No matter what time of day you’re reading this, I’d like to have you imagine that it’s the end of the day. The busyness of your day is over. It’s calm and peaceful around you. I’m hoping that the television and computer are turned off, the lights are down low, and you have a few minutes for quiet contemplation before you slip into bed. Can you close your eyes and imagine such a scene?
Now that the scene is set, there are three questions that I’d like you to ask yourself.
1) What made me happy today?
2) Where did I experience comfort and balance today?
3) Who or what inspired me today?
(These questions come from Angeles Arrien, who’s a cultural anthropologist and has studied ancient wisdom traditions.)
If you take the time to ask yourself these questions, and wait calmly until you have the answers in mind, I believe that you will begin to feel a release of tension. You’ll start having more peaceful, restful nights, and wake up feeling more refreshed. These questions asked at the end of the day can help you change your focus.
As human beings, we often have the tendency to focus on the negatives rather than the positives of our day. Think about a recent day, and what comes to your mind first? Is it what went right or what went wrong? Even when you’ve had a really bad day, can you honestly say that there wasn’t one moment when you felt happy, one moment when you felt comforted, or one moment when you felt inspired by someone?
With practice, and the help of these three questions, you can begin the process of feeling more optimistic and hopeful, less depressed and anxious. Give it a try! Just remember that it’s a process, and not a quick fix. Little by little you can begin to feel better.
Until next time,