why you should write down your blessings.

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“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”  – ray bradbury

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So, glass Ball Jars are super trendy right now. Totally ‘hipster chic.’  I have a million of them in my home.  Not because I’m trendy… but because I’ve recently been nerding out about the possible dangers of plastic and also I inherited 5 boxes of glass jars from my Grandma, who was an avid ‘canner’ of green beans, apple butter, peaches, etc.

I’ve recently found a new use for the beautiful, homey, endearing glassware: Blessing Jars.

I recently read this article which taught me that the act of writing leads to physical and mental health benefits including:

  • improved mood and sense of well-being
  • decreased stress and anxiety levels
  • lower blood pressure
  • better memory and sleep

All of these sound like winners.  Writing is good for you and is one small habit that can lead to a life filled with happiness and health (similar to eating more veggies–try my celery and pear slaw; and getting more exercise– try my yoga classes!)

The act of writing words on paper is decisively powerful; remembering to write down our blessings can lead to a powerful shift in perspective.

So here’s how you create a Blessing Jar:

  1. Find a small piece of paper.
  2. Write done ONE thing that is a blessing to you and put it in a glass jar.
  3. Do this every day.  Or just whenever you remember.
  4. As the days go by, your glass jar will quietly fill.
  5. One day, you’ll look at it, and realize that your life, like your jar, is FULL of BLESSINGS.

Cheers to being full.

only three things matter.

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photo cred MA

This quote is powerful.  I try to read it every single day to remind myself of what’s important in life and not to stress over what is not so important. (Remember when it was popular to sigh ‘don’t sweat the small stuff?’ This well-meant sentiment somehow turned into an excuse not to clean the kitchen. Unfortunate. Anyway…)

So, if only these three things matter: 1) how much you loved, 2) how gently you lived, and 3) how gracefully you let go, then why do we carry around so many regrets?  

Is regret an emotion that is worth experiencing? I’d like to hear your thoughts.  My Ironman is of the opinion that if you currently ‘regret’ something, then you are wasting time and energy: that emotional energy is holding you to the past and impeding your ability to move fully into the future with confidence and emotional clarity.

I’m of the opinion that regret can be useful if we use it as a lens to interpret what we consider to be a ‘mistake’ and then commit not to repeat this mistake in the future.  Sometimes we need to be able to look back and say: “I made that decision with the information I had available and the wisdom I had access to at that time.  Now, my decision may be different.”  I’m also of the opinion that the Universe provides us ample repeated opportunities to repeat the same mistake, if we so choose.  Meaning: if we didn’t learn a lesson the first time around, we will probably get another chance!  In yoga, we call this samskara.  On a personal level, our spiritual journey is ripe with repeated opportunities for learning lessons.

Carina Chocano from aeon online magazine writes an article entitled “Why regret is essential to the good life”.  While I don’t agree with everything in her article, it does supply a fascinating view on regret as an integral piece of the complexity of human psychology.

So, my questions to you: What do you regret?  Why?  What can this regret teach you?  What are you doing to strengthen yourself so these regrets don’t follow you around?  How gracefully can you let go of this regret?  See my posts on Aparigraha on why ‘letting go’ is of central importance in the yoga lifestyle.

Give it a good thought, let me know.

Happy Regretting,

-lisa