It seems normal to be looking for potential danger and avoiding risks, and it is a survival mechanism that we all have installed in our systems, but it is not all that great if you want to have a joyful life. It is so easy to see what is lacking, to see what you don’t have, or to focus on what is waiting to be solved, that you may forget to focus on what works and on what you have right now.
When your mind is busy looking for solutions to existent (and inexistent) problems, and always focusing on what can go wrong, you energetically live in a world of difficulties and negativity, always having to solve something and unable to relax and enjoy the present moment.
Reality shows us that we can find many problems every day to keep us terribly busy. But how you look at your problems determines your ability to overcome them. Are your problems obstacles, challenges, opportunities to grow, situations that will pass, or something you will be helped with or guided to resolve? Do you feel you have the power to overcome them?
One of the things that will help you to feel more confident and to find the strength you need to overcome any situation in life, is to focus on what is working, in the positive, in what you have in your life. Reflect on all those great things you don’t value or even notice.
Appreciate what you have, not only in the material world, like a safe place to live in, but also the Love and the good things you receive every day. The sunrise, the trees, the breeze in your face, the song of a bird, a nice view or landscape, a good meal, the way your pet shows you Love, the hug or the smile of a loved one… Don’t wait until you lose something to see how important it was. Value and enjoy every bit of life.
In the middle of the chaos, illness, fear, and crisis, realize that you are alive (if you are reading this), and that this is a wonderful thing to celebrate. While there is life there is hope. You may feel down, or maybe you are in a difficult situation, but you won’t solve this by obsessively thinking about it.
The solution can be a shift in your perspective of life and in your openness to the opportunities it can bring you. When you disconnect from the problems, you can find a solution, for instance in the morning after a good night of sleep. When you are relaxed and still, you can receive the information you need. When you let go of stress and stop living in survival mode, you can see things differently and create something new.
Count your blessings, and be grateful for them. See what is working in your life and appreciate it daily. You will bring more of it into your existence. Rely on the Universe, and its immense power to support you. And learn how to use the great power your mind has to configure your reality. Create a world where there is goodness, kindness, generosity, understanding, forgiveness, and Love, starting with Love for yourself. It is your world, a world of your design, you have to live in it, and you can invite others to join you there.
"A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances
instead of your circumstances having power over you"
Can you accept yourself as you are? Be totally honest with yourself when you answer the question. Maybe you are not sure you can do it, or you don't know how. Unconditional acceptance is something you must practice every day because being you, authentically you, is the most important thing you can do to live happily.
You can simulate that you have a good relationship with yourself, that you accept your flaws, mistakes, that you forgive yourself for what you believe you did wrongly. But your soul will know if you, deep inside yourself, reject yourself, cannot accept yourself as you are and criticize yourself constantly.
Having a good relationship with yourself and becoming your best friend starts with the absolute need to accept yourself as you are, and also the life you are living. You cannot say that you Love yourself if you criticize everything that happens to you, don’t appreciate your life, relationships, environment, life circumstances…
In time you will see that the self-acceptance will allow you to transform this feeling into appreciation, and then into gratefulness, and together all of these will convert your life into something greater and happier. This way you will be able to release the pressure you put on yourself to improve yourself and your life, and you will be able to become content with yourself as you are.
You may have to do an effort to accept who you are unconditionally, to say aloud “this is me”, to present yourself as you are without any protection, without adapting yourself to others or the situation, without the fear of being rejected or criticized for your ideas, way of living or your acts; this may require courage and make you feel vulnerable. Let me tell you that to be you is simpler than you imagine, because when you accept yourself the world accepts you as well.
The inner conflict between who you are and the image you want to show in public, in your job, in front of your in-laws or friends, or to get a partner, takes a lot of energy from you. It puts you in a constant state of alert to protect yourself from any mistake you can make that allows others to see the real you, the one you unconsciously want to protect from the judgment of others. Your intimate relationship with yourself should be easy, smooth, allowing you to feel relaxed and at ease in any circumstance.
If you feel that there are things about yourself and your past that you cannot forgive, this is the perfect moment to let them go, to set yourself free from a thought, experience, or situation that holds you back and makes you suffer.
To accept yourself this way you will have to learn self-forgiveness, kindness and compassion towards yourself. Just give yourself the same Love you share with others, and you will create a new relationship with yourself, one where you can discover who you are, know yourself more deeply, accept yourself and fall in Love with yourself, with the real You.
"Self-acceptance is my refusal to be in an adversarial relationship with myself"
You may believe you were born to do important things with your life. It is true. You have unlimited possibilities and it is never too late to create, learn, or do new things. But the most important reason why you were born was to live your life to the fullest, the only thing that only you can do. You are alive to become yourself, to be just you.
I am writing this blog on a plane that is taking me from Miami to New York, and I discovered myself making my to-do list of pending work and errands. Now all is written in the notes of my phone, technology has simplified my life. I can remember what I must do, I have a good memory and a real agenda on paper, but lists help me focus and prioritize. What I realized is that the most important things are not in my to-do lists.
Have you ever created a to-be list? If not, do it for fun. It is the most amazing contribution to your life that you can give yourself. After creating your to-be list don’t get sad or frustrated if you realize that you have forgotten your dreams, that you have self-sacrificed too much, that you haven’t loved enough, or that you are living a life that is not true to your values. These things happen to all of us human beings.
What do you want to be? Who do you want to become? Asking yourself these questions will help you create a true to-be list. I will share the two most important items on my to-be list to give you an example.
I want to be loving towards myself and others.
I want to be kind with everyone and everything.
I want to become more loving and kinder. I am, I should say, achieving it through my daily decisions, actions, and attitude towards myself and others.
It shouldn’t require more than five minutes to create a to-be list. Write 2 to 5 statements you want to live by. Don’t make it too long. Look at your list through the day. You can read the list slowly to feel and embody every aspect of it, or to remind yourself of your commitment.
Include in your list only the items you want to focus on. If it was a to-do list you would list those urgent matters or errands you must do first, not your goals for three or six months, or one year ahead. What you include in your to-be list should be the aspects you as a being would like to be living by right now. Do you want to be kind, empowering, trusting...? What do you really want?
Don’t avoid writing certain items in your to-be list because you have no idea how you will accomplish them. When your to-do list includes finding a dress or a suit for a wedding and you don't have any idea where to buy them, or what kind of dress or suit you need, you still list this errand because the wedding is in 10 days. Then you start a process of research, and I can promise you that you will be helped if you ask for help, and voilà, the dress or suit finds you.
The same will happen with your to-be list. A book, a coach, a teleseminar, an email, a workshop, a conversation, in meditation, an aha moment going back home... you will receive guidance that will help you be who you want to be. Stay focused, use your list wisely. Become yourself now.
"The essential lesson I have learned in life is to just be yourself. Treasure the magnificent being that you are and recognize first and foremost you are not here as a human being only.
You are a spiritual being having a human experience"
We tend to take our life for granted without appreciating its gifts. There are so many things that you can appreciate every day of your life. Have you realized how many days pass by in which you don't feel this appreciation? Pause and look around while you go through your day. There is beauty all around you, little things that can make your heart sing. You can experience moments of laughter, awe, Love, and joy. Don’t miss them.
To appreciate something, it is necessary to become aware of its existence. It is necessary to pay attention. To do it, you have to stop living only in your mind or on autopilot. Look around, connect with what life brings to you, be present and do one thing at a time. Once the sense of appreciation exists in your life, you can be grateful for it, but not before. Being grateful connects you to Love, Love for yourself, your life, and all that exists.
Appreciation starts with yourself, with the idea of unconditionally accepting who you are and being proud of yourself, of knowing your gifts, your strengths, your worth, and what you bring to the world. To Love yourself means to appreciate yourself totally and completely. Don’t wait until you receive validation and Love from someone else. The way to get them is to value and to Love yourself.
Appreciate what you have, don’t overlook it. There are so many things to be grateful for. It is so easy to focus on what is lacking in your life, but this will only bring you more lack. We tend to judge our life because it doesn’t look like the way it should. We are so hard on ourselves because we believe that we are not good enough. We can receive more abundance now, and being grateful for what we already have is the first step to making it happen.
Do you need ideas about what you can be grateful for? Be grateful for having a body that works and two legs that take you wherever you want to go, for your two eyes that allow you to see a wonderful sunset. Be grateful for the Love of your family and friends, for a kiss, a smile, a hug, for the Love you receive daily. Be grateful for the breeze in your face, for the sun that bathes you, for the flower that blooms for you. Be grateful because you are alive and you have the energy to do whatever you want. Enjoy every moment of your wonderful life. Don’t wait until you lose something to appreciate it.
Observe the conversation you have with yourself. Don’t get caught in thoughts that create self-doubt, judgment, and criticism. Stop thinking about the different issues you may have, pointing out what is not working, or it is not the way you want. Love what is as much as you can, even if you don’t like it, or it is not what you may have chosen. Your appreciation and gratitude open you up to abundance, to receiving, to being in the flow of life, of giving and receiving, and they will transform you and every aspect of your life.
"Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you.
Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day
regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe"
Dr. Wayne Dyer
Judith Costa is a Life and Love Coach, Seminar Leader, Writer and Speaker. She has a Masters degree in Psychology & Psychotherapy and an MBA. She helps her clients to overcome their blocks to Love, to Love themselves and to manifest the relationship they want.