December 18, 2008
This morning, I tucked into my latest book, Choosing Happiness, by lifestyle guru, Alexandra Stoddard. I always look forward to reading Alexandra's books. They inspire me and uplift me and give me a renewed sense of peace. This experience has been no different.
For one thing, her books are as beautiful to look at as they are to read. This one has cobalt blue ink and the quotes on the margins are a lovely fuschia. Just looking at words in these colors is pleasing to the eye.
The content is full of heart-warming life examples, which always make me reflect on how I can incorporate more of the message into my everyday life. The following is my brief takeaway for the day. In light of the time of year, may it encourage all of you to step back and allow yourself to be mindful of what you are doing so that you can actually enjoy it!
To choose happiness is to choose mindfulness and, in your mindfulness, to choose joy. Deep, isn't it?
Mindfulness is being present in what you are doing in each moment. Rather than dwelling on "what's next?" you focus on your current task before you move on to something else. Choosing joy goes back to the whole concept of PMA (you will hear me use that phrase regularly, it's one of my favorite acronyms – Postive Mental Attitude.) Acknowledging your position, whether you are on a beach in sunny Florida or scrubbing a bathroom floor, and giving it its due, allows your heart to recognize the value of where you are. Then, you can approach your activity with gratitude rather than angst or apathy.
Mind you, I really despise scrubbing the bathroom floor:-) But, when I take a moment and remember why I am doing it (to keep our home clean and germ-free), that I can do it (my body is capable), and who is blessed by it (not just me, but my family as well), I am encouraged enough to at least finish the job well.
These are three things I am going to do today to be more mindful:
1 – Finish this post with the energy it deserves without thinking about the next item on my to do list. It is such a pleasure to interact with all of you, I am going to take the time to enjoy it!
2 – Go scrub my kitchen. Yep, sounds fun, doesn't it? However, my kitchen really needs it as our entire family has had the flu over the course of the last two weeks. Today, I am going to be thankful that I feel well enough to do it.
3 – Sit with my still-sick child and read a few good books to him and his brother on the couch. We are going to turn the tree on and cuddle. I am going to put all of the projects I am behind on out of mind and put my energy into helping my son to feel better.
Why don't you pick your three things right now, before you click off?
That's it, I wish you a day of mindful happiness.
PS – I got Alexandra's book at Barnes and Noble online for $5.98. This one is about 6 years old and it was in the bargain book section. Beautiful and affordable… music to a mom's ears!