Beyond the basic human need for survival, food, shelter, oxygen and sleep, there is the need for love, safety and belonging. If not met for prolonged period, we begin to feel joyless, scared, lonely and unworthy. Thinking back, can you relate to ever feeling this way? If so, allow me to share a simple three step habit guaranteed to remind you that you are loved and safe and that you belong.
The habit is easily incorporated into your daily routine and its benefits are noticed almost instantly. It has changed my most recent vacation-gone-to-the gutter event into a much less dramatic ordeal. My husband, daughter and I were having a fantastic day in Paris watching a parade, taking a stroll along Champs Elyses, walking by the Seine, enjoying our crepes by the Eiffel Tower, and wrapping up a long day with a stunning view of the city on top of Arc De Triomphe. On the way back to our apartment, the Metro station experienced some technical issues, and amid the chaos my wallet was gone, and with it all my credit cards, Euros, US dollars, apartment keys, etc. There was a moment of shock and disbelief. What followed was a surprising acceptance and calmness. I credit this shift to our simple daily routine.
So, what is it?
After night time reading and tickles, I pull out our family journal that I keep in my nightstand, and ask three questions:
What made you happy today?
As you can imagine, this is my six-year-old daughter’s favorite question. She helps us dig for events that made us happy that day, and there is always at least one happy moment in each day. I invite you to think of at least one thing that made you happy today.
What are you proud of yourself for?
Hard work is worthy of acknowledgment, celebration and reward. What have you done today that you are unapologetically proud of?
What are you grateful for?
Even in the most vulnerable moment of your life, there is something you are undeniably grateful for. Express it.
In our house, we each take turns in answering those three questions, record them in the journal, and put the journal back in the drawer. It’s like wrapping up each day into a neat little package and tucking it away gently.
There it is, this simple daily habit shining through on good days and bad days. It helps us reflect on our personal growth over time, and it reminds us that despite all the things that can unexpectedly create chaos in our day, there are always people, moments and things that bring us happiness, pride and gratitude. Today is a perfect day to start a new habit.
Photos courtesy of Alma Curran.