How to make it so “Things are Just Great!”

By Bryn N. Hogan, Executive Director Autism Treatment Center of America™ and Son-Rise Program® Teacher

We all want this. We all want to have the feeling that things are going GREAT. As I work with families from around the world through Son-Rise Program Consultations or Outreaches or when parents attend our programs here at the Autism Treatment Center of America, it is the wish of almost every person to FEEL good about what is happening in their lives, with their families, with their very special child. 

YET, often, this is not the experience people are having. How come? If we want to feel good inside, if we want to have the experience of optimism, joy, love and playfulness – why aren’t we? The answer, as always, lies within us. We tend to look OUTSIDE ourselves, to our child’s actions, our therapists report, our volunteers attendance, our weight, the tidiness of our kitchen…and we use these to determine how well things are going. If the outside circumstances of our lives conspire and line up perfectly (and we all know how rare that is) then we allow ourselves, momentarily, to feel good. If our volunteer is late, or our child has a tantrum, or the scale number rises when we stand on it in the morning, we create disappointment, stress and even despair. This is because we are looking OUTSIDE instead of INSIDE for our good feelings.

You CAN have the feeling that “Things are Just Great!” if you turn your focus inward. If you become the captain of your emotional ship. Here are three easy things you can do to re-claim your life experience – they are simple and easy and IF you do at least one of these on a regular basis – things WILL be great!

  • Focus on something that IS working: As we go through our days we tend to focus on what isn’t working and to ignore what is. Purposely look for something that went the way you wanted and really let yourself take it in. “Wow – I got all the kids into the car this morning and everyone was wearing shoes!” “Hey, I put a load of laundry in the washing machine, now we’ll have clean clothes”. “I hugged my daughter this morning – wonderful”. Fill yourself with what IS happening that you want to be happening. 
  • Say Thank You. Look around, at your child, at your living room couch, at the sun shining outside your window, and inside yourself, pause and say, ”Thank you”. “Thank you for this beautiful child”. “Thank you for this home that keeps me safe and dry” “Thank you for this food in my refrigerator that I can use to feed my family”. Gratitude is an instant doorway to feeling good inside. 
  • Lighten up: Look for the humor in the situation. Let yourself ‘lighten up’. When things go differently than how you planned – laugh! Take it ‘lightly’ instead of making it so important. If your refrigerator suddenly breaks (as mine did last week) and you have to now unpack all of your groceries into coolers and bring them to a friend’s house (which takes three trips) and the refrigerator repair people (all three of them) tell you they can’t come for four days (True story!) Have fun with it! (You might as well – since this is how it is). Put on the timer and see which kid can fill which cooler faster, have ‘strength’ competitions to see who can carry the biggest bag of ice. Since it’s our experience – why not have fun? 

Just start with these three, simple things and you can then create the experience you want for yourself and your family , REGARDLESS of the circumstances. That is what The Son-Rise Program is all about – choosing our own experience – choosing love, gratitude and joy. Choosing to have a life where “Things are just Great!” Enjoy my friends!

P.S. When you try one of these at work please do post your story on the Autism Treatment Center of America Facebook page – we’d love to hear about it!

5 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    GREAT!! Thank you for remembering this to us, Bryn!! 🙂 Patricia

  2. Bryn, We are so grateful to you, and your folks, and the Option Institute. I can hardly believe how much more joy there is in our family since attending our start-up 15 months ago. What a blessing to ALL OF US that Raun "chose" to bring autism into your family's life. Thanks for the great consult today! Peter & Annie.

  3. Carmie Pepe says:

    WOW! I so needed this wonderful advice that makes so much sense.I,m at a time in my life I feel is the most difficult I,ve ever experienced. Thank you for allowing me to stop and think about what is really go on. I will print this and put it on my wall as a reminder when I get lost or frustrated.
    Thank you my SonRise angels for your wonderful and most needed help.

  4. Many thanks Byrne for the wonderful easy steps to keep the “Things are Just Great!” feelings.

    I have translated it to Arabic,your kind permission to post for Arap parents in our facebook group is requested.

    Best wishes,

    Issa Aljardani

  5. Anonymous says:

    I do trust all of the ideas you've introduced to your post.

    They're very convincing and can definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for novices. Could you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time?
    Thanks for the post.

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