Two things came up this week with family, friends and colleagues. Balance was one, the other gratitude. The notion of an actual gratitude list was mentioned to me both in a yoga training and by a friend.
My mom bought me a book for Christmas in 1999, called Simple Abundance. I have been practicing a gratitude list on a regular basis since then. This got me to thinking. I have been consciously seeking to find that which is meaningful for most of my life. What I offer here is nothing new. Sacred Scripture, recovery books, yogis, gurus, Sages, therapists, and inspirational authors have written these suggestions. Here is what I have discovered works for me. I try to adhere to all of this with progress, not perfection in mind.
Alice’s Remix To Achieve Santosha ( Santosha is the Sanskrit word for contentment, I am learning Sanskrit at a grindingly slow pace. See # 22)
1. Make a gratitude list daily. Add prayer and meditation, or quiet time when ready.
2. Love is a verb. Offer it by words and deeds to my family, friends, and dogs, as often as possible.
3. Eat well, drink water, rest, sleep, exercise, practice yoga, breathe.
4. Find beauty in nature every day.
5, Respect and honor everyone’s journey. We don’t know what we don’t know, about other’s lives.
6. Make new mistakes. ( Thanks Karl!)
7. Learn a new skill.
8. Find a passion-in work or play.
9. Offer compassion instead of advice.
10. Listen, really listen, to others.
11. Identifty instead of comparing, comparison leads to competition, in life the winner is contentment.
12. Eat chocolate.
13. Remember from where you, came be grateful for it, move forward if it was challenging.
14. Live in the moment with the long view in mind.
15. Respond instead of reacting. (I forget this one sometimes)
16. Laugh often.
17. Find inner peace in whatever way is meaningful, scripture, prayer, meditation, service, nature.
18. Offer a sincere compliment or smile, it costs nothing and it may make someone’s day.
20. Be okay with being kind instead of right. Practice this.
21. Try to spend quantities of quality time with loved-ones.
22. Learn a new skill and use it.
23. Be open and honest.
24. Look for the best part of every situation, learn from it.
25. Offer service whenever possible, it will help the recipient as well as the giver.
26. Lead by example.
25. All religions in the end say this” Be good, do good.” ( Thanks Sandi!)