Good morning, friends!
What a beautiful day. I feel that happiness needs to be the theme today, because I've been blessed with so much of it in my life. I believe that being happy is a choice and that we alone make the conscious decision to greet each day with a smile and a positive attitude. In my life (the past year, especially), I've discovered much about this world and all that it has to offer. I've learned about my self, my spirituality, my emotions, and my worth. I've learned about other people, the joys in sharing stories, the friendships to be had, and the worth of others. I've learned so very much about this beautiful world, and life in general. I'll try to share some of those things with you today:
Balance. There are ups and downs to be found in every day, and if we are able to celebrate the up times, and deal positively with the down times, a balance comes naturally. Balance is tremendously important, as without it our world feels "off kilter." Feeling out of balance can leave me feeling anxious, unsettled, and as though things are not right in life. It's not a good feeling. So what do I do when feeling unbalanced? I start by finding some grounding. My therapist Kathy has been wonderful in offering suggestions on how to go about this. Often times, I find that I simply need some time alone with my thoughts. Taking baths are hugely beneficial, nothing beats quiet time and a good soak. I'll follow this up with some journalling, which has also been great therapy for me. Getting my thoughts on paper typically clears 90% of any anxieties I am dealing with. Other times, I will literally step outside to feel the ground beneath my feet. I will lie down to be with the earth, if need be. Earlier this winter there was a moment where you would have found me lying in the snow. Did I feel the earth beneath me? Not really, just the cold. But lying there, and simply being for a short time was all that it took to restore my balance.
Letting go (cue "Frozen" theme song). Whether it is anger, fear, sadness, doubts, judgments or other issues, these things are projected on us all of the time. We may be absorbing negative energy that brings us down and not be able to pinpoint why we are having a bad day/time/moment. Releasing these things can take a huge weight off of our shoulders. I, a very literal thinker, will picture whatever issue is weighing on me as being written on a balloon. I will then release that balloon, and with it whatever was bothering me. So simple, and so effective. We decide how much energy and attention we wish to focus on any particular thing. I choose to not use my energy on anger, drama, and other trivial things, and instead either use it positively on something else or store it for use in the future.
Good physical health. Have I said that yoga has been a lifesaver for me? Discovering yoga was the beginning of a mental and physical transformation. Having been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I decided to give yoga a try two years ago. It did wonders for my body! Spending a few minutes to stretch well and do several yoga poses was a huge factor in whether my day would be spent in pain or not. Joined with long walks and healthier eating (lots of fruits and veggies), I feel better now than I have in my entire life.
Friendships/community. I've known for a long time that taking the first step and starting a conversation will open doors to new friends. It's only recently, however, that I've gained the confidence to do so, and what a delight it has been! I have met people, learned stories, shared advice, and gained connections with people from all over the world. Take that first step, it's amazing where reaching out can take you.
Personal fulfillment. Do things that make you feel good. It feels good.
Be open/try new things. I have discovered that I enjoy more foods, drinks, and varieties of music than I had ever imagined myself enjoying. I live by a rule in which I try everything at least once, and have had some pleasantly surprising outcomes with this. We humans are all so very different, and unless we try something for ourselves we'll never know the possibilities that exist.
And finally, stay present. Living in the past is wasting time. You've already lived it and are unable to change it, why dwell on that which has already happened? Look forward to the future, but focus on today and living in the now. It is what I aim to do, and take a moment every morning before rising to take a deep breath, count my blessings, and just be.