“Today, I vow to notice the good before the bad…the right instead of the wrong…the blessings above the inconveniences…the strengths rather than the weaknesses. Focusing on the positive is the key to finding joy in the most unsuspecting places and in the most challenging times. Today I will notice the good. Bring on the joy!” – Rachel Macy Stafford
“Are you ready for Christmas?”
This question is asked more than any other in the weeks leading to yesterday’s celebration.
Are the people asking curious if my shopping is complete, cookies baked and schedule planned? Or perhaps they were wondering if my heart is ready and truly open for the “reason of the season?”
Regardless: We all feel some level of “overwhelming” during the sprint through the holidays and launch into the New Year. And as busy as this season is, life doesn’t slow down when the calendar flips to another year, does it?
There may be fewer parties to attend, eggnogs to drink and presents to open, but the ongoing professional and personal expectations remain. And so our calendars get more and more booked as the societal and self-imposed pressure to “measure up” encourage us to say yes to every new opportunity.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Last week I visited with a wife, mother, bestselling author and leader of the Hands-Free Revolution who is walking a different path.
Rachel Macy Stafford used to consider it a compliment when her friends asked, “How do you do it all?” She was proud of all she was achieving professionally, at her kid’s school and in the community.
Then one day she was out on a run, thinking about this very question and she heard it as an indictment rather than a compliment. She realized she was able to “do it all” because she was missing out on the very things that mattered most.
Rachel stopped running. Standing on the sidewalk, she considered what she was missing as she raced through life.
Laughter. Her own and that of her family and friends.
Play. With her daughters, family and friends.
Being present. Slowing down long enough to actually embrace the miracle of each moment.
Running shoes still tied, Rachel stood still, bent over and wept. Realizing all she’d already missed crushed her. She made a commitment to herself to slow down and live “hands free.”
She chose to let go of the busy in order to grasp what actually matters.
In the seven years since this inflection point, Rachel has grown in her faith, as a spouse, mother and person. She’s also become one of the most influential thought leaders by sharing her heart with her community of online followers. (I was fortunate to connect with Rachel on my most recent podcast. Do yourself and those you care about a favor and check it out here!)
My friends, yesterday we were reminded of a gift that changed the world. Don’t miss the miraculous gift in the busyness of today.
Notice the good, the right, the blessings and the strengths. Focusing on the positive is the key to finding joy in the most unlikely of places and in the most challenging of times. [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]
I wish you a heartfelt Merry Christmas, happy holidays and the very best to you and your family in the New Year.
This is your day. Live Inspired.