How much do we complain throughout the day? How much do we only notice what isn't going "right" in our lives? For instance, we complain about our kids, spouse, parents, work, laundry, dishes, finances, commuting, politics, etc. We complain and consequently build up steam inside, but as the steam eventually releases itself, does it come out to be smokey rather than clear? Was this release of steam genuinely relieving? I'm not so sure about that. As you released, did someone end up getting upset by your actions as a result? Probably. So, did the laundry end up folding itself? Definitely not. Ultimately, complaining doesn't provide a resolution.
Have you ever thought about the literal, more profound meaning of the word "password"? When you think about it, you can break it down into two: pass and word. It's a rather magical word and mantra in a sense, as it is a transitional word eluding that something good will be enabled when we use it. There is thus a movement and opening towards something new that can become possible.
So imagine, if you were to take all of the complaints and steam and replace them with a good password––a mantra, a kind word to recognize something positive, whether in yourself or someone else, gratitude towards something to happen. Think about how many more things would become possible in our life instead of being consumed by exacerbating complaints that omit dark steam. By following a positive motto, you could experience a whole new era of colorful opportunities.
Grab a piece of paper and sit with yourself for an hour. Start writing down your "list of amazing things" that have happened to you, whether today, this week, the past year or throughout your life. Suddenly, you will see how rich you are and just how many gold coins you have––not necessarily only those for Channukah or in the bank, but within yourself and in your experiences that you gather. Look at your amazing things, your gold coins, and appreciate them. Here, indeed, everything that shines really is gold.
Here is my list of amazing things:
My baby that babbles on and on as he opens his blue eyes, and smiles in content after breastfeeding.
Two wise elderly men who teach me on a daily basis about patience, the value of it, and how to practice it. And, of course, all of the endless love they offer me.
My spouse who allows me to be who I am, pursue what I want, spread my wings in life, and explore my dreams and thoughts. Most precious of all, he also provides me with a safety net to lean on.
My godsend of a mother who nourishes and cares for my family through food, love and continues to be an amazing grandmother to my sons.
My in-laws, who for many years have taken care of my three boys at least once a week. Not to mention their countless trips to come to babysit them all afternoon through the evening so that I could go out and study.
My brothers, who teach me a lot about accepting others and seeing them for who they are, and the psychological insights they offer on appreciating the diversity within our family. They help me recognize just how important it is to leverage our family as a source of growth in our lives.
My overall family, which fills me with such pride and gratitude, particularly towards my four amazing grandparents, Holocaust survivors, established a home and gave warmth and youthful love to my brave aunts & uncles. In general, our family serves as an anchor of belonging, giving, closeness, love, and safety, all of which are incredibly important to preserve.
My wonderful friends, who have been carefully curated over the years. In my case, they are indeed a reflection of who I am, and I am incredibly fortunate to have them. There is no better joy than why I go to brunch at Rishpon with my core group of strong, empowered females. During this time we spend together, we get to cherish each other's accomplishments, get valuable input, receive comfort and the kinds of affirmations that only other strong women can know how to give.
Other special brunches with my dear aunts in one of the country's most beautiful places, Beit Henkin. Hours of memories, questions, depth, and a storm of emotions over recounting stories of our family's last four generations, expressing love and longing for those no longer with us. It is empowering and such a blessing to spend time with those who are still around and spread the joy of those that have passed.
My dance performances, along with the many numbers and sequences of steps that will always run through my mind, as though I am still ready to burst out towards the front row, smiling to make my presence known. The ability to dance, smile, and feel total happiness––a feeling of depth and connection that is only found in Israeli music. This, the power to express myself freely through happiness, dance, and song, is what I call being Israeli. Dance has always been an integral part of my life, including as a child and teenager. Beyond helping me build a healthy body, it has also given me a fierce mindset, confidence, the ability to smile, be creative, and the sense to want to be ahead, lead, appear on the stage of life, and not sit in the audience or sidelines. When I encounter dance, it's like a blast from the past, a great love of my life that has not been tended to for over a decade. As the years have passed, I have managed to preserve my smile, thanks to the small pleasurable memories that still stem from another lifetime. The choices we make through our waves in life cultivate such nostalgia, yet know how to bring great happiness and smiles to our faces.
An enlightening or mind-blowing lecture on happiness and gratitude for our life experiences, also acknowledging the value of the smaller things we have.
An aerial pilates class, perhaps with exercises focusing on paralleling the fetal experience. The inner peace and quiet you achieve during this activity pleasantly clears the mind by helping you drift to the here and now. The supportive swaddle allows calmness to permeate throughout the body, enabling incredible flexibility and inner physical strength.
Days that I get to start bright and early with some sports activity by the sea and spending quality time with at least two of my boys. So why do I do this? Because it is possible if you make it a priority, and there is nothing like the fun moments a mother gets to cherish with her children. The sea and sun lend themselves to such powerful learning opportunities through sports, nature exploration, and conversation. These shared priceless moments can evoke emotions, new behavior, self-reflection, happiness, gain philosophical insight, general knowledge, and build connections. These are the moments in life that no lesson in school can teach!
You see, there is so much good to be had in life. In everything we do or come across, we can find the good in it if we try. Furthermore, there are so many amazing types of good to be had! It's all a matter of taste, perspective, and choice. So take a few moments and choose to see––start by observing, and continue by writing down your list of amazing things. Don't forget to notice your smile as you make your way down to the end of the page.