This year my page-a-day calendar is the one from The Happiness Project. One of the things she talks about is her personal commandments. So I thought I’d take some time to write my own.
I sat down & thought about things that are really important to me. Ways that I want to live. Here’s what I came up with.
Be Jes. Sometimes I get caught up in projects, relationships, & I lose who I am. I need to remember that I spent a not insignificant period of time figuring myself out, so I need to keep in touch with who I am & who I worked so hard to become.
Let it go. I hold grudges for years. It’s such a bad habit & one I’ve been working in a very serious way to break. Getting mired in all those old, negative emotions (which, if I’m being really honest, are ones that I developed before I was the person I am today, so they’re not even relevant anymore) is no way to continue living my life. It’s hard to let go, but so important.
Act like I want to feel. A few years ago, a friend of mine sent me a list of positivity tips. One of the things she emphasized was the need to sometimes force yourself into happiness. This means smiling when you’re not feeling it, or giving someone else a compliment even though you’re having a rotten day. Fake it ’til you make it. Just try it—just you try being grumpy with a big ol’ grin on your face!
Be polite & equitable. Why shouldn’t you be polite to everyone? Why shouldn’t you be fair? You know who is impolite & unfair? Very deeply unpleasant people, who are all out for their own personal gain. Having good manners is so much more than knowing which fork to use for your salad. It’s about making people feel important to you. Next time you’re at the grocery store, look the clerk in the eye. Ask them for their day is going. Treat them like they are something special. Because they are.
Enjoy the process. Sarah Wilson recently wrote about “all dress rehearsal, no play“, and it’s right on the money. Sometimes I get so focussed on where I want to get to that I forget how enjoyable the journey can be.
Identify the problem. Sometimes I get all freaked out & angry for no reason & I’ll just snap. But if I take a moment, take a breath, I usually realize there’s something else going on—I’m tired, I’m hungry. It’s never the thing that I actually am reacting to.
There is only love. Fill your heart with it. Let it expand. Give it away freely. The more you give, the more that comes back. Love is exponential. Love is fractal. It divides & splits & becomes more, more, more. There are no limits to love.
Provide something. Give of yourself. Don’t wait until you’re asked. Share your knowledge. Don’t be isolated inside yourself & your life. The world is huge, build your experiences by sharing the world & being in the world with others.
I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection. I will never, ever, ever be perfect. I don’t particularly want to be, because then I won’t learn anything new. I can, however, control how I interact with the world. I choose to do so gracefully.
What do you live by? What are your tenets, your commandments? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!