This is a self improvement blog that is written by life coach Andrew Carlson. He mentors people in the Friends in Film program along with other people searching to find themselves. Make sure to subscribe for new posts, giveaways, and more!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Understand The Power Of The Holidays

Days six, seven, and eight have come and gone. You best believe that I have been focusing my attention towards truly living in gratitude. It hasn't been an easy journey because it seems like once one thing is good to go, another thing will come and try to break me down.

Well, today is the end of that. The holidays are about love, health, joy, friends, and family. Nobody wants to hear about why life isn't going a certain way, especially if they aren't around every day. They want to hear about what is going RIGHT in their loved one's life.

Today's lesson is on understanding the power of the holidays and focusing on viewing it through the eyes of a child. I have had many talks with people trying to understand how I can step outside and see the world as if it were the first day I was seeing it. Or how I could stay so happy when I don't have much.

What is the power and how do the holidays have anything to do with this? That's easy. Every year, I look forward to all of the Christmas movies that come out. This year, my favorite to date is "Rise of the Guardians" that just came out today. It brings all of the characters that children believe in; Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, The Sand Man, and Jack Frost. In the movie, the children believe in them whole heartedly except for Jack Frost. They just thought it was mother nature that just gave them their snow days instead of Jack Frost. No one could see Jack even if he was standing right in front of them but if Santa or The Tooth Fairy stood in front of them, they could see them. Why? Because they believed in them. When the darkness came and everyone stopped believing that the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny existed, they became invisible.

I won't give away the ending but this is the reason why I love the holidays. People take time off of work to be with their families. (If they are able to have time off because I know many people still have to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. I used to be one of them.) They are surrounded by families and children that believe in Santa. What most people lose along the way is their wonderment for life so we surround ourselves around children who still have wonderment.

How do we lose our wonderment? We become to busy with life. People work endless hours to provide for their families getting paid less than $8/hour because they feel like they have to. I've had to take part time and full time jobs that I didn't want to be able to survive. It usually isn't doing what we love so we slowly start to see dreams fade and the bills pile up. Some people have bigger dreams than others but that doesn't make them more important. The dream that becoming an architect is just as important as wanting to be an actor, teacher, garbage man, astronaut, etc. We lose the fact that we CAN become anything we want. We feel like we can't get out of this rat race because we aren't making enough or aren't happy enough but if we had more we would be happy.

That's where people get it wrong. You can't be happy with more no matter how much you think you would be. There isn't one straight path to accomplish a dream. It's never going to happen the same way twice. You could follow the same path but your dream is different than someone else that's doing what you want to do. What you do is talk to them. Learn from their mistakes, learn how they took steps to get to where they are, and then take action.

What's so special about the holidays is that people start believing in the magic of The Universe. Adults feel the magic but as soon as January 1st hits, they lose it. Children never lose the wonderment in their eyes until they start hearing things like "Santa isn't real" and "You HAVE to go to college to be somebody in this world". The non-magic-believers ruin it for many. People start making excuses why they can't do something instead of fighting for it and end up like everyone else before them. This is the time to break free of that, no matter what your age is!

I'm here to tell you, everything you've been told about Santa, The Tooth Fairy, The Sand Man, Jack Frost, it's all true! Maybe not the characters that has become what we tend to believe in but the MAGIC is what is real. Why do people always come together on Thanksgiving? To give thanks. Imagine if people took the time every day to tell people how much they mean, to eat a good meal with the fancy decor, or even just to say thank you for everything we have in our lives right now!

Can't pay all of your bills this month? Be thankful that bills are still being paid and you aren't on the streets. If a cell phone gets disconnected, be thankful for the time you will gain from not staring at Facebook all day or be thankful when you can re-connect it again. Life is beautiful and we need to take the time to look at it through the eyes of children. With eyes wide open and a loose jaw that hangs down most of the time because you can't believe your eyes. That $1.75 you spend on a coca-cola. Be thankful you get to have your thirst quenched by such a decadent delight! When food appears on your plate tonight, stop and give thanks for the blessings you DO have.

This year, instead of complaining that your dreams haven't come true or that you're not where you want to be financially... give thanks for what you have. Make it your goal in 2013 to say at least 1 thing you are grateful for on a daily basis. Just 1. There's plenty to be thankful for. I'll list 10 right now. (Current time: 4:04PM)

1. I am grateful for the sandwich that I just ate to replenish my energy and to sustain my life for another day!
2. I am so grateful and thankful for the music I'm listening to on my laptop while I'm writing this blog! It keeps me focused and centered.
3. I am grateful for the sun that warms up the town I live in so I'm not sitting in an ice box!
4. I am so grateful for how festive the apartment I live in is for our Thanksgiving dinner with friends and my California family.
5. I am very grateful to be enjoying good friends and family in Big Bear, CA this weekend. It's going to be a blast and I'll be able to focus on my lessons for 2013!
6. I am thankful and grateful for being able to see clearly without having to use glasses or contacts! The world is so beautiful and I'm blessed to see it so clearly.
7. I am grateful for the animals in my life that reassure me that everything is going to be okay and when I need a reminder, they snuggle next to me.
8. I am grateful for my wonderful girlfriend, Malia. She's an amazing person and I'm so fortunate to have her in my life. She's taught me many things about life and I love who I've become since having her in my life.
9. I am grateful for the kitchen appliances we have in our apartment that allow us to cook healthy foods that bless our bodies with nutrients.
10. I am so very grateful for being able to go support a friend at her stand up event tonight. Not everyone gets to have the freedom like we do!

(End time: 4:09PM)

The number of things to be grateful for is endless. Thank you to my organs that continue to work so I don't have to remember to pump my heart consistently. I don't have to think about how my body works, it just works. That's millions of blessings in just my body.

Remember, there's always something to be grateful for and just like a coin, there is always something good that comes with the bad. Just don't ever stop believing in the power that The Universe provides. You have a dream? Go chase it. Don't let a little pebble stop you from climbing the mountain. Just don't lose the faith that one day it will come true, otherwise, you'll lose sight of it anyway.

Always believe.

Light, Love, and Blessings.

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