Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Thinking about how things are and how I want them to be.
I don’t control life. All I can do is my best on any given day. How it all works out- well that’s the result of not just my actions but the actions of thousands- maybe even millions- of people, each doing our part and affecting the world in a thousand small and sometimes big ways. My point is, I don’t control life. I can do my part and that’s all I can do. What happens next, that’s not up to me.
I need to be reminded that it’s not up to me because I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how to change things- how to get a better or different outcome. My actions certainly do affect my life, but when I’m already what I can, then I’m doing all I can do.
So thinking about thinking got me thinking. (Wow, that sentence was exhausting just to type! Overthinking much?) I’ve been doing so much thinking about my life, I forgot to stop and just enjoy life.
Photo via Don Shall
Experience all that today has to offer and not worry about the outcomes of tomorrow. What am I doing today that’s important? How can I embrace this day? How can I enjoy it?
Be grateful. Have fun. Show kindness. Feel love. Be silly. Indulge in “me” time. Go for a walk. Do something that matters. Celebrate. Be in the moment.
My invitation to myself, and my invitation to you, is to simply enjoy life today.
There’s one thing you really should do today and that’s stop shoulding yourself! How many of those things you should do are really necessary? How many of those shoulds make your life more awesome? Do you have the time/energy/money to do more than you’re doing?
Now when I say, or write, “you” I am including myself in that statement because lately I just can’t seem to shake the shoulds. You see, I had this plan. And my plan hasn’t exactly worked out as planned. And that’s mostly okay, but I can’t seem to let go of the plan. I keep shoulding myself as if all those shoulds will get me exactly what I want, even though I know I’m already doing what I can.
Now I know, I know, life rarely goes according to plan. And I know it’s the day-to-day experience of life that counts, not the heft of my portfolio and resume. All that stuff is good, of course, but my portfolio and resume is not my life. This is my life- this right here, sitting at my computer writing this blog post and hoping to convince myself, and maybe even you, to live life and love life.
Photo by Sookie
Goals are good. Plans are good. We need motivation and direction and inspiration to be happy. At least, I do. But I also need to take care of myself, my family, and just enjoy life!
Back to my plan, well, it not working out as planned hasn’t been bad nor has it been especially good. It’s just been. I’m entering a whole new phase of my professional life and everything is different. I tell myself if I do x/y/z then I’m sure to be successful.
Only there’s no guarantee I’ll get the results I want. And even if I did, what is it really worth if I don’t enjoy getting there?
Day-to-day I’m doing the best I can do to embrace and celebrate life. The truth is it’s been hard to adjust to this new direction for my career and adding on a few health problems has made the last few months more of a challenge.
I’m already doing what I can, and it doesn’t really matter what the experts say I should do to be successful. It doesn’t matter what other people think of what I do. It’s my life, and I’m doing what I can with it.
At the end of the day, all I can do is what I can do. And what I can do is enough.
At the end of the day, all you can do is what you can do. And what you can do is enough.
No more shoulds. No more guilt. No more feeling inadequate because you should have done something different, or should have done something more.
Do what you can with what you have, right where you are. Live each day while you’re in it. Find meaning in the experience of the day- not what you have to show for it.
Be happy. Be well. Just be.
I don’t need a reason to be grateful even though there are plenty of reasons for all of us to be thankful. Gratitude promotes health, improves our outlook on life, helps us handle stressful situations with less stress, strengthens relationships, and promotes a balanced life.
Do you want good health? How about a positive outlook on life? Do you want to feel less stress? Have better relationships? Do you want to live a balanced life?
“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” ~Annette Funicello
Now I’m not writing about gratitude because it’s November and Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. The reason I’m writing about gratitude today is because I’ve fallen off the gratitude wagon! I used to make gratitude lists almost every day. I used to feel a sense of peace and serenity in my life due, in large part, to my attitude of gratitude!
But somehow over the last few months struggling with health issues and making some major life changes, well, I stopped practicing mindful gratitude. Gratitude became something I thought of when things were good instead of knowing things were good because I saw there is good in every day.
I miss my gratitude and so I’m challenging myself, and you, to join me on this gratitude project! It’s not about listing something we’re grateful for every day- it’s more than that- that’s too easy. It’s about looking at our lives and seeing all little the things that are great, even when we may feel discouraged or something doesn’t go our way. It’s about celebrating the little things as enthusiastically as we celebrate the big things.
“When you are grateful for the smallest things in life, contentment just overflows.” ~Rubyanne
I love your comments! Do you have a regular gratitude practice? Tell me about it! Will you be participating in the challenge?