By Portarlington psychologist and Operation Transformation expert Dr Eddie Murphy.
It’s a lovely time of year, snow drops are replaced by daffodils and the days are lengthening. It’s a time for renewal. For some this may be a physical renewal; healthy eating and increasing physical activity. Can I invite you to consider some emotional, mental and inner activities for your March makeover?
1. Write Your Obituary!
This task will get you thinking of what is important in your life. First write an obituary as a true account of your life to date. If you dare, to be more objective, ask a friend who knows you well to do it. Look over your obituary and ask yourself 'If I died today, would I die happy? Am I satisfied with the direction of my life? Am I happy with the legacy that I’m creating? What’s missing from my life? What do I need to do in order to make my obituary the one “I” want?
Now, write a fantasy obituary in which you write down all of the things you would like to have done with your life. Here’s the deal --- You’re not dead yet.
Too often we give up on our dreams and settle for mediocrity rather than pushing through to achieve our dreams. So get out there and make changes.
2. Accept Change
Lie is about change. If we don’t change we die, physically and emotionally.
In our March makeover we need to increase our capacity to change; learn to change, embrace it. It’s never too late. Seek it in the areas of learning, wisdom, justice, courage, a meaning beyond the material world. Start by loving yourself and the life you want.
3. Focus on strengths
As a practicing psychologist I have found that renewal comes from a forgotten place. It’s from an inner exploration of strengths, weaknesses, resources, and passions. Explore what’s important, what you will bring with you, what you can discard. Forgive yourself and let go.
4. Live life with meaning
Live a ‘deliberate life’. I love that phrase. Live a life that is chosen by you not others, charting your own course. Make choices that are healthy for you and for others that you love. Take time to stop and reflect, be unafraid to ask for help. Don’t leave your life to luck, fate or chance, Seize it.
5. Giving Thanks
There is truth in the saying ‘count your blessings’. Gratitude is an important powerful attitude, the ability to notice good things in your life. People who are thankful are better able to cope with stress, feel more positive, and able to attain goals. At night, review your day, write three good things from it.
6. Wake Up
This month, lets engage all the senses. Sight, taste, hearing, touch and smell. Do a mindful exercise; pick up an orange. Feel the texture. Admire the colour. Start to peel, look, listen and smell. Don’t eat it yet! Admire its complex beauty. Take out a segment. Bring it to you mouth. Don’t bite. Notice the temperature, texture, then bite notice the taste. Slowly enjoy.
This March engage, notice and be grateful, for the small things, the sun on our face, having a bath, cycling, singing, a hug. Take notice.