Friday, January 13, 2017

ENJOY EVERY PRECIOUS MOMENT

Today's post is by Mary Anna Weklar




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.

Recently I heard Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D speak about her 20 plus years of work around positivity and why it matters. She has found that positive emotions broaden our view of the world and expand our ability to lead healthier and more meaningful lives. Since positive moments don't always grab our attention like a negative moment, it is important to be on the look out (being mindful) to recognize the positive. While it isn't good for us or others to "fake" positivity, we can create rituals to help build more awareness of positivity over time.

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.

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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.


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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!



5 comments:

  1. In this time of political crisis and gloom I find comfort in your words and will keep them in mind.

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  2. Thank you, Jan. I hope these posts help you. They do me. I also think that Obama's words, "Show up. Dive in. Stay at it," are important to us all.

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  3. I try not to forget to 'take the long view' when looking for the positive. Looking out the window at the lashing rain, I think how the trees and shrubs are drinking it up. The birds skulking in the bushes, hunkered against the cold, will be reaping the benefits during mating and nesting season when insects and nectar will be abundant.

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    1. Sue, what a great way to view the world -- taking it in small segments, but appreciating the universality of those pieces.

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  4. This was sooo very touching and so true. Please pass along my appreciation to Mary Anna for sharing these positive thoughts with all of us. What a great way to start off the weekend.

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