What is one thing you can give away to others, and still get to keep for your self?
Hello, My friends.
This week has been a week of chaos.
In our household we have made a few more decisions in how we want our kitchen to look and feel.
I know most people go to the end of planning before they begin demolishing things. We tend to be people who have an outline of what we want, we work it out on paper, work out our budget to see if it will fit, then begin. Filling in the gaps along the way.
That is how our kitchen is coming along. The bench wall is complete, it has been relined, papered and painted and looks wonderful, the cupboard units are waiting to be constructed. They will be installed once the vinyl has been laid.
This last week the laundry, which is at the far end of the room but open to the kitchen, was dismantled, the taps have been replaced and the walls plastered, the wallpaper is partially up. We’re on a deadline so work will continue this week.
And to top off the chaos, we decided to remove our water cylinder and go to an infinity system. Now the wall linings, the sink, and the hot water cupboard on the other side of the kitchen have been stripped back to the bare boards. The water to the sink has been disconnected, and the pipes exposed. The plumber arrives later this week, to change everything over.
Whew! it has been a week of upheavals.
The chaos in our home is minor in comparison to the life changing events around the world.
I want to share with you some of the ways I manage when my surroundings are topsy turvy. As I mentioned last week I don’t do mess very well, it stresses me, and when I’m stressed I tend to overeat, and get very grumpy.
Our house has been in a state of disorganization for three or so weeks now and has gone from various states of tidy to untidy. At the moment the kitchen equipment is spread throughout the house, making everything feel cluttered and out of tune.
To help me cope I have created a haven, a no mess space. Everything in this space is where it is supposed to be. It is pleasing to the eye and creates rest in my spirit.
I’m suggesting that where ever you are and what ever the path that you’re on right now, is a path that you may not have chosen for yourself or be able to be changed directly by you. Some physical things are beyond our control. I believe what we can control is how we choose to feel, hence think, about the things that are within our control, such as our environments. Our homes, the way we treat our bodies, and the way we treat each other.
To help me cope with the chaos that is in my home, and my community. I keep a gratitude journal. Some of you may be aware that being grateful is one of the quickest ways to change our inner state of being. When I speak about gratitude I mean the feeling, the surge of genuine appreciation for the people, or things and places I’m appreciative of and for.
This morning I was made aware, again, of how much I appreciate running hot water, and how I take this luxury for granted. With the kitchen sink decommissioned, and with no running water in this area, we are using the bathroom as our water source. Which is inconvenient.
One of the things I have learned on my journey of life is that everything comes to an end. Eventually this global pandemic will also come to an end. The financial crises will also come to an end. The downs will become ups.
We all have a spark of peace within us, for some of us it may have been hiding for a long time, now is a good time to reignite it. The inner peace we all have is a gift that gives us resilience in times of hardship. It enables us to see past the events of today and to look into the future, to know with certainty that we are enough, and that we have enough to deal with whatever comes our way. We have the strength of character to choose to understand and care about those around us who are also feeling stressed and uncomfortable with the changes being thrust upon them.
While writing in my gratitude journal today, I observed how the internet is one of the greatest tools we have to connect with each other. We can give each other kindness and the expectation that all will be well, we can be there to listen to and allay our friends and families fears.
Our thinking about the outside world determines how we feel. What we focus on we find. By choosing to focus on what we have rather than what we don’t have, we begin to realize that our lives are filled with blessings. The energy we exude changes and our creativity becomes energized, showing us solutions where we couldn’t see any before.
Let me run through the guidelines of how I write or say my gratitude, to change my energy and thinking.
I ask myself questions.
What in my immediate surroundings do I love? The bright pink flowers in the vase on the table.
Why do I love it? What about this thing gives me pleasure? It is beautiful and brightens up a room that otherwise would be drab.
What blessings do I notice? I can still connect to people with the internet even if isolation is enforced. I am so grateful for the internet, that I can keep in touch with my family all over the country. That the internet enables me to work from home.
What is great about this moment? In this moment I am grateful that I can breath in clean air, that my lungs are taking in the oxygen my body needs and expelling the carbon dioxide that I don’t need.
What/Whom can I offer thanks to? I am grateful for the doctors and nurses who are continuing to work in these trying times. I am grateful for the people who invented the respirators that save peoples lives. I am grateful to all the factory workers who process and package the food that I purchase from the supermarket. This list is endless, The bed I sleep on, the people who make the bed I sleep on.
What do I love about my life? I grateful that I have a roof over my head. I am grateful for the clothes I wear. I love that I have a creative mind. I love that I get to choose to design my life by the thoughts that I think. (You get the idea.)
What is going well? I am grateful my computer is working well, and allowing me to type this blog. I am grateful that the demolition of the kitchen units and wall coverings went well.
What possibilities are present? Globally we are seeing the benefits of the cessation of the factories and vehicle pollution. We are being forced to think outside our normal, and we are creating different scenarios for the way we earn money, interact with our families, and face the things that frighten us the most.
My intention is that you will be able to see a way that you can use these questions to be a spring board for your own gratitude thinking, and original questions, to help you become aware of the great things you have and are.
The second part of my gratitude journal is to celebrate ahead of time.
This is where I think about who I want to be, what I want to have, or what I want to do with my life? I plan in advance, I go to the end and reverse engineer, looking at the steps I need to take to get from there, to here. I imagine myself feeling what I’ll feel like when I am being, having or doing what it is I am creating, I celebrate that feeling and believing ahead of time. I embody the person I need to become at each stage from the end to now.
Using our kitchen as an example, I know what I want the end product to look like, I know the feeling I want to create and the way this space will be used. To get from here, the old dysfunctional and outdated kitchen, to there, the new and updated kitchen. I have a few skills I need to learn, things like putting up new gib board, plastering, wallpapering, painting, kitchen cabinetry construction. To do these things I need to change the way I view myself. I have to believe that I can do it, That I can do it badly till I learn to do it better. (Not so easy if you have a script that says, “Failing is a bad thing”) I have to research the how to, follow instructions, then follow through and actually do it. All the while managing the stress of new things and mess.
So my journal entry, looks like this. I am so grateful and happy now that my kitchen is streamlined, it is functional and feels warm and fabulous to use. I love cooking and preparing our meals in this new and updated kitchen. The kitchen walls look marvelous. I have done a great job of plastering, papering and painting the walls. I now have more skills to add to my home handy-woman kit. I am so proud of myself for managing the stress in healthy ways and getting on and getting the job done. Go me.
Part of the gratitude cycle is that we begin to enjoy living today, in the here and now. Being thankful for what we have and can do, rather than living in the pining for over there, in the future, where we perceive that when we have or are doing the things that we consider will make us happy, we’ll be happy. Happy is an emotion we can create today, and gratitude is on of the tools to help us build that happiness today.
Remember: Our Thoughts create our Feelings, Our Feelings create our Actions, Our Actions create our Habits, Our Habits create a well lived Life. Live your Life on purpose.
Your challenge for this week is to find 100 things to be grateful for today. (When I first did this, it blew me away at how much I had to be thankful for.)
Begin a gratitude journal and write five things you are thankful for now, and five things you will celebrate ahead of time.
Make it fun.
Until next time be safe, and live your best authentic life.