Thoughts and such like.....
How often do you sit down and give thanks for your life? Me, not often enough. I have healthy kids, forging their own way in the world. I have a host of siblings, that I get to visit every now and then, and who I talk with often through the various electronic mediums available. I have a life that's full and great friends who are supportive and there for me through thick and thin. When I had my knee replaced, broke my ankle, they brought coffee and conversation, cleaning my house and ensuring I was well taken care of. They are there through the highs and lows, and, to my shame, I'm sure I don't thank them enough! Finally, through my work I get to meet a variety of new and interesting people!
We read a lot about being thankful, but how much do we understand. What does thankful mean?
thank·ful adjective \ˈthaŋk-fəl\
Definition of THANKFUL
1 conscious of benefit received <for what we are about to receive make us truly thankful>
2 expressive of thanks <thankful service>
3 well pleased : glad <was thankful that it didn't rain>
To me thankful means acknowledging what I have, ensuring that this acknowledge includes some kind of service, whether sitting on a board of a NGO, or providing pro-bono coaching to those in need. I am one of the lucky ones, I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and an interesting life, filled with work and hobbies. One of those hobbies, some would say passions, is the ability to read, as much as I want; right now I'm reading the Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, a book which is both funny and informative - it's my treadmill book, so if I want to read it, I have to walk on my treadmill! Exercise and fun together!
Principle #1 reflects on how happiness gives your brain - and your organization - the Competitive Edge! It's fascinating. Think about when you feel happy at work, how is your productivity? How does your day progress, do you notice the time flying by, or does it seem the day never ends? What is the effect of a great supportive supervisor or leader have on how you view your job?
Happiness can help us 'achieve the extraordinary in our work and in our lives'. (Achor, S., 2010)
What makes you happy? How can you extend this feeling and reprogram your brain to become more positive in work and life?
"If you honour old people today, you will probably feel good about your old age. But if you give in to your neurotic disdain for the elderly, you are setting yourself up for a painful old age" (Thomas Moore, Ageless Soul, 2017)
What does he mean by honour, for me it means not ignoring our elders, nor treating them like children. Understanding that it may take longer for them to gather their thoughts, move or even eat. Our modern day rush does not allow for the slow meander, and yet we are beginning to see 'slow' movements starting up around the World. Slow food, slow gardening, slow fashion and so it goes on.. the movement which advocates slowing down life's pace began in Italy in 1986, and encompasses many aspects of life - there is even slow aging which advocates 'a personal and wholly encompassing positive choice to the process of ageing', which suggests personal ownership and non-medical intervention options to a potentially longer, more natural life.
This thought came back to me as I welcomed a new client into my office. She was startled to see my treadmill at the entrance, with some weights and bands on a shelf nearby and so I explained to her that I have made a decision to ensure better health by walking at least 30 minutes a day, as well as allowing myself breaks throughout the day when I am in my office. This means I sometimes hop onto my treadmill to think out a problem, or a tip I learned from the Urban Monk, if I know I'm going to be in my office for a length of time, I set my alarm for 50 minutes, then when it sounds I get up, move around, maybe pick up the weights and do some arm exercises. I get my exercise and strength training throughout the day,
My treadmill allows me to read as I walk, and I'm not talking about dawdling but going at a 15 min/mile pace, which in turn gives me ideas and possibilities for the coaching I do, and the programs I offer. We know that each small step we take in the form of exercise is a step to better health, and better old age, and yet so many of us find it difficult to make that first move. When I first became aware of the passing of time, I began reading and becoming aware of what might be ahead for me I took an inventory of my health. I was aware, having worked in healthcare for many years, of how many people spend their last years and have made a informed choice that as much as possible I want to live a long and fun life - I made a choice to change, I have no one but myself to be accountable but for me, the accountability is my end game. I changed my diet, added more exercise and am leaning further on my support team (my social circle), I am involved in volunteer activities that feed my soul, and I keep my spiritual practices - these are the things and people that will help me to a healthier old age and a brighter future than I would have had if I had kept up the habits of yesteryear.
I honour old people today, and old age itself, and I still get to eat chocolate, and have my glass of wine, while being conscious of how I treat my body and what goes into it.
How about you? What are you doing today that will help propel you to a healthier old age?
Maeve O'Byrne's Blog