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Gandhi once said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."
You can read this in biographies about him, see it in the epic movie about his life or buy a refrigerator magnet that says this and stick it in your kitchen.
But how easy is this to implement? Assuming that people who constantly complain about what is wrong with everything really do want to see things change, is there something more they might be doing to create change in their lives or in the world?
Many times we project what is going on with us onto others. Never is this more apparent than it is in the hothouse of family life, when getting along with our loved ones is sometimes so challenging that we'd rather just tune out, leave the house, numb ourselves or check out with hours of gaming or television rather than deal with them. If we're getting along and everyone in our home feels their needs are being met, it's sometimes so sweet, it's like a mini-miracle.
To be the change you want to see in the world is so challenging it may be that many of us just give up and try to survive the world as best we can. But some ideas for happiness include giving more than you ever thought possible, to step outside of your comfort zone and become someone you'd want to run to during hard times.
One of my favorite meditations is something I taught myself to do during a period of very dark depression. I close my eyes, deepen my breathing, and picture a twin of myself. I make that twin everything I am currently not; centered, calm, confident, happy, wise, etc - whatever it is in that moment. I then let my not-so-righteous self tell my better self every single little problem, every fear, every worry, and let that better self comfort me in exactly the way that I really need.
It's incredibly healing and, over time, I've tried to incorporate this into my daily life.