I believe that when you stop renewing and are no longer open to change and the possibilities that continually unfold, you stop being alive and are just getting through the years. Transformation doesn’t happen unless you’re willing: It’s your choice. ~Oprah Winfrey
Earlier this week, I did a guided meditation by don Miguel Ruiz, famed author of “The Four Agreements”. Prior to the meditation, he mentioned that he had added a Fifth Agreement to his life plan. The Fifth Agreement states, “Be skeptical, but learn to listen.”
I remember when I was in the midst of fighting anorexia. Many family members, therapists, friends had urged me to start eating, get out of bed, and live. The truth was I saw no point. I was not taking in what they had to say about me (i.e., you are smart, pretty, funny, etc) and LISTENING. They were all happy and busy with their own lives and I felt nothing. I felt that I added no value to the world around me. I was stuck. I was mostly ungrateful to the gift of life.
Slowly but surely, I started to become more WILLING to change my life. That only happened through learning to forgive myself for things that happened in the past, others and gratitude. My girls were born and I saw their joy for life, unconditional love, and smiles that filled a room. When I started to role model their attitudes about their young lives, mine start to shift.
How to Get Started on the Happiness Process
Have you ever noticed a baby’s willingness to try new things?
They are little explorers getting into drawers, flipping light switches, new foods (Well, some! ha!), climbing stairs, learning to walk, learning to ride a bike, and the list goes on. These lively young souls learn something new each day and take chances one small shift at a time.
For most adults, we stop renewing, learning and we get in our own way! And most likely that was because we forgot to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and forgiving others for theirs along the way.
An exercise I have done time and time again when I am feeling stuck, icky and fading into a bad mood, since My Wide Awakening, is a 5-minute meditation/reflection:
1. Go to a peaceful, serene spot that you feel most calm in. It must be quiet and free of clutter.
2. Close your eyes and get into a comfortable seated position. Take 6 deep breaths with a count of 6 seconds on the inhale through the nose and 4 seconds on the exhale out of the mouth. Deep breathing for a total of a minute should help you quiet the mind and calm the body.
3. Focus on who/what you need to forgive. It can be yourself or a loved one. It can be an event, argument, illness, loss, etc. What is ailing you presently? What are you holding onto? What did that person say to you that you just can’t seem to get over/forgive? Send them love and compassion and most of all, forgiveness. They need your love more than anyone. Surrender it and watch it pass in front of you and out into the Universe. Be free.
4. Take a big deep breath. Six counts inhale through the nose and four counts exhale out of the mouth. Let it go.
5. After you have completed the Forgiveness Meditation, I want you to let your mind take you to all the wonderful things you HAVE RIGHT NOW in your life. Speak softly to yourself and reflect on the ALL the abundance you have in your life. Make a mental list of all the things/people you are grateful for.
6. Take a big deep breath. 6 count inhale through the nose and 4 counts exhale out of the mouth. AND SMILE.
Forgiveness and Gratitude unlock the keys to a happier healthy life. When you are stuck in resentment, you lose sight of the wonderful things around you and aren’t willing to listen, to change, to grow, to heal.
Keep practicing this simple meditation. Give yourself just five minutes of self-love a day.
Once you are free of resentment, you can unlock the power of gratitude and the willingness to listen to yourself and others becomes easier. Now, you BEST SELF can shine forward.
If you let go a little you will have a little peace; if you let go a lot you will have a lot of peace; if you let go completely you will have complete peace. ~Ajahn Chah