Tis’ the season to be Kind and Grateful

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The Law of Attraction

 Most people have heard of ‘The Secret’, a book that was written about The Law of Attraction. What is The Law of Attraction? Do good things to others and good things will come to you. Visualize what you want in life, let it manifest and it will be attracted to you. Basically, like attracts like. Think or do negative things and you will attract more negative things. Think or do positive things and you will attract positive things. There is one flaw though. If something tragic happens to you like a death or major life event, you could feel like you are responsible for it and you have attracted it to you. This is still one concept of the law I am a bit iffy about.

 The Law of Attraction teaches you how to take control of your future. It consists of many different exercises to help you do this. As Christmas is just around the corner, I have decided to focus this post on two of the laws exercises,kindness and gratitude. It is a time for giving presents, love, hope, joy and being grateful for what we already have. Christmas presents are piling up and we are all busy trying to finish our last bit of shopping, wondering if you have bought the kids enough gifts and forgetting the real meaning behind Christmas. Christmas is a time were friends and family gather together to give thanks for the year that has past and wish hope and love for the future. I understand Christmas has a different meaning for everyone If you want to experience a truly magical Christmas, you must start with the basics. Kindness and gratitude should be on your daily to do lists but sadly some people just leave them until Christmas when they are forced by tradition to buy presents for people and say thanks.

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Kindness-the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. A kind act.

 Kindness is certainly something we are good at at this time of year. We give presents and cards to those whom we love and care about. But what if there was other less expensive ways to show kindness and bring a little more magic into your Christmas? Here are some suggestions of some random acts of kindness you could do this Christmas:

  • Visit someone you have not seen in a long time. Surprise them.
  • Visit old neighbours. See if they need help with shopping or chores around the house or maybe just a bit of company.
  • Buy someone a thank you card. Tell them how much you appreciate them.
  • Buy a small present and give it to the next homeless person you see.
  • Do a little extra around the house to help out your Mam or your partner or roommates whatever.
  • Say “I love you” to someone you love.
  • Say “please” and “thank you”—and really mean it. Don’t just open a card or present and not look the person in the eye when saying thank you. Or throw the card to one side and scan read it.
  • Forgive. Forgive those who have done you wrong. Forgiveness is a difficult thing to do but the sense of relief from letting go of those negative grudges is worth it.
  • SMILE- Smiling will radiate positive energy from you and pass it on to the next person.
  • Pay for the persons behind you in the queue’s coffee.
  • Give back to those less fortunate than you. Volunteer with the elderly people around your area or the homeless.
  • Make someone a cup of tea without them having to ask you first.
  • Throw someone a text or give someone a ring you have not spoke to in a while.
  • Make time for friends and family. Try be a bit selfless this time of year. It will attract better things for you.

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Gratitude-the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

 There is a key step in the Law of Attraction that people often forget to use. They get so wrapped up in making lists and visualization that they forget one of the most important and easiest parts of the Law of Attraction. Even when they do remember it, they don’t use it correctly. This important step is gratitude.

 Gratitude is a powerful Law of Attraction exercise. It raises your vibration and brings you into harmony with the energy of the Universe. Gratitude can immediately transform all areas of your life.

 Every day you see people whose lives are wonderful and those whose lives could be better. The ones who could have a better life have one thing in common – they lack gratitude for what they already have. They can’t gain more so long as they fail to appreciate what they already have. Their lack of gratitude closes them off from receiving more and they aren’t grateful for what they’ve already received.

 No matter how bad someone’s life may be, there is always something to be grateful for. As soon as they find it, their life will improve.

 Complaining is focusing on what the mind perceives to be a problem. The Universe knows there are no problems. Everything was created by you and you can change everything you have created – for better or worse.

 If you want to lose all the wonderful, amazing things in your life…if you want your days to be harder…if you want to struggle to pay your bills…if you want to feel unloved or lose relationships…all you have to do is COMPLAIN.

 If you want your life to get better in every possible way…if you want more than enough money…if you want incredible, loving relationships…if you want to be happy and fulfilled…all you have to do is be GRATEFUL.

 In a world dominated by technology, the simple act of saying thank you, showing that you appreciate what has been done for you or given to you by someone, is being left behind. We can simply hit a “like” and “favourite” button and not have to think about saying “thank you” in real life. Christmas is not the only time of year we should show gratitude but here are some suggestions:

  • Write someone a note or card to tell them how much they are appreciated. My brother and I leave sticky notes on each others bedroom doors on random mornings.
  • Listen and show interest. This can make people feel heard and understood. It may seem small but it can have a positive impact on someone. Let people know you are there for them if they need to talk.
  • Like kindness, gratitude is about saying thank you also.
  • Take the time to appreciate the small things- be mindful when drinking your cup of tea or eating your mince pie. Take it all the flavours and thoroughly experience it.
  • Be enthusiastic about your work colleagues and family members. If they complete a task, show them how much you appreciate it being done. Send a kind email saying thank you.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. All it requires is noting one or more things you are grateful for on a daily basis. No fancy notebook, no computer program required.
  • One activity involves writing a gratitude letter to someone who had an impact on you whom you’ve never properly thanked.
  • Share the day’s grateful moments around the Christmas dinner table this year. The conversations that follow may give you even more reasons to give thanks.
  • If you identify something or someone with a negative trait (the cold conference room), switch it in your mind to a positive trait (the conference room with a great view).
  • When you find yourself in a bad situation ask: What can I learn? When I look back on this, without emotion, what will I be grateful for?
  • Vow to not complain, criticize, or gossip this Christmas. If you slip, keep going. Notice how much energy you were spending on negative thoughts.
  • Sound genuinely happy to hear from the people who call you on the phone. Whether they respond with surprise or delight, they’ll feel valued.
  • Be genuine. False praise is easy to spot, and it undermines your trustworthiness.
  • DON’T brush off a compliment given to you. It’s like returning a gift.
  • Start a gratitude jar and write one thing you are grateful for each day. Open it on New Years Eve to read about all the things you were grateful for throughout the year.

 

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 I hope this post has brought an extra bit of sparkle into your Christmas. It’s nice to be important, but its important to be nice!

 

J x

 

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🐠A Year of Living Mindfully: Week 6🐠

Exploring the Beam of Awareness 

Mindfulness is all about paying attention. This attention can take different forms. From as small as an itchy nose to being aware of our breathing and ‘the feet on the floor’ (see Week 5). We notice sounds and smells around us. We feel the breeze against our skin, and we see whatever comes into our vision. Busy lifestyles and buzzing mobile phones have caused us to lose this habit of focusing. Distraction has now become our default way of being. Through meditation we let go of distractions and focus on our attention. This week allows us to experiment with our attention. Attention is described as a beam of light you direct wherever you like. You can widen or tighten the beam depending on what and how much you want to focus on.

Some questions this exercise allows you to ask yourself :

How wide can you spread your attention and still be aware of the sensations of breathing? How focused can you be? What do you notice in either mode?

Operating on ‘Default’

We’ve all experienced a state of ‘auto-pilot’ or ‘default mode’. It demands little energy and allows us to zone out from stressful situations like the crowded lunch room or boring conversations. 

Auto-pilot can be very helpful in completing everyday tasks such as driving to work or getting to work on time when you have missed your alarm. However, functioning on auto-pilot also has its downfalls.

Happiness comes from feeling good about life. Life is filled with experiences. If we are not present or aware during these experiences we miss out on the positive effect they have on us. By zoning out of negative experiences we can also zone out of the positive. These experiences might include the smell of the freshly cut grass, the sound of the birds singing in the trees and so on. Naturally the mind has a bias towards negative experiences. This is a result of evolution and general survival. By zoning out of positive experiences we create a very bleak picture of life. It leads us to zone out of every experience, including feelings, emotions, thoughts, sensations. This can result in feeling empty and dead inside. Not a nice feeling!

Have you ever sat there in a meeting or lecture completely zoned out and when you zone back in you’ve missed a complete topic and have no clue what the person presenting is talking about. Or a friend asks you what you were thinking of and you say ‘Oh nothing’ because you genuinely thought of absolutely nothing and were only there in body. I was always described as a ‘day dreamer’ in school and one who lost attention quickly. Since then I have held my title. My friends would say I have the attention span of a fish and often refer to me as ‘Dory’ from ‘Finding Nemo’. I find it very hard to hold concentration for long periods especially if I have no interest in the story or topic the person is speaking about. My sister would describe this as ‘selfish’ and I would describe her as simply ‘boring’.

Humans operate automatically, therefore when we are on auto-pilot, our emotions are more likely to be hijacked when our buttons are pressed, and we will be in react, rather than response, mode. When we react impulsively we often regret it and wish we had behaved differently. This can then lead to overthinking, regret and rumination. The suffering is never ending!

The opposite of zoning out is called tuning in. We deliberately pay attention to our experience in a non-judgmental way. This is mindfulness. 

You often hear people say they prefer to zone out when they experience unpleasant things as it makes it easier. For example a child might zone out when they hear their parents arguing.  This could also lead to the question of ‘Why would we want to pay attention to negative things?’. The choice is up to you. I often like being aware of a negative experience as I can learn a lot about myself, my reactions, my thoughts, emotions and feelings whilst it happens. It teaches me how I can avoid this in the future or how I can try change my reactions to it. The present moment is the only moment we have any control or influence over. We cannot control the past or future. If you go through each day, month and year without being present or fully aware, are you really living? Or are you simply existing?

Which would you prefer?

J x