Welcome to Tuesday Tips, a weekly collection of techniques to help you love being alive. This week the tips are focused firmly in the present moment, noticing every blessing as it comes. Being "in the now" isn't as elusive as I sometimes think; anyone can use their breath to step away from doubting thoughts. All it takes is a split second of fresh air in your mind to see the shooting stars life is sending your way.
1. Paint your nails.
Male or female, painting your nails is a festive way to bring yourself into the Now. It's a gift to yourself that gives itself surprisingly throughout the day.
2. Fill out a Best Week Ever worksheet.
Want to have the best week of your life? Just print one of these babies out and note every triumph large and small for each day of the week. The more you notice the small successes, the more big successes you attract.
3. Think of your relationships as slow-ripening fruit.
The best relationships I have are the ones in which I didn't have to try. Slowly getting to know someone over a period of years allows the friendship to develop naturally, just like fruit on the vine. If you have to try, it's like picking the fruit before it's ripe. My current relationship rules are just like gardening: never force anything. Allow nature to do its thing. And above all, never care what someone else thinks and be your own reason for feeling good! (In fruit metaphors, I guess that would mean to not depend on one ripening fruit to be your food source, and don't judge yourself by how well the fruit grows.)
4. Think, "You're not a ghost."
In Peace Is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh says that when you're thinking about something and not present, both you and the object of your attention are ghosts. When you're going about mundane activities (such as wiping your fingers on a napkin), say to the object you're engaging with, "You're not a ghost." Your interactions can become loving and mindful, while keeping all of your focus in the Now.
4. Try this mantra: "I don't give a fuck, I'm doing what I want."
Yesterday we were walking to 711 for some wine. I said in my head, "I don't give a fuck what anyone says, I'm getting a snack." And then I found a penny on the ground. I of course take this as a brilliant synchronicity indicating my thinking was on the right path.
5. Don't judge yourself for how you feel.
If you feel less than great, don't beat yourself up. Acknowledge how you feel and think about how you'd like to feel instead. Then make peace. One of my favorite Lil Wayne's quotes is, "Don't chase the feeling, baby girl, let it come to you." If you're chasing feeling good, it will keep running away from you. Make yourself at home in your emotion and just as you start to enjoy it, the feeling you were looking for will reveal itself.
6. Transmute your fear-based self-doubt into creative gold.
The other day, Kelly was experiencing contrast at the gym. She perceived someone being unnecessarily unfriendly and took it personally--projecting her own self-criticisms onto this person. Instead of continuing to blame him for how she felt, she filled out a Self-Doubt Alchemy worksheet. She took responsibility for how she felt and transformed it into self-appreciation.
7. Try this meditation technique: "Breathing in, I'm observing. Breathing out, I'm observing."
Use your breath to tether you to the Now, and "I'm observing" to watch for thoughts arising in your mind. Every time I vigilantly keep my attention in the present moment, I feel so much better. And excited about how easy life can be!