I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a life blissful today. Our Grandma died this week at age 101. Yes, you read that right, ONE HUNDRED AND ONE. And it got me thinking, did Grandma have a blissful life? Was it because she lived to 101 years of age? Or would it have been just as good if it had been short? As I sat at her funeral listening to the stories of her hard work, her goodness, and her influence I wondered about my own life. Here I am, a mom of 3 kids with just a very basic, normal life, running a website called Making Life Blissful that is all about trying to find the good things in life even during the hard times, boring times, and just regular everyday living. Do I really know what it means to live a blissful life? Do you? Well, read on my friends . . .
Well, it just so happens that today is also March 6th. Today is my miracle anniversary day. It’s been 10 years since my miracle happened. As many of you know already, I was in a crazy auto-pedestrian accident when I was 6 months pregnant with my youngest child. I was the pedestrian. I was on the sidewalk, safely walking with my little 3 year old son on a small overpass that went over a cement canal or large ditch of water. I was hit from behind by an intoxicated driver who mistakenly drove up onto the sidewalk and hit me with a force strong enough to cause me to go into the air, over the railing, and down into the cement ditch below. The force was strong enough that the back of my head cracked his windshield before I flew into the air. I fell about 10 feet onto hard cement . . . my unborn child inside of me. I lived. My unborn baby lived. My 3 year old son lived. It is possible that each one of us could have died that day and yet we all walked away without a single broken bone. God gave me a miracle that day and I am forever thankful.
After this accident, I had a very powerful realization that my life could have ended that day and I was struck by how much of my everyday life was focused on the wrong things. Now, at the time of this accident I was a stay home mom and my husband was in school. My main focus at the time was taking care of my young family. So you may ask, how could this be the wrong focus? It wasn’t so much about what I was doing in my life as it was my attitude. My attitude was all about surviving each day and focusing on me. We were in the dark days of medical school and it was very difficult for our young family. Making it through all the chores, trying to make things perfect, looking to that next vacation as my only ray of sunshine . . . these were my focus.
After this accident, those things suddenly were at the bottom of my list. My attitude about life had been wrong. Instead, I found that our lives are about the people around us, instead of about us individually. It is about gratitude and I’ve found that to be truer than ever as I am thankful for each breath I take, each sunset I see, and each hug I receive. And life is about doing those good things–like taking care of my family–and finding the joy in it, instead of seeing it as a chore. Life is not about perfection, but about understanding my imperfections and embracing them as a chance to grow and learn.
And most of all it is about the small moments. I’ve found that a blissful life happens in small moments over time. The little moments that we take to share, to give, to embrace, to work hard, to make good decisions, to find peace, and to be our best selves even if it’s only for a few seconds a day . . . those little moments create the blissful life.
6 Ways to a More Blissful Life
So take it from me who almost lost it all too early in life, but was given a second chance to find true joy in life. You can have a blissful life now. You do not have to live 101 years to make your life meaningful. You can find joy now. Here’s what I have found to bring bliss:
1. Stop focusing on yourself. Your life is not about YOU, but how you influence and love the people in your life. Influence them for good and you will be happy.
2. Be grateful. Gratitude is the best medicine for a grumpy soul. Take notice of the big and little things that are good in your life. Be thankful for them.
3. Look for the good even in the mundane. Don’t let the stress and hardship of everyday bring you down. See your work and chores and things that will help you learn and get to where you want to be. Look at the big picture and why you are doing them.
4. If something is bringing you down, change it. If there’s something in your life that is constantly hurting your happiness, reevaluate it. What can you change? Where can you improve?
5. There’s no such thing as perfect. We look at others and think they have the perfect life. They don’t. No one does. Find joy in imperfection. Use your mistakes and imperfections as a stepping stone to help you grow and learn. Keep trying. Strive to do your best–which does not have to be perfection. Be compassionate with yourself and where you are in the learning process.
6. Treasure small moments. Don’t just ignore those tiny good moments that happen. Take note of them. That smile from a stranger. That hug from a friend. That moment you had to read your favorite book. That job you finished on time. That opportunity someone took to help you. If those kinds of moments are not happening for you everyday, then take charge and make them happen for yourself. You have the power to make your life a good one. Little by little it will happen.
I wish you the best as you search for bliss in your life. I know there are many more ideas out there. What are some of the ways you have found joy in life? Please share in the comments!