Three Blessings – Day Six

Today’s Three Blessings – The what’s and the why’s?

I’m trying to do these daily… really, truly… 

1. ANZAC Day

Remembering and commemorating all of those who served and died in war is the April 25 tradition. Apart from watching the ceremonies on TV and the minute silence observed by all, I’ve never been to Gallipoli or out of bed for the dawn service – it is on my list of things I must do, though. My good friend and I travelled into the city to soak up the atmosphere, watched the dozens playing two up, the veterans walking the streets, the medals lined up on their pockets. It’s a blessing to see these people, appreciate and admire what they’ve done. Lest We Forget.

2. One great big hug

I didn’t recognise her at first – she’s stripped her hair of all the darkness and is a shiny blonde these days. J grabbed me as I walked past the bar at the pub and gave me the biggest, longest hug I’ve had in an age. We tried to condense over three years of happenings into ten minutes, as my buzzer went off for the food I had to collect from the kitchen. We’d never have met if we weren’t thrown together into a shambolic workplace years ago, and I wouldn’t have seen her if I hadn’t come out for the Anzac Day traditions.

3. Sunshine after rain.

The forecast only mentioned a few showers so L and I were pretty annoyed when we were caught in a torrential downpour for about 30 minutes. I wore a pair of open shoes – big mistake, and had dirty road water freely baptising my feet. It can be fun dodging puddles and streams if you’re wearing gumboots but not so when you’re caught unprepared. Not long after though, the muggy gloom turned into a sun-soaked paradise. We sunk a few beers in the courtyard at our favourite pub with that warm goodness on our faces. I think the weather was a reflection of all that’s felt on Anzac Day.

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Three Blessings – (a belated) Day Five

mica

mica

 

Today’s Three Blessings – The what’s and the why’s?

1. Mica’s portrait.

My sister’s dog is the most wonderful, little, fluffy bundle. Sensing I wasn’t myself, she licked my face and then sat perfectly on the floor. It was a photo opp I couldn’t miss. It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t given her the attention she was waiting for.

2. Best juice ever.

It was called a “Kale Cleanse”, you can guess what sort of ingredients were in there, right? It was delicious though… a mix of tang, sweetness and total health in a cup. It tasted so great because it was grown organically and made with love. Well worth the walk at lunch time.

3. I got a hug from my boss.

Yes ok, this can be creepy and classed as sexual harassment if you’re in the wrong office. But it’s not like that, at all.

I asked him why, and he said “Because I don’t know how you’ve been able to work so hard and for so long on this project. And I think you just need one”. Such a surprise and really nice to come out of a genuinely lovely person’s mouth. I didn’t expect to be thanked this way, but it was a lovely gesture, regardless.

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The Three Blessings practice was designed by Dr Martin Seligman, to help re-focus our thoughts on positive experiences, rather than the negative ones we tend to wallow in.

Three Blessings – Day Two

Today’s Three Blessings – The what’s and the why’s?

1. Winning tickets to see The Grand Budapest Hotel
Always sceptical about competitions and the chances of winning, I thought I’d enter a competition during my so-called lunch break (5 minutes long), since lately I’ve had more than enough at work. Seeing the congratulatory email was one of the nicest surprises in my inbox – better yet, it’s screening at the cinema by the Sydney Opera House so it’s more like a double win. All this just goes to show that you do have to be in it to win it, and I think that’s why this little blessing came to be.

2. Customer service with an authentic smile
A huge bonus of working in Sydney’s inner-city is the plethora of great places to buy fresh and healthy meals – something I missed while I was over in Ol’ Blighty. City Edge on Reservoir Street makes sandwiches and salads that’ll have you pining for them a day later and it’s been my latest obsession.

Though good food is pretty much everywhere, what’s rarer to find in Sydney among the vain, ill-mannered population, is decent customer service. So combining genuine kindness and good food = lunch-time heaven. That said, to the name-less guy at City Edge (Tommy?), thanks for being super polite to me as I paid, and flashing me the kindest of smiles. Maybe because I’m trying to live as kindly as possible, this blessing came about? Oh, I don’t know really. But it did make my day.

3. Being thanked for putting in the hard yards.
I’ve been working over 42 hours a week in a job I had doubts about from the start. It’s not just me working on the job, but a team of people, and the directors of the company haven’t said thanks once, or even offered to buy dinner or a case of beer for us. So my third blessing was  the thank you I received as I was walking out the door last night. It wasn’t from senior management, just someone I’ve worked closely with, and it’s nice to know my efforts are noticed. And I think that blessing happened because I’ve been working my ass off and doing the best I can.

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The Three Blessings practice was designed by Dr Martin Seligman, to help re-focus our thoughts on positive experiences, rather than the negative ones we tend to wallow in.

Three Blessings – Day One

Today’s Three Blessings – The what’s and the why’s?

1. Starting my exercise routine from scratch.
I actually made it through 15 minutes of painful leg sculpting exercises after weeks without exercise. It killed me but I even forced myself to do a 30 min walk afterwards and felt relieved. I’m so glad I did it because it means I’m back on the track to fitness and getting those serotonin levels back up.

2. Having a conversation with my sister without an argument.
My sister and I finally had a discussion where I refused to judge her based on her decisions. I acted like a sister, not a parent and there was not a single argument out of it. I guess when I remember that I can not control other people’s emotions or ways of living, it makes it easier to accept her for who she is without the need to want to lecture her. And that in turn helps our sisterly bond come back again.

3. Spending a few minutes talking with my 90-something grandfather.
It’s not easy to remember the language I spoke as a child fluently but for each conversation I have with him, even if it’s broken, still counts as something for the both of us. He’s getting the interaction he missed while living alone and I’m brushing up on my Ukrainian.

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The Three Blessings practice was designed by Dr Martin Seligman, to help re-focus our thoughts on positive experiences, rather than the negative ones we tend to wallow in.

Brainpickings and Dr Martin Seligman

Amongst the masses of email junk I filter through daily, there are some gems I take the time to read because of the little joys they bring. One such e-newsletter comes from Brainpickings.org.

Fearing that I might be slipping back into the dark hole of depression, I’ve decided to take up the Three Blessings practice Brainpickings just introduced me to. The Three Blessings practice was devised by Dr Martin Seligman, a founder of Positive Psychology which in summary, helps us to focus on living a fulfilled life, rather than treating mental illness.

The Three Blessings practice is designed to help re-focus our thoughts on positive experiences, rather than the negative ones we tend to wallow in, as it’s these negative thoughts that can lead to anxiety and depression. Each day, by writing down three experiences that went well and why they went well, our thought processes change, and by the end of it, we should be feeling “less depressed, happier, and addicted to this exercise six months from now,” according to Seligman.

So it seems pretty simple to me and if that’s the end result, well, I’m in.