Tag Archive: happiness


I have done a few posts like this previously: my relationship with hats, my relationship with lipstick… Today is my Relationship with Selfies! And, per usual, it’s complicated!
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Like most people, when the youngsters (you know you’re getting older when you use the word youngster) started taking and posting selfies, I thought it was stupid. I would roll my eyes and make judgments. But, my thoughts on the subject are evolving right along with me and my journey.
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My epiphany and motivation to write this blog came from my friend and business partner’s latest blog about HER journey. You should read it.

There is a lot of self doubt out there for women, mothers, people that are in the business I am in, and -I guess- just human beings in general. We are always worried about what people are going to think about us. What will they say?!? I used to never wear lip stick because I thought other people might think it looks stupid. Well that’s stupid! My lipstick only effects me and the people I am kissing. If you don’t like it, that is an issue for you to work out. Same with my career choice. I am doing something, that for some reason, makes people uncomfortable. Same for me when I first made the leap. But now I’m locked in, sure of my choice, and comfortable wearing it around town.
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What does this have to do with selfies?!?

Well, before if I took a selfie, I felt like I had to justify it in some way. Or, apologize for it. I worried that other people would be mocking me or rolling their eyes behind the safety of whatever screen they were seeing me on. But I’m evolving.
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I take selfies for lots of different reasons. Sometimes it’s because I’m trying to show what I am up to or what I’m using and loving. Sometimes it’s because I want to be in a picture with my kid. I will NOT be the mom who looks back at pictures from the past and is missing from the memories! I will be there front and center with my family. Sometimes it’s because I think I look nice. Moms especially know how hard it is to make yourself look nice when you have so much on your plate every GD day.

But most of the time, it’s because I’m happy. I’m happy that my body feels happy and healthy. The happier my body feels, the more it shows in my face and on the outside. I am happy with where I am at in my life journey and I feel like it is shining out of pores! When you work really hard to get comfortable and happy and hopeful and peaceful, you want to show it and share it. I lived a life of self doubt and worry and insecurity (still do sometimes); I don’t want to anymore. I want you to come with me too. We waste so much time worrying and not enough time taking care of ourselves and taking chances and taking naps and taking hikes and taking selfies!

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Btw- I DID feel pretty stupid taking all these pictures in the parking lot at Starbucks before I came in to write this! Wonder if anyone saw me??? Guess how much I care though?

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Me, this year

thumbs upThis is like part my new year’s resolutions, part a diary entry, part a declaration of what I want in life. There is something magical about a new beginning and reassessing where you are and where you want to be. But, be careful, don’t linger in the past. It is exactly that, past. You can’t change it so don’t dwell on it. Reflect, but do it with the utmost love and forgiveness for yourself.

FEAR: I am done with fear. I am tired of worrying about what people think of me. I am tired of being scared to follow my gut. I am tired of following the unwritten rules because I am afraid to live by my own set. Look out world, I’m coming for you.

FITNESS: I am going to get to the point that I can do anything physical without thinking twice. Tennis? Sure! Go for a hike? Of course! 5K tomorrow? Yep! Anything that comes along I will be capable of doing.
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WEIGHT: I seriously don’t care about how much I weigh any more. Am I comfortable in what I wear? If yes, than I am good. I love my body. Why should I worry about whether other people do?

BRAIN: I am going to feed my brain daily. I am going to cherish and protect it like the magical creation that it is. I am going to read books that overwhelm me, that inspire me, that teach me, that challenge me, that fill me up.

SLEEP: I am going to make sleep my bitch!

LOVE: I am going to be fair with my love. I am going to love more and ‘mad’ less. I will try to praise before I criticize. I will end fights at that moment when you realize that you are actually just frustrated about something else.
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KIDS: I am just going to keep loving them with all of my capabilities. I will not worry that they don’t have something, or that they can’t be in everything, or that they were ‘bored’ yesterday. I will not compare myself to other moms. All they need is my love and my time.
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BUSY: I am going to keep on saying NO. I simply don’t like being busy. I am not going to feel guilty about that anymore.
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HAPPY: I am going to make this the hap hap happiest year since Bing Crosby danced with Danny f’ing Kay… But, seriously, life is amazing and I have so much to be grateful for. I love my life and I am going to focus on my special brand of happy.

CHEERS!

A Piece of Peace

I before E except after C…. Shit, I don’t know.

It has been a while since I have blogged. I’m not even sure why. I love to write. Blogging makes me happy, but sometimes I don’t make it a priority. Isn’t it funny how that happens sometimes? We go on autopilot. We begin to do things that are easy instead of what ‘fills our bucket’ (I learned that one from my son). Instead of turning off the TV and reading, it’s easier to watch re-runs of big bang theory. Instead of going to bed at a decent time, and working out in the morning, it’s easier to have 1-2 more drinks and say f-it.

I want to get off auto pilot. I don’t want to ‘get through the week’, I want to live my week. I want to design my week. I want to enjoy each and every week that makes up my one life. That feels powerful to say. It also feels scary. To be in control of my week, means that there is no one to blame but me when things do not go as planned or if I screw up. Is that why we are all afraid of creating our own destiny? If we actually try and then fail, what does that say?

I am not 100% sure why I share this with all of you. I guess I would love to create a little community of consciousness. A community of people that choose their actions, foods, health, thoughts, lives. A community of people who don’t get lost in drama triangles and living for show and hypocrisy. Maybe I share it as a way to get these thoughts out of my head and into the universe. I don’t need any more doubt or guilt in my head. I’d like to save that space for peace and wonder and love and learning.

I had a great moment this weekend when my daughter was off swinging on her tummy and my son was running thru the yard and I just soaked it all in. I tried to see the world like my kids would- with wonder and amazement. I stopped my son and said, ‘can you believe a few weeks ago, this yard was covered in snow?’ He said, ‘yeah and now it’s green grass with bugs and warm air’. I smiled and paused, taking a mental snap shot and then he says while walking away, ‘mom sure does like nature!’ Ha. I do. I sure do like nature. I sure do like moments like this too. Real moments of consciousness and presence. Moments not on autopilot. Moments not on my phone. Moments of living the life I want to live. I want some more of all that.

thumbs upWell I am almost half way thru my 30 day challenge and I am on cloud 9! I can’t quite explain it but I am so inspired and joyful right now. I know there are many many factors involved here: the #100daysofhappiness project, the healthy eating, the beautiful sun shining on this glorious spring day, the quality of sleep I have been getting, and the fact that I am down a couple of pounds… Like I said, cloud 9. I also just got off the phone with someone who might even have more passion about this stuff than I do and it was contagious.

I am taking control of my health and my life and it feels amazing.

Now, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Last night I had to work late and my family ordered pizza. It was very hard to come home late at night with Lou Malnati’s in my fridge and not have some. But, I didn’t have to say ‘NO’ to pizza forever, I just had to say ‘NO’ to pizza last night. I will have pizza again, soon in fact. Just not during my 30 day challenge. And, like I mentioned in my last post, I have a LOT of Easter candy sitting around staring me in the face. But you know what? If I am going to blow this challenge, if I am going to ‘cheat’, it is certainly not going to be on sweet tarts or crappy sugar bombs. If I am going to splurge, it is going to be worth it. Starbursts? Yuck!

When you start to focus on what makes you happy and you get rid of the processed food fog that clouds your brain, you really start to ‘wake up’. You start to get up in the morning feeling good. You make it to lunch without effort. You take pleasure in the fact that you have the energy to play with your daughter (even if she is being a little a-hole! She’s 2, it’s not her fault.)

I am going out to dinner tonight and you know what? I am excited. I am on a restricted diet (even though I hate those words! Remember diet just means ‘what you eat’) and I am still excited to go out to eat. Eating healthy does not make food the enemy, it makes food your best friend. If you look at food in a way that enhances your health versus something you need to ‘limit’ or ‘avoid’, you change your relationship with food. Calories don’t make people fat. Shitty food makes people fat. So, I am going to go out tonight. I am not going to even consider calories. I am going to choose food that will provide nutrients to keep my body and my brain happy.

I hope that you manage to find your own little ray of sunshine today that makes you happy. If your life is not happy, what do you need to do to fix that?

big leapLately I have been trying to take 100% responsibility for my actions and what shows up in my life. This is just…silly-hard. I mean, you spend your life trying to figure out who and what is keeping you down…and then one day you realize that it’s yourself. If you truly believe that each individual on this earth is unique in their own way and has their own skill, vision, purpose, path, then you really need to think about what yours is and whether or not you are living up to your full potential. Whoa, tough.. I know. For some of you this may be very simple. Maybe you are a teacher and truly feel your purpose is to help children create their destiny. Maybe you’re a doctor and you are literally saving lives every day. Or, maybe you work in advertising selling processed cheese to the masses…. Maybe you have no idea what your purpose in this life is.

This, conveniently, brings me to my point. Are you living your best life? A full-filled life? A 100% conscious life that you have created? Maybe you are ‘good’ at your job, or you ‘like’ your job, but do you feel like it is your life’s purpose? You might be working in an area of competence or even excellence for yourself, but is it your area of ‘genius’? If not…. why?

This is not a very easy question to answer, and one that I am currently struggling with myself. I have a great job! I like my job! I help people feel better and take away their pain every day! But, I still feel a lacking. Why am I holding back?

This, conveniently, brings me to my next point. Am I self-sabotaging? Are you self-sabotaging?

A very enlightened fellow with an unfortunate name- Gay Hendricks- wrote a book called The Big Leap. (Very Roughly) It is about how we all have an upper limit of happiness and when we approach it we self-sabotage. For example, maybe you are trying to eat really healthy. You do great all week and then Saturday night you go out and have nachos, fried bacon and 8 beers. Or, maybe you have been trying to commit to a fitness plan and since you ate so bad on Saturday night and drank 8 beers, you aren’t feeling so hot on Sunday morning and skip the run. (Shut up! You don’t know me!)

The theory is that we all have a different comfort level with happiness and success, and when we get to that upper limit- if we don’t have the consciousness/awareness- we will f*ck it up. I know, for a fact, that I do this. Some times it looks like picking a fight with your husband about dishes when you know, damn-well, it’s not about the dishes.

I recommend the actual book because I am certainly not doing it justice. But, if nothing else, I can encourage you to at least consider the fact that you self-sabotage. Pay attention, you might surprise yourself. All of these things I keep talking about are all based on the same goal: trying to expand my own consciousness and create the life that I was meant to have. We can all do that! You have 100% control of your happiness and circumstance and peace of mind, you just need to realize it. I know that I am working on this very truth every damn day.

(I also recommend Life Visioning by Michael Bernard Beckwith, which is what I am currently reading, but will discuss another day.)

30 Day Challenge Summary

Well, my 30 days is up. Here is what I learned while to trying to be the best me I could be:

  • My happiness really has nothing to do with the number on the scale. I mean, don’t get me wrong, if I really let things get out of control it would bother me. But, if I am within 10 lbs. of my ultimate goal weight, I’m cool.
  • It turns out you cannot have a fun-size candy bar every day for the month of October and lose weight. I know… shocker!
  • I really hate cleaning! I really really do. And, the funny thing is, I don’t really care that much. Yes my house could be cleaner. Yes I could be more organized. But it turns out I can turn blind and satisfied eye to my clutter and still enjoy my day. I would much rather play with my kids, or play with my husband than clean. Perhaps if I had more ‘free’ time, I would feel better about designating time for chores, but until I do I will have a messy house but a happy home.
  • I love helping out people that need it. I will say there was a point when I was at the grocery store and was worrying about money (because we don’t have a lot) and I remembered that I have never had to go to bed hungry or had to choose between feeding my kids and something else. I have always been able to put a winter coat on their backs. No matter how little you think you have, there is always someone with less. What can you sacrifice out of your current budget that may help someone else?
  • Exercise makes me feel good, I know all the good things it does for my body, I enjoy it while I do it, and I still have a hard time getting it done. If I don’t have a plan, I will fail.
  • Sitting around ‘pinning’ pictures of fit women with inspirational phrases does not make my ass tight. I know…shocker! I actually have to put the computer away and do some mother f*cking squats.
  • Writing makes me happy. It always does. For me, there is nothing more soothing than sitting here talking to all of you. I can almost picture you while you are reading this and it makes me smile.
  • This moment right now is when I am at my happiest: I am writing, drinking hot apple cider, I have pasta sauce on the stove, and I am listening to my baby snore away on the monitor (she is sick right now and therefore sounds like a middle aged man from Wisconsin). This is what makes me feel like ‘me’.
  • I am so blessed in my life and in my love. Whenever I am not feeling like ‘me’, I need to take a step back and soak it all in. I need to take a step back and ask myself, “is what I’m doing right now, getting me closer to the ultimate dream for my life?”, or “is what I am doing right now contributing to my future happiness?”, and “is what I am doing contributing to anyone else’s happiness, or is it just my own?”

I don’t know whether I would classify this month as a success. I didn’t reach a lot of my goals. I didn’t lose any weight. I didn’t get organized. But, I did gain a little perspective. I did enjoy sharing it with all of you. Thanks for listening and hopefully you took at least one positive away from all of my ramblings. 🙂

Btw, I feel a little like Oprah using a picture of myself, but this post was about me so I didn’t know what else to use. Don’t judge!

So I have week one done and under my belt. It was a great week! I had some challenges for sure, but still really excited about my journey. If you did not read the original challenge, check that out first and come back. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. http://wp.me/p2kXHK-6C

Full Disclosure: I am drinking a beer while I write this. I know, I am weak.

Date: 10/16/12

Weight: 148 (that’s right, down 2 pounds)

Thoughts/Opinions:

It was interesting going through the week. I was very task oriented, “I need to this, and I need to not do that…” I lost site a little about the purpose of this which is to be the best me I can be. I want to be the version of myself that I like the most. Somethings that I do get me closer to this (exercise, eating right) other things do NOT make me happy (not drinking for example). So for the next week I am going to focus more on my purpose in this process.

There is something about having a goal that can really change your brain. It gives you a sense of urgency, it holds you accountable, and it makes it easier on you. For example, I really didn’t feel like exercising one day and I said to myself, “Well, I have to. I said I would so I’m stuck. I have to.” Simple as that. So if you are reading this and you don’t have a goal, you need to make one/some. And it can’t just be ‘get in shape’. That goal sucks! You need to set a goal and then develop action steps along the way. It might look like:

Goal: Lose 15 pounds!

  • Start keeping food journal
  • Cut out soda (diet and regular)
  • Get a personal trainer for 1 month

You get the point. You have to have a plan.

Successes:

Well, I would consider losing 2 pounds a success! We’ll see how accurate that weight is after I weigh in again next week. I know weight can fluctuate from day to day (especially with women).

I got in my 3 work outs. One of them was running 3.5 miles on Saturday. That is my longest run yet! I was very proud of it. I also ran a sled hill tonight. I ran a lap (approx. 1/4 mile) then did the hill up and down twice, repeat 3 more X. It sucked, but I kind of liked it too.

We had our most successful shoe drive at my work to date! I found 8 pairs of shoes laying around our house to donate.

I did mostly good with my diet. I didn’t have any soda, and tried to eat well. I did make Beer Bread which I think breaks 2 rules (carbs and alcohol together- what is this? Christmas?)

And I cleaned my f-ing room! I felt like a little kid who couldn’t go out and play until they cleaned their room. Thankfully my husband helped so it took half the time.

 

 

I haven’t seen the top of this dresser in a long time!

 

 

 

 

I finished one of my books (Gone Girl- pretty good) and started a new one. I actually picked up a book about blogging! I will plow through that one.

Challenges:

I drank. We celebrated a big deal on Friday night for my husband and I had a couple cocktails. BUT- I only had two because I knew I had my big run the next day. And, obviously I am having a beer right now. I just told my neighbor tonight that I guess I don’t want to be skinny that bad! I think for me it will just need to be drinking like a responsible adult. Enough to unwind after a long week with my husband and enjoy our evening, but not enough to limit me the next day.

What’s to come?

I signed up for a 5K for this Saturday. My goal is to do it in under 32 min. Let me make this clear though- that is a goal! That will be difficult for me to do- so don’t hold your breath.

For giving back, I decided I am going to do a little promoting for some friends. More to come on this via blogging this week. Stay tuned!

 

Thanks to all of you have sent happy thoughts my way. I feel more like me already. Anybody feel like beginning their own journey to self improvement? Who’s coming with me????