The Important Things In Life

I want to share a little video that I found on Facebook.  I think it is just lovely and has many good ideas for me to keep in mind.

I really like so many of the little reminders sprinkled throughout the video.

The video begins with the words “Show Up.”  When John and I were discerning his call to the diaconate, one of the instructors (who has become a dear friend) began by telling us that the first rule of his spirituality is “Show Up.”  I have adopted this as an important rule of my own life.  To me, showing up means being fully present in the moment.  It means listening when someone is talking to me.  It means noticing the beauty around me.  It means focusing on the task at hand, instead of being distracted by random thoughts.  I have worked at learning to be mindful, but I still have a lot to learn.  I love that this video begins with this little reminder.

Find a new perspective.  A few years ago, when I was suffering from a bout of depression that I could not seem to shake off, I saw a video by Dewitt Jones.  He is a photographer with National Geographic and also a motivational speaker.  The video was all about the importance, to a photographer, of changing perspective and of being open to many perspectives.  This became a turning point for me in my own struggle.  I began to look for new perspectives and started to find beauty around me as I opened my eyes to seeing in a new way.  All of this paved the way for my increasing ability to see beauty with my spirit even as my vision began to deteriorate.  If I ever have the opportunity to meet Mr. Jones, I am going to thank him for changing my life.

Have a sense of wonder.  I love this reminder.  Because the world is changing so fast and technology is evolving at lightning speed, it is easy to become blase about everything.  I can try to become so sophisticated or jaded that nothing surprises or excited me.  Keeping a sense of wonder redirects us back to being childlike, to being delighted by the beauty in the world and all of the amazing ways God touches our lives every day.

Set goals.  I have written a lot about how dreaming and setting goals has impacted my life.  I love the feeling of momentum that comes from writing down a goal and then taking steps to meet that goal.  I love crossing items off my list of goals.  I really enjoy hearing other people’s goals and dreams.  When I am talking with someone about his or her dreams, I notice that the person’s voice changes, becoming lighter, more animated, more full of energy.  I believe that listening to people talk about their dreams and goals  helps them to bring their dreams to life and makes them become more real, more concrete.

Help others.  Dance.  Pamper yourself.  Find people you love.  All wonderful reminders.  Face your fears.  This is a big one for me.  I have allowed my fears to rule my behavior for much of my life.  It is only now that I am stepping up to face my fears, cut them down to size, and stop them from limiting my life.  Each and every time I step out of my comfort zone and face my fears, it is hard.  But each and every time, I am so glad that I did it.  Facing my fears puts me in the driver seat of my own life.

Go to a museum.  Exercise.  Limit television.  Get in touch with nature.  These are all ways that I can be in touch with the beauty and grace present in the world and focus on what is important to my spirit.  This is great reminder, especially in the middle of winter when I hesitate to venture out of the house and into the world.  I need to get out and see wonderful sights and move my body instead of vegging out in front of the tv.  Buy yourself flowers.  I have written about my discovery of how much the benefits of buying myself flowers and plants outweigh the cost of these simple pleasures.  Flowers bring bright spots of color into my life and I really need their beauty.

Don’t beat yourself up.  This is a big one for me.  My self-talk can really destroy my sense of my own goodness.  I try to limit my negative thoughts toward others and give them the benefit of the doubt.  It is just as important that I do this for myself.  If I can give myself positive affirmations in my self-talk, it empowers me to grow and improve myself and become the person I want to be.

Focus on creating what you desire.  I love this one.  If I can dream about the way I want the future to be, if I can take small steps toward fulfilling those dreams, I can create the future that I envision.  I can make the world a better place.  I can help myself and others find beauty and grace in the world.  I like another saying that is similar to this one, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  If I don’t like things the way they are, I can imagine the way I want things to be and then go about being the catalyst for that change.  My power lies in my ability to dream a better world and make a better world.

Make a gratitude list.  I find it so helpful, as I am falling asleep, to reflect on my day and make a mental list of all of the things I am grateful for in that day.  This has a huge impact on my ability to keep positive thoughts all throughout the day.  I notice the good that happens all throughout the day now, so that I can remember it at night.  This has been a really good habit for me.  My sleep is so much sweeter after taking the time to make a gratitude list before I fall asleep.

Want what you have.  Be true to yourself.  The video ends with two reminders that make me think of my mother.  She always encouraged us to be happy with the things that we have, rather than longing for the things we did not have.  She taught me to “make do” and be creative.  She taught me to always act in harmony with my belief systems.  She taught me to know who I am and how I want to act.

I don’t know who made this little video, but I am thankful to that person for taking the time to put it together.  It certainly did not need me to add my reflection to its simple message, but it has helped me to think about the impact that some of these little reminders have made on my life.

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