My dad lived a long and vibrant life filled with love and laughter. Four years ago just after he died, I started the task of writing out thank you notes to people who expressed their concern and support. I asked my Mom what she wanted me to write in the cards. Her answer was something very simple and profound, "Tell them thank you for the precious moments spent together." My heart breaks every time I think of the beauty of that. My Mom and Dad were soul mates who found each other at a very young age, so they had over 70 years together. They had known some of the people I was writing to for over 50 years. Yet, I got what she meant. Life goes by so quickly that upon review, it all seems merely like fleeting moments. And even in her grief, my Mom was able to hold on to the joy and appreciate all the good she and my Dad shared together with family and friends.
Some simple things we can incorporate into our lives include, taking a moment to see something positive right now, even when we are not "happy." What can we be grateful for in this moment? Some of the things I have been noticing lately include the big ripe strawberries and cherries returning to the farmers market, the smell of sweet jasmine in the air, longer and warmer days approaching summer and the smile of my new baby nephew. In fact, babies and puppies are some of the easier ways to find our way back to the positive. Simple joys exist all around us and as we start to open to the positive in our everyday life, it is better for us than a big vacation. It becomes like an upward spiral where we can create a daily diet of micro-infusions of feeling more positive and grateful, improving our health and growing our resilience to life when it throws us a curve ball.
Deeper work includes mindfulness, compassion and loving kindness meditations and related actions. Offering service or volunteering for a cause of your choice is a standout for feeling good when all else fails.
My Mom taught me a good lesson with her reminder to enjoy every precious moment.
Thank you, Mary Anna, for your submission to the reader challenge about someone who inspired you.
Mary Anna is a health and wellbeing coach with a passion for collaborating with people to live healthier and happier lives. Mary Anna loves being outdoors and you will find her hiking, swimming, skiing, exercising, or heading to a farmers market. She combines her expertise in nutrition, exercise, yoga, and integrative medicine with positivity, mindfulness, compassion, and gratitude. In 2014 Mary Anna completed a community health fellowship at Stanford University.
To you wonderful readers who have tried to leave comments on my posts for the last month and have not been successful, the problem has been fixed. I want to thank all of you for your thoughtful responses and hope you will continue to comment whenever you can!