Satisfaction Saturday

Satisfaction Saturday – Taking it One Step at a Time 

Today I will blog my first Satisfaction Saturday post.  This morning I had the opportunity to remind myself and a couple friends of the importance of finding satisfaction and peace in life.
I’ve been thinking about it all morning.  Sometimes I find myself in a constant loop of “I can’t get no…. satisfaction…” (funny how this song was made famous by people who claimed sex, drugs and rock and roll would give them satisfaction when clearly these things were not meeting their needs.  LOL).
I started contemplating the question, “how do you get satisfaction out of life?”
I have gone through times in my life when nothing seems exciting, nothing brings satisfaction, and I am left madly searching for peace.  At times like these dreams seemed utterly hopeless.  Motivation was hard to come by.
How did I turn things around?
The real answer is one step at a time.  Seriously.  I would pick myself up and try again.
These are 10 things I try to do when I find myself in a funk.
1.    Make small changes for the better. How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  Making small changes for the better helps me to see the good all around me.  OK.  I made a BIG change in how I look at eating.  However, in all that I do in life, these changes are small in comparison.  I just focus on creating small productive habits.  I bought a Fitbit and made a goal to just increase my physical movement.  I didn’t bother with the 10,000-step thing.  I just focus on “is today better than yesterday?” and then I rejoice if it is and try again if it isn’t.  By starting small I don’t need a ton of motivation.  A step in the right direction is still a step.  I have found that just getting started… doing something… starts the momentum of positive change.  “I will go and do…” has become my motto.
2.    Look for the good in all things.  Sometimes this is harder than it sounds.  Perhaps that is one reason why I have started blogging more – focusing on a new subject each day.  Come to think of it, blogging every day this week has helped me to “zen” and to find peace within a very chaotic week.  The thing is, everything around us and everything that happens in a day has a good side.  Negative thoughts are banished, panic stops, anger and frustration subsides, peace fills my heart when I count blessings.  This week (and the past few weeks) not enough volunteers come to work night.  This gives me a chance to solve problems and think on my feet more.  It gives me a chance to sit and paint something for myself.  It gives me a chance to get to know and appreciate those who do come… and in the end, it will all get done and all will be well.  Children have melt downs… it gives me the opportunity to teach about trust and faith and breathing.  It also gives me the chance to develop more compassion and listening skills.  Someone is rude… it gives me the opportunity to practice charity and patience.  When you look for the good… when you stop and ask, “what am I to learn from this?” you will find the answer.  You can choose “…liberty and eternal life… or…captivity and death…”  Two choices.  Everything really does come down to these two choices… and all made possible by the Light of the World, the great Mediator, the Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  Now, you might not believe in Jesus or religion, but you can at least admit looking for the good rather than looking for the negative, focusing on light rather than darkness in every situation makes a difference in your personal satisfaction.
3.    Find joy in and appreciate the ones you love… even when they do something annoying.  I love my family.  I couldn’t stand the thought of others raising my kids so I home schooled for year and did everything for then and with them.  Eventually, I let them leave and try new things like dance and theatre and school.  I had to volunteer in these activities so that I could be near them.  Now I know that they can’t stand that, me always around, but I can’t say enough about how remarkable each one of my kids are!  They are growing up to be amazing people… parents… artists… spiritual giants.  I can’t take any credit for that fact.  I can just rejoice in the fact that they are all amazing. My husband and I are constantly learning to be… and I appreciate every effort he makes and the time I get to “hang out” with him.  My parents and siblings are amazing generous and hardworking people.  I appreciate their abilities to laugh and find joy in all that they are passionate about.  I have amazing friends too… people who are passionate, considerate and work hard to make other people’s lives better.  Each person I meet helps me to be a better person every day.  Take time to appreciate your loved ones, and if you haven’t spent time with them, make time to do so!
4.    Find a passion and explore it!  This is a life-changer for me.  For many years I was afraid to go after what I had a passion for… drama and writing.  I started with getting back into theater.  It was scary!  But know I breathe it… actually, I breathe teaching theater to kids.  I love it!  I love creating.  I love opening eyes of students to the possibilities within themselves.  I volunteer most of my days to the high school theater program to pursue my passion.  I started blogging because I loved the written word but I was afraid to have people read my thoughts… what if they thought my thoughts were way off base?  What if I suck at writing?  I’d like to think I’ve gotten better at writing… if not, it doesn’t really matter because writing has brought me so much satisfaction as I work through my thoughts and my goals.  Even if I never make a penny from writing, I love it!  It is worth the time I spend writing.  Whatever your passion, pursue it with energy!  Explore and find new passions.  You will surprise yourself.
5.    Talk to and work with people.  Get outside of yourself!  Surround yourself with positive people who love life and love what they do.  Volunteer and help others.  I am not the world’s greatest philanthropist, but I find great joy in helping people improve their lives.
6.    Develop an “attitude of gratitude.”  Say “thank you” for everything!  It is amazing how satisfying it is to say, “thank you.”  On days that it is hard to be grateful, make a list. I can tell you that there is always something to be grateful for even if it’s a potty.
7.    Feed your soul.  For me this is spending time with my scriptures and working on improving my personal prayers.  I find great satisfaction form contemplating God’s word and seeing His great love for His children… especially me.
8.    Take time to breathe. A long time ago I did yoga every day.  I learned the importance of letting go and just breathing. Now a days I find it hard to do yoga because my body is so stiff and tired (something I am working on one day at a time), but I still breathe.  I still take time to sit on my porch swing or in my hot tub and breath.
9.    Let go.  So much easier said than done.  Let go of grudges.  Let go of pain.  Let go of frustration.  Let go of disappointment.  Even let go of control.  This is something I work on every day.  Letting go is hard.  However, I am learning that I don’t need to carry around the weight of the world.  Someone else has that job.  It is so satisfying to “let go and let God.”
10. Take time to recharge.  For me, recharging is my Sunday… my religion and church worship.  When you are tired, physically and spiritually, you can’t get excited about or find satisfaction about anything.  It is good to take a break.  (Today I am taking a break!)  Taking a break is different for everyone.  I take a break by watching and action movie or writing or working on my testimony through church attendance and scripture study.  Sometimes I take a break by reading a good book or crocheting something.  My husband takes a break by puttering in the garden and caring for his chickens.  Some people like to vacation (not really my thing – that is stressful for me).  Whatever rejuvenates you do it.  Get outside… reflect on life… realize how wonderful life really is… create… have fun…exercise… breathe… slow down.
The next thing I might work on finding satisfaction in will be exercise.  Still not my thing, but I will take things one step at a time.
Life is GOOD!

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