Sunday, 28 February 2010

What is Your Perfect Day?

The question Oprah asked this week on ownTV was:

"What is your perfect day?"

And she posed this question to Celine Dion whose response was in essence:

"Home sweet home with the people I love most."

It's a response that many people would echo and yet for a host of reasons we don't get to enjoy that "perfect day" as often as we'd like to.

The trouble is though that when we aim for perfectionism we immediately place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and those around us and this can lead to unnecessary tension and stress. One way to overcome this is simply to aim to make each and every day as good as you can make it - squeeze as much juice as you can out of it.

1. Live in the present.

"Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now."

Thich Nhat Hanh

So often we dwell on the past and what went wrong and we dream about the future and what could be. However, we have no power to change the past and our future is created by what we do in the present moment.

The present is the only place where we have any power and all too often we relinquish that power. To make the most of each and every day you have to live and act in the present. When you're able to do this effectively you will be able to create the future you desire. So reclaim your power and practice living in the present.

2. Take time out to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.

"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it."


I was behind the reception desk, filling in a form, at one of the centres where I teach and there was this little girl was leaning on the counter. She was surrounded by her mother and other siblings. Her eyes met mine and she gave me the most beautiful smile that truly lifted my heart. I felt a moment of such deep connection.

I returned the smile and when I was finished I walked around, bent down so I could speak to her. "Thank you," I said.

She beamed at me again and then I walked away. Before I turned to walk away I glimpsed the puzzlement on the faces of her family members. One of them asked, "What did you do?" And my smile grew even broader.

3. Be kind to people around you.

"Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns."


The wonderful thing about being kind to people is that you get an instant reward provided, of course, that you perform your act of kindness in the right frame of mind. Some people are kind because they expect some kind of reward in return and so if the person they've expressed kindness to is ungrateful or perhaps even rude it's very upsetting to them.

On the other hand, if you're just kind because you can without expecting anything in return you immediately feel good. And sometimes, unexpected things can follow on from that act of kindness although not necessarily immediately. It's as though your act of kindness was gaining interest.

4. Give those you engage with the gift of your presence.

"Presence is more than just being there."

Malcolm S. Forbes

Sometimes when I teach Pilates there are one or two individuals who are not fully present. Their bodies are in the room but their minds are elsewhere. I'm sure you've experienced similar situations. And I understand that these individuals may have a lot on their mind but I also know that if they're able to give their full attention to the class that afterwards they will feel refreshed both mentally and physically and that they will be in a better frame of mind to deal with whatever was occupying their thoughts.

Similarly, I'm rather intolerant when it comes to interruptions when I'm teaching or coaching. Interruptions take my attention away from those with whom I'm seeking to engage and who have engaged me and my services for that time.

5. Learn to see the good in everything.

"Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day."


You may be going through tough times or you may just be having one of those days. But have you ever noticed that when you're having one of those days and you keep focusing on what's going wrong that even more things go wrong?

However, when you pause, calm and centre yourself that things start to shift and start to get better.

So no matter how bad things are at the moment always look for what is good because you get what you're looking for. And, if all else fails, remember this:

"If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one."
Cavett Robert

Have a great day!

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