. That’s what Wishful Thinking is all about.
Maybe, just maybe, during this beautiful season of rebirth and renewal, you might want to take some time to dream some impossible dreams.
Don’t worry about the details. They will work out later.
Postscript: Never sell yourself or your dreams short!
I returned to Corfu for a week in 2016 with my husband, as part of an amazing extended honeymoon in nearby Macedonia – two dreams coming true – marrying my husband Dan and another trip to Corfu. Now we both share amazing memories of two places I love, Macedonia and Corfu! We returned to Corfu in 2017 as part of a two week Mediterranean trip from Barcelona to Athens. Three times, and once all of it and many of the other wonderful parts of my life were just a dream . . .
Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook and Instagram for more.
If you enjoyed this or any other post, please “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on FB and share the post with your friends!
Lots of folks, who missed the presentation this past Friday asked for a recording, but since there is not one available, I will simply redo the presentation. (Those who attended gave it great reviews!)
“GREAT Presentation from Patrice as always! Great message and a great exercise to focus on the positives instead of the negative!”
“Gave me a new way of thinking about positive emotions, thanks!”
I am using ZOOM so we can interact and I can share a PowerPoint. You will be able to see me, but you can choose whether or not you want us to see you! Zoom is FREE, you can download now or simply do so on Friday, just give yourself a few minute head start so you don’t miss.
Click here or the link below to join our Zoom Meeting, You will be happy you did!
Join the fun today at 3pm when I will be sharing the many benefits of growing “Your Top 10 Positive Emotions.” Learn how they can help you Broaden and build your life and how creating a Positivity Portfolio can make your life even better!
I am using ZOOM so we can interact and I can share a PowerPoint. You will be able to see me, but you can choose whether or not you want us to see you!
Zoom is FREE, you can download now or simply do so later today through the link below, just give yourself a few minute head start so you don’t miss a thing.
I wanted to share a quick and easy way to bring more joy into your life. Rick Hanson, Ph.D. is a neuropsychologist, who has written a number of books on the technique, which he calls “Taking in the Good.” Other folks describe a similar method, known as savoring. No matter the name, it is a simple, fast way to refresh your outlook or your state of mind.
Begin by selecting a positive moment from your life – past, present or something you would like to create in the future, and then close your eyes and create an image of the moment in your mind. Stay with the image for 30-60 seconds.
Let your mind wander and daydream a bit about your moment – fill in as many details as you can. Relive, notice, or create lots of sensory relationships in your mind to your image – sights, smells, sounds, etc. and think about how good you felt/feel/or will feel about your joy-filled memory or moment.
Keep going until you actually feel a difference in your body. You might find yourself smiling, or your shoulders relaxing or wiggling a bit. You may feel sensations flowing through your entire body or you might get goose bumps! When you feel like you are there your brain will react accordingly and release a bouquet of goodness.
Your moments to not have to be momentous, although they will work, as well. I savor each and every lattè or cappuccino I drink, and I always feel as though I have been on a mini-vacation! It is so relaxing.
If you savor your personal positives 6 times a day – for a total of only 5-10 minutes – you will not only change your brain chemistry while you are savoring it, over time you will rewire your brain to think and feel more positively.
Set an alarm on your phone or with Alexa to remind you throughout the day to pause and savor. Or get in the habit of “Taking in the Good” each time you get a cup of coffee, brush your teeth, wake-up, go to sleep – anything you do on a regular basis can be a great reminder for you.
Don’t worry about doing the process 6 times a day when you begin, simply start! If you remember to develop and embellish your thought – you will feel the effects immediately as your brain releases happy chemicals and hormones that help your brain cells connect. It’s science, and it works.
Go for it, “Take in the Good,” or savor a moment right now!