12 Steps for Everyday Living

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I’m a single mom, I take care of an elderly woman whose like my second mom & I go to school full time. I’m also building a business, well more like my vision to help others improve the relationship they have with themselves. I envision a world where we all accept each other as we are. I want all of us to coexist in a peaceful way & learn from each other rather than separate from each other because we of our uniqueness.  I love spending time with friends & I don’t get to do it as much as I used to. But no matter what, every single day I still manage to find time to be spiritual.

I am not saying that I am more spiritual, or more special than you. I just incorporate my spirituality into everything I do, so that even the most mundane tasks have meaning  & help me to grow as a person. I am constantly learning lessons, working on forgiving myself & others, & practicing mindfulness.

Sure, some days are better than others. But with a deeply ingrained spiritual mindset, even my off days can feel like a true gift.

I’d like to share my daily 12 steps that you can incorporate into your life every day, which will help you to live more spiritually, happily & grateful…

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    1. Express Gratitude. Don’t only be grateful for the good things, find the good & be grateful for the challenging things as well. Here are a few simple ways to practice gratitude:
      • As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, think of one thing you are grateful for. Maybe it is simply being alive, maybe it is the sun shining through your window, or for a loved one snuggled in bed with you.
      • Keep a gratitude journal. We have a family journal that we keep on the kitchen table. We take turns at dinner saying what we are grateful for and writing them down. It is a great way to model for the kids to be appreciative of the big and little things in life. I also keep a personal journal right next to my toothbrush.
      • I have an alarm that goes off on my phone every day at 3pm to reminds me to stop whatever I am doing, take a deep breath and spend a minute practicing gratitude.
    2. Avoid Over-Thinking & Social Comparison. You are perfect just as you are & there’s only ONE you, your at the perfect place in the perfect time doing the perfect thing right now! Sometimes you cannot control the events that happen to you or the people who do them. But you always have control over how you respond. Focusing your attention on what or who caused a problem does not offer any solutions. Instead, concentrate on your response & what you can do to improve the situation and prevent it from occurring again.
    3. Forgive. Let go of what holds you down. Forgive & let go of what no longer serves you. Find the lesson & good in the experience & let go of the rest. The past is history, & there is nothing you can do to change it. Holding on to past events keeps you from experiencing new ones, & the emotional baggage will only weigh you down. Accept these past events, both good & bad, as learning experiences & move on with life.
    4. Take Care of Your Body. Your body has to last you your lifetime, be kind & gentle to it. Nourish it in healthy ways. Eat right, move & keep your energy flowing, nurture yourself as you would a child. I love being a girl, including all those little pretty things such as make-up, clothes, shoes & spa treatments. I started treating those things as a personal act of celebrating my femininity, as an act of gratitude for having been given a healthy body. It’s a ceremony to give thanks for the blessings in my life & for having received this life force, a force that needs to be nurtured. You need to be grateful for receiving it & honor it by living your highest purpose.
    5. BE. Be present, be in the moment. Stop & appreciate what nature has to offer. Notice the messages the Universe is sending you. Take time to connect with the world around you, it speaks in unconventional ways. I live in Southeast Florida I am so blessed to have the opportunity to walk on the beach whenever I want or hike a beautiful nature trail. As much as I’d love to do this everyday, it’s not always possible, but I have learned to appreciate what I can get & to be mindful whenever I am outside, even if it’s on my patio watching the birds. I don’t believe in coincidences, but I do believe in the synchronicity of the universe. When things “just work out” I believe it is the universe showing us that it has our back, & is conspiring for great things to happen. Living with this outlook makes for really positive experiences to occur practically on a daily basis. Each sign feels like a gift & let’s be honest who doesn’t love presents?
    6. Tell The Ones You Love, You Love Them. Don’t just assume they know, it’s important to always let others know how much they mean to you & never take it for granted. One day you may not have that opportunity. Love is an action, a choice, not a feeling. Make time for the ones you love, tell them how much they mean to you.
    7. Be Kind. Kindness actually makes you happier. Acts of kindness encourages others to also be kind. And, when you regularly engaging in random acts of kindness, you create neural pathways that enhance feelings of well-being & the natural flow of feel-good endorphins & mood elevating neurotransmitters. When you smile at a stranger in the street they might go home in a better mood, compliment their partner, who will in turn show love to the next person they encounter. Your small acts of kindness can have a ripple effect on the world.
    8. Mindful Breathing. There are so many ways you can incorporate quick breathing exercises into your life, all day long. I often find myself doing breath work at traffic lights, in line at the grocery store & when my others occasionally really push my buttons. With consistent meditation you become less reactive & more responsive. I used to be really impatient, but now at the first sign of feeling triggered, I just breathe. Here’s my favorite quick breathing trick…
      • Inhale for a count of 4
      • Hold your breath for a count of 4
      • Exhale for a count of 4
      • Hold the exhale for a count of 4
      • Repeat 4 times
    9. Learn Something New Every Day. Before you go to sleep, become aware of all the new & amazing things you’ve learned that day. No matter how small, everyday you learn something new, something you didn’t know the day before. Read, journal, do some soul writing. Learn about yourself, learn about others, learn something new everyday! The first & most important step toward personal spiritual growth is the desire to grow.  Spiritual growth & development is not a goal, it is a lifelong journey. The journey is the destination.
    10. Celebrate Your Achievements from Mistakes. No matter how small. Small achievements lead to big ones. Celebrate the things you did well, you deserve it. Mistakes & bad decisions are some of our greatest teachers. If you never did anything wrong, you would never learn anything new. Think of mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. We are all imperfect people. If you are able to embrace your imperfections & laugh at yourself, you will become more flexible & open-minded.
    11. Tell Yourself You Love YOU. Look in the mirror & talk to yourself. Let yourself know how much you love you, how proud you are & how much you mean to you. The relationship you have with yourself is the only one that lasts a lifetime. Make YOU your priority! The idea of loving yourself often seems cliché. We throw around the phrase, but do we really understand what it means? Do we actually know how to love ourselves? Or what the process of self love even looks like? The first thing we need to do is decide whether we actually believe we are lovable. Remind yourself of all the wonderful things that you are. Most of all be mindful of the judging or negative self talk. Your mind believes everything you tell it!  My new thing is when I get ready in the mornings, I find at least one thing I genuinely like about my look/outfit that day. Compliment yourself everyday. The only approval you need is the one you get from yourself!
    12. Meditate or Pray. Connect with your Higher Power. Not only when you want a miracle, but for the precious moments. Take time to communicate with the Divine. Try to begin each day with meditation, even if it’s only for a minute. This will allow you to start your day from a place of peace, feeling more centered & grounded. Meditation has brought so many positive changes to my life, including feeling less stressed, having more patience, better sleep, a deeper connection to my inner guidance system & increased compassion for myself & others. 

       

     

Now might not be the most comfortable time to start, but incorporating any or all of these steps into your daily life is exactly what we need in the uncomfortable times in our life.

We tend to believe that when everything falls into place, we will be happy,  find the spirituality & peace of mind when the time comes to practice. The truth is it’s actually the other way around: When we make the time & space for spiritual practice in our life, peace comes & with it, everything else falls into place.

Start today & make peace, love & happiness your first priority. You deserve it!

Love & light,

anny

 

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