Writing and publishing this post will be an achievement for me. It’s helpful to consciously acknowledge when something would be an achievement, and when something has been achieved. An achievement is something we’re proud that we accomplished.
Appreciation is also something we can consciously acknowledge. By “consciously acknowledge” I mean it requires mental focus, and by focusing on the things we appreciate, we attract more of it into our lives. Appreciating is consciously acknowledging and savoring the beauty, worth, and value of something.
Achieving and appreciating are powerful self-improvement techniques. By using both of these mental skills, we can truly create a more positive experience for ourselves, and by extension, a more positive world.
When I think back to when I first came to live at the shop, I now realize how disoriented I was. Still, all of that anxious and nervous energy helped me get through the craziness. Now I’m more stable and ready to build strong foundations. It’s very encouraging for me to share my experiences and get a positive response. Thank you!
What do you do when you realize that you are sometimes your own worst enemy? For me, it’s about making peace with myself, and working on being my own friend; maybe even being my own best friend.
As my own friend, I’ve taken myself out to Starbucks. I’m talking to myself in positive ways, and writing this article. I think about the great painting I’m currently working on; how my skills continue to grow with each new piece.
Today is Father’s Day, and I have several men in my life that are either my father, like a father, or could have been. I’m usually contemplating how to be a better man, and now – more so than before – I’m also pondering fatherhood.
In the past several months I’ve experienced a roller coaster of emotions. It’s interesting to me how I’ve felt the lowest I’ve ever felt, and at the same time I’m creating the best artwork I’ve ever created. Cliches like “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and “necessity is the mother of invention” (et al) comes to mind.
I’ve busted through, let go of, transcended, and otherwise healed myself of the anxiety and depression that’s weighed me down for years. It’s not that I don’t feel those things anymore, it’s that I don’t care that I feel those things, and because it doesn’t matter, it vanishes.
I now realize that life never diminishes you. Life always calls on you to be greater than you were before, and to the extent that you answer or resist the call, your life will either be happy and successful or not.
I choose to positively channel negativity and transform what initially looked like the worst thing that’s ever happened to me into the best thing that’s ever happened.
This morning, I deliberately set the intention of appreciating myself, which invited thoughts and feelings of self-appreciation into my world. We’re all sharing a world, but we’re also living in our own world, and it’s through our intentions that our world is created.
Intentions are statements about what we want or don’t want, and in either case, we attract it into our lives. When we think about what we want, it comes into our life, and when we think about what we don’t want, it also comes into our life. This realization has completely flipped my world around from feeling powerless to feeling powerful. Wanting something from a place of not having feels bad. It makes us feel powerless; victims of our circumstance.
For example, I woke up this morning feeling a bit lonely, and it would be easy to say “I wish I didn’t feel lonely”, but that would only attract thoughts and memories about loneliness, and reasons why I feel lonely, and so on. Instead, I wanted to appreciate myself (I made it my intention), and that allowed me to appreciate the lonely feelings without pushing against them (pushing against would only keep my attention on what I didn’t want, thereby attracting more of it). Soon the feelings of loneliness dissipated, and thoughts and feelings of appreciation started materializing, which then led to feelings of empowerment and inspiration. Now I’m writing this article, which will create a ripple effect out into the world, creating a positive feedback loop, and all because I made the intention of appreciating myself.
I learned about a simple but kind of amazing concept called “freedom from” versus “freedom to” goals. It sounds suspiciously like the difference between being glass-half-empty or glass-half-full, but you know what they say, self-improvement ideas are notoriously incestuous (as I digress).
The basic idea is that “freedom from” goals are about trying to get away or avoid something we don’t want, while “freedom to” goals are about pursuing things we value or enjoy. To my dismay, I realized non-too-soon that most of my goals these days revolved around preventing something from happening.
For example, I woke up early today (like really early). On the one hand, I could tell myself I don’t want to wake up early, and wonder about how to stop this insomniac-al madness, or I could think about how much I enjoy writing, and yay! I get to write. I also enjoy publishing articles, and connecting with people in a meaningful way. So actually I feel pretty grateful right now.
A good mindfulness practice for today could be noticing how often you think about:
- Things you don’t want to happen vs. things you do want to happen.
- How you don’t want to lose what you have vs. what you want to have in your life.
- How you don’t want to be criticized vs. doing what you enjoy.
- And how you’re playing not to lose vs. playing to win.
- This Wee Hour (gettingbetterman.wordpress.com)
I’m making a commitment to not discuss things with people when I feel angry. There are more productive things I can do with anger, like writing, painting, meditating, and problem-solving why I feel angry in the first place. The best time for me to communicate with others is when I’m calm. I don’t want to eliminate my angry feelings; I just want to understand and use the energy of anger in a better way.
What if I perceive anger from others?
I think the best thing for me to do is remove myself from an angry situation. If that’s not possible, I need to focus attention within, and protect myself. When things are calm, I can figure out the best thing to do.
It takes courage to face angry feelings. More anger isn’t going to make things better. Understanding why the angry feelings exist, remaining calm, and channeling the energy towards more positive things is the key.