What is the message you woke up telling yourself today?
I heard a podcast yesterday that really made me re-examine my own words and thoughts. The idea was that many of us complain we don’t have anything to wear as we stare into a closet full of clothes. We open our refrigerators and complain there is nothing to eat despite the fact it is almost full. We turn on the tv and surf a thousand channels and still we cannot find a single thing to watch.
At what point do we stop and ponder what in the world is wrong with me? How can I allow myself to overlook my blessings and focus on what I do not have rather than what is right there in front of me? We have to learn to be happy and grateful in this moment exactly the way our life is now. This idea that I would be happy if…leaves us chasing ifs until we run out of days. There will always be another if and we have to choose to be happy in spite of it. It’s time use our words to reflect a joyful, gracious heart and practice, practice, practice until it becomes automatic. There is enough negativity in the world and we can choose not to contribute to it.
Today, choose to be happy. Bask in gratefulness and watch how your life changes before your eyes. So what’s it gonna be? Is your closet, fridge, life full or is it half empty? There are no ifs worth robbing you of your own happiness. Stop chasing them.
What’s there to celebrate?
Yesterday was the first nice day here in months. I was thrilled to sit beside my pool and bask in the healing, warm light that was emanating from the sun. Sometimes it takes losing something for a while to really appreciate its value. It’s been a long, cold winter and I didn’t realize how easy it was to take a beautiful day for granted. How many other things do we take for granted? It’s also spring break and for the first time in a while I had my entire family sleeping home under one roof.
Notice the moments that make your heart swell. Take a minute to sit and let the sun warm your face. Spend time with the people you love. Bottle up those deep breaths of gratitude and envelope yourself in the happy times. The rest is just a distraction. Pay attention to the gifts in your life and celebrate everything no matter how silly or small. We are meant to be happy. Don’t be the cause of your own struggle. Choose to live your life and not just go through the motions. Make your trip around the sun worth every mile. This is your time. Shine.
When I look back on my life a year ago, I am moved to tears by the gratitude I feel for some much needed change. For years I took a backseat in my own life. I accepted the circumstances and allowed myself to play the victim. At some point, I knew enough was enough and every intention and choice I made purposefully moved my life in a different direction. I am beyond happy now. Until I could picture myself feeling elated and peaceful, there was no way I would bring that image into reality. I had to want it enough to believe it was possible which then led me to find a way to make it possible.
Remember, where and who you are today will not be the same as where and who you will be a day or even a year from now unless you are too afraid to make a move. The same behavior and repetitive negative thoughts will only lead you down the same road. If you want to explore new, exciting ground then you have to take the first step in a different direction. Don’t wait any longer. Do it today!
After some really hard work, my inner voice has taken on a brand new tone. As I sat back in my pool float today, I actually heard these words inside my own head. “Relax kid. Enjoy your life”. So that is my mantra for the week. We spend years pondering our purpose in life. Perhaps it is more simple than we ever imagined. Love hard, speak easy, be kind and enjoy the precious life you’ve been given. Have a blessed day.
I’ve heard so many people put conditions on happiness lately. I’d be happy with this… I’d be happy if that. You can try your best to put conditions on people and anything else in your life but one thing I know for sure is if you try and put conditions on happiness, you will never experience what the word has to offer. It is what it is whether you like it or not. Wishing won’t change reality, wanting won’t change it either. You simply choose to be happy in the reality in which you live or you don’t. It’s that simple. You can fight against everything you don’t want or you can be grateful and happy amidst the things in your life you are fortunate to have that you do want. You fight or you love. You create positive energy or you spread negative energy. There’s always a choice. You can beg and plead and negotiate in your mind but until you learn to choose happiness where you are right now and in every moment, you will be negotiating for something that will never be negotiable. Life isn’t about what you want and you don’t decide what you do and don’t get. Some of us draw some crappy cards and others have all the chips fall into their hands. You cannot always change your circumstances but you can change the way you react to them. Sometimes you have to see something a different way to make it look tolerable. If your a fighter, there will always be a fight waiting to present itself. If your a lover, something or someone to love will always be present in your life. We have more power than we think. We just aren’t smart enough to use it to change our own lives.
I was that parent with the aching back, sitting on stiff bleachers Saturday morning. We do what we have to do for our kids from the time they are born. Spending a weekend at a swim meet cheering my daughter on seemed easy compared to some of the other responsibilities required of me. The thing about parenting is this…we may look like we have it all together but on the inside we are falling apart. As the words of the National Anthem echoed in the natatoriun, that sick feeling I get in response to nerves started to take hold of my stomach. This would be the last regional meet to decide if she went onto states. Friday’s meet resulted in some slow times and I was dying inside to get this session of finals over with once and for all. I saw her step on the blocks and my heart sank. I held my breath as I watched her fly across the pool. I waited for that ball to drop. So many other times she had been out ahead but this time, something was different. This time I watched her fight through the pain. I saw the pure desire and will to win carry her across the water at a speed I had never seen before. For years she had swam in someone else’s shadow but that would not be the case today. Today was her time to shine. The amount of time it took me to focus on the scoreboard seemed like hours. There was her name with a big 1st place glowing like a blazing fire next to it. I could barely choke back the tears. I was so proud of her because I have watched her work endless hours over a span of 12 years. This was her moment, the payoff and just thinking back on it brings a smile to my face. Those bleachers weren’t so bad after all. It was an amazing day.
Today I went to see La La Land. The first few minutes I sat there thinking, how am I going to sit through this cheeziness? Eventually, I found myself smiling. The silliness really tickled me pink. I realized after watching the media circus and news conference today that it is real life that is absolutely ridiculous. I found the fun, light-hearted theme of the movie to be both amusing and refreshing. I couldn’t help but wonder how different the world would be if people broke into song and dance more than they broke into arguments and insults. I loved the movie and I caught myself smiling more times than I often do during an ordinary day. We need more of this kind of ridiculous and less the everyday nonsense. I give it two thumbs up. It really made my day.
I love this time of year. I just feel better in every way possible. I have more energy. I feel happy and my depression seems to go into hibernation. I love giving and sharing and family and just the thought of Christmas makes everything inside of me feel a little tingle. I also make a concerted effort to see God in the people who are the most challenging for me. I actively try and be the better person I long to be and every minute that goes by, opens my heart a little bit more. That being said, I often have to protect myself from negativity and people who have bad attitudes and bad intentions. I just turn them off, say a small prayer for them and disengage. Feeling good is rare these days. There is so much around us constantly trying to suck the happiness out. Somehow this time of year I am able to find that sweet spot that some might call balance. How do you feel this time of year? Why?
I am sitting here in my living room watching Christmas lights dance on my ceiling. Yes I know it’s early but there is something very calming about lights and a tree and a warm fire emitting from my fireplace. I needed a break from the world going on outside. It’s safe here. No one is judging or fighting or screaming opinions at one another. We are just spending time together and we are happy. Every one of us. My kids are actually in the same room with me and my silly daughter hooked us up with her Christmas music playlist. She is dancing around like a crazy child. These are the moments you know? When my family is together and singing and happy and I am feeling so grateful for this beautiful moment. I will let this sink in. This is what it’s all about. I hope I am extending this peace out to all of you. Have a great night.
Sometimes life feels a little boring and I have to stimulate myself a bit to prevent sleep walking through the days instead of living through them. That feeling of being totally alive is a feeling that I crave. I felt it at the Grand Canyon and as I caught a glimpse of Santorini for the first time. I felt it when my daughter swam her goal time at high school states last year. The everyday tasks take over sometimes and before I know it, I am smothering underneath the routine. This month I am challenging myself weekly to do something outside the norm to keep it interesting. Today I ironed. I know it sounds crazy but it is something that I rarely do except in cases of extreme emergency. Now when my daughter comes down looking like a million bucks instead of like a wrinkled mess, I will high five myself and carry on. What do you do to keep life interesting?