The big word of the day is JOY. This post is inspired by a friend who told me a few days ago that she started de-cluttering her home with only one criterion in mind. As she went through drawers, cupboards and all the corners of her living space, she looked at around, picked up each object and asked herself only one question: “Does this bring me joy?”. If an object did bring her joy, she cleaned it and kept it. If it did not, she tossed it.
Isn’t this wonderful? Can you imagine how she will feel once this “cleaning for joy” process is complete? The energy of her space will be clear and beautiful and she will feel energized, restored and uplifted just by being home. This is a powerful cleansing technique. If you are surrounded by objects you really like, your energy elevates and you feel clearer and more optimistic. If, when you look around, you see clothes that don’t fit you, objects that remind you of negative experiences and things in disrepair your energy gets diminished, your mind absorbs the clutter and you do not get to rest, restore and recharge in your own home.
I wrote about this subject on Day 89, but today’s post brings you a new perspective on how to make your home serve you and your needs: just ask the simple question if all the things you have surrounded yourself with bring you joy. Start with one area, with one room and do it! Clean and de-clutter for joy. You will be amazed at the results and you will want to continue the process until your whole living space fills you with joy. And then – inspired, uplifted and recharged – do the same thing with your office, with your car, with the things you choose to do and the people you choose to spend time with.
Start right away. Start now with a single drawer, with a single corner and invite the New Year into your life with joy.
I want you to be surrounded by things that bring you joy, by experiences that fill your heart with joy, doing work that fulfills you and being with people who lift you up and bring you even more joy.
The reason I am writing about it again is because most people in this world have know various forms and degrees of abuse in their childhood: emotional, physical, sexual or a combination of these three. And some continue to experience abuse throughout their lives.
What I want you to know is that only you have the power to heal your wounds. You may employ other people to help you do so (spiritual teacher, psychotherapists, healers, psychiatrists, counselors), but ultimately only YOU can do the healing work that is necessary if you are to be a whole, grounded and powerful person who is not afraid of living your life according to your own desires and dreams.
Healing can only occur and forgiveness can only wash away all that has happened ONLY if you are willing to look deep inside yourself at the things you tried very hard to forget.
Once you have done the work to heal your Inner Child, there will be no reason to fight with your memories and bury them in the deep corners of your mind. You will then be free of the past.
You will be free to LIVE.
This is the vision that I hold for you, with you. With all my heart.
How does that sound? Think about it: are you indeed your own best friend? Do you have your own approval? And do you have your own back?
Nick Ortner says:
“Too often we are ruled by everything that’s wrong with us, as opposed to everything that’s right with us.”
Everything changes the moment you decide to become your own best friend, to stand strongly by your own side and to treat yourself with love, understanding and compassion. If your best friend feels down, you do not kick them when they’re on the floor, do you? You help them stand up; you sit them down and tell them what you love about them, how they enhance your life and why you believe in them. You listen to them, you assist them and give them your support.
Maybe right now it is a challenge for you to befriend yourself and you cannot imagine starting to support yourself the way you would your BFF. If this is the case, I want you to take a sheet of paper and write down what you think of yourself; write all the words down. Do not hold back. If you don’t face how you see yourself you will not be able to change it. So write down what you think. Then, take another sheet of paper and for each harsh and judgemental word you used, write down a slighly softer, lighter word; then throw away the first version.
In a couple of weeks look at your list again and then take a new sheet of paper and soften the words again. In time, your perception of yourself will change. And then it will change again.
Choose to become your own best friend. Imagine how you would feel if YOU stood by your side. Accept that it is a process. And keep working on your list.
… saying “Thank You”. Over and over. Try it: whenever you feel down, upset, worried and negative feelings start to creep up, just say these two words: Thank You. Repeat them in your head, silently or speak them out loud. Or write them by hand. The more you do it, the better you will start to feel.
Does it seem too simple? All great things are simple.
Do try it. Say “thank you” over and over and over. I spent about 90 minutes today repeating the same words. Sometimes my mind wondered, but I came back to “thank you”. I felt lighter, calmer and more optimistic as the minutes went by.
It is Christmas Day and most people celebrating Christmas had a good time today with family and friends, sharing gifts and food and love. Holidays bring people together and provide ample opportunities for true connection and deep healing to take place. And this is precisely why holidays can also be challenging and painful for some people. Family gatherings are a time of celebration but they also bring the surface things that are not healed; they open wounds and generate tears. People feel hurt, they get angry and end up fighting each other on the very day that all they desire is to connect and celebrate together. It makes sense that this happens: during the holidays people get together, have some time off, relax a little, start talking to each other, eat and drink together; that togetherness creates an opportunity for things that are painful and not yet healed to come to the surface.
So when you start to feel negativity building up inside you during the holiday time or at any other time, there is something you can do immediately to dissipate it. Do the exact opposite: do something positive! Go against the grain of what you feel: if you feel angry, find something to be thankful for; if you feel judgmental, look at that person with fresh new eyes, find something to appreciate about them and go share it with them; if you feel hurt, choose to remain open and don’t close up like you would have done in the past. Whatever negative feeling starts to creep up, dismantle it by choosing to feel, do and say something positive. By doing so you make the choice to heal, to let go of past hurts, to release fear and blame, to become free of your past. It is powerful and an extraordinary gift you can give yourself.
The same way a single candle lit in a dark room dissipates the darkness, your one positive thought, word or deed dismantles negativity. Healing can start to take place. That is what holidays are for: opportunities for us to get together, heal what hurts, find and offer support, get closer, find ways to appreciate each other just the way we are and move beyond fear and pain.
Feeling something negative? Go and do something positive. Right now.
Giving it your all in every moment does not mean that you work harder, push more, get more done and cross things off your list faster. What it means is that you open yourself up more, that you allow yourself to be fully present, that you decide to give yourself and others a break, that you choose to really hear what others say to you and what you say to yourself. It might seem like an easy thing to do, but from what I see, very few people are able to do that. Why? Because being present means that they become aware of themselves and what they are truly feeling. And that scares them.
How about you decide right now that you are willing to be more present? You do not need to make big promises to yourself, just be willing to do something different.
Your willingness to allow a different way of being will start to change things in your life. You will slowly start to feel more ease, more flow and less strife; your relationships will improve and you will experience synchronicity.
Tonight I sat in front of my computer, ready to write my next entry and I started to relax (as I always do before I write my posts), because I trust the process of writing my 365 days gratitude blog. As I sat quietly for a few moments, allowing inspiration to kick in, I realized that one of the reasons why life flows with grace and ease for me is because I am giving it my all, in every single moment.
What I want to share with you is this: one of the most powerful and effective ways to shift a situation, to change an outcome and to create what you truly desire is to acknowledge and appreciate what you are living right now; even when what you are going through in the moment is challenging, hurtful, hard or disheartening. If you are giving it your all, you are saying yes to life, you are appreciating that life has ups and down and most of all, you are committing yourself to living fully, authentically, without holding back, without laying blame, without feeling trapped.
In this very moment ask yourself: are you giving it your all? Are you fully present, are you acknowledging what is without fear, without judgment, without blame?
Just ask yourself these questions and allow the answers to come to you. Breathe. Ask. Allow. Hear the answers.