Don’t sweat the small stuff – Part 4a – Fill your life with love

Things I love

Last week I started the topic on filling your life with love and went off on a tangent about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.  Richard Carlson had a number of additional recommendations for mitigating stress in his book, in Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff that related to filling your life with love, and making the most of the present.

  • Be happy where you are
  • Be open to “what is”
  • Think of what you have instead of what you want
  • Understand the statement, ‘wherever you go, there you are’
  • Remember that everything has God’s fingerprints on it
  • See the glass as already broken (and everything else too)

Each of these are powerful to me.  I believe each one of them will have a different effect on each one of us.

Love equals your favorite things which equals happiness

One of the thoughts that can always bring a smile to my face is the innocence that a child has when they learn something new. The awe that a child shows when they see their first butterfly take flight, or a lightening bug glow. It fills my heart with love.  It is one of my favorite things.

I start to relax immediately when I hear Maria sing about her favorite things, “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied up with strings.”  Sing with me, “These are a few of my favorite things.” These are the simple things that are worth appreciating and acknowledging.  Walking home today, I watched a child with an ice cream cone that was already starting to melt and although he managed a lick on his tongue, it was all over his face.  He could not have been happier. The key to happiness is enjoying that moment rather than stressing over the mess.  Enjoy the innocence and love within that moment. The clean-up can come later.

Focus on what we have, rather than what we want

If we focus on what we have, rather than what we want, how can we be upset?  I am blessed to still have 2 very healthy, wonderful parents.  I want to have my best friend, Sarah to be alive, but I love that I have the memories of the times we did spend together.  I know she is with me in spirit.  In fact, today because I was sitting and being, an image of a dolphin, Sarah’s favorite animal floated across my mind.  She is reminding me of a business idea we had planned to launch and wants me to get started on it.

“Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels. Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles.”

Walking miles with a friend today, inspiring and enabling the future.  Walking over and giving my husband a kiss and watching him light up.  The endless kisses from the dog when I walk into the house because she has missed me so much.  Waking up at the Mennemeyer’s family home and kibitzing over coffee in the morning, Sunday dinners with my family. These are a few of my favorite things.  When I think of them, they make me smile.  It melts the disappointment from the past or worry about the future. It allows me to appreciate what is here right now.

“Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings. These are a few of my favorite things.”  Don’t you just want to play the soundtrack to Sound of Music and dance around?

 See the glass as already broken

Another phrase that has caused me to pause is, ‘See the glass as already broken’ which is a Buddhist saying to help you find the present moment.  If you don’t worry about what it was before it was broken and you don’t have to worry about it actually breaking, then you can simply appreciate and love it for what it is right now.  We only have one life to live, and we all know that it is way too short.  By filling it with love whenever possible, we can appreciate the little things.  This then overpowers the bigger things.

“Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes. Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes. Silver-white winters that melt into springs, These are a few of my favorite things.”

However, it is the chorus of this song that makes it so powerful.  “When the dog bites. When the bee stings. When I’m feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things. And then I don’t feel so bad.”

May this inspire you to understand what are your favorite things, appreciate the smaller things and be able to recall those things when you are feeling sad.  Fill your life with love and it can help you to not sweat the small stuff.

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money.  It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” – Steve Jobs

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