Tag Archives: happiness

When You Are Told You’re not One Crazy, But Two

After a few months of working with my wonderful nutritionist, M, she asked me how I felt about adding other members to the team.  She said that we were pretty limited to food related issues on our sessions, but maybe I could use some help with mindfulness in the other areas of my life.

I looked at her and asked, “Are you saying I’m not One Crazy, but Two Crazy?”  She looked confused and I said that I had some feelings of judgement about her suggesting I’m so nutty that I need two therapists.  She laughed.

But it’s true.  I needed some help with some mom-stuff and some more help with getting my monkey-mind under control.  She referred me to a mindfulness coach/therapist here locally.  I’ll call her J.

J is a beautiful person, but wow do I find myself saying awful things about her sometimes. It’s not about her, but about me and my feelings about the work that we do.  It’s HARD!!!  It seems simple.  You breathe, you focus your mind, you set intentions and you don’t beat yourself up through the day to get things done.  But it’s not easy at all.  It’s some of the hardest work I’ve ever done to break those old mental patterns.

And J has this way of finding those dark and painful places and then suggesting I shine a flashlight in there and look around at all those scary thoughts and beliefs.  Not my favorite activity as it stirs up all kinds of feelings I thought were long buried.

She also has this way of suggesting things, letting me fiercely resist them and then pointing me back to them again and again.  For instance, before Thanksgiving, she said, “You seem kind of spun out about all these things going on.”  I was super sure that she was way off base.

“I’ve got this, J.  I’ve got this to plan and this to prepare and this to get ready for that and then this other thing and I’m just busy.”

Boy was I wrong.  Three weeks later I wasn’t able to make it to our appointment because I was sick.  Talked to my doctors and they don’t think it’s part of the protocol I’m on, but my adrenal issues flaring up again.

What!?! But I’m so on top of it!  Look at my To Do list! Look how many things I’m crossing off.  I’m busy and I’m doing things and oh…

I forgot about just being.  I got all lost in all the things that were coming up.  Holidays, work, health labs, protocols, family, work, etc.  It all just sort of crept up  on me and without even realizing it, I was back being “mindless” and stressing myself out by running ferociously on that treadmill of life.

For me, that space brings up all my bad habits.  I get focused on doing things and crossing them off my list and forget all about just being and taking care of myself.  My inner diaglogue goes from being mindful and calm to saying things like, ‘What’s the matter with you!?! Why aren’t you getting more done!? Faster! Faster! Faster!”

So, here I am again.  I’m back to watching that internal dialog and dismissing all that negative self-talk.  I’m practicing self-care and getting the important things done.  Is that enough?  It has to be for now.

Breathe, Don’t Do. Let it go.

Breathe, Don't DoBreathe.  Just inhale, fill your lungs and feel all that air going into your body.  As you let it go, release all that stress and intensity that tells you that your To Do List is the single most important thing in the world.

I think we all struggle with the idea that it’s more important to be doing something than it is to listen to what our bodies need.  I know I’m guilty of this over and over again.  I’m trying to work breaks into my day for my health, but the long To Do List is usually right there to tell me why I don’t have time for a walk outside with the dog.  It almost never says there is time for a nap when I’m tired.

The truth is that very few things are as important as we tell our selves they are.  Sure, dusting needs to happen, but not above all other things.  Sometimes you just need to stop, take a breath and let go of those expectations and demands on your time.

I just heard you saying that you have to go to the grocery store because how will the family eat if you don’t have bread in the house? But how true is that really?  Is your life really hinging on whether or not you have bread?  There aren’t other options?  You can’t just have a picnic on the living room floor for a change?

Often, the stories we tell ourselves is so much more than what is happening in reality.  So just breathe.  And let it go.

Choose To Be Happy

Be Happy

Choose to be happy. It’s that simple! I’m serious. Why would I lie to you?

Being happy comes down to the thoughts you dwell on in your brain. Do you tend to spend time ruminating about the things that aren’t working for you? Or do you focus on that bright spot in your day that makes you happy?

Look, I know how difficult it can be to break out of that cycle. I was very invested in my misery and all the things that weren’t working in my life. I started trying to find something to be happy about by always having the same item on my list – “My dog loves me.” Some days I’d get lucky and be able to add “The sun came out” or some other desperate grasp for something to be happy about.

But it gets easier. Getting happy is like getting your body in shape. At first you can barely walk to the end of the block without your shins screaming at you, but it gets a little easier if you just keep doing it. Some days it will be harder than others, but just keep trying.

Many popular programs will suggest a gratitude journal to get you focused on the positive aspects of your life. I’m sure that will work for many people, but I struggled with the writing part of it. It was enough for me to just take a few minutes at the end of the day for quiet contemplation and reflection. There I would replay my day and look for clues that might indicate some happiness in there somewhere.

After a few weeks I started to notice I was happy more often than I thought I was. I would be sweating my brains out, pulling weeds from the garden and I’d stop to watch a goofy bug crawling out of the way and I’d smile. Something in my brain would trigger a thought to “remember this for my happy moments tonight”. But just noticing the happy moments, instead of noticing the sweat and labor and the WORK in the yard, I’ll carry the smile over that goofy bug. Even if my back starts aching, I can just smile about that shiny little bug and I’m happy again.

It doesn’t seem like it should be that simple, but it is. Just try it.

All Is Perfect

All Is Perfect

The truth is that, although you may not feel like it at the moment, all is perfect right now.

That feeling that things are “wrong” or “imperfect” is just your brain telling you stories about the things you lack and the things that aren’t ideal. Getting too wrapped up in these stories will convince you time and again that life is a struggle and a fight to get the bare minimum you need to get by.

If you can stop and see the perfect parts of this very moment, you develop a sense of gratitude and grace for what is.

Pema Chodron talks a lot in her book, “When Things Fall Apart” about accepting what is. This was an extremely difficult concept for me at first.

It seemed like I was being told that I had to like something that I didn’t want to like. I have pain. I experience sickness. I have challenges and things I wish were different. What is there to accept about that? Well, is it happening? Is it true? Well, then accept it and embrace what is.

That doesn’t mean you can’t work to change the things that are less than desirable. You just have to accept that this is what is happening right now and once you can learn to accept that and stop the constant struggle against what is, you will find that feeling of Perfect. Embrace that. It’s a much better place to spend your time than in focusing on what is wrong and needs to be controlled or changed or adapted.

Life doesn’t have to be as much of a struggle as we make it. Perfect can be elusive until you realize what it really means. It isn’t an ideal existence where there is no pain, no struggle, no difficulty. It’s just things running along as planned by something much larger than yourself. Once you let go of trying to control the outcome of all things, you will be able to unclench and move through these challenges in life with a bit more ease.

Practice Being Awesome!

awesome

 

Isn’t this picture fantastic?  And so true!

It’s so much better to be awesome than to be cool.  Being cool is based on an external set of values held about you by other people.  Awesome comes from within.

You’re fully embracing that awesome when you are being your True Self – in the moment and doing the things that make your heart feel full of joy.

I challenge you to create some room in your day to practice your awesome.  It’s worth it!