I was reading "The Little Book of Letting Go" by Hugh Prather this morning. I had started reading it a while ago, then put it away, and something made me pick it up again this morning.
The book has these "exercises" that Hugh recommends to do for a couple days and then notice the difference in how your day goes.
The exercise I read today made me have a very cheerful day! It said something like this...
"Just for today, I will live a harmless life. I will not hurt anyone, either by thought or by action, including myself"
It was quite profound! There are a lot of lessons in that one line. The most important ones being "not hurting anyone by thought" and "including myself".
Not hurting anyone by action is easy, but controlling thoughts, thinking ONLY good about everyone and everything...this takes practice! And I did it today simply by repeating the above line in my head! It works! I laughed more than I have in a long time. I made others laugh more than I have in a long time! I was happier and more cheerful! I felt that I liked everyone more than I have before, that I cherished them more, enjoyed their company more. All it took was a conscious decision!
And not hurting yourself is also quite a strong message. We all tend to be quite hard on ourselves, criticizing ourselves more than we should. So give yourself and everyone else a break, and be harmless!