Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Mindful Journey

"There is one small joy of today that will escape you if you are preoccupied with tomorrow."

I heard these words from Deb Sobeski a few years ago and they have stuck with me ever since.  This quote always comes back to me when I feel extremely overwhelmed and seem to be focused on how my life is NOT going well as opposed to how well my life actually is.  Like this post.  Yes, it's easy to get overwhelmed and you might think I'm just wallowing in sorrow and self-pity.  But that's not always the case. 

A few years ago, the upstate was taken with the story of Hannah Sobeski.  She was a local high school student with a rare form of cancer.  The amazing part about her story was how she was never down on life.  Through her journey and struggles, she continued to praise God, be a positive presence and influence.  Even as her life was drawing to a close, she was extremely selfless and positive.  Her mother spoke at various events about their journey and I was lucky enough to hear her uplifting words.  Though Hannah's life was cut short, the family lived in each moment they had with her.  Each moment you have is truly a gift.  Each breath you take is a blessing; one that someone else doesn't get.  To be preoccupied with the past or the future is to rob yourself of the glory in each moment.

Thinking back to Deb's words, I remembered what I learned at H3 about gratitude.  You can either cultivate positivity or negativity; not both.  The happiest and most successful people in life aren't that way because only good things happen to them.  They are that way because of their attitude toward what happens to them.  This brings to mind the saying "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react."  The mind is a powerful asset and I truly believe that you have the power to change your life if you can change your thoughts and reaction to your circumstance.  Back to what I wrote about timing, each circumstance is an opportunity to learn.  If you are preoccupied with the negative aspects of your circumstance or where you'd like to be instead, you will miss something vital.

My local library branch offers yoga for free every Monday night.  It has been a HOT minute since I've practiced, but I was eager to get out of the house and give it a shot.  I was not sold on yoga the first (or second) time I tried it -- but I am a believer now that it is good for the soul.  Practicing yoga is an excellent way to get in tune with your body and breath and I love to feel the power in my muscles as my body fights to hold and flow through poses.  Afterwards, I sought out some thought-provoking reading material and now I am armed and dangerous to be more mindful and change my thinking, outlook, and ultimately -- my life.
The Power by Rhonda Byrne
Blink -- The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
Emotional Equations -- Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success by Chip Conley
Outliers -- The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
(not pictured) Life After College -- The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want by Jenny  Blake

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