“Life can change in an instant.” We’ve heard those words before. Often after a devastating event. But what if you could change your life right now for the better? Today? In the next 30 minutes? What would it take for you to experience a major shift to a happier existence? Let us show you how to improve your life – instantly.
You’ll need some way of recording your thoughts – either a journal and pen, or use your computer or mobile device.
The method we are teaching is AAA: Awareness. Appreciation. Alignment. Write those three words down. Roll them around in your head. Say them out loud. Awareness, appreciation, alignment. You feel better already, don’t you? Just kidding – it’s not that instantaneous.
Awareness of your thoughts, feelings and surroundings is a surefire way to mindfulness; living in the here and now. We are told so often that mindfulness is the key to… well, everything positive: peace, contentment, love, abundance, even time management are all within our grasp if we simply practice mindfulness. Easier said than done. What you need to reach mindfulness is awareness.
If you are awake, you are aware of something at all times. The problem arises when we become focused on the past, the future, or on a cycle of repeating, negative thinking – also known as worry. Your awareness, your attention, is your experience. In other words, your awareness is your life. Grab your pen.
What are you thinking as you are reading this? Write down your thoughts – negative, positive or cynical, it doesn’t matter. Just write down the thread of words running through your mind. A list will do, there’s no need to construct sentences.
What are you feeling today? Are you happy to be right where you are? Are you having a bad day? Are you bored? Sad? Write down your feelings.
Where are you today? Listen – what can you hear? Smell? See? Take a few minutes to describe your surroundings. Again, a simple list will do fine.
Good. You are right here in the moment. You’re not thinking about dinner tonight, or picking up your child from school. No! Don’t think about those things, bring yourself back to the present. Hold that feeling.
Now you are focused on the present moment, go back to your lists. Start at the beginning. Perhaps you wrote that you are thinking this is another waste-of-pixels article? That’s okay. Now whatever you wrote down, say ‘Thank you, thought, I appreciate you.” Stupid, huh? Just do it. As you say the words allow the feeling of appreciation to wash through your body and mind like a wave.
Look at your feeling list. Perhaps you wrote that you are feeling disconnected and bored. Feel those feelings right now and appreciate that you can feel them. Say, “Thank you disconnection and boredom, I appreciate your message.”
Do the same with your surroundings list. Maybe you wrote that you can hear your laptop fan, or the washing machine in the laundry room, or traffic in the distance. Maybe you can see a table top, drapes or your cat. For each thing you wrote down, say, “Thank you for being in my life, I appreciate you.” You can condense it to, “Thank you, I feel appreciation,” each time you hold something in your awareness. Invite that wave of appreciation to wash through you. Isn't it lovely?
When you feel the warm wave of appreciation filling your being, know that it is pure love. When you are filled with love, nothing else matters. You are in alignment with your true self, connected to your source energy and powerful beyond what you could ever imagine. That’s alignment.
As you focus and appreciate, your alignment with your ‘happiness factor’ will increase. It can’t do otherwise. You cannot hold the feeling of appreciation and feel unhappy at the same time. It’s not possible. Continue playing with the process of awareness and appreciation for the rest of the day. You will find that today has been a good one – you found alignment with your higher self.
Awareness, Appreciation, Alignment and Others
AAA can improve relationships incredibly fast. Bring the person you’d like to focus on into your awareness. Make a list of the things you like about them. It can be physical attributes, characteristics or actions they undertake. Flow appreciation to each and every one of them. You can expand the list to include things you’d like to appreciate about them. Did you get that? You can make stuff up. For example, if your mother is acting a little distant or distracted, write down the opposite. Write down, “I really appreciate how close mom and I are becoming.” Maybe your boyfriend is spending more time with his friends than with you – write down, “I love how much time boyfriend and I are spending together, I really appreciate it.” Repeat the process for at least three days or more and notice how your relationships begin to shift toward your preferences. It's magical.
Awareness, Appreciation, Alignment and You
How to improve your life long-term and keep the momentum going? The best way is to let AAA become a habit. The first thing to do after playing with the exercise above is to turn your attention to yourself. In your journal, make a list of everything you like about yourself. Even if you like it just a little bit. Your physical appearance, your good qualities, the good things you did today. By writing them down, you bring them into your awareness. Now spend a little time appreciating those great things. One by one, hold them in your thoughts and flow appreciation right over them. Feel that warm wave. Fill your whole being with appreciation for self.
Some people find it hard to do this, so if that’s you, start simple. Pick one physical attribute – your hair, skin, your strong legs, your eyes – anything. Focus on that and flow your appreciation. Think about other good things – your keen mind, your sense of empathy, your willingness to help another person. Get that flow of appreciation going. Expand it, grow it until you appreciate your whole self.
It’s really important that you get into the habit of self appreciation. It’s not creepy or selfish. It is fundamental to your present happiness and future well-being. Self appreciation is the one thing that you can do to improve your life instantly. However, that’s hard for many of us, which is why we started with the easy stuff. You must deliberately self appreciate every single day. For ever. Do it when cleaning the kitchen, having a shower, walking the dog. Five minutes is all it takes.
How Can Practicing AAA Improve Your Life?
Awareness is the art of paying attention. Think of that for a second… ‘paying attention’. Paying implies that giving something your attention is a currency exchange. And it is. Your thoughts and feelings are the currency of time. Your time. Do you want to spend that precious commodity positively or negatively? Do you want to use your currency to buy a good life or a less-than-good one?
A habit of focused awareness, appreciation and alignment is one that, once learned, will never leave you. If you can do this for 30 days, you will do it forever. You only need to use the journaling method for a week or so. Then you can do it in your head. Bring yourself into the present moment. Focus on anything – something, someone you already like, or something you’d like to change. Appreciate the stuffing out of it. Feel yourself coming into alignment with all the good that is unfolding.
Awareness – Appreciation – Alignment.
“The Mindful Manifesto” by Dr Jonty Heaversedge & Ed Halliwell
“Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life” by Winifred Gallagher.
“The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent” by Esther and Jerry Hicks
Images courtesy of Pixabay