Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Midlife and miserable?

I hate to say that, but many of us, myself included, reach "midlife", wherever that is, and wonder if this is really the life we wanted to choose. The conveyor belt of life is moving on and here we sit, settling for the life we are "supposed" to have. We can feel stuck and miserable. What to do?

It's hard to know what to do if you don't really know what you want. And it's hard to know what you want if you don't know who you are. You see we have to peel through many layers to find what is really true for us. To use a seasonal analogy, it's hard to see the path ahead when it is covered by seasons of leaves. Getting down to the basics is first.

There are many ways of discovering more about yourself so that you might begin to know who you are and what you want. During this time please don't beat yourself up about what you "should" do. This is a time to re-discover yourself and that takes time and patience. First and foremost is acknowledging the feelings as you go.

Because November is the month I have declared for my business to be Gratitude month, I'm going to suggest this practice as step one of discovering more fully who you are and what you want. If you have not had a practice of gratitude, begin by setting aside a time each day when you can focus on your gratitudes. This can be either first thing in the morning or the last thing at night. I like to do mine at the end of the day. I keep my gratitude journal next to the bed so I can recount all the things I am glad for at the end of the day.

It's good to aim for at least 5 as a goal, while you can certainly keep going if you feel inclined. What I notice about mine, is I can go back through all the months of the year and see the patterns of things I was grateful for as well as track my growth through the year. It is a wonderful self-growth tool not to mention the positive benefits to your outlook on life.

There is always something to feel grateful for (think of Pollyanna and the Glad Game) and it's powerful to focus on that which is good especially when so much of what we hear these days is aimed at what is wrong and bad.

My gratitudes for today:

1. Money in my bank account.

2. Meaningful work that I love

3. Time today for creativity and art -- working on my 'values collages'

4. Lunch with my sister and daughter. I asked them to each share their "Good News of the Day" - more gratitude in action!

5. Some lovely vegetables in my refrigerator which means I'm going to go cook a yummy dinner. I'm thinking some roasted beets and carrots. ;)

What are you grateful for today?

Coach Cindie

Monday, November 10, 2008

Checking in on the Gratitude

Ok well it's been 9 days of gratitude since I began this little month of upping the attitude of gratitude? Anyone out there been playing with this idea along with me? Have you noticed anything different about life?

I am remembering to do it twice a day and before I eat even if it's just to say thanks for all hands that made this food possible to get to my mouth. I've also created some gratitude cards, little mini collages of things that convey my gratitude. It does feel lighter and more fun to me to live with that attitude.

If you'd like some help boosting your gratitude quotient - here's a couple ideas:

1. pick one of your senses each day to discover gratitude. For instance if I choose smell, then as I'm taking my morning walk I am grateful for the crisp fall smell, the smell of my cats when I snuggle them, the smell of my morning coffee, the smell of a candle. You get the picture.

2. set your watch to go off at some appointed time every day - 3 times per day, hourly, whatever, and let that be your reminder to focus on something you feel grateful for in that moment.

3. make sure you surround yourself with grateful people; they will rub off on you.

I hope you are discovering some new things as you travel the gratitude trail. Please share how it's going for you.