On this day before Thanksgiving I am so grateful that I decided to write my newsletter on Wednesdays because I LOVE Thanksgiving Day, and writing about things helps me to know them better.
But this year I am struggling with what to write. As I pause and ponder the joy of seeing family and eating great food tomorrow, I am immensely grateful for the bounties of my life–family, friends, work, pumpkin and apple pie, jeans that fit, warm jackets, and those of you who read Over the Hump.
Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday. Just as many of you do, I hold it dear because it’s about my favorite things: family, food, cooking, pumpkin, and stuffing. I also love Thanksgiving because it’s a time when we focus on an important aspect of a life well lived: expressing gratitude.
When we say “Happy Thanksgiving” this time of year what we really mean is “Happy Thanksgiving Day.”
Image from Rand Fishkin
At the risk of boring you, I would like to continue the conversation from last week about the value of taking a step–in this case, the value of taking small steps.
Stuart Cross expressed the benefits of small steps brilliantly in his newsletter last Friday. He talks about learning to rock climb and how the advice from his teacher enabled him to reach the top more quickly, even though he took smaller steps.
“Being nice is one of many bridges on the road to Happiness.”
~ Donna A. Favors
Other bridges on the road to happiness?
- Spending 5 minutes doing exactly what I want with no rules or “should”s
- Eating mindfully, especially chocolate or pesto pasta
- Finding something I like about someone where I have been challenged in the past
- Having the courage to say no when I ordinarily would not
- Having the courage to say yes when I ordinarily would not
- Acknowledging that I am angry and letting myself feel it, and perhaps do something about it, so I can move forward
I saw this maxim on a website that is a favorite of mine, Interlude: The Internet Retreat. The hosts call themselves cybermonks and use the internet to help others create a peaceful interlude in their day. I found it a nice break 15 years ago and it’s still the home page when I launch my browser so I am not immediately pelted with flashing news stories. Each day there’s a new thought like the one above that helps me remember to choose peace and positivity in my life.
The last bullet above is an illustration that choosing to be positive does not mean burying my head in the sand or ignoring challenging situations or negative emotions. It can also mean that I choose from my heart rather than my past programs or habits. Whether I choose to let myself feel my anger or my joy, allowing myself to fully experience my feelings always brings peace.
In addition, being angry or sad does not mean we cannot be nice. Even when expressing anger we can be diplomatic most of the time.
What are your bridges to happiness? How do you move through challenges with grace, or at least ensure that you move forward?
Please let us know by commenting below or sending me an email!
Just do the next right thing. I loved the idea of this, especially because the nature of much of my work is custom–for my clients and in my writing. When figuring out my next action, I can waste a lot of time in analysis paralysis. So I was really inspired by that statement, until I realized that I was also getting stuck on the word “right.”
I saw that most of the time I am stuck in analysis paralysis because I am trying for the right thing, when most times just doing something leads me in a good direction. (And a good direction is the best direction because I will never know where the other directions would have led.)
Here are some ideas why: