Your Charmed Life

Your Charmed Life

Top 10 Ways to Have a Great Day

1. Make a gratitude list in your head before your feet touch the floor in the morning.
When you remember ten things you’re grateful for first thing, before worries and stresses start to intrude, you build the foundation for a great day.

2. Have some quiet time with God. A lot of us agree that meditation is a good idea. Not so many of us do it regularly, day after day, and reap its many benefits. I light a little candle on my bedside table when I first get up. When I come back from the bathroom, the candle is a reminder that I’m supposed to meditate, no matter how busy I think I am.

3. Exercise. Your brain is part of your body, and if you’ve had a good workout (cardio, weights, yoga or some other flexibility practice), your attitude will move up several notches and stay there the whole day.


4. Do something nice for somebody. Ideally, we all do all sorts of nice things in a day, but sometimes our own obligations can pile up and we become more self-absorbed than we want to be. It’s helpful to have that ‘good deed of the day’ on the to-do list like any other task, just to be sure it gets done.

5. Give yourself a treat. We can all get so serious. Do something fun. Say yes to the spritz of perfume in the department store. Read People magazine or watch E News if you get a kick out of that. Do something touristy in your own home town.

6. Take care of whatever you may have been putting off. If there’s a job you’ve procrastinated on, or a call you need to make but you haven’t, do that early in the day. Once it’s out of the way, you’ll feel incredibly light and free.


7. But go ahead and procrastinate negativity. In other words, put off until tomorrow the worry, fear, or angry outburst that may seem quite appropriate a the moment. Like recovering alcoholics and addicts who stay away from booze or drugs just one day at a time, you can avoid worry, fear, and anger just  for today, the only day you’ve got, and one you’ve already decided is going to be great.

8. Touch something real. We do so much communicating online, and we get so much of our information and entertainment from TV, that we miss out on a lot that’s genuine, tactile, and personal. Thomas Moore wrote in his classic Care of the Soul: “The soul thrives on the particular and the vernacular.” So make a big salad or a pot of soup from all fresh ingredients that you get to wash and peel and chop. Instead of avoiding the snow or rain, put on your boots and go play in it. Meet up for a chat with a real human being. (I write more on this in the essay, “Choose Actual Over Virtual Reality” in my book Creating a Charmed Life.)


9. Instill a little order. You can be having a terrific day, come in to find a post-hurricane-style mess, and lose all composure. We’ve all heard the “order is heaven’s first law.” Of course, this isn’t heaven. Things are going to get messy and dirty and disarrayed. That’s the nature of physical life. Still, instilling a little order somewhere—a drawer, a closet, a counter—can feel heavenly.

10. Stop before you’re exhausted. When we’re having a great day, we tend to push ourselves and use the last scrap of that positive energy. Don’t. Do everything that’s expected of you (and even a little more) at work, at home, and in your relationships, AND THEN STOP. Give yourself some time for rest and reflection. Have enough pep left at bedtime that you’ll floss and use moisturizer. Know that you can spend your day well without ending up “spent” yourself.

Comments read comments(3)
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posted February 3, 2009 at 8:27 pm

I love #1, #3, #8, and #9. These are going in my journal too! Thanks for posting.

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posted February 3, 2009 at 11:26 pm

I so agree with you that we have the choice to create our own good days.Your 10 ways to choose to create your daily positive attitude could change the world or maybe reverse the world’s current outlook of financial doom and gloom. Thanks for helping each of us shape our own world.

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Suzanne Taylor

posted February 4, 2009 at 2:49 pm

I’d like to piggyback on all these GREAT things to do with a primer I’ve just started fooling around with for how to put yourself into the position from which you best can do them all:
A Manual for Living
Thoughts on Wednesday
You have to open your heart. Everything needs to be done with your heart open. It’s the only position that feels good. When your heart’s not open, you suffer. How not to suffer? Have your heart open.
I don’t want to talk about ‘the now’ anymore, which is where you are with an open heart. How to hang out there is what’s of interest.
It’s a change of position. Life isn’t happening to you; life is going by. You are watching life go by, planted in the essence of you, which is eternal and empty. You’ve got to work your way into having that be so. To get it, so to speak — not to mess around forever and not get it.
It isn’t that you are supposed to be in that realized state so boo on you if you’re not. It’s life work. But it’s not incremental — you aren’t looking to get more all the time. You are looking to get it all. To be in the right position. To anchor there. You never let that out of mind.
Along with that, there’s a corollary idea, which is that you don’t expect to flip into having gone all the way. You don’t need to be all the way — ever. So it’s holding the idea of all the way, inside which there’s latitude. It’s like there can be time out. At such a time, you’re not playing the game anymore (the real game), but you don’t lose the game. You just take time out. And you know that the real you is waiting for the reactionary one or the scared one to get over it.
Thoughts on Friday
They say, “Be here now.” We talk about that a lot. As if it’s a choice. Okay, I’ll stop going wherever I’ve been going and I’ll be here now. I don’t think so.
What can you do to get here? And what’s going on here? What’s not going on is reactivity to what came before or fear of what’s to come. We think about what happened and we worry about what will happen. These are thoughts. To be in the now, there’s a surrender of thoughts. The actuality of every free moment that’s empty of those thoughts is your resting place. And what you focus on is love — which naturally arises when you get clear of those personal pulls. That’s the alternative to reaction and anticipation. Love fills the void. It’s not about anything to love, but lovingness as how you engage the world is what you’re after.
This is something to be mindful of, so that as you live along you can reprogram yourself. Keep remembering to surrender the chatter. It’s work to be done.
There’s some kind of movement that I can envision. It’s not full of preachy stuff or intense spiritual practice. At least not practice to find yourself. It’s about a simple path to awakening, which starts with understanding the territory and then focusing differently and thinking differently to shift your ground of being. In the awareness that you are in this set-up, you’ve taken a major leap.

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