Tag Archives: “ten seconds to happiness”

Ten-second Celebrations that Reach into Forever

This is a weekend of celebration. Lots of opportunity for practicing ten-second gratitude. Tonight I heard that one billion people around the world will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus tomorrow! Does that make you feel insignificant or part a great cause? It’s all a matter of perspective. Will you be spending 10-30 seconds on the wonder of God becoming human, dying and picking up his life again? 

Maybe you have no real conviction about Jesus, but I do love what C. S. Lewis said, “Since Jesus claimed to be God, he can’t be just a great prophet or teacher. He was either what he claimed to be, or he isn’t even good. He’s a charlatan or a lunatic.”

I’m quoting from memory so it may not be an exact quote. But the point is we get to look at the evidence and choose how we will see it, in every part of life. Jesus himself said over and over, “Be careful how you see.” In other words, your perspective or perception will determine what you believe. And so often it’s just a choice–or it might be allowing another’s opinion to influence us. But in the end it is our choice to default or be purposeful.

Tonight I responded to someone’s text by saying, “The negative will eat you alive and consume you if you let it.” And it is so true. I caught myself being critical tonight at a dramatic musical presentation of the life and passion of Jesus. It was a very creative and well-done play, but being so familiar with the story, after three years of writing and rewriting it for my blog on the life of Jesus, of course I could pick it apart. I finally just had to tell myself enjoy the tremendous work that went into it, the music, the creativity, and the reason for it. It’s embarrassing to admit how critical I am. It’s distressing to look at. But there it is.

If you don’t have a bent towards criticalness, then you have something else. We are all broken! That I know for sure. So we may as well admit it and help each other up when we fall into our particular brand of disgrace. To choose not to see it, or hide it, is worse for us and those around us.

And we can do a lot to help ourselves by choosing celebration rather than criticism of ourselves or something else. To criticize is so human. To celebrate is so divine. One thing I have learned about God is They love to celebrate! Praise is the tone of heaven. So if we are happy criticizing everything here, we might not fit there! Scary thought. I want to be someone who is comfortable with what’s right, what’s good, what’s worth celebrating. And I can start now by hanging onto the good thoughts and feelings for at least 10 seconds.

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Ten Seconds to Happiness

This isn’t just a hook or a catchy title to get you to read it, it’s the truth about why we live in the lowlands of negativity. I may have written about it before but it bears repeating. Joy is a choice, largely. Fasting for joy has brought this front and center. I call it the 10-second rule. You can use it to change your life.

We have so much good in our lives that mostly we let it go by without notice. A beautiful sunset usually gets a notice but sometimes not even ten seconds. A beautiful flower, a gentle breeze, the sent of orange blossoms or honeysuckle might get two seconds. The way the sun feels on your face or back, or the way it looks coming through leaves or lighting up green hills–all or any gets a nod, maybe two, even three seconds, but not much more. Yet it takes 10-30 seconds to anchor something for keeping in our unconscious mind. (Yes, that’s the same as the subconscious.)

Now think about something bad that happens. A stranger takes out their stress by snapping at you. Your spouse lets his/her irritation show. Does it get ten seconds? Almost always. In fact, it is hard to dismiss any negative thought or experience in under ten seconds. We usually give it much more than that. So we end up with all this stored negativity in our unconscious mind. And when we aren’t focused on something, that’s what floats up.

It is who we become.

It takes thought and awareness and choice to change it. But what a simple, lovely exercise–choosing to enjoy  the good for 10 seconds or more. Holding on to it, savoring it for at least 30 seconds. Go ahead, try it. See if it’s as easy as it sounds.

To be continued…

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Filed under Joy, Living well, Love ed, Mental Health, Uncategorized, What is God like?