Your Grateful Practice

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything for this blog. I’m not sure why, but it is what it is as they say. I have written about being grateful and actually writing it down in the past, although my own adherence to this advice was somewhat intermittent at best, until about 6 months ago. I broke down and bought a journal partly because I had always read that hand writing things down has more of an impact than typing them. For me that seemed to ring true. So everyday or almost everyday I get up early and at about 5:00 a.m. I start writing in my journal what I am grateful for and then I add a little thing called Decree to the Universe.

The Decree to the Universe is to a large degree a realization that your grateful practice is providing you. It may take the form of an affirmation or at least a way of being, even if it only lasts for the day ahead of you.

Sometimes I write very conventional statements of being grateful for things like my family or my home, and sometimes very simple things like this cup of coffee is pretty damn good. At other times I write what I think I am becoming. All of this journaling takes about 10 minutes of your time. Write down what you are grateful for and then some Decree to the Universe; read it back to yourself slowly so that you really feel it.

One of the things I noticed is that all the benefits I list below, did not happen for me overnight. It seems like it took months to attain the full effect that a grateful practice can provide. Maybe I’m a bit slow, but in any case it appears that perseverance matters.

So why go to all this bother? Well there are a few good reasons:

  1. It’s hard to start your day as an asshole if you just listed a number of things you are grateful for.
  2. It begins to distance you from the woe is me and isn’t this world unfair way of thinking.
  3. You start appreciating even the little things more intensely and you really start appreciating the people around you.
  4. It makes you more focused on who you really are or who you should be than the pain ass that you can be even to people very close to you.
  5. You eventually become more mindful, which ultimately results in you becoming a happier person.

Just a note here, there is really no need to buy some special grateful journal any decent journal with lines on it will do the trick.

Here is an example from my journal this morning. I may post more in the future.

Namaste

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What are you waiting for?

 

Wating Game

Like most of us I have deferred doing many things in my life. I tell myself maybe it’s not the right time, not just yet. I tell myself maybe it is too risky or beyond my abilities. I tell myself that it is too expensive or I just don’t have time for it. Unfortunately I have lied to myself and time marches on with me no closer to my dreams.

I tell myself there is lots of time to do that which I long to do in the future. I have focused my thoughts and desires to be something I will attain in the future. My mind does not live in the present it only focuses on the future. I make investments in myself, in others, sometimes financially or physically so that I will have a better future, or so I think. The irony is, there really is no guarantee of the future. The future has yet to happen and it is a figment of my imagination.

Ask yourself is there something you want to do? Maybe you would like to write a book, travel somewhere, have a relationship with someone, start a business, purchase a new home, or find a way to give something back to the world.

What are you waiting for?

 

With no guarantee of the future, all of this waiting for the right time to begin to live the life you want is simply wrong. You don’t know how much time you have left on this earth, so why wait? Here are some examples of deferring to the future:

  • I’ll start that business or buy that thing when I have more than enough money saved, maybe 4 or 5 years from now. Are you really going to wait 4 or 5 years for something you really want to do? Are there no other options?
  • I will stop that addiction (smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling) sometime in the future when the time is just right. Have you noticed the time is never quite right? Will you be better off deferring being free from the addictions that are dragging you down?
  • I don’t have time to work on that book I always wanted to write. I have far to many responsibilities to attend to. If you had all the time in the world what other excuse would you use? Have you ever thought that you have never prioritized your writing over all the other bullshit you think needs to be done?
  • I really would like a better relationship with my significant other, children, siblings, parents, friends, but I’m too busy to call or spend time with them. Do you really want to go to your grave not being present for the people you love?

These are yet a few examples from my own life that plague me; I’m sure you can come up with your own list.

Quit imagining that you have all the time in the world to do the things you want to do, because you don’t. Make at least some effort to prioritize what is important to you and do it. If that means you have to be a little selfish then so be it. Look at your habits and decide do I really need to sit there every night and watch 2 hours of television.

Decide right now that the future is an illusion; begin living in the present and start doing the things you want to do and I mean now!

Stop taking for granted all the wonderful things that are happening around you understanding that tomorrow they become a thing of the past. You cannot wait for something to happen to experience fulfillment, happiness, and joy in your life; decide that the time is now.

happiness-is-now

These things that you want to do or have, may or may not bring the satisfaction you think they will in your life, but by not acting on your desires you will never know.

As human beings we attempt to live our lives in the past, present, and future. We often work in soul crushing jobs so that we can enjoy two or three weeks off. Are you actually working yourself to death for a couple weeks off? You can have a life more fulfilling that that; you were not created to simply settle.

It’s fine to think about what you want to become or have, but don’t stop by just dreaming about it; you must act and you must live in the now.

Namaste

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 ways to get back your missing mojo

I would suspect that most of us go through phases in our lives where we have seemed to have lost our interest in what we do and much of the routine aspects of our existence. Maybe we are losing our mojo.  Webster’s defines mojo as:

“a power that may seem magical and that allows someone to be very effective, successful, etc.”

wheres_my_mojo

It would be nice if everyday was a big adventure, but for most of the world consists of rituals and a fair amount of work. After all we cannot all be Anthony Bourdain and travel the world-embracing new cultures and cuisines, or maybe we can. From my personal observations, it appears the vast majority of the modern world experiences this malaise and has lost their mojo. Some symptoms of lost mojo include:

  1. It is difficult to get out of bed in the morning and when you do you still feel tired
  2. Your productivity is suffering, you are beginning to feel like the guy in Office Space who only does 15 minutes of actual work each week
  3. The highs aren’t very high and the lows aren’t really that low anymore, you are stuck somewhere in the middle
  4. You are not interested in things that were pleasurable in the past
  5. You don’t feel good, even though you are exercising and eating well

Now you might want to go get a checkup from a physician just to make sure what you are experiencing isn’t due to some medical problem, but if you have a clean bill of health you will need to do something to regain the mojo you once possessed. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Maybe you need to consider a career change to get fired up again. Being on a steep learning curve can release some of that hidden mojo.
  2. Start breaking some routines, even if it is simple things like when you workout and what type of exercise you are performing. Change from a 3 day split to a 5 day split, throw in some cardio (running, biking, walking, kayaking).
  3. If you can change-up your schedule, start work an hour later, or work at home a couple of days of week if possible.
  4. Do something for your state of mind like meditating, praying, inspirational reading, or walking.
  5. Take up a new hobby or re-discover the one you quit 10 years ago when your mojo was beginning to fade.
  6. Write down something you are grateful for everyday. Sometimes the malaise begins with a lack of appreciation.
  7. Take a vacation, which of course will allow time for a few of the things I mentioned above.
  8. Do at least one nice thing for another person everyday such as paying them a complement, holding a door, helping someone at work or at home. Remember you’re not the only one that has lost their mojo, and paying it forward can help you and someone else.
  9. Just say no, and maybe even drop some non value added commitments. It may be that you just have way too much on your plate and need to scale things back a bit at least for a while.
  10. Get in touch with your own thoughts. I mentioned meditation which helps me, but there are many ways to become more introspective such as journaling, blogging, writing poetry, spiritual practice, or just taking long walks.

Above all you need to jump off the hamster wheel for a bit and try to understand what is important to you. Your mojo is not gone, it is simply suppressed by routine and not caring for yourself. Do as many of the things above as you can during the course of the next few months and you will start to feel that magical power again.

Namaste