« All life is given to us before we live it. But it takes a lifetime – maybe more – to become aware of this gift. All of life is given to us every second. The world begins today. Oh ! Wake up every morning – and why not every minute – and watch the world begin!»
Jacques Lusseyran – Le monde commence aujourd’hui.
Hello, young Padawan
Why do you want to avoid dying if you don’t want to live? Our times, for a year, are clearly a test. Frustration, patience, helplessness, seeing that hell is paved with good intentions, that we are using the goodness of humans against humanity by making our fellow human beings feel guilty in order to achieve dark designs; that some of us do not have yet understood that a society can only be achieved by compromise, and that one who wishes to impose the one-track thinking, that is to say a world in one’s image, is quite simply crazy, a dictator or an idealist. Synonyms or pleonasms? I would say both. And that is why we must remain vigilant in this time when the Death star, or the yellow one, has never been so close, no matter where we are in the world. A word to the wise.
For those of us who are not yet aware of it, know that we do not see things as they are, we see them as we are. With our past, our culture, our experience and our maturity, of course, but also with our neuroses, our imperfections, our fears, our lacks and our anxieties. This prism, through which we observe things, distorts our analysis when we are not aware of it. Thus, our way of seeing added to our emotions causes panic, judgments, confusion and prevents us from seeing the facts; to return to our first statement: We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are. Whether it concerns current events in general or our life course in particular. It is, finally, very difficult to accept to see the facts, because they bring us back to two things: our powerlessness and our responsibility, past, present or future.
There is no question of being sad, nor to pretend like reality doesn’t exist. Both being bad for mental health, I offer you instead some mindfulness exercises to help you see a ray of sunshine in the clouds, a glow in the night, without denying those clouds or that night. In all crises, at all times, humans have been able to follow a common thread to be able to go through the worst trials and god knows how much we have been able to fight each other in the past. This common thread is to focus on the present, to discover deep down in your being that there will be better days. As Pablo Neruda would say, “ You can cut off all the flowers, but you can’t stop spring from coming back “. As for the method, it is very simple, you just need to ask yourself four questions regularly that start with “What is the positive”, and to answer them with all kindness possible.
What is the positive in your day?
This one is easy. Mr. and Mrs. Bad-Faith are asked to find even a little thing. Thank you.
An example ? A perfectly brewed tea, a few strawberries of my own production and above all the smile of a person I appreciate – in these times when they are as rare to see as snow in California – are three positive points of mine. Your turn.
What is the positive in your personality?
To all the complexed, the frigids of self-esteem, those who think that they have nothing good in them, here is a small referral: even an overcooked shrimp, in a tourist brasserie in the middle of December in Portland (ME), may succeed in being on the lunch menu.
Yes, you have qualities, even if you don’t believe in it, by starting with not being pretentious or too proud, which is to say that you are a beautiful person. Therefore, if you are part of this club, you must at least list three positive things in your personality. You’re welcome, I love you too.
What is the positive in your life path?
“Blah blah, I missed everything, I wanted to become an astronaut and today I am watching Thomas Pesquet on my sofa, eating chips”. First, know that Thomas Pesquet sometimes eats chips on his sofa too. And sometimes, he goes to the loo. Unbelievable.
Rather than regret your unfulfilled childhood dreams, why not take a look at what you are proud of today. Maybe, you know how to cook, or tinker, knit, garden, play the piano, in short, master tasks that fill your loved ones with happiness. These small or great talents that you have are a real treasure, without you even realizing it. We all manage to do a multitude of things, without bragging, however, know that rare are the people who know how to recite 20 jokes around a campfire, to open a bottle of beer with a key, repair things in the house and mending a jacket with a hole in the elbow, and singing some Ramazzotti – so why don’t you see that your “story is important”, as much as that of an Astronaut? (“La storia importante”, for those who have no culture, leave and hide, lol, ed) Because yours is not extraordinary? Are you sure it has to do with you and what you think of yourself, or rather what you would like your loved ones or society to think of you?
Dear Padawan, we do not live our lives to impress others or climb heights that themselves have not been able to reach. We live for ourselves, to take our own path and be in harmony with ourselves. If you didn’t become an astronaut, it’s not because you couldn’t, but because it wasn’t for you. Your place is here on Earth with us. So, what is the positive in your life path?
What is the positive in what you plan for yourself?
Having a goal to achieve, whether it’s finishing an exciting book or finding the Philosopher’s Stone, are goals that keep you going through tough times, and moving forward, because, as the old saying goes, “hope keeps you alive”. Giving oneself goals, big and small, allows, when they are small, to validate them frequently and to gain in self-confidence, and when they are big, to make an action plan full of small goals to reach, until you get the cup: your final goal.
For example, you want to arrange your attic yourself, but you do not know how to do it. You will maybe note to watch videos to learn everything on the subject on your list, such as insulating, laying rails and plasterboard, making the joints, painting, etc. Then you will establish a budget. You will also look around you to see which friends can help you, etc. Until progressing little by little towards your final goal which is : to arrange your attic to make an extra room. It’s not going to happen overnight, but every day you can tick boxes to accomplish this project. Each ticked box will put you in confidence, and will bring you closer to your goal and therefore will add positive in your life, on a daily basis.
If you do not see what your desires are, if you block and would like to know how to know them, It’s very simple, just write down all your sentences that start with “yes … but” or that end with “but … it’s too late”. For example :
– “I always wanted to learn to play the guitar, but at 60, it’s too late“.
– “Yes, becoming a plumber would be great, but I would never manage to do a training course and quit my job that I had so much trouble getting”.
… or worse, a mix of both:
“Yes, I dream of fitting out my attic, but I don’t know how to do it, I’m never going to get there and now that I have the children I won’t be able to find the time for it, it is too late ”.
Having a goal means projecting something positive into your future life. It’s having a list of checkboxes, the easy ones and the most complex ones, to achieve a long-term goal. Anyone can do it, and it’s never too late. Remember that there are senior athletes who do professional synchronized swimming, that some retirees go back to school, that the human brain can learn until its last day, and unless you are bad faith, it is never too late to accomplish what you want for yourself, for your happiness, for your life. The only thing stopping you is your barriers and your “yes … but”.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
By opening your eyes to the positive part of your day, finding yourself at least one thing that is good in your personality (and at least three for those who recognize themselves, lol) and one that you have accomplished, you will be able to have a global view on your journey, to be proud of it, to realize that your dream projects are achievable, to make you want to make them come true and to realize that, in the end, everything is just fine. You can be proud of yourself, proud of your background, of who you are, and the best is yet to come.
By repeating, when you want or in case of a little sadness, this exercise of four questions about you, you will put a little positive in your world, and without a doubt in that of others.
Ps: For more info on other exercises to do to strengthen your mind in a positive way, you can take a look here. If you want to motivate yourself, you can click here. If your mood has more ups and downs than a day’s skiing, you can check it out here. And broadly speaking, the “well-being” section of the blog is at your service for all that is personal development, little sadness and existential questions. Without forgetting the touch of humor that you know well now, lol.