We all have memories we carry with us, precious moments we savour in good times and bad. Images that make us smile, words that make us feel invincible, happenings that make us feel proud and accomplished.
We can also carry dark, heavy memories too. The ones about the traumas we’ve experienced, disappointments we’ve known and losses we’ve felt that cloud our every thought and limit our every step forward with their ability to leave us feeling heavy, lonely, lost, and hopeless in a world of scarcity and fear.
Which ones do you remember most?
Which ones march through your mind no matter the blue skies above or clear seas before you?
If it’s the heavier ones clouding your vision and dragging you down, perhaps it’s time to lighten up?
Remember, what you carry in your brain is up to you. By focusing on positive thoughts, behaviors, and experiences, you can cultivate a lighter, more joyful outlook.
Some days, the ‘work’ of cultivating a mindful, light-filled garden in your heart and mind can feel daunting. It’s important to…
Start small to grow.
One tiny step joined by another one tomorrow and then another leads to a pathway out from beneath grey clouds into clear blue skies.
And, it lightens the load.
For me, the best way to lift heavy burdens from my mind is to write my gratitude list.It’s a practice that has revived my flagging spirits even on the darkest mornings.
Again, start small.
For me, it often begins with a simple statement – I am grateful I woke up this morning. And if even that seems too big an ask of your heavy mind and heart, write, I am grateful. 10x
Begin where you’re at. Practice writing, I am grateful. Do that 10 x for 10 days in a row (if that’s what it takes) and throughout the day, watch for tiny moments of gratitude to carry with you until you write your list. Pull those out of your memory bank first and if you can’t get to 10 things, fill the rest of your list with I am Grateful.
With each daily reminder, the practice and habit of seeking out moments of gratitude to write down will create a wider and wider pathway out from under those grey clouds.
And, if you’re looking for other simple steps to lighten your spirits and load, here are some other things I do to create both neural and physical pathways to feeling light and shiny, no matter the weather.
I begin with journalling and write a list of things I like to do that bring me joy and do one thing that day that’s on my list i.e. Bake something delicious and take it to a neighbour – Giving is receiving… and when I give what I love I feel love coming back to me.
Other things could be…
- Go for a walk with Sir Beaumont
- Have coffee with a friend
- Take a bubble bath, listen to soft, gentle music (I like Deva Premal)
- Dance like no one is watching
- Do a mindfulfness activity – breathing is a really good one
- Spend time in my studio creating just for the sake of creating
Ultimately, we decide what we shine a light on most in our minds and carry in our hearts. Heavy or light — we decide their weight and brightness.
Which means, we have the power to shift the weight and darkness of their burden by the things we do to heal the pain and grow through the memory.
Those are things I love to do to help me lighten my spirits and grow wild and free, especially when the load feels heavy. What are some of yours?
NLP-think says it takes 30 days of writing that affirmation 25 times – like writing lines in school – only stated in the ‘gratitute attitude’ affirmative; I’ve been coached to write those affirmations with an ‘as if’ style, meaning to write those affirmations as ‘I am grateful to receive __________ because I am doing _____ in a way that brings me _____’ …
and it works!
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That is really cool — and I really like that framing! Thanks for sharing Mark.
Oh Louise – I rarely comment these days but what a wonderful post. My younger brother has an aggressive brain cancer and he doesn’t have long to live (we think), But last week he expressed such gratitude for the 60 years he has had – he is my hero!
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I am so very sorry to read about your brother Joyce. And what a beautiful soul to honour his life with gratitude. Hero indeed my friend.
Sending you and your brother and family warm, loving comfort on this journey. ❤
PS — I too am not commenting much these days either. I think it's a cyclical thing. I'm not sure. And still, I so appreciate and love when people stop by and comment — especially wonderful souls like you. We've travelled this path together a long time my friend… one day…. ❤
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