365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy

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Day 128“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  Thornton Wilder was an American playwright and novelist.

In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about various ways to be heartful. One great way to a heart full of love is GRATITUDE.

It is well recognized in positive psychology that gratitude alters our outlook of life and impacts our positive feelings and emotions. By simply recognizing with gratitude how fortunate we are for all the things we have (and have taken for granted), we can be both happier and respond to life in a much more positive fashion. With a grateful mind and heart, we will most likely also attract more of the things we want, wish or hope for.

We might be complacent and not very happy. Or we might have a mind that is often in a critical modus looking for what is not working. With a mind programmed to continuously change and improve things, there is a risk that we see life through a lens where the glass looks a bit half empty rather than half full. With this outlook, we don’t tend to take a pause and feel gratitude.

If you recognize yourself in this description, you may forget to stop and celebrate and feel grateful for the improvements you are making and the successes you have. As soon as you have achieved something, you look for something new to chase rather than stop, savor and be happy for what you have. When our heart is not full, we strive to accomplish and have more with a hope it will fill the empty feeling we carry in our hearts.

I used to be one of those people with a whole in my heart, striving to continuously change and improve. I did not sense gratitude often enough in my daily life. So when I one day woke up and realized that I had been looking for happiness in the wrong places, I instead began to notice all that I was fortunate to have, and all that was working in my life. With this simple shift in attitude my life took on another turn and gave me more and with less effort. The attitude of gratitude has brought richness into my life on many levels – among them, I very often feel heartful.

I also enjoy expressing gratitude towards my husband, which he of course appreciates – and I have noticed that the love between us has grown as a result of it.

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A heart full of love – heartful…

Day 127“A loving heart, a heart full of love is the precious essence of human life.” – Maharishi Mahesh developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was a leader and guru.

In my world, there is no greater feeling than being ‘heartful’. Heartful is not a word in the dictionary yet… but I think it soon will be. I think it is a beautiful word that I often use; as it has great meaning to me. I define heartful as feeling whole, fulfilled and loving. Being heartful is a state, or an experience of a feeling that nothing is missing in life. We are at peace with who we are, with our current and past experiences, with where we are, and with what we have. When we are heartful, our heart feels soft and free to fully live, love and be.

How do we become heartful? There are several ways to get there….

First, we feel content with the essence of who we are – we see ourselves, we accept ourselves and we love who we are.

We accept and love our body with its beauty – and equally important – its limitations.

We are grateful for the talents that we have been given. We don’t dwell on our weaknesses. Instead we are accepting of ourselves and of the fact that we and everyone else have our limitations. We understand that we are not super women or men, but that most of us are doing the best we can with what we know.

Second, we engaged in things that have heart and meaning to us. In other words, we spend our time in ways that fulfill us (rather than deplete us).

Third, we spend time with people where we experience mutual acceptance and kindness towards one another; and authentic, honest and open communication.

Fourth, we are in touch with our ‘love language’ – meaning, we can articulate what is important to us in order to feel loved. We do not feel ashamed to ask for what we long for and need in order to feel loved in our relationships. (We do not play games, such as being stoic and swallow our feelings and then later feel victimized because our needs have not been met.) We realize instead that no one can read our mind (and that the best way to have our needs met is to articulate them, first to ourselves and then to others – we do not expect people/our loved ones to find it our for us).

Fifth, we strive to live in balance. We don’t do things to please others, unless it also feels good to us. We realize that giving without joy will deplete us in the long run.

Sixth, we seek to know ourselves well and live in accordance to what builds us, supports us, and make us strong.

Seventh, we refrain from doing anything that will break us down over time.

Eight, we are not defensive and we do not take other people’s emotions personally.

Ninth, we accept our own emotions and are not afraid of them but go into and feel them fully rather than trying to understand them.

Tenth, when our heart is full – it “spills over” and we are generous, warm, loving and kind.


At the end of the rainbow you will find a pot of gold

Day 115Are you searching for more in your life?

Last evening, my girlfriend and I were fortunate enough to see this beautiful complete rainbow. We stopped the car with excitement to take pictures and were thrilled when we were able to capture the complete rainbow in a photo (thanks to IPhone’s panorama option). It is not very often we can see a complete rainbow and less often we have a chance to capture it in a photo, so I feel very fortunate and grateful.

The rainbow is not only beautiful, it is joyful to watch; and it represents some mysticism for me. As the legend says, those that arrive at the end of the rainbow will find a pot of gold. As a little girl, I hoped that I would once experience being in the right place at the right time, so that I would find the pot of gold.

Today, I see the pot of gold as a representation of the abundance I find in my life. I was for a long time searching for ‘more.’ More happiness, more fulfillment, more meaning, more love, more of everything. After years of searching, I did find it – all of it…

Was this because I was at the right place at the right time? Or did I find myself at the end of a rainbow? Once I did believe that I was driving through a rainbow and wished with all my heart that my life would take on a new turn – and one day it did. Working at improving our lives and not only wishing it intensely will eventually get us there.

I live in great abundance and feel forever grateful that I searched and found my rainbow and have learned how I can be happy, fulfilled and live with meaning and love.

In the end; I found that what I was longing for and hoping to find at the end of the rainbow, already existed inside me. Once I changed my view of myself and the world around me, then I was at the end of the rainbow, and I did find my own pot of gold…