I love this time of year. Here in central Canada, we look forward to April showers. The rain not only helps to clean up our streets and wipe away (along with our wonderful city services) the mess from winter, it also begins to nourish what will soon be blooming all over our beautiful city.
I think this is a great metaphor for life. In fact, for how to approach each day.
Your thoughts are "April Showers". What you allow to take up residence in your mind impacts what will bloom (or not) in your life. Your thoughts are constantly streaming, just as the rain in April can seem to be doing. What will you allow to swirl around in your mind? If your thoughts were a movie, would you pay money to go see it?
In other words, what will you choose to think that will provide the best nourishment for the kind of outcomes you wish to create in your life?
Here are some ideas for you to GROW the kind of mindset that helps you get what you want:
Greet each day with a moment of gratitude. When your alarm goes off, or when you awake naturally, pause. When you pause, take a deep breath and connect with your body. Wake up and connect with your toes, shins, knees, thighs, and so on. Then, take a moment to reflect on something for which you are grateful (being able to take a breath, having another day to live...these are two very obvious and easy things to start with!)
Reframe negative situations. Perhaps as you are driving to work, someone cuts you off in traffic. You might experience frustration and anger at the driver for not noticing you. You might also experience fear because you missed a fender-bender by mere seconds! You might notice that the thoughts you are having about that driver are negative 'What's up with that guy?' 'She didn't even signal!" "Crazy driver!" "People are so rude!" In an instant you can choose other thoughts -- you can reframe this negative situation into something more positive. You can decide to think "He must be in a hurry since he did not see me here; I am glad my brakes work well." "Perhaps she has just left her sick mother's side, and she is distracted. I hope she gets to her destination okay." The reframe is a gift to your brain...it helps you to be able to move past this negative situation and to experience more positive feelings...like empathy, compassion, and gratitude.
Open your eyes. Notice all of the moments of wonder around you. You might notice those new buds on the trees as you walk outside. You might notice the joyful sound of children playing in the park. You might notice the faces in the photos on your desk, and take a few seconds to connect with their smiling eyes. You do not need technology to help you experience the amazing things going on in this world. You only need to look around.
Welcome other people into your life. You are always better when you connect with other people. You do less well, mentally and emotionally, when you isolate yourself. You can welcome other people into your life in many ways; smile at people when you walk down the street or through your office, look into the eyes of the person passing you your coffee over the counter, join in the conversation taking place in the office lunch room, invite a co-worker to join you for break, phone a friend.
April showers bring May flowers....what possibilities will begin to sprout for you this month?
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