Tag Archives: joy

When Your Troubles Didn’t Happen

troubles

 

“I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles, most of which never happened.”

If you’re anything like me, thinking about this quote may hit a little close to home.  We often make mountains out of those troubling little molehills.  Or we can take a simple little annoyance and decide that our whole lives are over because the local grocery store stopped carrying your favorite coffee creamer.  (Not that the coffee creamer thing actually happened to me. Okay, it did and I freaked out about it and now drive 30 miles round trip to buy it elsewhere. )

The other day I was at a new medical specialist for my initial consultation.  We talked about my symptoms and the tests I’d like done and he ran a few simple tests in the office.  That’s when he said my three new least favorite words – “Everything Looks Normal.”  I actually felt my body physically tense up and that hot feeling when you’re resisting tears.

Now, a “normal person” would be happy and grateful to hear that everything looks normal from a doctor, except I don’t FEEL normal.  I feel like something is seriously wrong and nobody can find anything or give me something I can do to make it feel better.  My frustration at the medical industry and my own long journey to health surged up and I was sure it was all a waste of time and money and effort and…..

Oh, the doctor is still talking?  Oh, you want me to do some other tests and some scans to narrow down some possibilities?  Oh, okay.  If I listened to my immediate reaction, I would have grabbed my coat and fled out of that office.  But taking a breath, noticing that all is not truly lost and realizing that there are still plenty of options, kept me sitting in my chair and got me tuned into listening again.

We really have to watch the stories that we tell ourselves about doom and gloom.  Those things that may seem like The Worst Thing Ever may actually be the door opening to something more in line with the life you actually want to be living.  For example, losing your job is never fun.  Nobody likes to get fired or laid off, but it happens all the time.  Often, looking back on it later, the timing worked out well and you ended up somewhere with better money, better benefits or just a better work environment.  That trouble you thought you had, turned out to be just the thing you needed at that moment.

So, as I work my way from doctor to doctor, trying to find a solution to what ails me, I’m going to try to remember that “Everything looks normal” doesn’t mean the doctor is writing me off as some crazy hypochondriac and that maybe, just maybe, there is a light at the end of this particular tunnel.  Hopefully it’s not an oncoming train. 🙂

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.

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!