I hear a lot of people talk about their concerns regarding the state of the world today. Everyday there are news reports on the oil spill, global warming, the war in Iraq, the economy, unemployment, tornado's, kidnapping, murder, etc. It's depressing and gives one a feeling of helplessness and despair. I don't know about you but fear does not lead to peace, love and happiness in me. Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Meaning, it all starts with you. If you want t world filled with love, peace and happiness, you need to become a beacon of those traits. Sound impossible? Here are a few tips:
1. Go on a Media Diet
Turn off the news, avoid cnn.com like the plague, change the radio to a peppy FM station, and eliminate the world's drama from your life. The Law of Attraction states that what you put your focus on, you create. In other words, whatever you are thinking about you will attract. Instead of focusing on the problem, envision the solution. For example, stop discussing how poor the economy is, and put your focus on abundance. The more people focusing on abundance, rather than lack, the better the world will be.
2. Be Grateful
Gratitude is a powerful tool for change. Make a habit of coming up with at least 5 things each day that you are grateful for. Gratitude's can be anything from "I am grateful for my incredible hair day," to "I am grateful for the creation of butterflies", or my favorite, "I am grateful for the creation of sewer systems and the fact that I don't have to wade through shit as I stroll down the street. I thank the inventors and those who work daily to maintain our sewer systems for this great gift." There are so many things to be grateful for, and by taking a few moments each day to acknowledge them you can shift your entire life perspective.
3. Be Kind
Start by being kind to yourself. We send ourselves a lot of negative messages, "I'm not good enough", "I can't do that", "I'm too fat", etc. Turn those thoughts into positives. It can be very awkward at first, but a great tool is to tell yourself "I Love You" every time you look into a mirror. After a few days this will get easier and you'll notice your negative thought patterns about yourself will start to shift. It is also important to be kind to others. Hold open doors, say thank you, donate old clothes and books, Pay it Forward, adopt a solider, donate blood; make an effort to perform an act of kindness daily.
4. Eliminate Gossip
"Gossip is black magic at its very worst because it is pure poison. We learned how to gossip by agreement. When we were children, we heard the adults around us gossiping all the time, openly giving their opinions about other people. They even had opinions about people they didn't know. Emotional poison was transferred along with the opinions, and we learned this as the normal way to communicate."
--Don Miguel Ruiz
This is extremely important and can also be one of the most difficult things for people to do. Start by making a Forgiveness List of everyone you still hold resentment towards. You might want to add your own name to this list. For small issues, simply write a sentence starting with "I forgive" to release the issue. For larger issues sit down and write a letter to the person who hurt you (even if it's you). Share your thoughts on the situation, and offer up your forgiveness. Burn the letter and release to the universe. Remember, forgiving someone doesn't not necessarily mean that you are stating what they did was ok. I realize that it may seem impossible to forgive your rapist, but holding onto the anger only perpetuates your pain. Forgiveness can be a powerful tool for moving on. "When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that line and get free." --Catherine Ponder
6. Express Your Love
Be Love in your actions, thoughts, and expression of self. Express love often, whether through a kind act to someone you care about or by simply saying "I Love You" as often as possible. Try this exercise. For one day, say "I love you" to EVERYTHING. "I love you tree", "I love you squirrel", "I love you sandwich", "I love you Mom", "I love you pinkie toe", etc. There is no limit to love.
7. Give Compliments
Give genuine compliments whenever possible. Tell a stranger you love her shoes, let the lawn mowing boy know what a great job he did on your lawn, thank your post man for his prompt delivery of your mail everyday. Last year I attended a conference on relationships called Kindred Spirits. One gentleman shared with the group that he writes what he calls "Father's Day letters" every year to his Dad. He shares with his Dad how special their relationship is, compliments him on his life, and includes encouragement. What a wonderful gift!
Ever notice how people have a tendency to look away when passing a stranger on the street? Make a promise to yourself to smile at everyone you see instead. Smile at yourself in the mirror every time you pass it. Smile to yourself when you are sitting along. Psychologists did a study on people suffering from depression and discovered that patients who spent just 30 minutes each day smiling at themselves in the mirror recovered much faster than the average patient. So smile, and smile big often. And if you are really feeling adventurous, LAUGH!