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Mindfully EverReady

To be EverReady, one must approach life using the old adage about beauty…it must come from within. What do I mean by this? The first, and most important thing, we must do is to live our lives mindfully. If we let go of our stress, and find joy and purpose in what we do or choose not to do everyday, we will be strong enough to face whatever challenges Murphy’s Law may throw our way.

Life is often far from easy. Sometimes, we become overwhelmed by an accumulation of everyday microstressors that serve to leave us feeling as though we are climbing a mountain of sand. Sometimes, it’s the big stuff. I likely wouldn’t be obtuse if I surmised that this past year has been especially difficult for many.

What’s in my EverReady Mindfulness Starter Pack? I’m glad you asked.

1. Find The Humor.

When things go wrong and all else fails, try to find humor in a negative or stressful situation. The kids spilled Chocolate milk on your new outfit on the way to give a big presentation at work? Take a minute to chuckle about the absurdity of it. Yes, it’s annoying that it happened, and yes, your shoes are currently sticking to the floor (which you now also have to mop). But getting upset about it won’t achieve anything positive, and it won’t help to fix the situation. Laughter, on the other hand, actually boosts your mood, and reminds you that this moment of frustration will pass. It takes the negative power from the situation, and helps to keep you cool and collected. Let it remind you that the time you had to give a major presentation smelling like Eau de Yoohoo will eventually be a funny story you will recount to friends in the future.

2. Reframe Things

In the last year, tragedy seemed to strike all of us swiftly and heartlessly. Some things are too tough to laugh about at the moment. So look at them differently. See the big negatives (ie: divorce, job termination, etc) as learning experiences instead of a curse.

3. Find a Positive Moment

Every day is different, carrying varying ratios of positive and negative moments. I try to seek out the positives for each, focusing on the good things I have been privileged enough to experience. Even if it is something as subtle as walking by a beautiful windswept street, catching a glimpse of a pair of Geese flying together through Midtown Manhattan, I hold onto it. I am fortunate enough to have been witness to that beautiful thing in that one precious moment. Sometimes our positives come from acts of kindness or personal triumphs. But they are there, waiting to be valued and appreciated in all our sunrises and sunsets. Look for something positive to make you smile when you’re tempted to wallow in an injustice. And if, for whatever reason, you just can’t find one, create your own positive moment by doing something kind for others. The feeling that comes with improving someone else’s day will spark more joy than simply noticing something nice.

4. Freeze!

One of my favorite ways to keep mindful is to pause and reset. If you are having a particularly tough day, sometimes you just need to hit the pause button for a couple of minutes to reset yourself. If you have a meditation that you particularly enjoy, listen to or think of your mantra for a short while while you reset.

5. Let It Go.

No, I am not about to serenade you with Elsa’s powerhouse song from Frozen I, I’m sure your 4 year old does that enough for you. But the Disney hit maker does have a point. Letting go of the things that weigh us down will help to set us free. I try not to hold onto anger and frustration because I vapidly do not want it to age me. But also because if I don’t do so, I will remain focused on it instead of focusing on growth and new accomplishments. Resentments and negativity are like anchors that weigh you down. Don’t forget the reasons for their existence, but release the weight of them from your mind. Focus your energy in a positive direction, and it will bring positive changes in the rest of your life.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to remember to be mindful of your surroundings, to be aware of how blessed you are, and to remember that those daily frustrations will eventually pass, no matter how big they may seem to be at the time.

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