By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: January 10, 2018
Contributed by Cynthia Niles
As I get older, I am amazed at how quickly time and life seem to be going by. Days have turned into months, months have turned into years, and years have turned into decades. As I have hit “middle age” I find myself looking back and questioning just where the time has gone. I have fond memories of days past but need to remind myself that it is up to me to make my future even more memorable and meaningful. I now realize that I need to train my thoughts into looking at every experience in a new way and slow down so that my life regains new meaning and I am fully in the moment to enjoy all of it.
Here are some simple ways I’ve come up with to finding joy and peace in my life for 2018.
Live in the present
It is important to learn to live in the present. While we can learn by our past experiences it is important not to dwell on past losses and mistakes. Use those experiences to reformulate your future. Learn what has worked or not worked for you to obtain your goals and success, even if your success is small. Small steps help to lead to bigger steps in obtaining goals.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu
Spend time outside
Spending time outside is an excellent way to obtain your Vitamin D and a way to feel physically and emotionally better. Take the time everyday to look for something beautiful that nature offers to us. Whether it be a pretty bird, a beautiful sunset, or an interesting cloud. If you look I guarantee you will see something that will bring a smile to your face.
“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Pay it Forward
There is much to say about “paying it forward”. Do something kind and unexpected for someone else. It is important to do this in a way in which you do not expect anything in return. In our society, we get lost in the shuffle and sometimes overlook others who may be in need. For example, open the door for someone at the store or buy a coffee for the customer behind you. These gestures can be very simple but often mean a lot to the recipient.
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else”
– Booker T. Washington
Minimize your stuff
Get rid of some things that you no longer need. Bring them to a homeless shelter or donation bin. Sometimes we hold onto things that simply become clutter. When we become more organized and minimize our things our lives become more peaceful. By lightening your load, you just might make someone else’s life better at the same time. Minimizing your things might just add more joy to your life!
“When we throw out the physical clutter, we clear our minds. When we throw out the mental clutter, we clear our souls.”
– Gail Blanke
Find Humor in life
To learn to laugh like there is no tomorrow. Laughter has many benefits: Reduces heart disease, is a natural pain killer, improves breathing, helps you lose weight, helps you sleep well, decreases stress, makes you look young. There’s no reason not to laugh!
“A day without laughter is a day wasted”
– Charlie Chapman
Live with no regrets
For me this may be the most difficult task to learn. My mind always seems to bring me back to “if only I had, or why didn’t I just…”. I am slowly learning to learn to live in the moment and have trust in my past decisions, either good ones or bad ones. These moments were those that have shaped who I am today and are to be used as stepping stones for my future.
“If you live your life with the regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you will have no today to be thankful for.”
Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2018!
Cynthia Niles is the daughter of Karen Giblin and resides in Charlestown, RI.