At the ripe old age of 52 years, I have come to realize there are only two absolutes, we are born and we die. Simple as that, right? It’s all that stuff in-between that qualifies as our meaning or purpose in life, if you will. We are each a part of this wonderful world, breathing the same air, watching the same sun rise and set, living the trials and tribulations of our daily existence. It’s all there, 24/7 and how it relates to our individual happiness and wellbeing is in direct relation to how we perceive our own experiences. Simply put, I am fully aware that I am responsible for my bliss. There it is, I own it. It’s all about me.
There was a time when I was fearless, living my days with reckless abandon. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard so I could play hard and managed to have some amazing career opportunities and travel adventures. There’s no shame in my game and I’ve got the photo albums to prove it. Through it all I’ve met amazing people from all walks of life, teaching me lessons that cannot be taught in school. Those “life lessons” that you don’t actually realize you’ve learned until after the fact. Sometimes even repeating the “lesson” time and time again, until it finally sticks! For example, the old adage “never judge a book by its cover” has always held true for me. After all, what do you really know about a person when relying on the visual, it’s better to know their story and how it may or may not relate to yours before passing judgement.
In recent years, my sparkle seemed to have faded, that adventurous girl I used to see in the mirror became complacent, to put it kindly. Instead, the reflection in the mirror was like a stranger. I wasn’t really living to my full potential anymore; I just sort of fell into a routine that offered very little to my spiritual self. My soul. Where was my every day, jump for joy, kick up my heels “happy”? I have a husband, family and friends that I love with all my heart, I guess I just sort of fell out of love with me. Other people in my life were always my priority and that was my daily focus, seeming to take over my existence. I still ended up with a lot of extra time on my hands and I was doing nothing for myself.
So back to the “life lessons”, what have I learned along the way? What makes me happy? I love art. I am an artist. I’ve actually sold my art before. I was so happy when I sold my first painting that I took some of the money and bought a bottle of champagne and a deluxe edition Scrabble with the turntable game board. Still have it, the game that is. That was years ago, back when I was fearless. What did selling that painting teach me? Art makes me happy and it made someone else happy too. So I picked up my paintbrush, bought a canvas and started painting again. Then I bought a fancy camera and started taking pictures outside in the fresh air and started feeling happy. I began to live my life for me!
Sadly, I couldn’t rely on paint fumes and Photoshop to keep my happy going, I had to figure out what got me down to begin with. I would get lost in the painting or the camera lens, then back to my reality. What was I doing wrong? It was the gratitude. I wasn’t showing any gratitude. Not for all the life lessons, the outcomes, the challenges I’d faced and won, the successes and failures. Where was my gratitude for my loving family, my friends, my talent? I was taking things for granted and in that, missing out on all wonderful things in life that happen when you acknowledge the blessings that have been bestowed and to be grateful for them. So I developed an attitude of gratitude.
Recently I attended an event that was about the power of gratitude, the rewards received from helping others and the benefits of believing in yourself. One of the dynamic women speaking on stage stated that every morning she wakes up, jumps out of bed and says “It’s going to be a great day!”. My wise and beautiful friend attending the event with me mentioned she read that the most successful people make their beds first thing, every day. So now, every morning as I make my bed, I repeat over and over again “I am so grateful for the great day that’s ahead of me”. I keep a gratitude journal and each night I look back on the day with a grateful heart. You see, if you start and end your day with a grateful heart, the energy you feel will lift you up, regardless of what happens in between.
The results so far? My creativity is elevated, my stress levels are lower, my energy levels are higher, the time I spend with loved ones has a renewed quality, happiness is infectious. I’m not going to tell you that this is a be all, end all fix to hard times that come, and they will still come at you. I’ve read many books on this particular subject, watched quite a few videos, all available at your local library. Aside from the price of a journal, this personal journey cost me nothing but effort and the value is priceless. I just found a way to deal with my own reality by focusing on the positive, extending happiness whenever possible and perceiving an attitude of gratitude as the path to balance my mind, body and spirit.
This is my personal experience; I’m living it every day. Some days are more challenging than others but I always try to remember, I’m responsible for my own bliss, it’s begins with me. I hope you have a blissful day, my friends, I’m positive you deserve it.
Deborah Jordan Aaron,Advocare Independent Distributor
Deborah Jordan Aaron is also an artist, photographer, writer and lover of life. She shares life lessons, insights, healthy living advice and motivational and inspirational messages on this online magazine and in her blog athttp://deborahjordanaaron.tumblr.com/