It's Day 2 of this 21 day Challenge I've presented to myself and those of you who wanted to join me. This challenge is not meant for you to have to do the same things as I'm doing, it's about challenging yourself to start something you've been putting aside for the longest time, but something that you really need to start doing. Like that art project you've been meaning to spend time working on. Or that room you've been meaning to reorganise and clean up, so you can have a real craft room. This challenge is meant to get you to start creating a habit and sticking to it. But a habit that will help you get to your goal of having a super amazing life! It's about creating a habit and keeping that habit and then getting through those things that always seem to be put off till tomorrow.
I challenge you to find 3 things in your life that you've been meaning to start doing on a daily basis that can benefit you in 3 fundamental ways. They should help improve your mind, body and spirit. Those are the things J is always talking about in his ABC club. If you are having trouble thinking of what that could be as I did, let's brainstorm some ideas.
For example we know what my 3 things are:
*Consciously exercising on a daily basis (body /spirit)
*Taking my B vitamins on a daily basis (mind/spirit)
*Making better food choices (body/spirit/mind)
You're 3 things may be the same, but may be completely different as I mentioned before. Perhaps you want to start meditating for 2 minutes everyday for a week and then increase it by 2 minutes ever week until you are consciously meditating for 15 minutes. Or however you want to increase, could be daily you add a minute until you reach your goal. Perhaps your goal is to start walking/running for 30 consecutive minutes. These ideas would help your body and spirit.
The subject I want to talk about today will help improve your spirit and mind. Let's talk about opening your mind and how this plays into the challenge. Maybe there is someone in your life you are close to who doesn't believe in the same things you do. What do you do when this happens? Most people I've seen or spoken to do one of three things.
They get really upset and start trying to figure out ways to get that person to change their opinions in a violent manner. (not necessarily a physical violence, this could be emotional or mental too!!)
They stop talking to the person all together and cut them out of their lives.
They embrace the person for who they are and try to see things from this new unknown and unfamiliar perspective.
More often than not, it's one of the first two things. But I want to challenge you to start actively practising the third. This is hard for most people, because we are raised in a culture that embraces similiarity and conformity. If you're different you're not accepted and pushed out of the herd, so to speak. If you disagree you are cast out of the family and cut off from all those who were supposed to love you.
Imagine for a moment if we were all exactly the same. How would that look? Where would inspiration and new ideas come from? How would we challenge each other to be better?
The beauty of being human beings is that we are not all exactly the same. We have free will, creative imaginations and the ability to learn a variety of different skills.
What if you knew someone who was really into collecting stamps and you were really into collecting shells. You really don't like stamps and they really don't like shells. How on earth could you continue to interact with each other? Would you stop speaking to them because you didn't like stamps like they did? Would you try and force them to like shells the way you do? Probably not, I mean it's just stamps and shells right? Big deal. Sounds silly huh? I mean why on earth would you stop speaking to someone because they collected stamps? But this kind of thing happens all the time in your daily life. Stop and think about all the things that happen throughout the day that cause you to get angry? Is it your spouse disagreeing with your choice of wardrobe? Is it your children choosing to do something other than what you've asked them to do? Is it your friend believing in a different religion or no religion at all? Is it your loved one having different tastes in friends? ALL of these things fall into this stamp vs. shells conflict.
In the stamp vs. shells example, maybe you could decorate a frame in shells and make a collage of stamps, creating a beautiful object for all to see? How could you make their differences improve the happiness in your life? Instead of creating discomfort and anger? Do you think you could you see from their perspective why they may feel the way they do? Could you embrace their differences and learn to exist in harmony with them?
Trying to see the opposite perspective without getting upset internally, is a really hard thing to do. Especially when you are firm in your belief that your way is absolutely the perfect way. J and I were talking about this the other day and how I have difficulty embracing my imperfections. I have a tendency to think I am perfect and therefore refuse to acknowledge my mistakes or learn from them. This is a bit of a problem, because it doesn't allow for growth as a person. It keeps me in the same angry place I've been "struggling" to get out of for years. Let's think for a moment about what would happen if I stopped thinking of myself as perfect and started considering and embracing all my mistakes? What if I started taking those mistakes and learning from them? I could probably become a happier person, because I would stop making the same mistakes. This in turn would make those around me happier and it would create a ripple effect of happy's. To be really open minded we have to stop thinking our way is the perfect way and start embracing that others may be right too and then letting them coexist within our circle. Thus eliminating the conflict around us and causing harmony and peace.
Now that I thought about this one, it's a big one for all of us I think, I'm going to add it to my list too. It's really hard to see life through someone else's eyes. So often we miss opportunities to become inspired by people, because they don't believe as we do.
Could you imagine how much better the world around you would be if we could accept the beliefs and ideas of those who disagreed with us?
I challenge you to have a discussion with someone you've been avoiding because it angers you that they don't follow the same beliefs as you do. Go talk to them, with an open mind, and try to understand their perspective. We are all trying to be happy in some way. Big deal if it's not the same way as you. Be happy that they are finding their own way too. We are all going to make mistakes in life, but that's the point.
Embrace who you are and acknowledge our potential as human beings to do anything that we dream.
You are your own happiness.
Don't create conflict, embrace the differences of those around you and revel in their company.