3 Simple Things You CAN DO When It Seems Like There's Nothing You Can Do
Before sharing my list of CAN DO’s…..it is necessary to thank my toes. Yes, all ten of them. You see, there was a time in my life, after a devastating car wreck when my body completely shut down. Comatose. Nothing worked. Just enough gray matter, mixed with the will to live, to say to my inner self…YOU GOTTA DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS.
When I realized I could wiggle my toes, it was as if Josh Groban, accompanied by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was singing in my head. Utter triumph! I was alive. My toes confirmed it. Those toes were the something that got me on the road to recovery.
Recent events in the world have left me feeling almost as helpless, yet determined to do something as that car wreck. How can I watch the news and not want to turn the whole world right-side up again? Which of course, leaves me feeling totally overwhelmed. Like, really, who am I? Whatever I might do would be just a spit in the ocean against the tidal wave of bad events and bad people doing bad things.
So, I remember my toes. Whodda thunk the wiggling of toes would have such lasting value? But, I know. For sure. Even the smallest things can make the biggest difference.
Also, here’s some more stuff I know. For sure. Fear begets more fear. It feeds on itself like some crazed sourdough starter. A steady diet, over time, also makes me just plain cranky, ready to snap at my husband because he’s smacking his oatmeal and slurping his coffee too loud.
Then, there’s blame. We’ve had just enough of that flying around lately doncha think? Blame is living in the past. There is no future in hammering on people to take responsibility for their transgressions. Future solutions are out the window when attack and defend are the only energy-zapping agendas. The powerfully purposeful answer is to create as much positivity as possible. That has to start with me.
The simpler the better. I’ve learned simple stuff seems to have the most profound and lasting results. When it’s easy, it easy to become a habit. A good habit is better than a cold popsicle on a hot day. Good habits don’t melt. They solidify and make more good habits easier. Good habits have a great way of making us feel better about ourselves and about life in general. Better opportunities and nicer people seem to show up as well. People will notice and begin asking for your secret. The secret is DO SIMPLE. Another secret….don’t question or apologize for what works for you.
There are three, simple iron-clad every day, “YOU GOTTA SO SOMETHING’s” that have worked for me….
First thing, when I wake up BUT BEFORE I open my eyes…..I say a tiny little prayer…two sentences, tops. “Thank you for my life, just as it is. Let your light shine through me today in all ways.”
That’s it. Boom. Feet hit the floor. What are you thankful for? What do you wish for in yourself? There’s your prayer.
As I walk into the bathroom after that simple prayer, I look myself right in the eye and smile. SMILE. Yes, indeedy. No matter WHAT kind of freak show I am looking at. At first…It feels ridiculous. But, remember…no one is looking at you but you! That should make you laugh just thinking about it. I learned this exercise at a pastoral care and counseling workshop almost 20 years ago when I attended the seminary. It’s been revolutionary in creating a sense of positive, inner peace. Still, most days, instead of smiling and saying “good morning” to myself, I can’t help but laugh. But now it’s become a compassionate rather than a critical laugh, and the sentiment of being glad to see myself, no matter what, has become real.
In many ways, that smile process reminds me of my toes. It seems like such a simple thing, but it took all my determination and effort to do that one act every day. That simple smile, at my very own self, was such a powerful step in the right direction in creating a life well-lived. Who knew?
When is the last time you had a serious case of LIKE or even LOVE for yourself? Until I started doing this, one simple thing, I could hardly stand looking at myself except to get dressed and get out the door. If you try it for 30 days, see how you feel. It may just become a habit. It can still be your secret ‘ya know.
3. ACTIVELY ACKNOWLEDGE OTHERS.
Once you have taken care of yourself, with #1 and #2, this is a biggie. People love to really be SEEN for their positive efforts. We all know how great “getting gotten” in the best possible way, feels. The key to #3 is seeing people and appreciating them in REAL time. Today. Don’t just think it and let it pass. Magnify the moment. SAY IT NOW.
The best part of setting an intention to actively acknowledge others is that, first, we have to pay attention to the positive things people are doing around us. It’s proven. What we focus on multiplies.
It’s one of the best double whammies I can think of. Everyone benefits. Doing this is guaranteed a day-maker for sure. For everyone involved. So now, it's become a very happy habit. When I see something positive I say something positive. Right then.
Simple. Positive On Purpose.