Imagine what it would be like to wake up and celebrate each morning like we do on New Year’s Day.
If we had the feeling that each and every day is truly a cause for celebration. Not too long ago, I awoke with a message in my heart: “Happy New Day!” and that’s what got me thinking about treating each day as a new beginning, a chance to experience joy and gratitude in the NOW. For me, the timing could not have been more poignant. I had spent the previous two and a half weeks extremely concerned about a sudden downturn in my health. I had gone from healthy and active to being admitted to the hospital in mild congestive heart failure with dangerously high blood pressure.
There is nothing like a potential imminent threat to your health and survival to help you rearrange and appreciate what is important in your life!
But despite the stressful, difficult circumstances, I found myself flooded with positive emotions. I felt an incredible sense of love and gratitude for the doctors and nurses who provided around-the-clock care, ordering tests in an effort to help determine the cause of the problems and find appropriate treatments. I felt a renewed sense of gratitude for the health insurance that I previously felt was too pricey. I was touched by the outpouring of love and offers to help from family, as well as casual acquaintances. My daughter went to great effort to pay me a surprise visit in her prom attire so that I would not miss out on seeing her dressed up. There was truly so much to be thankful for, and my heart was full of love.
Feeling the love and gratitude while everything was happening in the hospital was the easy, effortless part because the situation had taken me out of my normal routines and stressors. Nothing was pushing my buttons.
However, a few days after coming home I began to notice some of my old thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns creeping back in. I began to lose the sense of gratitude and instead began to feel a lingering sense of sadness. I became easily angered at things outside of my control.
I realized that sustaining the positive vibe would require some effort on my part. I recognized that while everything was happening I was focused on what I was grateful for, and I found plenty of reasons to be grateful. As my focus shifted to things I was stressed or unhappy about, I began to see lots of reasons for me to be unhappy. The difference was that now I knew how fantastic it felt to remain positive, even in difficult, stressful circumstances.
A new standard for living had emerged based on how I responded to the health crisis, and I knew what I needed to do to stop the negative thought patterns. I had to take daily, deliberate action on my part to cultivate the feelings I choose to experience. How I feel is not an accident, but a result of the repetitive negative or positive train of thought I stream within my own mind.
My new deliberate positive action plan now starts as soon as I wake up, with my first cup of coffee. I think and then deeply feel three things that I am grateful for. I then repeat to myself an empowering mantra, and I play music that uplifts me as I meditate. The joy, love and gratitude that seemed to be slipping away after I came home from the hospital returns when I acknowledge that I am capable of cultivating it within myself.
The effort is worth it, so if you don’t already have a positive daily action plan, make the decision to embrace one NOW, and enjoy and appreciate every “Happy New Day!
Ann Darwicki RN is a Certified Professional Life Coach who completed her training at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. She is the owner and founder of Whole Being Coaching, specializing in coaching others to live the life of their dreams. Prior to becoming a life coach, Ann obtained as Associates Degree in Nursing from Delaware Technical and Community College. She has 25 years of nursing experience caring for women and children, with a life long affinity for holistic medicine. She is a Reiki practitioner and Nurse Luminary. She is also a freelance writer. She can be reached at 302.750.0574 or by email at email@example.com.