Happy Days Ahead
What if I told you I don’t have “tough” days anymore? Yeah, I wouldn’t believe me either. Stay with me on this though.
I write this blog, create content for Facebook and Instagram as much for myself as my adoring public. All five of you. Seriously though, if one person reads a piece or a post I am 100% ahead of the game. I write thinking of this whole beautiful group of souls who just might take something good away from it and I am happy even if not one single person reads it. It isn’t that I don’t care about you, the reader. It isn’t hubris. It isn’t because I am indifferent. It is because I am so freaking happy just doing it. If someone reads it, and or loves it, all the better but until and unless someone subscribes and/or comments I will never know. And I am OK with that.
It’s such a personal thing for each person, that spark, that passion, that true north, deep in your soul. I don’t have tough days anymore because I’ve been reintroduced to my spark. I say reintroduced because I haven’t felt this good since I was a child. This connected to who I really am. I haven’t had this many happy days in a long time.
What if I told you six months ago the only thing I was creating were emails and grocery lists?
What if I told you six months ago I didn’t know what I would say, given the chance?
What if I told you six months ago for as long as I can remember I was tired and anxious?
What if I told you that although outwardly successful and relatively happy, I had no purpose?
What if I told you a short six months later, I am full of purpose and joy?
It shines from inside of me, insulated from the daily grind, life’s tribulations, negativity and disappointments. This particular joy is not for display, it’s not to please anyone else and it isn’t the “keep your chin up and never let them see you cry” kind of happy. It’s solid and secure.
Now, don’t get me wrong, my children are my biggest source of pride, joy, purpose and love like no other. My husband is my first and last love, my best friend and partner in all my exploration and adventure. This joy is different, it has to do with believing. Having faith. Trust and an unshakable commitment to the most important person in your life. You. I get it, this might seem too simplistic or it might seem like I don’t have real big problems to overcome or that I have too much time on my hands that needed to be filled. Fair enough. But I’ve had my share, and I did have to overcome a lot of self-doubt, fear, anxiety and severe lack of belief in myself to get this far and be this open. The point is, that we are raised to think that our happiness is dependent upon conditions. And, if conditions aren’t right or out of line with what our expectations of what they should be, we believe that we should not or can not be happy. We are also conditioned to believe that we should focus, discuss, fret and fuss about reality, rather than giving that attention to creating what could be. I’m suggesting that the reality we are focusing on in any given minute is old news, it already happened and can not be changed. All our energy and focus should be on what is ahead of us. And, in having a proactive and deliberate hand in the creation of what is ahead of us. What we believe “should be” can be changed. Beliefs are just a thought that we keep thinking. When we change the thoughts, we change the beliefs. This goes way beyond just “think good thoughts” or “ask and you shall receive”. (Both are pretty valid though) This goes beyond and back, within, within the deepest part of us. Rooted right at the foundation. Who am I? And, what do I want?
Through a series of serendipitous events last year, I was put into a place where I had to answer these two questions. One mentor led to another. One book led to another. I asked, I sorted, I listened and eventually I knew. I knew for sure that the only way up and out to the best life, the best me, the best of everything this life has to offer is back through me -through the self-doubt, the fear, the anxiety – all centered around trying to be perfect. Never let anyone down. To fit a mold of what I thought I was supposed to be. Granted I was blessed and ready and in the right place at the right time. The Universe had my back as they say. No matter though, I do know this for sure, having a busy life, having children to raise and a job to hold down didn’t prevent me from knowing it sooner. In fact, I always knew, we all do, we just forget. And it doesn’t matter when you remember that you know, it just matters that you do. And with that, more happy days are on the horizon.
You must be brave enough to think differently. You must learn to celebrate yourself. You must learn to pat yourself on the back for all your gifts and accomplishments. You must be your fiercest supporter, cheerleader and advocate. You must believe that you are worth the very best life has. You must shower yourself with the same love, attention and commitment you show everyone else in your life. You must also learn to take care of and forgive yourself when you need it, soothe yourself when you’re having a tough day, so much so that the tough days fade. How in the hell you ask? Self-love.
Wait one minute! Aren’t we supposed to put others first, especially our children? Didn’t we sign some sort of contract in blood that as adults we lost all our rights to think of ourselves first? Isn’t doing anything otherwise, gasp, selfish? NO! You must take care of yourself to take care of others. You must be forgiving of yourself if you want to truly forgive others. You must admire, respect and hold yourself up before you can authentically give that to others. Remember when you were a teenage and used to look in the mirror all the time admiring yourself? THAT feeling is the one we are after. Remember your first crush, your first love, remember that intoxicating “I can’t get enough” feeling? THAT’S IT! That is what we are going for here! Start now, right now. Practice every single day. The more you appreciate yourself, the more others will appreciate you. When your tank is overflowing, you have more to give. Everything just gets better, trust me.
I’m big on analogies involving tools. My tool drawer expanded first to a nice tool shed and now I have a large, pretty, girly she-cave full of tools. There are a few I carry in my tool belt. You have them too, make sure you dust them off and keep them handy.
Here are a few of my most trusted “go-to” tools:
Unfollow and mute negativity. This does not mean unfriending, or not interacting with folks however you must take a more self protected role and shield yourself from needless or random info that might bring you down. Same as for your kids, just adult style.
Schedule in some self-care. I know this seems impossible in our busy lives but if it was a new crush or a rare date night would you make some time? You are your crush now.
Journal, journal journal. Yes, I know, another time sucker, right? You don’t think you have anything to write, right? I get it. Commit to this. Write one nice thing about yourself a day. Write one thing you are grateful for a day. In a notebook or have a collection of sticky notes on your mirror. Make this a habit and it will grow. Write to your younger self. Write to your better self or the self you want to be. Write yourself love letters. Do it. Five minutes. Do it on the toilet if you need to!
Get deliberate about creating your best life. In any given minute be deliberate about what is best for you. In the worst moments of the day, reach for the next better thought and then the next, and then the next. Sometimes it’s just thinking about that cup of coffee that’s coming soon. Be mindful and moving forward vs random and reactive. Practice. Forgive yourself if it gets away from you and start again. Just smile and say bless you a lot.
Turn your phone into your friend. It’s crazy to think we can break the addiction to the screen. it is too ingrained in our lives at this point. So make it work for you. Unfollow any negative social media accounts. People or pages that beat a drum of what is wrong in their lives and with the world. Stay away from drama and bad news. In fact don’t watch the news. Follow positive people and pages. People committed to helping others, bettering lives, healers and gurus. Teachers and mentors. Even accounts dedicated to posting nothing but inspirational memes. Read these when you are looking at your phone during the “in between moments” of the day.
Start and end with gratitude. Before you open your eyes and after you close them, give thanks. For anything from your soft sheets to being loving and grateful to yourself. Every. Single. Day. Without fail.
So, now you have it. What if I told you six months ago this never would have worked with me, I had to be ready for it. I had to open up, listen, soften, make space, believe, trust and practice. If you are reading this, still reading this now, I believe that you are ready or getting to be ready for this transformational, healing self-love. We can’t always control the circumstances but I know that you know – we can control how we think and feel. And, I also believe that if you just reach for that next better thought in any given moment, rooted in gratitude and unconditional love, that you will feel your power, and there will be happy days ahead.