It is said that to change our life from ordinary to extraordinary we need to practice four things; awareness, acceptance, appreciation and appropriate action. What does this mean exactly and how can we apply it to our life?
Awareness is always the first step in everything we do. We often see, feel and respond instantaneously. Frequently, our response is from fear or misunderstanding and later as the puzzle pieces are put into place we think to ourselves, ‘Oh, now I understand.’ In the meantime we may have put ourselves through all kinds of stress assuming we saw truth when in reality we simply observed an isolated situation. We remind ourselves to calm down and not be so quick to judge … and we try…until the next time when something hits us out of the blue. Timing is everything and when we give ourselves the gift of time by inhaling and exhaling slowly as we strive to process something different or unknown we can slowly retrain ourselves to respond more calmly rather than merely react. The suggestion to ‘count to 10’ is worthy of consideration.
The second step, Acceptance of what is without judging or trying to change something seems, at first to go against everything we know. Yet, when we begin to practice observing and describing rather than constantly evaluating we begin to see a deeper truth. Gone is the tendency to judge others and decide the ‘shoulds’ or ‘if onlys’ of their actions. When we accept the idea that any judgement we place on people is really nonproductive and elicits negative energy we must ask ourselves is it worth it? Since we haven’t walked in their shoes we really have no idea about the why or intent behind their actions. To take it a step further, it’s important to remember that this is their journey. We have our own pathway to follow. We have not been put into this world to live up to their expectations nor they ours.
The next step, Appreciation allows us to look at the choices and decisions we have made in our lives and realize that each one was valuable. There were no mistakes, missteps or blame to be placed but rather simply experiences along the way that we have all chosen to live through to better understand and grow as a person.
Ultimately, Appropriate Action is when our heart, mind and will are all in alignment. Each of us has value and a heart and mind that wants to be understood. We can choose to see the positive – the soul light – in everyone. After all, the Universe doesn’t make mistakes. When we actually choose a daily practice of seeing the positives in life amazing things happen. Think of it this way, when life gives us lemons we not only decide to make lemon aid but willingly share it with others – now that’s powerful!
By internalizing these four concepts life becomes a bit easier. The bumps and bruises along the way hurt less and heal quicker and we have more patience, understanding and acceptance of ourselves and others. Now that’s really powerful!
Have a great few days!