One of the most powerful exercises I do with people during the six-month Holisitic Health Counseling program is having the conversation, “What do you love about your life?”

First I have to give credit to Landmark Education, a global training and development company offering innovative programs for living an extraordinary life, because I first had this conversation in their I love playing poolWisdom Course. P.S. I highly recommend the Landmark Forum for every human being.

Let me tell you: after exchanging what you love about your life with a couple hundred people, listening to what they love about their life, and doing this for maybe 30 minutes (although it seemed like an eternity), your life will never ever be the same.

What I saw in this exercise is that I could actually be responsible for creating my own happiness, regardless of how my day was going. Pretty cool distinction. I started paying attention to the details of my life. My moments stretched out. Whole new worlds opened up that I swear were not there before. It’s an incredible practice.

Lemon balm

Gratitude and thankfulness have been shown to alter your internal physiology to create healing. If your heart is at peace your body will work like it’s supposed to. If your mind and spirit are joyous your body will be joyous. If you let go, your body will let go. Of course if you hold on to negative thinking your body will too. Thus “dis-ease” is born.

Check out HeartMath, where western knowledge meets eastern wisdom, for a basic platform for healing your body-mind-spirit through awareness. I have the technology to use this in my private practice with clients.

When I’m angry, frustrated or depressed about the state of the world I stop (if I can remember to in the moment) and create a new conversation. And I’m not talking about a pep talk, optimism or positive thinking here. It’s not  exactly the “fake it till you make it” or “just smile” your grandmother told you to do. But it’s close.

It’s actually re-wiring the synapses in your brain to create a new pathway. The more you practice creating these new connections, especially in situations where you’d normally go with anger, resentment, or whatever your default mechanism to coping with stress is, you’ll eventually retrain yourself, and it will be easier to create happiness and healing. For real.

So what do I love about my life?

I love my family. I love trees. I love the snow on the trees in winter and how they sparkle and shine and create a winter wonderland. I love the moon and watching it change. I love going to the library and meeting new people. I love avocados and how green and yellow and smooth and silky they are. I love art work and visiting the local gallery Aurhaus that features local artists and a night of music once a month in the winter when it’s cold.

I love my dog Caesar who has the longest, softest ears and this deep throaty howl and I love how we have taken to calling him Beezer or “The Beez.” I Caesar and Timlove my cat Tim who has travelled with us from Colorado to Alaska to Maine , who loves car trips, and loves taking long walks with us tromping through field and stream like he’s a dog. I love how I can find them both curled up in the sun on the deck or sleeping together in eachothers arms at night. 

I love my partner Danny who has always says, “Hey gorgeous,” or “Hey beautiful,” when he gets home. I love how appreciates my cooking, does the dishes, and does a fine job in the kitchen himself asking, “Honey, where’s the garlic?” or “How long do I cook this quinoa for?” 

I love the ocean. I love water. I love the color green. I love a blue sky Cape Codwith no clouds and sun on a cool day in the spring. I love Maine. I love talking to my sister on the phone for hours about her acupuncture studies. I love a mixed green salad with peppers, avocados, cheese, and chicken and an olive oil and lemon dressing.

I love having my dad tell me the same story of when I was born in great detail every year on my birthday. I love that my mom is teaching chair yoga to senior citizens at the assisted living facility her mother used to live in. I love that my brother loves math.

It’s amazing no matter how annoyed I am if I do this exercise and start with ten things I love I always find the list is endless. I am grateful. I love so many things. I am blessed to have so much. All is well.

 

 What do you love about your life?

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