A palms-up approach

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A palms-up approach

[Image credit: tungphoto]

It’s true what they say. Time seems to speed up as we get older. We’re already well into the holiday season and next week is December. Pretty soon the New Year will be in full swing and 2014 a distant memory. As I prepare for another Thanksgiving, I find myself pondering those things in my life—people, events, successes—for which I’m grateful, but also looking ahead to 2015. Once again, while in yoga the other day, the instructor advised we live with our palms open, releasing our expectations to avoid disappointment and to better live in the present. Yet my goals are still a work in progress. Without some kind of expectation in place, it would be harder to measure how far we’ve traveled in 365 days and where we need to make [micro]adjustments. This doesn’t mean we can’t keep our palms open—in generosity and thanksgiving—as we await the surprises the New Year has in store for us.

Are you a planner or a seat-of-the-pantser?

Saying “no” to ourselves

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[Image credit: pakorn]

In my post Guilt-free living, I talk about granting ourselves permission to say “no” without feeling guilty.  In that blog I talk about being okay when we turn down requests from others.  But what about those self-imposed tasks we create for ourselves?  On Thanksgiving Eve, I planned on attending a special church service.  After an early dismissal from work, I ran a couple of errands, came home and started laundry and prepared a homemade pie for the weekend.  I was also still recovering from a week and a half of crud so not feeling overly ambitious.  When it was time for church, I made the “executive” decision to lay low.  I felt that one more commitment would be one too many.  So I said “no” to my expectations, puttered around the house, played Words With Friends and prepared for the next day.  It’s new for me, but I’m learning how to be okay even when I say no to myself.

How do you say “no” without feeling guilty?

Try thankfulness

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[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici]

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.
It will change your life mightily.
~ Gerald Good

Several people in my life are struggling with illness and chronic pain.  Others are in dire financial straits.  At least two friends suffer from psychological issues and medication side effects; a few couples are going through the motions; an acquaintance goes to work and stagnates a little more each day.  A father sacrifices in the name of love.  Loss, heartache, regrets, poor choices.  Each of us bears our own cross.  But in the midst of it, finding one thing to be thankful for may make all the difference in the world.  Perhaps the person ahead of you in line paid for your coffee this morning.  Or you find the missing five dollars tucked between the receipts in your wallet.  A kind word spoken.  Second chances.  Pep-talks.  Another sunrise and sunset.  Every day find one thing to be thankful for.  It could just change everything.

What’s on your holiday agenda?