Monday, August 26, 2013

ten | practicing simplicity

children squat with such ease; it's so good for the spine, hips and digestive system

Living a less-distracted life : find perspective

I'm pretty good at feeling sorry for myself. Optimism doesn't come easily to me; I really have to work at a positive mindset (except when I'm in the midst of a particularly challenging situation, then my outlook is brilliantly positive - odd, I know). I'm efficient at whinging, too - a terrible habit. 

But over the past few months I've made a concerted effort to change my auto-pilot thoughts. There's a few practical things I've done that have made a big difference. 
  • I own my perspective. This was a big one (and a hard one). It's so easy to place blame and I'll admit - I'm good at it! But lately, I've been reminding myself as often as is necessary, that my thoughts, feelings and perspective is me - it's my stuff. I have to acknowledge it, consider it and work through it (and move on!). Blaming someone, something or a situation is a waste of time. 
  • I stop and take a few deep breaths. Sometimes I'm so distracted that I don't even realise I'm whinging. Sometimes the kids are so tired and cranky that I wallow along with them. And so, I've been making an effort to catch myself mid-moan, come into the present moment and respond to the situation instead of reacting dramatically to it. 
  • We get out of the house. Everything is worse when you are surrounded by dishes and washing. Everything is better when you sit on a beach and watch your children play in the sand. So what if my house is messy? I have a beautiful, clean beach to take my children to, it's mid-winter and it's 20 degrees. Enough said.
  • I write a list and see the good. It's gratitude in bullet-points and includes the facts - we enjoy good health, Daniel and I work in the creative fields that we always dreamed of being involved in, Che attends a beautiful school, we have the support of loving and doting grandparents, we can afford nourishing food, we can pay our bills, our sky is so clear we can see the stars and on, and on, and on. 
Whilst I wholeheartedly understand that there are always going to be down times, that wallowing is sometimes productive and that perpetual happiness isn't attainable, I do believe that you can change your perspective for the good. You just need to slow down to acknowledge that often, your thoughts are dictating your days.

So: acknowledge that you're distracted, stop and listen to what you're thinking. Breathe, get outside, write a list, see the good. 

Tell me, what's on your list?

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