Do you ever simply stop and think about all that’s going right? Though the news and many personal events in our lives often capture our attention and put a laser focus on what is not going right, a minor shift in our view to what is going right can often help us make healthier choices for our wellbeing. Stopping to “clock in” and note what’s going well can help us to choose what we do wish to spend our time or energy on, it can give us a little bit of breathing space and sometimes new creative ideas about how to address something we’re working on, and it can be a good springboard from which to move forward. Most of us make lists of a lot of things to do, to buy, what we want to accomplish, steps on our goals, how we want to fix something in our life or our greater world. Sometimes we make lists of what we’re grateful for in life. This is a little different.
There are so many things that do go right. This is about stepping back and acknowledging all of that. It could be that day, week, or month. It’s not about negating that which needs to change or that which is “less than stellar.” It is an honest view of what is working right here, right now.
I know for me that if I take a moment to stop and remember, I see that so many things are going fine in my day to day. Yes, you read that correctly. In the midst of global crises, pandemics, personal and social losses and more, the fact that I made it this far in today alone with so many things going well-enough, is a miracle.
And when I think about my week thus far, I’m astounded at all that has happened that is not awful. It’s enough to make me get on a gratitude kick about the fact that we have cereal, milk, clean clothes, healthy enough teeth for people our age, ad infinitum. My big excitement a few years back was when we moved into a unit that has it’s own washer and dryer. No more hauling laundry up and down stairs to shared machines. But all that aside, just this morning, the water in our sink ran clean water, hot into the basin and my toothpaste landed on the brush and not all over the counter. My friend called to learn something together. This may sound cloying, but it made me smile.
I used to have a gratitude journal that had a spot for “I thought X was bad, but it turned out good because of X. You would fill out the X’s with whatever had happened that week that made the sentence read correctly. It is true mindfulness activity to spot what’s “working,” what didn’t get flubbed up, cancelled, ruined, rained on, or just otherwise, give you major heartache and cause anguish to your soul.
Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of things that have caused me grief of late, both personal and larger. My joint stiffness and pain alone is not a fun time. Last night, I paid a condolence call to someone and managed to say something kind and comfort them about the loss of their dear Mother. The warm, sweet noodle casserole I brought was comfort food and they were grateful.
Connecting to a relative online worked and my wifi was fast enough to do work and connect to what I need. The phone got me to connect with a work colleague to confirm a zoom meeting tomorrow and earlier, to catch up with a girlfriend from elementary school. When I don’t notice that these things all went well…swimmingly even, I negate that which is good right now.
Yes, the hassle of this and that that didn’t get done remains. But, as I’ve written before on this blog, and you all are aware of, living people have “stress.” Good or bad stress, it’s there for all of us in different ways.
If I ever finished everything on my list, there wouldn’t be things to strive for tomorrow, so I stop and think, “what’s going right right now?”
What’s going right and what’s working for you? What do you notice when you stop “going and doing” for a few minutes and check in to note these things in your mind and heart? In gatherings with others, in a variety of ways, we often stop to cheer each other when we can for those good things and milestones in our lives. Take a moment to gather and cheer yourself from where you are now. Point out and note those things, from the mundane to the sublime, that are working well in your life.
Always remember to nurture and nourish your soul in joyful ways, and let us know how you shift yourself into a healthier mindset. Reach out to us at [email protected] to share your thoughts and gratitude, joy and more.