Deliberately create your day
Believe it or not, it is possible to radically alter how you feel without changing your circumstances and here is a simple technique to help you do this:
Each morning, before you dive head-first into your day, think very clearly about how you want your day to be, and most importantly how you want to be during the day. If you want, you could even write it down in a small notebook – I did when I first started practicing this technique - so that you can handily refer to it later in the day whenever you notice you're no longer centred in that place of being.
But whether you do it in writing or in your mind's eye, the most important thing is that you decide how you want your day to go, and then focus on that for at least a few minutes before you get started. The more energy you can put into these thoughts, the better your day will be.
So if you normally spend your journey to work thinking “Ugh, I have to do x and meet y, and I’m tired and stressed", or other thoughts along those lines, try going over and over in your mind your new script instead:
“Today I get through my workload productively and effectively. I’m relaxed and confident and I capably deal with every situation whether it is planned or unexpected. I feel great all day and enjoy what I’m doing and the people I’m interacting with.”
Substitute the above for whatever you want from your day and be amazed at the difference it can make.
When I first tried this technique I was in a very sceptical place. But I was also so miserable at work that I figured I had nothing to lose. So I opened my mind just enough to give it a go. I had such an amazing day it really blew my mind, and I have never looked back : )
Try it and see for yourself!
Detach from your Desires
"Life is a tide; float on it. Go down with it and go up with it, but be detached. Then it is not difficult." ~ Prem Rawal
If you could let go of all your attachments you would also let go of the source of much of your unhappiness. Attachment to our desires is about more than our material desires, but also our emotional and spiritual desires. It's attachment to how we think things should be, or how we would really like them to be.
It can be attachment to the idea that we have to have full physical health in order to be happy, or that we have to be sad for a time if someone we love leaves us. While these ideas may seem logical, it actually doesn't have to be that way. These are merely beliefs. And, as discussed in B is for… they rule our lives, BUT they can also be changed if they don't serve us well.
The concept of detaching from our desires is one I am constantly working on, but I see time and again how important it is to my happiness. Having desires is not an impediment to being happy – it is natural and normal, and is what gives us impetus to get out of bed in the mornings and live our lives. But being attached to having our desires manifest is a very real obstacle – to our happiness, and in fact to the manifestation we wish for.
Attachment is an obstacle to having what you want in your life, because it is resistance to the way things are unfolding. And what you resist persists. When you cling to the idea that you cannot be happy unless things happen in a certain way, then you are closing down other avenues that could lead you to where you ultimately want to go.
To be happier and more content, no matter how things are unfolding, the approach to aim for is preference:
This is the way things are (and I accept that for now), but this is how I'd prefer things to be (and I align my thoughts, words and actions with that outcome), but if something else manifests instead I will accept that too (as being for my highest good).
This formula works beautifully for me – when I remember to apply it! BUT learning to detach isn't all that easy. At least I don't find it so. Like everything else outlined in this series, it requires self-awareness and commitment. You need to notice when you are attached to something, and then set the intention to let it go.
Try using this affirmation by Florence Scovel Shinn:
"I do not resist the situation. I put it in the hands of infinite love and wisdom and let the divine idea come to pass."
(For more on affirmations, refer back to A is for…)
Then ask yourself if the outcome you're attached to is really what you want, or is it a 'how' to achieve what it is you really want. Because the goals we set ourselves are usually not the root desire we think they are, but a vehicle for us to achieve what is is we're really after.
For example, you may want a promotion at work, and focus all of your energy on achieving that, but what you're really after is a feeling of recognition. If you let go of the idea that you have to get a promotion, you open up the path for other opportunities to come your way that will help you build that feeling of recognition from within.
When you let go of your desire to have things just so, you widen your horizons and your perspective. Suddenly new ideas and possibilities occur to you, and often things can work out much better than if you stuck to your guns and pursued your origninal idea to the letter.
You'll also be alot happier while you're waiting for your desire to manifest. You'll trust that if it's not happening the way you want or planned, it's still happening for your highest good. And you'll also trust that you'll be delighted with the outcome – even if it's not what you originally hoped for.
Declutter your life
De-cluttering your physical space can have an amazingly uplifting effect on your mood. Feng Shui experts claim that buildings and furniture store the memories of events in the form of energy, and that by de-cluttering you can clear the energy of historic traumatic events.
Now maybe you'd buy into that kind of theory and maybe you wouldn't. But I don't know anybody who has ever de-cluttered and would deny the positive benefits of clearing the physical space in their environment. And – if you are open to it – physical de-cluttering can also have a cathartic effect on you mentally, spiritually and emotionally. It really can!
Clutter causes energy to get stuck. And the energy in our physical environment can both influence and reflect our inner energy. By clearing our clutter we free up the flow of energy in our physical environment, and this also frees up the flow of our psychic energy.
When we let go of things we’ve been hoarding for a long time, we often let go of emotional memories we’ve been hanging onto along with them (albeit unconsciously), and so by clearing physical clutter you can clear space in your head and in your heart as well as your home.
If you are open-minded about Feng Shui, then identify what areas of your home correspond energetically with different aspects of your life. Then declutter with intention! (For a beginners guide to Feng Shui read Daphne's series of posts on the subject)
Tips for clearing your physical clutter:
Look at your home and identify the areas that need decluttering. Break it down into small tasks that can be tackled over a period of time, rather than one big project to be done in a day.
Start small with everyday areas like the kitchen table and build momentum towards the areas you avoid because the idea of tackling them is just overwhelming.
Go through your stuff and for each item ask yourself Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it? If you can answer yes to any of them, it stays. If it’s no to all, then it goes.
Divide everything into four piles: Keep, Recycle, Donate and Dump. As soon as you’re done, remove the items that aren’t staying straight away and deliver them to their new destination.
Once your big clear out is done, avoid a new build up by clearing out little and often.
And as well as the obvious physical clutter that you can see, you can also have mental and emotional clutter blocking the flow of energy in your life, and clearing this out will help to improve your emotional wellbeing. Examples include undone/unfinished tasks, people/activities that drain you of energy, remaining angry at people, busyness – filling up your schedule with activities you feel duty-bound to do, and leaving no time to nourish your soul and refresh your body.
All of these issues take up space in your head, often in the form of "shoulds". You can try and distract your conscious mind from them, but you can't fool your unconscious mind, which is aware of everything. And as long as you have mental clutter hanging around, you are draining your psychic energy.
Clearing this kind of clutter doesn't mean you have to attend to everything waiting to be done. In some cases you can simply decide to let it go – to not do it – because it's really not that important. It ceases to be clutter as soon as you stop having it on your mental 'to do' list.
Decluttering at the mental or emotional level will revive your drooping spirit!
Tips on clearing mental/emotional clutter:
- Make a list of anything you’ve been procrastinating over, and ask yourself why you have been putting it off. What can you tackle and what can you let go of? When you’re clear on what you definitely has to be done, make a plan and get to it.
- Stop worrying. There is nothing constructive about worrying – it won’t help you avoid the outcome you’re worrying about and it’ll destroy your ability to enjoy the present. When a worrying thought arises, quash it straight away and sing along with me “Everything’s gonna be alright, everything’s gonna be alright” Focus your energy on what you’d like to happen instead.
- Follow through on promises and commitments. When you’ve said you’ll do something but you keep putting it on the long finger, it drains you of energy. If you can’t or don’t want to see them through, then be upfront about it and withdraw your promise.
- Let go of anger and forgive. When somebody hurts you badly, it’s a normal response to feel anger, and to not want to forgive. But anger is bad for your health, both physical and emotional, so it’s actually in your interests to let it go and forgive the other person. Forgiving them doesn’t mean you have to welcome them back into your life with open arms, it just means letting go of the memory of what they’ve done to you and the feelings that go with it. Maybe you feel like the other person doesn’t deserve forgiveness, but don’t you deserve to move on and leave the pain behind?
- Say no to people and activities that drag you down. Instead, surround yourself with people who uplift you and do things that make you feel great!
- As with your physical clear out, don’t make this a once-off project or an irregular purge. Develop clutter free habits in every aspect of your life, and you will enjoy an easier flow through life on a continuous basis.