According to Zen teacher Cheri Huber in her book Making a Change for Good, we are conditioned to think that if we were only a little better in some way, we would be happy: “Life isn’t the way it should be and it’s my fault!”
But, Huber says, no amount of self-punishment will ever make us happy or bring us control over life’s problems.
The help we are looking for is really found in self-acceptance and kindness toward ourselves.
By simply allowing ourselves to be guided by our innate intelligence and generosity, which are our authentic nature, we are able to be compassionately present to what’s happening now.
Compassionate self-discipline—the will to take positive steps in life—is found through nothing other than being present. When we are present and aware, we are not engaged in distracting, addictive behaviors. If we simply cultivate our ability to pay attention and focus on what is here in this moment, our experience can be authentic, awake, honest, and joyful.
Here is my wish for you and every other child, woman, and man on the face of the earth:
Spend one week saying only kind, caring things to yourself.
Say thank you at least ten times an hour, direct five toward yourself and five to the world at large.
Compliment yourself (and others) each time an effort is made.
Notice all the wonderful qualities and characteristics about yourself and those around you.
One week. You will never go back. And your whole life will be a glorious meditation.
Photo Credit: Lichtmeister/Shutterstock.com
How do you intend to celebrate gratitude this Thanksgiving?