What have you done today or recently to celebrate joyfully the fact that you and your loved one are alive? Often it becomes easy to get caught up in the flurry and or the stress of daily life. We wake in a hurry, move through the day in a rush, go to bed with our minds full and try to sleep.
On days like those, we haven’t created the quiet space and time to breathe deeply, express gratitude for the small things, or look at the world for a moment with awe and wonder.
Today I’d like to encourage you to celebrate life intentionally. Eat good food. Spend time in nature. Play with your dog or cat or other furry friends. Hug a loved one. Extend well wishes to others and yourself.
A month ago my brother passed away. I don’t mention this because I’m looking for condolences or support, but rather as an illustration of the value of celebrating life. His passing wasn’t wholly unexpected, nor was it expected. His transition was relatively quick and as far as I know, painless. Rather than mourn him (I already did a little of that a few months ago when it finally struck me that he wouldn’t live forever), I think about all the fun and joyful adventures we had together. The last time we spent time together we were in Tanzania climbing Kilimanjaro and watching wildlife roam the savannah.
Rather than take your life, or that of your loved ones, for granted celebrate it. One simple way to do this is by extending well wishes to yourself or your loved ones.
See what’s tender and beautiful, and wish well. Wishing well includes compassion, kindness, appreciating, honoring, non-harming, warmth, cherishing, and love; you can see I’m using this phrase broadly. It’s leaning into discomfort rather than away, helping rather than harming, giving rather than withholding, opening and extending rather than closing and contracting, accepting rather than finding fault.
You can send well wishes to others, the world, and yourself – and any parts of any of these. Extending well wishes clearly benefits others and the world. But also, as a bonus, it’s good for you as well. Well wishing strengthens gratitude and gladness, opens your heart, deepens connection, and tends to elicit a positive response from others. You change your perspective and begin seeing people and the world as blessed rather than threatening, disappointing, or rejecting.
So, how do you enact this practice? Deliberately feel warmly toward someone while wishing him or her well. Wish for that person to be free from distress and instead experience peace and contentment. Looking for good things in others and yourself. To wish someone well, see their goodness, efforts, hopes, suffering, and what’s lovely about them. Extending well wishes means not harming, hurting, criticizing, or dismissing.
Extending well wishes means not harming, hurting, criticizing, or dismissing. Let yourself be touched. Feel a warmth, a kindness. You can express well wishes with actions, a touch, a door opened, a charitable gift, through words, or inside your heart alone. Send well wishes to people you know, and also to strangers. A valuable energetic exchange occurs when you see someone passing on the street, take time to get a feel for the person, and then wish her or him well.
See what happens when you bless people who have really helped you, friends and family, even people you find to be difficult. Notice how it feels to deliberately offer compassion, kindness, or love in using this proactive method.
You can also send well wishes to aspects of yourself – your grief, your overwhelm, your playfulness – as well as yourself in total. Extend well wishes deliberately. Celebrate your life and the lives of your loved ones with intention. Over time this way of perceiving and interacting with the world becomes a part of you, your natural inclination. Find your warmth and good wishes amidst the mental clutter, like hearing wind chimes outside amidst storm and rain. Remember to take care of yourself and celebrate life.
Originally published at www.amypatteecolvin.com