Last week I explored the Greater Good Science Center’s 9 keys to well-being. I have 12 Kind Practices. Greater Good has quizzes to help you figure out where you might want to concentrate, but even that can be overwhelming.
Each morning, I remind myself of four practices that I find most powerful. My chant goes like this:
Choose joy. Beam love. Give thanks. Breathe peace.
Those are shorthand reminders of:
I will live joyfully for no apparent reason.
If I approach each day with an attitude of joy – even in the midst of difficulty – my spirit lifts. I practice looking for my Delight of the Day, a moment when I smile or laugh or am surprised by beauty. Looking for the good, I flip the mind’s tendency to watch for danger.
I will love without keeping score.
I try to meet each person so that we are building a positive connection. When I am most mindful, I remember ALTAR, which stands for
Arrive – let go of other concerns so that I can be present. I want to get beyond the busyness that brought us together.
Listen – truly pay attention to what the person is saying, find out who they are and how they are in this moment.
Touch – when appropriate, connect with a gentle touch to heal from these days of electronic loneliness.
Affirm – if I have truly listened, I will have noticed something wonderful about the person and can say it out loud.
Revere – I am in the presence of a stupendous combination of biology and psychology – a true miracle of life.
I will appreciate blessings.
If I keep watch, I will find blessings upon blessings in the beauty around me. I have a space in my journal for gratitude.
I will open to each moment.
Keeping myself anchored in this moment helps me let go of worry about the future or regret of the past. Noticing my breath as it comes through my nostrils and as my belly rises and falls brings me into the present.
When I get caught in busyness or overwhelm, reminding myself to choose joy, beam love, give thanks and breathe peace steers me toward well-being.
What reminders or practices do you find most helpful?