My 12 Commandments

I am in the process of re-reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  In the book for one year, she tackles a different theme each month as a way to improve her happiness.  Yet in the beginning of the book, she wrote a list of 12 Commandments to live by and a list of the Secrets of Adulthood, from her perspective.  As I continue to dip into her world, I can’t help but recreate my own list of the 12 Commandments.  What are the lessons that I want to keep in my life daily? 

            As I wrote these, the first commandment written admittedly was a complete copy of hers, although this is paradoxical.  Hers was Be Gretchen, mine therefore was Be Tricia.  Essentially what this boils down to is be authentic. This lesson seems quite simple, yet how often do we live by this principle?  To be true to ourselves, we must first question our behaviors and values that we currently hold.  Are they truly ours, or an inherited value from our families or society.  It is easy to live up to the principles that are set before us, but how often do we reflect on creating our own commandments? How have you been choosing to live your life?  Has this changed over the years?

            What is required of us after questioning our values and principles, is to query if they are outdated, and if they need to be decluttered and either simplified or replaced?  Hand me down values do not always seem to fit in the right way. They are either too loose fitting, tight in the wrong places, or simply out of style.  What holds true for you at this phase of your life? 

            2020 has probably been a deep time of reflection for most of us.  The world as we know it was paused and shaken up.  It took us out of our routine, out of our busy lives.   As we sat at home, without the regular escape to the local pub, getaway weekend, or store, we began to challenge how we have been living our lives. Going forward into 2021, I challenge you to create your own list of commandments and opt to live by them wholeheartedly. 

Acts of Kindness During Pandemics

As I write this on Thanksgiving Day, I am reminded not just what I am thankful of or the pending pre-holiday sales that are looming, but the simple acts of kindness I have experienced over the year. This included a recent visit to my beauty aesthetician who gave me a touch up for free, for no reason. It’s the face masks that were handmade to friends and family as offerings from sewing queens. Kindness is the florist who has extended me free sunflowers. It’s the smiles I witness among strangers even when half of our faces are covered up. Caring is the act of me donating a bike for children in need at a local bike shop. It’s the extension of welcoming an acquaintance to one’s home during the holidays, so one won’t be alone. It’s the weekly zoom call I share with my high school friends, as we laugh, share, and dream together in different cities in the world. Kindness arose as my friend and temporary roommate threw an impromptu surprise birthday celebration for me during lockdown. Warmth is the body heat that arises on cold days, as my dogs snuggle up with me on a couch.

It’s so easy to focus on what is wrong in the world and how this year is different than any other. Life is not full of ease. Our worlds have been disrupted, to include our social lives, travels, and adventures. For those hit worse, many have lost jobs, health insurance, and loved ones. Yet in this, we can still catch acts of kindness. Life may be surreal right now, but we can capture everyday moments of love and gratitude.

Years ago when I started this blog, it began with gifting strangers and loved ones with little inspirational cards with a positive quote and a photo of my pets. It was a small tangible token of gratitude for an act of kindness they may have done or given in addition to a tip. Since Covid, I have paused in passing out these small little cards but have been offering bits of inspiration on my podcast below. For those who are in my atmosphere, I have ordered new cards, with another captivating quote. I can’t wait to start sharing these again. This habit is something that was such a small part of my life, but it had a big impact. My heart warmed when I visited people again who kept these cards on their desks, whether they were friends, store owners, psychics, or beauty aestheticians. Thank you for all that have served me. Covid is not the only thing that is contagious, kindness is contagious. And kindness will continue to outlast this all.

I’ve started a podcast this past year, called The Golden Mirror. Check out a recent episode below about unexpected acts of kindness.