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Therapy Take-Aways to Practice in Your Life

Reflections on Living Life Each Day

Yesterday Is History E1357707251197

A few weeks ago a friend of mine passed away. It was unexpected. It was very fast. She was just 56 years old. My friend Marni was smart, witty, talented and creative and now she is gone. As I try to make sense of this tragic event, I keep hearing people say, “You have to live life each day!”. This statement is easy to dismiss as cliche, but I’ve been thinking about what it really means to me.

Generally at the start of a New Year I like to reflect on the year past and think about how I can live my life with more integrity and humanity in the coming year. This process is taking on a new meaning in these first days of 2013. I have come up with 3 concepts that resonate for me and that I intend to keep in my conscious daily life this year.

Here are my thoughts…please feel free to share yours by leaving a comment.

 

1. Start each day with a flavour of Optimism and Wonder

Many people begin their day with a sense of gloom or negativity. If it’s true that “we are what we think” then the opening thoughts that we have at the start of the day will likely influence how things go. If I feel worried and think worried thoughts when I open my eyes then my attention will be focused on looking out for concerns to support my anxiety. If I wake up feeling ‘blue’ or tired and have thoughts of doom, then I will likely focus on what is going wrong in my life. Every thought I give attention to, encourages my mind to breed a stream of other thoughts to support the original one. Of course this is equally true for positive thoughts. Every day is a new opportunity to rise with a sense of optimism and wonder. If I open to the day with thoughts like…”I wonder what interesting things are about to happen?” then I will be directing my conscious mind to look for gifts and surprises as the day unfolds.

I can also direct my thinking to hold a positive focus. Whatever this day brings I know I can handle it. This is especially important if I am going through a difficult time in a relationship, at work or dealing with a health concern.

Reflection & Practice: 
Try to begin each day with a sense of wonder and anticipation for what will go right, work well or be pleasant.

 

2. End each day with Gratitude

Just like using the power of my thoughts to fuel my day, I can also use the power of my thoughts to help me rest at night. The most powerful hypnotic suggestion for good quality sleep is going to bed with thoughts of gratitude. Although I experience many challenges and perhaps disappointments throughout a given day, there is always something pleasant or good that occurs. The good things in my day can be big and obvious like achieving an important goal or hearing great news about a loved one. And good things can also be as small as a friendly exchange I share with another person, or as simple as enjoying a delicious apple. These are all examples of experiences that I can be grateful for.  There are also many people and circumstances in my life that help sustain me. I can focus my gratitude on the fact that I have people that love me, meaningful work and a warm and safe home. And these days I am very grateful that I have good health!

Reflection & Practice:
Try to go to bed with your last thought focused on something or someone you are grateful for.

 

3. Express your Finest Qualities Every Day

Whenever we lose a loved one, we eulogize their existence and take note of the unique contribution they made in their life. I believe that every life is precious and in spite of our flaws each of us makes an important contribution while we are alive. In fact it’s impossible not to make a contribution! A person’s contribution occurs simply because they exist. Each thought, each action, and each interaction we have has an impact.

So, even though it’s a hard question, I’ve been thinking – How do I want to be remembered when I’m gone? The choices I make in my daily life are the best opportunity I have to express my unique qualities.

Reflection & Practice:
Today I am Here…Today I Exist…Today I can contribute to life by expressing the best qualities of Who I Am.

 

7 Comments

  1. sharon norlandersharon norlander01-09-2013

    Lovely thoughts, Ruth, and thank you for sending them to me. I will print your thoughts and refer to them throughout the year. All the very best to you.
    Most sincerely,
    Sharon

  2. Scott LundellScott Lundell01-10-2013

    Well done, Ruth. It’s easy to focus on the negative. I really like your idea on how to begin and end each day. Thanks.
    I’m sorry for your loss.

  3. GraceGrace01-10-2013

    Thank you for your thoughts, Ruth. I have recently shared a similar experience and one of my staff had a dear friend die today. Your reflections were pertinent for us both. Bless your grieving for your friend. I am sorry for your loss. Grace

  4. Sue VarleySue Varley01-10-2013

    Hi Ruth,

    Thanks for adding me to your blog. I love your three reflections and practice, great thoughts to refer to. Focusing on the positive is the way to go everyday!

  5. BarbaraBarbara01-10-2013

    Thank you, Ruth. I’m sorry to hear about your friend and can appreciate your loss. Hopefully Marni had a good life. She had the opportunity to share her unique self with her friends and family and that will never be lost. 2012 was a tough year…here’s to 2013!! Give Honey a hug for me.

  6. T St PierreT St Pierre01-13-2013

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you for turning it into a valuable moment of reflection and sharing.
    I appreciate your three practices. Each one is simple yet impactful.
    Take care, Terry

  7. PennyPenny01-22-2013

    Hi there Ruth, Thank you for taking the time and thought to create your heart-felt and practical blog. These 3 points are wonderful reminders for us and I am glad to read them and let them settle within me.

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