Blessed with Abbondanza! (meaning Abundance)

It’s easy to suck the living hell out of the day-to-day by the descriptions you use to discuss—or even to just think about—people, places, events, and yourself. Or you can live as if your cup were half full.

How cognizant you are of what you say is directly correlated to the outcome you’ll get. If you continually speak of your life in terms that describe it as if you never feel good, things never turn out right, or nothing positive comes your way, you’ll more than likely end up being right. It takes less energy to feel good than it does to feel bad. In fact, I’d go so far to say that it takes courage to be happy.

My great-grandmother Conchetta suffered many indignities and tragedies throughout her life, yet not a day went by without her announcing that she felt blessed with abbondanza, “ abundance”. You can choose to take all of your experiences and channel them into a reality show based on fear and anxiety, or you can think of all difficulties as opportunities for creating something new.

Negativity is like a big black hole with slippery sides. Once you fall in, it takes a lot of effort to crawl back up. There are also many people who like the security of the darkness, so if you’re down there you’ll have lots of company. However, when you decide to come back into the light, they won’t help because they’re stuck in the quagmire of goo at the bottom, and they want you there with them, too. When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging! It takes a lot of vigilance to be the guardian of your thoughts, words, and deeds; and you’re often at the mercy of years of conditioning that make you operate as if you’re on autopilot.

When you use language such as “if only,” “I wish,” or “I can’t,” you’re dismissing the possibility of today in order to maintain the familiarity of the past or to assuage a fear of the future. You may think it’s easier to stay in an unhappy relationship or job or maintain habits that don’t serve you, but ultimately you’ll suffer the consequences. Steve Job, the founder of Apple, has said that every day, he asks himself the same question “ if this was my last day on earth how would I live it”? Try asking yourself the same question someday, it might end up being a huge wake up call!

Fast Living

We live in a world where everyone expects things to come quickly and easily. God forbid we should have to wait a few extra minutes for a cup of coffee or have to put up with traffic. Fast-food restaurants have become a metaphor for life: Get it fast and easy! It just may well be that as we’ve gone down this road, we’ve lost something along the way.

 Consider the following startling facts:

*Rates of depression have risen in recent decades, at the same time that people are enjoying time-saving conveniences such as microwave ovens, e-mail, prepared meals, and machines for washing clothes and moving lawns.

* People of earlier generations, whose lives were characterized by greater efforts just to survive, paradoxically, were mentally healthier. (Our) human ancestors also evolved in conditions where hard physical work was necessary to thrive.

 * By denying our brains the rewards that come from anticipating and executing complex tasks with our hands…we undercut our mental well being. (Scientific American Mind ).

Evidently, we’d feel a deep sense of satisfaction when true physical and mental effort produces something tangible. The newer generations have tried very hard to create atmospheres and situations that are comfortable and rewarding. Much of that mindset has produced individuals who “want what they want, when they want it”. Losing weight should be instant, therefore we want our food in boxes or cans that are so-called easy weight loss plans.

Finding a mate has boiled down to five minute lunch dates. You sit with someone for a few minutes and are supposed to gauge whether they might fit your criteria. Children are supposed to be rewarded for just showing up at a sports activity, even if they haven’t any skills. Sadly it is creating a society that will not have a lot of resiliency which comes essentially from hard work and having to put up with situations you’re not in the mood for. Studies in longevity consistently point out that those who reach one hundred have been through hard times, and were able to adapt to those situations. Maybe the real success in staying well mentally and physically is in discovering that the mind and body like effort. Perhaps that’s what makes us thrive and survive!

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