Even though my path is my own I love to learn about others paths and often turn to books. I just finished a super inspirational read called "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. The author basically devoted a year of her life to methodically maximize her happiness. Lots of people started their own happiness projects after reading the book, but that just didn't feel right for me. I am already pretty happy and part of that happiness is that sometimes I pretend to be Oscar the grouch and one of my favorite movies is "Grumpy Old Men"! No enhanced happiness for me, thank you! So, I clicked on the next book in my Kindle queue "Developing a Buddha Brain: one thing a time" by Rick Hanson. In the introduction he states that he has divided his book into 52 chapters and eureka! my own year long happiness project is born.
Week 1: Be your own ally. While I would never consider being mean to a friend, I am often mean to myself so my project is off to a good start! Completely lacking in originality I tie a string around my wrist vowing to use it as a reminder of my project. Of course, being my own ally I probably shouldn't point out my lack of originality and I certainly wouldn't do that to a friend! So many times this week I have stopped before taking action glanced at said string and asked "am I being my own ally?". Is the act I am getting ready to take in my own best interest? Is the thought I am entertaining nurturing? Am I being my own friend? Now being your own friend is not about being for yourself and against others, it is about being for yourself and for others. This simple act of questioning my self allegiance has actually altered some of my behaviors this week and softened me towards myself . I realize this is just a different way of saying "Love your neighbor as you love yourself". But in examining our thoughts, word and deeds we can ferret out the ones that aren't motivated by self love. So this week I vow to be my own friend, a truth telling, no holds barred tough love friend, a forgiving friend, a friend who doesn't talk behind my own back, a friend who is always there. A friend who is developing a compassionate mind and has 51 more potential blog posts in the process! I believe narcissism is not friendly behavior nor is false modesty. So today as I hang out with my new friend I will remember that with all of her flaws she is perfect, and that includes when she slips into that annoying 3rd person talk!
A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."
- Arabian Proverb
- Arabian Proverb