May 30th, 2009
It took me awhile to get here. But I finally got it! The key to happiness in life? Do what makes you happy.
Oftentimes, we’re raised by our families, friends, culture, community and society to believe that life is about struggle. The 80′s slogan, “No pain, no gain!” epitomizes this belief. Yet, how can we be happy if we’re spending all our time miserable and doing things that deplete rather than fill us? As I was bike riding with my husband today, enjoying nature and the feeling of the wind on my face, I realized how simple it is, and yet how complicated we make things. Maybe we’re afraid of being that happy or believe that it’s a mirage tempting us only to disappear when we get close. Sure there are difficulties in life that I’m not trying to sugar coat but there are always moments in which we can choose joy instead of pain.
So here’s my challenge to you. I dare you to do something that you truly enjoy whether it’s taking 5 minutes for meditation or an hour massage. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do something that feels indulgent. For me, a night spent writing is a night well spent. Make it a regular event and schedule it in, and soon you’ll be on a path towards true happiness.
And for an inspirational story, check out this one from Chicken Soup for the Soul.
May 28th, 2009
Atop my desk, right in front of my computer monitor is an index card with the words, “Trust your instincts!” It’s a reminder to me about the importance of reaching down deep and learning to become conscious and aware of what my body is telling me. Intuition is an important sense, one that we often ignore. Too often we rely on our thinking mind to make important decisions for us when we’re on the fence, swaying between one choice and the next. While using logic has its part in the process, intuition also has a significant role.
About seven years ago, something happened to me that changed my vision of intuition forever. I was in my room taking a nap, something I used to do regularly for 3 hours at a time almost daily. Well after only an hour of rest, I felt a strong pull to wake up. I didn’t question it but followed my instincts and got up in a foggy haze. I was confused when I looked at the clock and saw that I had only slept for an hour, but went straight to the bathroom anyway to splash water on my face. That’s when I heard a loud crash coming from my room. I went to see what the racket was and in my sleepy state saw that the wire holding the ceiling fan was severed. The fan which was on while I was asleep and that had been directly over my bed, had crashed on my bed and tumbled, still spinning, to the floor. If I had still been lying there, I would have been badly hurt. Thank goodness I woke up in time!
This story is my saving grace and continues to remind me about the importance of following your instincts because you never know what situations, though it might not be a ceiling fan, may befall you.
May 26th, 2009
Jealousy can be a hard pill to swallow. It makes our stomachs turn, our hearts beat and gives us an overall bad feeling about ourselves. When other people do well, we shouldn’t be envious or should we?
I’d say the best way to deal with feelings of jealousy is to embrace it. That may sound odd but being envious is actually a good indicator of what may be missing in your life. I use it as a barometer for what goals I need to work on and what’s important to me.
Try it. The interesting thing about envy is that you won’t have the same reaction to everyone and everything. Pay attention to what it is that’s making you envious and you’ll get a good clue about what you need to focus on for yourself. For example, your next door neighbor’s good news about being promoted might not do anything for you but hearing your co-worker just ran a marathon might get your jealous juices flowing. That’s also good news for you because it may push unconscious desires to the surface where you can work on obtaining them. So the next time you start to look a little “green with envy,” don’t try to wash those feelings away. Instead, stop, take inventory, and go out and grab those things you desire for yourself!
May 23rd, 2009
Synchronicity is kind of like a God wink. It’s what happens when meaningful but unrelated events randomly come together (Wikipedia). I’m all too familiar with the term since it’s occurred quite often in my life. Several years ago, for example, while I was going through a particularly difficult time, the rain brought me to an old musty bookstore. Here’s a passage from a 2004 blog entry I wrote about the event:
1) I am grateful for old bookstores on a rainy day. Walked into one and was looking for some message or sign. I went directly to the religion section and found nothing. Walk toward psychology/self-help, mystery, no clues. Headed out towards the exit and stopped to see “Daily spiritual thoughts.” The cover was unbound and torn. The middle pages looked like they were burnt. I turned to February 21. It said patience. Patience and appreciation that like nature everything comes in due time. Flowers start from the seed in the soil, it takes several days and months before they unfold and bloom into a flower. How can we expect life to hurry because we want to find out the answers? In times of distress, be patient and trust like the seed to the flower, with love and patience, our answers will unfold and develop in time.
May 22nd, 2009
I don’t know if this is more about signs or that I have a thoughtful husband. Maybe it’s a little bit of both. Anyhow, today while I was humdrumming at work, my hubby sent me an email with a photo taken from his iPhone. I have to admit that it took me several looks to get it, but I finally realized just what it was. While on his lunch break, he randomly saw a sign that read “Not Too Shabby,” the same title as my sister blog and decided to send it to me. It lifted my spirits, was great confirmation for what I was doing and oh so sweet. What do you guys think? God wink or guy wink?
May 19th, 2009
Maybe I haven’t entirely let go of my favorite TV show Scrubs yet, because today I thought about another poignant piece featured in the last episode. J.D. was watching his life as if it were a movie. Specifically, imagining all the amazing possibilities his future could bring like getting married, having more kids, and making memories with his closest friends. That image gave me goose bumps not because I was vicariously living through his character, but because it hit close to home.
It got me thinking about the importance of dreaming and visualizing fantasies of our own future. Obviously, no ones life turns out exactly the way we want them to be (unless you’re psychic), but it’s dreaming that helps motivate us and leads us to our goals.
The best part? You’re totally free to be the producer of your own movie without the fear of being judged or criticized for what you want. That means in my dreams, I can be a successful Carrie Bradshaw wannabe making enough money to buy tons of clothes not to mention shoes and enough time to hang out with my friends on a daily basis and still come up with witty, intelligent copy on a daily basis. Aw, to dream. It may not automatically make me a star but it’ll surely give me the chance to be the star in my own future movie. And that kind of reaction, well that can inspire real dreams to unfold gradually.
May 16th, 2009
I had a lightbulb moment when I realized that ALL people regardless of social status and class, go through moments of uncertainty.
Though it’s easy to get lost in the familiar tunes of “woe is me,” it also doesn’t really suit your cause. If your cause is to fulfill your dreams. I just got this a few days ago as I was typing away thinking about how that BIG space in front of me that points to my future was still empty and I still didn’t understand how I would get from where I was standing to where I wanted to be. I started to fantasize about all of the successful people in my life and the ones on TV and thought about how they were so lucky that they had life figured out and didn’t need to think about these things like me. And then it hit me! They still had challenges like everyone else but maybe that mountain in front of them is that much bigger because they had already climbed all those bunny slopes before then. What a wake up call that was.
I thought about Oprah’s story the one that she tells of not knowing whether she could make it on TV and the funny moment when she pronounced Canada CON-YA-DA and started laughing live on camera. That’s when they put her on a morning talking show and in an instance she knew that that’s what she was meant to do. It reminds me a lot of hiking. When you see that mountain up ahead, sometimes it’s hard to struggle and put in the effort especially when there are days you doubt whether you’ll make it. But I realized that all you need to do when your in moments of self-doubt and uncertainty, is do what Finding Nemo’s Dory says, “Just keep swimming…” and somehow that blank empty space in front of you will transform into steps, tiny at first, but then it’ll become clearer and more certain and soon you’ll be there-right at your goal!