As part of rerouting the thought rivulets in my brain, I decided that the thoughts I think right before I fall asleep are important, as they set the tone for the night which sets the tone for the next day. I’ve changed up what I do.
I used to bring to mind ten (for every finger) or twenty (and toe) positive things about the day, but it was more of an accounting exercise than management of mental habits. I also berated myself if I struggled to think of twenty, which was more harmful than beneficial.
For many months, maybe a year, I’ve been doing a meditation before I fall asleep and I think that has helped level out my moods (as has totally reworking my diet). But because my experience last week—bringing the words of my colleague to mind along with all the associated positive feelings—felt so good, that’s my current approach. Quality over quantity. Once more with feeling. Actually, many more times than once—at least five times with feeling. Positive rumination. Ruminating on good.
I simply bring one aspect of the day to mind, something that made me feel good, and chew that cud. I bring back the moment and put myself in it, feeling all those good feelings all over again.
It can be something really simple, as it was on Tuesday, looking at Leda lying in the grass with a smile on her face. What made me happy was that I now know her well enough to know when she is smiling. It wasn’t the open-jawed-tongue-hanging-out-of-her-mouth smile, which is obvious. It was slight, just the corners of her mouth turned up, contented. For the longest time I couldn’t recognize a smile on her face. And I don’t think she smiled very often. She shook all the time when I first got her, shaking off her time at the racetrack.
I decided to hold myself accountable to this practice through this blog. At the end of each post, I’ll post a photo of something good from the past week. Walking through my days looking for something good has changed them. There is lots of good everywhere.
Sometimes I will post a photo of something and sometimes it will be a photo of some words, when a photo of something or someone isn’t possible. That’s what it is this week—a photo of some words.