Do you believe that one word can make a difference for you, can change your whole day? I’m going to give it a chance in my own life, and I encourage you to do the same.
My cousin Nancy mentioned a good ‘mindfulness’ book to me, and I thought “I already own that book!” How exciting to think that I already had this great book in my library. With this new permission, I decided to READ the book. (Many of my books are just waiting to be read, sadly, as I am overwhelmed with a desire to read and a busy life that doesn’t seem to allow me time to read) Almost halfway through the book, I can see where I have a good attitude, for the most part, and am right on track.
That “for the most part” says it all. People who know me well and those who know me casually are quick to say that I am almost always happy. It’s true–I’ve chosen to be a happy person. The people who know me REALLY well would say that I have also have some pretty hard moments when feeling happy is a struggle, but I guess everyone has those moments. I am always looking to learn more, to be the best me I can be, and this book has pointed out one thing I do that will change today. Are you ready to make the change with me?
My husband might ask “What’s on your agenda today?” Here is my normal listing of “Things to Do” (in my head):
- I have to walk the dog;
- I have to fold the laundry and put it away;
- I have to figure out what I’ll do for dinner;
- I have to go through that pile of papers on my desk;
- I have to check for updates on a site.
I feel overwhelmed just listening to and reading it again! What if I changed just one word? How would it change my thoughts? What if, instead of saying have I were to say get? Here is the difference it would make:
- I get to walk the dog. (Mac was immediately wagging his tail when I told him that I get to walk him instead of I have to walk him)
- I get to fold and put away laundry. (That means I will have a neater living room, too. Happy face and easier breathing!)
- I get to figure out what I’ll do for dinner.
- I get to go through the pile of papers on my desk.
- I get to check for updates on a site.
Do you see the difference it makes immediately? I can see the things I am going to be doing as blessings (that is not a religious term, so everyone can use it). Try it when you are making your mental or paper list of things to do.
The book’s author tried the experiment with his 90-year old mother, who was quick to complain about things, while he was visiting her one week. He played the game like this: Every time his mother complained about something (which she apparently did a lot) he would say “And…”, and she agreed to finish with “and my life is very blessed.” They did this for several days with several opportunities for her to make the reply. He said her mood grew brighter as the week went on, as she continued to show gratitude with every complaint. When he got back home, his sister called and said “What did you do to Mom?” The change, he said, has been revolutionary.
His mother sent a poem in his birthday card, and he shared this excerpt:
“And it goes to show that you can teach an elder human new tricks.
Ninety is just fine with me, I no longer rant and rave
About where the world is heading and my exclusive job to save.
I wallow in contentment and know that I am blessed,
Awakening to the joy of living at its best.
I’m happier than I’ve ever been and truly mean each word,
The thoughts that caused the worries, now all seem so absurd.
Though my eyesight has been dimmed, I see clearer than before,
The glass is not half-empty, it’s overflowing, to be sure.”
Susan…amazed by grace