It can be difficult to stop and smell the roses when you are rushing around all the time, trying to keep on top of all you do and still connect meaningfully with others. But it is important to remember to find the rose in your every day.
“The difference between misery and happiness depends on what we do with our attention,” says Sharon Salzberg, author of the book Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection. We choose to either focus on the positive or negative at every thought.
I heard it takes more muscles to frown than smile, yet with all the negativity we see in the media every day, is it surprising that those muscles aren’t being developed even more? That’s why it is essential to overcome potentially impulsive negative reactions to the events and people around us.
When we react positively, supportively, and lovingly with one another, we help create a positive impact beyond ourselves. We are all connected and the better we are to others, the better we will feel from others. It is a simple law of attraction. Some call it karma. Others practice metta. No matter what, we’re better off when we are good to others.
So why is it so hard for us to keep our attention to go towards happiness and not misery? Sometimes it is jealousy, sometimes it is self pity, sometimes it is being treated badly every day by someone in your life. The list is basically endless.
Hence the importance of at least once a day looking for a rose in your life. It can be an actual flower, but better if it is not. See the wonder in post-it notes keeping you organized, the sparkle of life in a child’s eye, ample food in your fridge, or the friendly neighbor who watered your plants for you last week.
The expression “look on the bright side,” is hard to hear when you have just been fired, live with a teenager, are not sure how you’ll manage to get through a divorce, or worse, loss of a loved one, or other difficult periods in our lives. But it is important that in everything there is a lesson, and in every thing we have a chance to decide to react to bring happiness or react to bring misery to the forefront of our attention.
Meditation is an important practice to cultivate into your daily life as it helps you remember to react as positively as you can in each situation. Additionally, making a practice of daily gratitude is essential to remaining positive. Some people find it helpful to write down what they are grateful for in their journal each morning.
Maintaining a daily practice of meditation and gratitude keeps attention clear and reactions more positive. It is good for us personally, which is in turn good for all around us. What rose will you see today?