It is mental and emotional perspiration that we need to go through as we struggle to live a life of meaning and joy. The inspiration is there but it’s the perspiration that most of us need to put into our daily lives to create for ourselves lives of enchantment. Because, enchantment for most of us, i.e., living a life of joy, a life that reflects many states of well being, again and again, is hard work.
Certainly we yearn for moments when the right thing happens at exactly the right time and the world opens up for us, whether it’s a lucky break, meeting the right life partner or winning the lottery. And we all need at least some of those moments. But life, in reality, is filled with hundreds and thousands and probably millions of minutes that are repetitive, boring or simply ordinary. They involve getting up, brushing our teeth, driving to work safely, keeping a job, raising children, fighting off a cold, etc. It is all these times that THE ENCHANTED SELF focuses on.
These are the moments that can be mundane, depressing, dull or can be captivating, enlivening and filled with joy.
What is the difference? The difference is usually the perspiration. I mean the mental and emotional perspiration that is involved.
We need to REMEMBER THE BEST AND LETTING GO OF THE REST. This is a critical component to general well being and a sense of happiness on a daily basis. Most of us have sustained loss and experienced pain. Yes, we’ve been hurt. We’ve been short-changed by opportunities or other people. Sometimes we’ve been stepped upon, left or forgotten.
If we spend our daily life focusing on these disappointments then we cannot release the positive energies we need to make the most of the present moment and to plan for the future. Grudges, negative thinking, disappointments, and not forgiving all get in the way of what can be done with the present. We need our psyche energies to seize opportunities we can take advantage of. This can’t happen, if our energies are used up ruminating.
Besides, there is beauty in our own story and most, if not all disappointments we’ve experienced have strengthened us. Often, we have even developed talents in coping with hard times that can reemerge in ways to enhance pleasure and/or help us be of service to the world. For example, the child that was neglected or yelled at has an opportunity to be particularly kind to others as he or she gets older, maybe to teach others certain parenting skills having known first hand how it feels on the other side.
How do we take all the moments of life that are often repetitive and ordinary, and turn them into captivating personal times? One way is through optimizing our own sense of well being. This internal state is particularly reactive to our emotional and physical states of health. For instance, I remember occasions when good things were about to happen, but I was so overtired or anxious that I could not appreciate a special day. I also remember occasions when nothing happened, but because I felt well rested and truly at peace with myself I enjoyed every moment.
How do we work on restoring ourselves? How do we gather our positive energies to be in our own best interest? Certainly one of the most critical factors is seeing yourself in a positive light. If I don’t truly value myself, I am certainly not going to take good care of myself. I am more responsive to the criticism from a negative spouse or parent than my own inner feelings of self worth. I may not take good care of myself and the results can be devastating. Over the years I have seen so many clients who were not thriving because they had internalized negative comments, criticism and opinions from others. The end result was that they began to believe the negative perceptions of themselves and ultimately saw themselves in a poor light.
It is very important to see yourself in a positive light. This means not putting yourself down and not criticizing yourself. It means becoming your own best friend. Often taking better care of yourself becomes essential. For all of us, it is important to get enough rest, eat well, learn how to sort through the negative remarks that hurt, not get caught up and lost in the feelings those remarks engendered, and to value who we really are and what each of us has to offer the world.