Step 1 To the Good Life – Beginners’s Mind
- Beginner’s Mind. This means approach even the most mundane, boring chores, the most familiar people, those places you’ve been to time and again, with fresh eyes. When we see our lives from the perspective of a novice we approach it with new appreciation. Meditation is helpful to keep the mind open and clean. So is a good night’s sleep or a walk under the sky.
Step 2 To the Good Life – Kindness
- Kindness. Kindness received as well as given, grows strong hearts and a good life. Think of Dr. Suess’s Grinch. I recently spent some time with my sister and brother-in-law who were recovering from kidney transplant surgery (she’s the recipient, he’s the donor). Every day I was at there a package or basket or bags of casseroles, soups, books, treats arrived with well-wishes for a speedy recovery from friends, neighbors, family. These kind gifts, big and small, all contribute to the well-being of the receiver to be sure but just as much, of the giver.
Step 3 To the Good Life – Move beyond the small self
- Move beyond the small self. Learn to set ego aside. Don’t take everything personally because the reality is we are none of us that important. This may seem confusing when I promote taking care of yourself first. Every human being has the responsibility to care for themselves as they would anyone else they love. If we can do this while keeping down to earth, knowing that we are all the same, then we have self-love AND humility. C.S. Lewis said: “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.”
Step 4 To the Good Life – Expect nothing in return
- Expect nothing in return. Growing up I was told that true charity is done anonymously. I don’t think that has to be purely true, but I do think true charity, generosity of spirit and giving is done without looking for a payback. As soon as we think of what our “generous” gesture is going to get us, attention, money, fame, sex, we’re no longer on the Good Life step.
Step 5 To the Good Life – Relationships
- Relationships, the greatest contributor to a good, happy life. We feel it, experience it, and research proves it. Of course we’re talking about whole-hearted, healthy, mutually nurturing and loving relationships.
These steps seem simple enough, but when we’re struggling with depression or anxiety, recovering from trauma or abuse, it really can be very hard to do alone. If our trust has been betrayed, beginner’s mind seems naive, maybe even stupid. We think twice about being kind when our kindness is thrown back in our face. Depression is a monster that isolates us from our loved ones so that relationships suffer. These things do not make the 5 Steps To Have A Good Life less important. It means you could use some help to make them your own. Therapy is a tool, an aide, which offers guidance and support when we don’t have a clue how to proceed. At Explore What’s Next we offer that guidance. Contact us and start your steps today.
Photo by frank mckenna
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