One of my friends died recently. He wasn’t a close friend but he had dated a dear friend of mine. His celebration of life was the most touching, positive and memorable celebration of life I’ve ever attended. Experiencing someone’s death, who is close to my own in age, certainly put me in touch with my own mortality and my recent way of living in the world. I realized that lately I have be setting goals and driving myself to achieve them. I have been focusing on “externals” rather than awakening and asking myself what do I really want to do today? What would make my soul sing? (and then doing it)
Yesterday (Sunday) I asked myself what do I really want to do? I ended up attending the local Centre for Spiritual Living. After that I browsed in a bookstore and bought one book of interest. Then I went for a long walk along the waterfront close to where I live (photo insert) and “drank” in the natural beauty. I felt like an ice cream so I treated myself to one and savored each lick as I sat in the soothing autumn sun. On return home I phoned my son and his new wife and one of my sisters and had great chats with all of them. I returned the message of a dear friend and we set up a lunch date for this Friday. I made dinner for my Sweetie and took time to decorate the table and light two candles. We each make a wish at the end of the meal and blow them out (which is a ritual in our home).
When I put my head on the pillow last night I felt that I had lived the day being in the moment and doing what I truly wanted to do. I felt so grateful, contented and relaxed. … I realize that during the week we often have to set goals and have activities to complete whether we’re working for ourselves or for others. That said there are things we CAN do each day to positively affect our experiences and enrich our lives.
Here are a few suggestions:
1) Before you get out of bed in the morning think of at least one thing that would bring you joy to do that day (if you can think of 3 or 4 even better!). Commit to doing that/those things and notice how you feel during and after them.
2) Try to be totally present with each person you interact with and notice something special about them. Share that positive attribute with them if you feel comfortable doing so.
3) Carve some time out of your day to go for a walk/spend some time in nature and notice how it makes you feel.
4) Think of one thing you’d like to do for someone close to you that demonstrates how special they are and do it (e.g. write them a note, a poem, send them flowers … )
5) Reflect on your day before you lay your head on the pillow. Notice how you feel. You may also wish to journal about your thoughts or record them in your phone.
6) Try integrating the above activities into your life on a regular basis and notice the difference J
Do you find that you are constantly driving yourself to achieve external goals? Do you rarely take time to do something you really love? Feel free to share your thoughts and strategies you have found helpful to integrate “things you love to do” into your day.