Some of the positive psychology and positive thinking lingo that’s out there can easily be misunderstood as always being in perfect bliss or never going through rough times. That’s not it.
Life is brutal. And beautiful. Brutiful as Glennon Doyle would put it. But most of life is in the in-between. Just days passing by, mundane, in routine, gloomy, okay, nothing-special-at-all. This is where the magic happens.
Sure, we can do our best to sharpen our peak experiences and make them last or cut off the depth of our rock bottom, but I’m not so sure we’ll succeed. They’re part of life and are experienced best by letting go of resistance and accepting reality as it is.
I love how James Baraz describes this:
Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).
The space where we have the most power over our life quality is in the in-between. While brushing our teeth on a Tuesday morning, commuting to work, in a job meeting, while reading emails, in the grocery line, cooking food, putting the kids to bed, cleaning up, in the sofa, the thoughts as we lay down to sleep. If all those moments are suffering or filled with worry your life quality is likely not very good. If most of those moments are present or filled with gratitude your life quality is likely very good. The magic is in the in-between.
If you want to start somewhere I suggest a gratitude list every morning and every night. It’s the surest way I know of to start building new neuro pathways that will, with practice, change your life. Because, gratitude is the gateway drug to happiness. If we can find gratitude in days passing by, mundane, in routine, gloomy, okay, nothing-special-at-all, we’ve come a long way.
With all my love,