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Starting 2012 in a Funk? Dilute Your Inner Debbie Downer

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There's a lot to be grateful for in life. Just look around you. Look inside yourself.

Since the start of 2012, I've received several calls from friends -- and met up with one who I will call JC -- who are rich on so many levels, but live in a mental state of poverty. The complaints endless were endless -- "I have no money" or "this job or project is all I have" and, my favorite, "I would be so happy if ______ (fill in the blank)."

This prompted me to post this FB:

As Byron Katie would say, "is this true?" I'm sure that the truth or reality is only as true as the energy you give it or believe it to be. What's more accurate: a) I'm poor, b) I'm broke, or c) I'm destitute? If any of those are true, then why are you sitting across from me at this trendy café, sipping on a nice cup of coffee and eating an egg and cheese bagel? (Note to my friend, aka JC: you know who you are!)

Many conversations I've had ended with this bottom line: Many situations are just a mind game. It is what it is. And what is, is.

Need to get out of that funk? Here are some things that have helped me stay present and circumvent mental misery in 2011:

1. Put it in writing. I love to write and even if you don't, just try this easy exercise. Write down exactly what you hope to achieve or what you need. Then take action or baby steps to get to that goal. Beware: it might just manifest.

2. Keep a gratitude journal. I just bought a two year journal: Building the Best You by Caroline Harper. It asks you five simple questions on one half of the page, then next year, you will write on the same page on the same date -- and watch your blessings multiply. Here's a picture of one thing I'm grateful for today. (Thanks Devyn Rush for the recommendation!)

3. Focus on the present moment. Don't let the past define you. Likewise, don't let the future dictate your happiness. All we have is this present moment. As a student at the University of San Francisco, I used to think that if I got a job as a TV News Reporter in San Francisco one day, I would be so happy. I did it. It didn't bring the happiness that I thought it would. I don't do it anymore!

And if all else fails, be grateful for your breath, your life. Again, there's a lot to be grateful for. Just look around you. Feel inside you -- you may be surprised! By the way, after my meeting with JC at the coffee shop and telling him about the three aforementioned things I did to get me out of a funk, he turned over a new leaf and started to tell me about all the blessings in his life. I guess he wasn't a, b, c or any of the above. In the words of my friend, "Thanks for slapping me around and telling me not to be a Debbie Downer."

Photo by Toan Lam.