Posted in Addiction, advice, escape, Goals, inner peace, Learning, Life, People, random, Uncategorized

Directions To Happiness

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Yesterday, I ended my blog by saying something like “If I figure out the directions to being present, I will definitely share them”. Well, I woke up this morning and started really thinking about how I got here, to this place of real happiness, in such a relatively rapid manner. I mean, lets face it- just two months ago, I was a pinched face ball of tension and misery. Now, I wake up every single day feeling like the possibilities are pretty much endless, and even if NOTHING exciting happens, I am good. There’s a weird part of me that is almost a little embarrassed by this, like maybe I am really just having a bipolar manic episode, and everything really still sucks…but, I’m pretty sure that isn’t it. I haven’t decided to go jogging naked or spent my whole paycheck on Coach bags, nor have I started an inappropriate affair with the mailman (Yet, hahaha!). So, I am operating on the assumption that this is my new reality. 

As much as it may feel like I sort of stumbled into it, looking back, I do see that I have done some specific things that have helped me get to this point. A lot of it was just instinctual, and when you are on the right path, it’s like your spirit will pull you towards the things that are best for you, I swear. I know how hokey that sounds, but I think that is one of the catches- you have to have an open mind. So, here are my personal directions to the approximate location of happiness. You may have to tweak it a little to find your best neighborhood. 🙂

1.) You have to decide that you want to be happy. For me, it was more like I was so insanely sick of being miserable…but I did often say the words “I just want to be happy.”. Saying this is not the same thing as making the decision to be happy. We say a lot of things, all the time, and do nothing. This happens inside- it’s a commitment that you make to yourself when you are really ready for change, and usually, things have to suck pretty bad to get there. For me, at least. You may be smart enough to feel some minor discomfort and go ahead and turn it around. I could learn a few things from you, if that’s the case.

2.) Once you make up your mind, you have to stop doing all of the things that are making you miserable. For me, as you probably know, there were drugs, and a really unhappy relationship. You just have to let go of that stuff. I had to do both in order to make any progress- I had tried just giving up the drugs and then just giving up the relationship, but nothing worked until I let go of both. It was hard, and sad, but I was ready.

3.) Definitely Rest, but don’t Languish…does that make sense? What I mean is, yes, you do need some time to recover from the “surgery” (whatever piece of yourself you just had removed, or reconstructed), but don’t just sit around waiting to heal. When my last baby was born, I had to have an emergency C-section. The nurses told me to walk around as soon as I could, that it would really help. I thought they were insane- HELLO? From what I understood, certain vital organs of mine had been PLACED ON TOP OF MY STOMACH to get to my child before being thrown back in…you want me to do what, now? But they were right. It kept me from getting all stiff and full of scar tissue or something, I guess. Same principle, here. You need to keep moving forward. You gave enough time to whatever misery you are escaping.

4.) Take walks. I had put “exercise”, which is also really important, but it isn’t the same thing for me as walking. I get something different out of my morning walks than I do from a trip to the gym. I get to see the world around me in a different way, and I just sort of meander around, doing what feels good to me. So try taking a walk every day, see if it helps.

5.) Think about what you are putting in your mouth. The way I eat has so much to do with the way I feel, it is crazy. If I eat lots of red meat or fast food, I feel sluggish and awful. If I eat food that I cook at home, and lots of salads and fruit, so on, I feel better. Not just in my body, but in general. I am not saying cut out everything you love to eat, just think about what you are eating. Lots of times, i realize I don’t really even want something when it comes right down to it.

Well, I feel really bad about this, but I am going to have to finish this tomorrow! Time got away from me, and I have to head out for my walk or I will miss it, and…well, see number 4. That would just never do!  Have a great day, and I will talk to you tomorrow, I promise.

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What’s new with “ME”

So, it’s not as easy as I thought it would be to stick to my guns and persevere with my original intent- to try to indulge myself a little bit, try some new stuff, feel better. What has happened is that I have really been paying attention to the way I feel, more, and what those things are that make me feel excellent.

So far, this is what I have learned: If I can’t relax or I am not feeling well, it doesn’t matter what treats I am giving to myself, I am not going to enjoy them.

When my house is a wreck, I am not going to feel good about anything.

When I am overweight, it doesn’t matter how great my eyebrows look, my face will still be chubby.

My feet stay remarkably slender no matter what is happening higher up, so it’s a good idea to take care of my toes.

I like my hair better long- it’s easier to deal with, more feminine (for me) and suits me. I’m not sorry I cut it all off, but I do want to grow it back.

Those are a few of the things I have figured out in the past month, the simpler ones…some others, that have surprised me a little are:

Having a puppy is a great way to keep yourself grounded in the present. When you walk a little baby dog around, they want to stop and sniff everything- so you become very aware of your surroundings, and you see things more clearly than you might if you were just rushing by, on your way to somewhere else. I like this very much.

Prayer is a good thing- I knew that already. Prayer in a big room full of other people praying is a great thing. Going to church is a relatively new thing for me, and I am just blown away by how important it is becoming to me. I love the idea of a room full of other people like me, wanting to be more, wanting to know God better, wanting to have faith. I’m not naive enough to think that all those people have the same motives for being there, or that they are all great people, even…but it is touching, all the same.

If you pay attention, your body will tell you exactly what you should, or more specifically, what you SHOULD NOT put in it. Yesterday afternoon, while waiting for my kid and her friend at the mall, I ate a magnificent piece of pizza with tomatoes and big globs of ricotta cheese all over it. It was so yummy. About an hour later, my mood took a dive and my stomach started growling and feeling all bloaty and gross. Apparently, this was not warning enough for me, so for dinner, I ate a little bit of steak and some garlic bread and a tiny, insignificant amount of salad. I was awake at two o’clock this morning with the WORST stomach ache ever, and no on but myself to blame. Guess how often this happens when I eat, say, chicken or salmon or a veggie burger, even? If you guessed never, you were right. I am not fifteen anymore, no matter what my brain tells me, and if I want to eat crap, I better be willing to pay the price.

The most interesting thing of all, though, is this- exercise seems to be the biggest, best, most wonderful thing I can do for myself. I have been walking a lot, every day, actually, and it never fails that when I get home, after the initial sweating and panting has ended, I feel fantastic. My mood is great, my energy level is great, and it lasts a good long time. Also, I am actually losing weight, as well, which doesn’t hurt my mood any.

So this is what is new and happening on my little journey now. I will keep you all updated as I add new things to my repertoire…I am going to take a new exercise class or two this week with a girl from work, which should be super interesting as I am incapable of crossing an empty room without injuring myself, so…stay tuned!