Sometimes Happiness Means War
Right now I am trying to get in the habit of being verbally thankful for the positive things in my life and in each day. When I wake up in the morning, I say thank you for the rest and for my warm bed and for a new day. While I shower, I say thank you for a hot water heater that can go the distance and for my yummy smelling bath gel and anything else that pops into my head and seems like a good thing in life. When I leave work and walk to my car, I say thank you for the good things about my clients and my staff and my bosses and my delightfully red MINI and, again, anything else I can think of to be thankful for.
I've heard over and over and over and ooooover again that the key to joy and peace is gratitude, and the more consistently grateful you are, the more consistent your joy and peace will be. Call it mindfulness, call it meditation, call it mental discipline, call it praise, call it prayer, call it whatever you want -- it WORKS. What hasn't been working for me, though, was the execution. My grand idea that I should "write down five positive things before you leave the house in the morning on weekdays" really only was enough of a gratitude habit to get me through the morning commute (and I only live a mile and a half from the office).
And so I realized that I need to be more than consistently grateful, I need to be *tenaciously* grateful. And so I will talk to myself. A lot. I will respond to feelings of stress and anxiety and depression with words of encouragement and affirmation and gratitude. I will be so busy filling my mind and my heart and my ears with the blessings of this life that there will be very little room left for the noise of the cares and the worries and the troubles of this life. And yes, there will be trouble, but I will take heart in knowing that I am equipping myself to deal with the trouble and, through it all, to be tenaciously, relentlessly, furiously happy.