The language I am least at home in is Italian. When I cross the Alps, the native speakers can hear my accent and they make a rapid deduction: she is tall and blonde, so she must be German! Or else, she has a French accent! Depending on the result of these deliberations, the person addresses me in one of these two languages, even if I have made a valiant start in Italian.
After a week I realise that people are now answering me in Italian! Nobody is changing language anymore!
I am delighted, because it has happened so subtly that I hadn’t noticed.
Just one little victory in the mastery of a new skill. I inwardly celebrate this success and share it with you to further enhance it.
What about you? What success have you not yet celebrated? The first time your macaroons rose as they were meant to do? When you managed to do a 5k run? That you got through your child’s homework session without raising your voice?
Celebrate each success. And share it in the comments to promote it.
Here’s an interesting invitation: think of a bad habit you know you have and give it your full attention.
For example, if you would like to take care of yourself instead of being overwhelmed by your work and getting irritable, set your alarm twice a day to book yourself some time just for yourself: a 5-minute siesta, a good cup of tea, a yoga movement, a chat with friends, etc.
One of my annoying habits is always thinking everything is my fault. I am responsible for the misery of others without ever having been heard, let alone judged.
So I have decided that for 21 days – that’s how long it takes for a new habit to take root – every night (date in my support calendar) – I am going to analyse if and when I have been a victim of my own judgement.
What about you? What do you think deserves your full attention?
Standing in front of the quarries in Carrara, I imagine Michelangelo choosing stones worthy of his masterpieces. In my mind’s eye, I see him surveying these very mountains as he travelled around paying labourers here and scrutinising a rock wall there.
Our ancestors accomplished some amazing feats, without our modern transport systems. But of course, it goes without saying that Michelangelo did not mass produce his David! And he only painted one Sistine Chapel.
And what if that is the secret? Only do things once and give it your all to do your best? That’s what the 4 Toltec agreements teach us.
What about you? What is the project closest to your heart that would be worth you spending a month, a year, or even 25 years on?
The spider sits on my bedroom wall, motionless and threatening. I catch sight of it and scream. It’s enormous with long, hairy legs.
My friend is barely braver than I am. She holds out the vacuum cleaner tube and I watch with horror, and growing relief, as the monster disappears.
Will I have to leave the vacuum cleaner on all night?
This isn’t a dream, and there was a time when my reaction was much worse. In the past, I used to feel an uncontrollable urge to call the fire brigade out or to move out of the house entirely and only come back a long time after the crime scene had been cleaned up.
Since then, a hypnotherapist who specialises in such cases has helped me to get rid of most of my uncontrollable reactions.
I wonder why I didn’t seek help sooner, given the discomfort I systematically felt.
What about you? What unhealthy situation are you experiencing that would be worth taking steps to resolve?
I think I’m lucky. Disney’s Gladstone Gander, the female version, without the goose feathers.
It’s not because I win the lottery every day or because I find diamonds on the pavement.
It’s because I have the gift of feeling delight.
Feeling delight because of a well-presented meal. Feeling delight that someone has recommended a good place to eat. Savouring the view of a majestic mountain. Experiencing the pleasure of laughing for no apparent reason. Taking a minute and saying to myself: how wonderful!
So yes, Gladstone and I have the same initial. And nothing or no one can stand between me and my happiness. That is what I choose!
What about you, who won’t you allow to stand between you and your happiness?