"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, August 24, 2012

Encourage yourself by counting your blessings...

I don't know why - but sometimes counting my blessings feels like a consolation prize. I would rather sulk about what I don't have, then take out my magnifying glass to look for the blessing mashed down deep at the surface of what I deem a painful experience.

But today, this is my topic. Counting our blessings!

Here's the deal. We can't do much about lots of the scummy things that come our way. Life is full of it and it's really hard to avoid stepping in the caca now and then. I can think of at least five things right now that are hanging over my head and causing me worry or angst.

Focusing on the anxiety will do me no good today. What I am going to do right now is encourage or build myself up by looking at all the great things that are going on in my life. I want to challenge you to do the same. Here's my list....

1. I'm sad because my oldest daughter is leaving for college and I'm going to miss her terribly.... She is one of my best friends and I so enjoy her company. I'm not sure I know how to do life without her as she has been such an important part of my last 20 years!
FLIP SIDE: She's only going to be 45 minutes away, she's going to a top notch school, she was home an extra year, she will be happy and have wonderful experiences, she is more than ready to fly and I can be proud of the fact that I raised a smart, confident, beautiful young woman to share with the world.  Not only that, we have our iphones and can face time, call, text and I can drive over and take her to lunch once in a while. It's part of life. She's entrusted to me for a short time and then I am to release her.

2. I'm worried about paying for her tuition. FLIP SIDE: We've covered 3 out of the 8 payments and I can trust that the rest will be provided for us. I have lots of portrait sessions coming up. I have consulting work and two checks coming in the mail yet and I'm teaching training courses on the web that will generate income. Life is good!

3. Sad that summer is ending. I'm going to miss all my beach sunset runs. FLIP SIDE. Oh how I love fall in New England with the crisp air and the apples and hot apple cider and I get to wear my designer boots and pretty sweaters and burn nice candles and love the warm glow of evenings. I will save money on gas and have lots more time to do some of the others things I need to do in life to give me balance. And summer will roll around again next year.

4. School is starting and my other daughter will be busy and stressed and I don't think I can handle it. FLIP SIDE: She's a senior in High School. I am almost done with the whole mom of a school child bit. She's in a supportive small school and we will work with whatever comes up.

5. I have all these training materials to write - I'm never going to meet my deadline.  FLIP SIDE.... I have all these great opportunities that have been presented to me. Things are aligning well in my universe. With school starting for both my daughters it will free up time for me to devote to my work.

So there's an example from MY life.... write your own. If you want you can be more general and just tap into the blessings that mean so much yet we take for granted.

1. Today I feel good.... health is a gift
2. I have friends and family who love me.
3. The sun is shining and the humidity isn't TOO bad.
4. I love my cute little furry dogs.
5. I didn't get a check in the mail today, but I didn't get bills either... whew
6. I live in a beautiful little house.
7. There is food in the refrigerator
8. My husband has a job
9. My dream of being chased by the mob last night was only a dream!

There, I feel very encouraged now. Pumped up enough to face my day and all that I have to do. How about you? Will you make your list and encourage yourself today? It's good for the soul!

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