Gifts Not Gaps, Connection vs. Conflict

These are the words that I repeat daily in my mind and out loud with my family. 

Today my husband said the words, as if they were his original thoughts. This is a huge compliment. They stuck and mean something to him too and I loved this moment.

I sometimes have a tendency to focus on the gaps, the little things that frustrate me, instead of the gifts that my family bring to my life. I want to stay in the space of creating connections and happiness and seeing the gifted moments and living happily ever after, day by day. When I focus on the gaps, I get stuck in a negative place and I don’t like that. So this is a daily practice to overlook the gaps, to let go, and to get back to joy as quickly as possible.

When my kids are arguing with each other, I ask them if they are creating connections or conflict with one another and if they don’t answer with connections, I ask them what they can do to create a connection instead of a conflict. It empowers them to choose and to take ownership of their actions and to focus on creating peace, just as soon as possible. Our goal is to create happiness and to take care of each other, all the time. 

This is how we find and create happiness day by day.

  
Choose peace.

Choose love.

Choose gifts.

Choose connections.

We get to choose every day!!

What will you choose tomorrow?

nAMaste

  

Thankful Thursday

Every day we should stop to really think about our true gifts, especially the ones we don’t always recognize but are right there too.

Tonight I challenge you to think about something or someone who is bugging you.  And then I want you to turn your thoughts around and think about why you’re lucky to have that person or that particular problem. Try and list three things you’re thankful for about your current situation. Maybe even write down your thoughts so you can see your gratitude on paper. See if your feelings change after you practice gratitude. It works for me.

Count your blessings, not your gaps. What we focus our attention and minds on is what we create. 

nAMaste

Practicing Gifts Not Gaps

Sometimes writing about positivity and happiness makes me have to change my ways.  I tend to be a control freak and sometimes wanting control gets in the way of happiness and I’ll tell you how.  I am still learning and practicing everyday.

So one of my beliefs is to focus on my gifts and not the gaps in my life. This is easier said than practiced and this week, let’s just say I’m stretching and growing out of my comfort zone.  I’ll share some of my vulnerabilities.

I don’t always see the good. I sometimes really see the small gaps and cracks and when I unintentionally focus my mind here and forget to see the bigger picture, I miss out on all the good that far outweighs the bad, but again, I’m a control freak, and want things to be just as expected.  Life isn’t that way and sometimes I get stuck.

My favorite definition of happiness is when our expectations are in alignment with our reality. This means if I expect something to happen and it happens, I’m happy. If I expect something to happen and it doesn’t, I’m frustrated. Kind of silly, but true. Why not just adapt and change my expectations to fit the new reality, right? But I don’t transition that quickly sometimes which makes me mad because I know I should but I don’t and I hold on to what isn’t versus what is and that’s just focusing on the gaps and not the gifts. Does that make sense?  It’s opposite of what I’m training myself to do.  Ugh. I’m still learning.

Okay, so for my example. Jeff left for work the other day and didn’t put his plate in the sink,and didn’t make the bed, which are two things he normally does. I came in from working out and saw things out of place and was mad after he left for work.  Seriously.

Seriously? I chose to say something about it via text, saying blah blah blah, blah blah blah. I felt good being right about what was wrong. I created conflict vs. maybe thinking and understanding his point of view that maybe he wanted to read the paper or was running late for the train and ran out of time. His intention wasn’t to be disrespectful and he wasn’t expecting me to do it, he just didn’t do it for whatever reason. While I was focused on what was “wrong,” I completely overlooked what was right. He was the one who got out of bed before me and brought me coffee in bed. He was the one who drove Christian to school that morning. He did and does so many wonderful things and yet I focused on the gaps and not the gifts. Had I looked at the dish and the disheveled bed and felt thankful for all that is good instead of feeling frustrated by what was out of place, I would have just moved the dish and made the bed and in five minutes or less, and I would have been living happily ever after right then. If I would have not made a stink, I would have have recognized all that is good and I would have created good will. But I didn’t. I got stuck in the moment and stayed there. Not for long though. He was the one who kindly and gently pointed out my gifts not gaps philosophy and I luckily and quickly agreed with him. I thanked him for sharing this A-HA moment and didn’t stay stuck on my position and was able to move on, living it up and loving him again just like that.

That is one thing I’m good at, letting go and forgiving myself and others just like that once I am aware. I don’t want to stay mad or frustrated and I don’t have to be right just to be right.  I still wished he would have made the bed before he left, but I adapted and accepted it, made the bed and moved on without holding on to the gap. Oh, that felt good.

I will keep practicing and being thankful for my perfectly imperfect life.  What are you practicing?

Life is good.  Practice on.

nAMaste.

 

 

Gifts Not Gaps

Pain and loss are part of our lives, sometimes personally and other times experienced by our loved ones and thus affecting us.

What are we to do with pain?  How do we healthfully process it and accept it and continue living happily ever?

Pain creates a glaring gap that’s hard to ignore. It creates a hole in our lives and stops us and sometimes even changes the trajectory of our journey. It creates a gap between our dreams and our reality that is not in our control.

Sometimes we get stuck and can only see and feel the pain and fall into the gap. How do we get out?

I think the secret to moving on and processing the pain and moving forward is spending more time focusing on our gifts instead of what is lacking. It’s a practice of gratitude for all that is still good, despite the despair.  The pain doesn’t just dissipate because we’re thinking happy thoughts, but we get to choose where to focus our energy and to adapt to our circumstances.

If we choose to focus on the gap, then that is where we will stay and that is what we will experience the most. If we choose to focus on what is good and working in our lives, potentially, eventually, we will close the gap and be able to move forward despite what’s missing and causing grief. Perhaps the gap will slowly diminish to the point that it doesn’t draw us in and define us.

I think we want to define ourselves by the goodness in our lives and the potential that lies in front of us everyday, despite our sufferings. We understand that pain and suffering exist for whatever reasons, however we don’t want to live in this space for very long. We have to keep choosing to see the good, despite the gap, and moving forward.

I think this is where the mind is very powerful and can help to transform us and help us to live happily ever after, even after experiencing pain and loss, if we are able to choose to allow ourselves this gift of life and all that is good, that is available to us despite the pain, right now.

See the good in you and others and really focus on what is good in our life, and acknowledge the gaps, but don’t dwell there. Perhaps the gap will eventually diminish and become part of our past as it shapes our future, so that we can live fully in the present.

Wishing you peace and love, BeLoveRs, focused on gifts, not gaps.

nAMasteIMG_7211

 

Gifts Not Gaps

I spent the last several days with loved ones. There has been lots of togetherness, in cars, at tables, and in shared spaces. Our routines have been disrupted, our exercise plans changed, and we’ve had lots of time to sit and chat and just be together. Love has been shared amidst the chaos.

I love my family very much and I’m human. I don’t always like what they have to say, or how they say it, or what they do, or what they don’t do. Do you know what I mean? I sometimes have expectations that go unmet, can you imagine that? I have silly expectations in my own mind that don’t match theirs that sometimes creates little conflicts in my own head.

IMG_2477.JPG
For example, one day my sister didn’t come over when I thought she was going to come over, and then I felt frustrated because what was in my mind was different than what was in hers, but she didn’t know I had this expectation of her. Or another time, I thought my husband was going to come and play a game with us, but he was watching football and didn’t have the same shared expectations as me. I was sad that he didn’t want to play, but he wasn’t sad at all and I wasn’t really sad, but I did hope that he wanted to play. Do you know what I’m talking about? I’m sure this never happens to you!!

One of my definitions of happiness is when your expectations are in alignment with reality. If I expect that we are having turkey for dinner, and you serve turkey, I’ll be happy. If I expect that we’ll have turkey and you serve fish, I might be perplexed. It might take me awhile to adapt to the change, because my mind had a different story playing out in my head. I might feel unhappy, until I am able to fill the gap and meet the new expectation of fish and not turkey, and adapt quickly enough to be able to accept and enjoy the new option. If I don’t adapt, I will feel disappointment because I was hoping for turkey.  See how this works?

I like to think of these little flutters as gaps. Sometimes the way we see things are different than how our loved ones see things. This gap can sometimes create space between us. What I’m practicing is seeing the gifts that my loved ones have to offer and focusing my attention there, especially when I feel a slight gap. I’ve noticed if I focus on the little frustrations, sometimes those frustrations fester and the gaps grow. I also notice that when I overlook the gaps and flow with whatever is given, and I able to be thankful for their being who they are without any expectations, I am truly able to see their gifts and feel closer and connected to them, despite the gaps.  We all have gaps. We get to chose to see the gifts and not the gaps, even though both are present.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if someone bugs you, try to see what is truly good about that person instead of the little things that created an irritation, because seeing the good is usually so much greater and worth the investment of your time and energy. Where we focus our attention is where we create our visions and reality and I want to see my family in the best light possible. I want to overlook the buggy stuff. Focus on the good, despite the little flutters. Flow around the barriers and come back to seeing the good as quickly as possible. Do this again and again, just like a river flows around and over a rock and keeps on flowing without disruption. Repetition and practice is good. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Gifts not gaps. I see you. Beautiful you.  Namaste.

xo