This week, I was reminded of an important lesson – one that we often take for granted.
I talk about finding fulfillment by living in the moment – being aware of life moving around you, accepting others, embracing your authentic self and practicing gratitude. But despite our most genuine intentions, there is something that happens to all of us every so often. It is this feeling of dissatisfaction with what we have or why we find ourselves in certain circumstances. Sometimes we manifest that disappointment as we nit pick the people closest to us – or ourselves. Human nature leads us to desire what we don’t or can’t have.
It is while we are left in solitude and allowed to be alone with our thoughts, though, that our minds automatically reframe our perspective on what previously seemed so unfortunate and heavy. It is almost as if we become stripped-down versions of ourselves while we sit in silence and reflect. We're suddenly able to think clearly without noise or distraction. The whole experience is kind of like a mental reboot process.
So what happens when you are never alone with your thoughts? You wake up after a week’s routine of work, eat, sleep and realize you were living in an pretty harried state for 5 days. You might feel like you are only now able to consciously evaluate what has happened over the week.
Without time to be alone with our thoughts, it can be easy to get caught up in negativity or complaint. It takes willpower to push beyond that human state of desire to experience an emergence out of that negativity. That willpower takes practice. So try this: practice sitting in solitude, meditating, saying or writing about the things you are grateful for, and incorporating mindfulness into your routine. If we all got into these habits, maybe we would realize we are exactly where we are supposed to be in our lives. Maybe we would all feel content and at peace with what we have and who we are. Maybe we would stop nit picking. And maybe in the future we'll be able to recognize the dissatisfaction as it is happening and course correct on the spot.
Ashley Fern of Elite Daily makes great points in this article about reframing our thoughts on what we have and what we don’t have. She summarizes it all in one word – appreciation.
Appreciate. It is a simple concept but one we must forcibly remind ourselves of. Think about it. How do you keep your life in perspective?