It was a rainy fall day and my neighbor had just given me two free admission tickets to Minter Gardens. After a busy weekend of cleaning house, cooking turkey and celebrating Thanksgiving, a stroll through a beautiful nature park would be a refreshing time-out. My husband, Howard, was eager to join me.
Minter Gardens was an hour away by car, but the thought of 32 acres of picturesque gardens really appealed to me. The morning of our outing brought pounding rain. We decided to make the best of it. With raincoats and hats, and my camera, of course, we set out to have an adventure, rain or shine.
It was still raining when we arrived in the gloom. The thought of raindrops on roses brought to mind that song from the Sound of Music movie, My Favorite Things:
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with string,
These are a few of my favorite things…
When the dog bites,
When the bee stings,
When I’m feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel
Indeed, one of my favorite games these days to lift my mood from sad to glad, or tired to energized, is to ask myself this question:
What are my 10 favorite things about … ?
Sometimes it’s a stretch to find 10 things, but this deliberate searching for what feels good was a great mood enhancer. One favorite thing after another and my energy spiraled up with each happy thought.
As we began our wet walk through Minter Gardens, I asked myself this question:
What are my 10 favorite things right now?
The answers flowed easily:
- I enjoy spending quiet time with my husband away from kids, computers and phones.
- Walking in the rain feels so timeless. It’s exhilarating to discover one small beauty after another in this floral tapestry of color.
- I love the creative design of the 12 themed gardens, such as the arbour garden with its lush green leaves hanging overhead and surrounding us on both sides.
- The rose garden reminds me of more favorite things.
- The fresh smell of the rain and the plants is invigorating.
- I love taking pictures of the patterns of raindrops on roses and leaves.
- I enjoy the way the rain flowed down the slender and pointed, needle-like leaves of one tree leaving big droplets on the leaf ends that glowed in the light.
- The many fountains and mini waterfalls add soothing sounds to our walk.
- I feel inspired and excited to share our ideas about how to beautify our own home and community gardens.
- It sure feels enlivening to stretch my legs and move my body.
Just focusing on these favorite things had me invigorated. Howard and I had an uplifting walk despite the rain.
Your turn now.
What are 10 of your favorite things? Doesn’t have to be about an outing or a vacation in particular. Any time you think of your favorite things about any topic, you’ll feel good.
We humans tend to notice the bad more often than the good, so you may find that it’s a challenge coming up with 10 favorite things, but hang in there. When you practice focusing on the highlights like this, you’ll get better at it.
Here are five ways you can apply this question in your life:
- At the end of your day, lying in bed, ask yourself, “What were my 10 favorite things about my day?” Anything that stirs your heart, however small or unusual, can be on this 10 favorite things list. You may wake up in a better mood too.
- Around the dinner table, play this game with your partner, children or friends: “What are your 10 favorite things about…” You may be fascinated at how their highlights differ from yours.
- At a party, it’s a great conversation starter when you meet someone new and you need an icebreaker. You can reduce it to one question like “What do you enjoy most about…” or go on a roll and really exhilarate the mood if you can find 10 favorite things about anything.
- About your partner, or boss, or children. Everyone has both negative and positive aspects. When you focus deliberately on what you love about someone, almost by magic, they will start showing you more of positive things you’ve been focusing on.
- About your job or business. When you put your attention on the 10 favorite things you love about your job or business, you will attract more to love about your job or business.
Next time you want to raise your energy, remember you can shift the way you feel by asking yourself this question: What are my 10 favorite things about …?