“The Gratitude Intention”, Going Strong on Day four!

Good morning folks! Welcome to the fourth day of my gratitude invoking experiment. For those that have been following my journey, welcome back! For those that just found “My Life Experiment” today, I am happy you stopped in! To get up to speed on what this experiment consists of please check out “Stay Woke with the Gratitude Intention.” There are also days one through three to read up on to get the full picture of what has happened during “The Gratitude Intention” so far!

Alright, time to get into how day four went down. In a lot of ways the day four was very similar to the past days I have written about. Though I find it important to write about it and read about it, even though they may look similar there are a lot of little details that are different. I find it important to notice these little details, because sometimes just the slightest detail can bring to light an aspect of the process that is of great importance.

I woke up pretty early on this chilly North Dakota Saturday, but i also had a recovery meeting to attend early this morning. I didn’t get a chance to write my gratitude list of ten things, I got 4 done in kind of a rushed way and I was cool with that. I can have a tendency to follow my routines a little too strictly and be too hard on myself when i don’t follow them “to the T”. But thankfully I have learned that it really doesn’t solve anything to beat myself up over “missing the mark.”. It’s like the dieter that eats a meal that they shouldn’t have (been there). What is best, to badger myself with guilt, or just move on and set my sights on getting back on track? I prefer the second option by a landslide!

stay flexible

My afternoon was geared toward appreciating the things around me. When I was driving around I turned off the music and was very mindful about how great my life is. I was breathing deeply, I was easily letting go of any stress inducing thoughts that arose. Moments like this are truly awesome, no fear, just freedom. I didn’t really find it necessary to stop fully and meditate on the things I was grateful for, since I was already feeling plenty of gratitude. But I did anyway, because that is what I set out to do in the experiment. I realize that even though I am only writing about this experiment short term (I think its temporarily anyway), that if the gratitude routine is beneficial, then I will be continuing it indefinitely. And if I am going to continue it then i better “weld” these steps into my brain so they become habitual!

My night at work went about the same way. Although my focus was more on taking care of the needs of my client than focusing on gratitude. Although when my client went to sleep I did take the opportunity to finish writing up the gratitude list I couldn’t finish earlier. It felt great to finish writing that, it led the way for some emotion to arise, and that is most definitely something I appreciate. Then I went home after work, cleaned out the litter boxes, chatted with my wife for bit, then went to bed. I was able to have a couple of minutes to meditate on the beauty of the day, but before I knew it I was waking up to the alarm.

Once again, thank you for checking out “My Life Experiment!” I appreciate all of you and my hope is for you to have a wonderful day that is full of awareness for the things to be grateful for. We are now over halfway through “The Gratitude Intention,” so my mind is busy thinking of the next experiment to begin. I don’t know what this experiment is yet but I do know it is going to offer me the opportunity to create important changes in my life. If you are interested in what my next life experiment will be please follow “My Life Experiment” and stay in touch!

 

Things to remember:

  • Everyday is different, and routines need flexibility.
  • Its never too late to get back on track.
  • I am trying to create a long-term habit here.

 

 

 

Stay Woke with “The Gratitude Intention!”

Hello again folks, thanks for stopping in! So, after completing the last experiment, something has been on my mind. Over the last couple day’s I have been thinking about how the decision and commitment to find more qualities to appreciate, seemed to frame my mind to see more qualities to appreciate. It also gave me a little boost of energy, put me in a better mood, and made life a little more interesting to live. There is something very cool about that!

For me, it seems that I can spend a little too much time not paying close enough attention to what I am doing. It is too damn easy for me to get locked into my daily or even weekly routine and then basically go into autopilot with what is coming up next.  Autopilot works alright for keeping things maintained for a while. But before long I find myself very bored, even stressed out, and probably a little more moody.

Thankfully over the last several months my wife and I have made quite a few decisions that have created more way more challenges to deal with. They are beautiful challenges, but they are challenging nonetheless! I had a job change. We just moved into a new house with a nice new mortgage to pay, and we have our first baby coming in just a couple months!  With these new changes there really isn’t much room for me to be day dreaming and going into autopilot mode.

I am happy to say that I am making the firm decision to use these opportunities to wake myself up to a better, more mindful way of living. The stakes are getting higher now, and there is no way I am slipping back into my comfort zone!

Stay Woke

Now, back to framing my mind with my decisions, or I think I would rather call it “Setting Intention.” Over the next week I am “Setting the Intention” that I will pay better attention to my daily affairs. I will be more awake and aware of the options around me, the gifts they are, and the gifts that will come from them. In order to do this I am going to piggy back on “The Compliment Experiment” and work on staying in a state of gratitude in order to keep myself focused on the goodies that may be coming throughout my day.

For the next week I intend to take at least 3 opportunities throughout my day to cultivate gratitude.

  1. In the morning, before I do anything else (aside from getting myself some coffee, and the cats some food) I will write a short To-do List to help get me focused on what is coming up in my day. Then I will write 5 things I am grateful for and WHY I am grateful for them. This routine is similar to a process I used for roughly 4 years that brought great benefits into my life, I welcome it back with open arms.
  2. In the afternoon I will take a brief break to close my eyes and meditate for 10 minutes to do a little run through about the things there were to appreciate throughout my morning. Then I will say a heart felt thank you for all the good things there are to come.
  3. Before I go to bed I will give another 10 to 15 minutes to give some thought to the things I have appreciated throughout the day. Then I will say a heart felt thank you for all of the good things that will be showing up tomorrow.

Like I said I will be partaking in this experiment for the next week. For the next week I will write short updates on any cool things I am noticing about the process. Also, I may post some articles about  about routines I that currently bring positive results into my life that once started as experiments, but now are just what I do. Thank you for checking out “My Life Experiment”. If you feel like participating in this experiment with me, feel free! If you do participate, I would love to hear about your experience in the comments section. One week from today  I will post the “Gratitude Intention” on Wednesday January 10th!

Getting Results with the “Compliment Experiment”!

the experiment picture

Welcome back to My Life Experiment! If you are returning to read this blog, you may remember that I decided to partake in a “Compliment Experiment.” If you have not been here before and want to know what I am talking about, please check out the last article “Time to Open Myself Up with the Compliment Experiment” to get filled in. I wrote the “Compliment Experiment” article 5 days ago, that gave me 5 days to focus on giving more and better-quality compliments to people around me.

During the 5 days of the experiment I did find it was easier to compliment others at times, and at other times it just wasn’t going to happen. There were times where I simply could not think about anything else other keeping myself from freaking out (let alone compliment someone)! There were other times where the compliments came out easily, with a smile. As well, a couple of times I worked myself through with a struggle and came out feeling great!

Just yesterday I finally found out that the lady that helped me total my car, in fact, does not have car insurance. After getting that news, I found it very difficult to give any compliments. I was pissed off. Offering pleasantries felt against the grain, but I kept the experiment in mind and started looking for some opportunities to give compliments. I complimented a friend of mine, my wife, and then I just started complimenting myself in my thoughts. What started out as a very difficult emotional state, eventually worked into me feeling great.

In the last article I mentioned the process of saying three positive things after saying something critical about somebody. As I paid attention to myself I found that I critique things pretty much constantly, much of the time out loud to people, but far more often inside of my own skull. It is actually pretty overwhelming to think how often my mind goes for the negative (for whatever reason that is). Pointing out too many “flaws” in people (myself included) doesn’t really lead to very happy relationships! That probably isn’t a shocker to many people, but hey I guess I am a slow learner at times.

 

Compliment picture

I feel that this experiment has helped me see a method for developing more appreciation for any relationship that I am a part of with others, myself, my job or life itself. This experiment did not tell me that I shouldn’t be critiquing any person or thing in my world (since a critique can help see something that needs to be fixed). But it has shown me that if I desire to be a grateful person, with happy relationships, that I better be filling up my relationships with appreciation for the qualities I enjoy.

The experiment also showed me a high-quality method for processing my emotions and keeping myself healthy, growing, and becoming more efficient. As well, it showed me that when I’m alone with myself and talking about myself, that it is just as important to be giving myself enough compliments. Quite often, I am definitely my own worst critic, and that it is much easier to notice the qualities I enjoy in others when I am grounded in the recognition of my own. And last of all, sometimes I am not going to be able to see the good in hardly anything but I don’t have to be too harsh on myself even if I cannot..

Pat on back

Thanks for checking out “My Life Experiment”, I feel that I know myself a little bit better after writing it. And now you probably know me quite a lot better! Now stay tuned because there is always something new to work on, and I look forward to having you read about my next challenge! If you have any questions are insights feel free to leave a comment!