Did you feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude soon after your heart attack, angioplasty or bypass? It is common to feel a tremendous sense of appreciation and new opportunity once you realize that you have survived a possibly life threatening event. Sometimes this sense of gratitude evolves into nagging questions like “what is my life supposed to be like now?” or as one person I know put it “How can I make my life worthwhile for myself and others? … What might I do that I may not have considered before?”
These are fundamental questions which get to the heart of who you want to be. The answers can be a great source of motivation at a time when you are feeling lost and overwhelmed. What do you do to help answer questions like these referring to “who and what now” in your life?
Here are 3 possible ways for you to look at some of what you are grateful for in order to find direction and motivation:
1) Values Clarification – It sounds like an old term, but simply reviewing what your values are, what is important to you and has meaning, can provide you with direction; note, your values may have changed over time and you hadn’t noticed.
2) Ask questions of yourself – What do you most appreciate in your life right now? What are some things for which you are grateful? What topics get you excited in conversation? What do you wish you could spend your time doing? What puts a smile on your face? What makes your heart sing? The answers may provide you with some ideas as to what you want to bring more of into your life.
3) Peak Experiences – Allow yourself to take a few moments to relax. Sit in a comfortable position, slow your breathing down and let your mind wander; once you have a sense of looseness and relaxation bring to mind an experience in which you felt fully alive, remembering a time when you felt energized and excited about life. Capture that image and that feeling. What were you doing then? Who were you with? What was the light like, the smells, the energy of the scene? What was the impact you were having on others you were with, or on your environment? When you have a full sense of the experience, make a few notes to yourself. Once you have captured the feeling, and with the notes in mind you can look at what was so powerful for you about that experience. This can give you clues as to what you value and what you may want to recapture in your life.
Each of these focuses on things you appreciate. As your gratitude evolves into questions, it may be helpful to talk with a loved one or a coach. To learn more about how I work as a coach click here.
What suggestions and stories do you have about how you have turned your gratitude for this 2nd chance into action? Please share.