“If we take care of the moments, the years take care of themselves.” – Maria Edgeworth, 19th Century Anglo-Irish writer.

One way to enhance the moment is to search out an ordinary jewel or positive fact.

This creates a good feeling or emotion. Self-generated positive emotions increase meaning in life and enhance relaxation. Over time, cognitive focus improves with positivity, as does physical health.

Try this practice to call up Ordinary Jewels or good things that happen. You can be seated in a quiet, comfortable place for ten minutes, close your eyes, and practice all of them. Or you could try one at a red light in traffic.

Look at your immediate situation. Find one ordinary jewel. (“I’m breathing” is a simple one.)

Then look at your day. It might be a bad day. But there’s got to be something small and authentic that is nice.

Then think of ongoing things that are good in your life. Maybe a job or relationship.

Bring to mind good facts about yourself. You have a good heart, compassion, accomplishments, intentions, etc.

Look into ordinary jewels from the past. Some of our pasts are difficult or even traumatic, but something good will come to mind.

Look ahead to a good fact that’s ahead for you. Maybe a hot meal or a night of rest or a vacation.

Here’s a tough one– think of a bad thing that happened to you and ask yourself, “Did any good come out of it?

Recognize ordinary jewels or good facts in others’ lives. Friends, family, neighbors, colleagues.

To wrap it all up, start thinking in a stream of consciousness of good facts or ordinary jewels. Anything you can come up with. Rattle ‘em off.

This practice is taken from Rick Hansen’s Foundation for Well Being course, offered at www.foundationsofwellbeing.com.

If you’d like to listen to a 20-minute guided practice of Ordinary Jewels, go to http://www.wsdschools.org/mindfulness-in-winooski/ and search for the topic in recent postings.