My motto. Every single day I tell myself this and try to live accordingly. Those three words are actually quite powerful in their austerity, they can change your life if you let them!
I took this picture of Cody a few years ago; it was just him and me, wandering around the springtime garden. After I got the pictures off my card and I edited this one, I just kept coming back to it. It was speaking to me! I kept trying to understand what it was telling me, and I started realizing, this is just how dogs are, what they are like all the time. It's them simply being.... peaceful, and happy. And I know it made me deeply happy just by looking at it. As a human, I knew I could do better by this life by listening and acting on that message - if only we could learn to take a deep breath and just be....
I owe much life learning to my dogs, but this three word mantra I believe, is the most important lesson imparted during our companionship here. Used separately or together, they can guide me through any situation life decides to throw at me. Used together, it's a feeling, a mentality - how else to describe it? - a simple, happy peace. It's the way dogs live their whole lives without even trying - they exude simple, happy peace! Live in the moment, trust everyone, go for it, rest when your tired, play hard when you're not - don't ever stop trying and never, ever be hard on yourself... Many different lessons layered in that one mantra.
Keep it Simple. From my work (find the simple message with the least visual clutter), to the decor around here (less clutter!), dinners (not too complex - less food, less dishes, less stress!), the relationships (no drama!) to the schedule (nothing unnecessary!). Keeping it simple is so much easier - on the eyes, the ears, the day, the emotions, the psyche, the stress level.
Be Happy. Always a choice. And it's much simpler to be happy, isn't it? It may not be the easiest path some days, but it is the simplest because you always know what to do and where to go.
Peace. Give it, let yourself experience it often, promote it.
Nothing earth-shattering, but it has become the path my life has taken and it has helped me tremendously. I imagine many times that it feels like I am choosing to go down a cool and clear stream, to follow the path of least resistance - and I know that my life will, pun intended, flow better for it.
It turns out that it's a good lesson to have been taught, since it has gotten me through so many decisions, hard times, daily struggles... I keep this print I made of that original picture, adding in the words it spoke to me, right on the kitchen counter. It stares me in the face constantly, challenging me always to Let Go. A many times daily reminder of the person I want to be - and ironically, it's to be more like my dogs. :) It's also a talisman for me, always knowing I have the answer if I just think along those terms. It's a nudge in the right direction, a guiding force through the most difficult decisions, and it has truly helped me.
This all may sound a little too Pollyanna, but it works for me. I am not always Simple, Happy or Peaceful, but when I consciously think this way, it brings my whole world back to center, and I remember what is important. So, my advice - get a mantra, anything! - put it on your fridge or your wall, your bathroom mirror or your nightstand. Frame it or scribble it out on a napkin. No matter what, have it challenging you somewhere important. Look at it at least daily, and make it something you want to strive for. But above all..... make it simple! :)