"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Choosing Happiness

Happiness is a choice. I know it doesn't always feel like it is but it is your choice to make. I am not saying it is easy but you can do it. Ultimately, you have control of how you live your life and what thoughts you think.

You cannot control anyone else. You cannot change them. You cannot make them see life as you would wish. You have no control of anyone else. But that is okay because you have complete control of you. You can choose to act however you wish in any given situation. You can ask yourself, what can I do this situation to change it for the better? Again, I am not saying it will be easy. The answer may be you decide to walk away from that person and no longer include them in your life. Ultimately, it is your decision to make.

Choosing happiness in your thoughts is often a longer process. Many of us, especially Americans, have been trained by societal and social norms to be critical, worrisome, and overall pessimistic in our thoughts about ourselves, others, and the world around us. Many like to call it being realistic. Well poppycock. It is simply stinking thinking and it has to go.

Think about it. If you have a situation in which you can do nothing for that given time, what does worrying and fretting do to help?? Nothing. When you make a mistake or fail to live up to your expectations is it really helpful to internally shame and berate yourself? You may think it will help you not do it again. But I guarantee, you will fail again. You will make a mistake. Tearing yourself down will not result in anything other than leaving you and your heart in pieces. When someone cuts you off in traffic or offends you in someway is it beneficial to allow your anger to take over and enrage your emotions?

"Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." Buddha

Think about it. You pay the price for that anger and rage. You are the one who is truly damaged. Well, those  and those love because they are most like the ones who will bear the brunt of you tumultuous spirit.

There is a different way. There is a better way. You can chose peace and happiness. You can choose to live mindfully and in the present. You can choose to change your thoughts. It isn't easy and it takes a lot of work but the rewards are simply breathtaking.

So how do you do it??

Begin to replace every single negative thought with a positive one.

I failed again!! I knew I wouldn't be able to do it and now everyone will see I am a failure. I worked really hard. I know I put out my best effort. I will try again next time. It doesn't matter what others think.

That idiot cut me off!! Who the hell does he think he is endangering everyone just so he can be first?? Wow, that was scary. He almost hit me. I hope he slows down. I wonder if he is going through something difficult in his life. I hope he finds peace.

Why must my child constantly demand my attention?? Why can't my child just do what I ask without making an ordeal about every little thing??? I wonder if my child is not feeling well or if there is something wrong. It must be hard to learn how to control your needs and emotions and not have the ability to really express yourself. I will go try to connect and see if I can help.

I know this sounds a little cheesy but consciously replacing your thoughts with thoughts of love, compassion, caring, and gentleness truly works. And no, you probably won't always feel those kinder emotions at the time but it is all about retraining your mind and attitude. It can be a hard struggle at first but over time it becomes easier. It becomes an integral part of your being.

And you start to become a truly happy person. That, my friends, is worth all the work.

May harmony find you.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Falling Apart and Fitting Back Together

Friday I was formulating an escape plan. I was going to either Costa Rico or California and I was going to learn to surf. This is particularly funny because I am really quite terrified of the ocean. I was just going to walk out of my life. Okay, so I wasn't totally serious but to be honest, I played with the idea in my mind. I was at the beginning of a meltdown. I was ready to fall apart. 

The past few months have slowly been building with life stressors. We have been busy, too busy. I have not been taking the alone time necessary to remain in harmony. There was a big vacation. My youngest was admitted to the hospital. There were other things affecting me having to do with others I am not open to share. Slowly but surely I was acquiring baggage without even realizing it. My control and discipline was shattering and I was done. 

Thankfully I have the most amazing husband in the world. Seriously, the man rocks. All I had to do was to tell him I was falling apart and he quickly removed all the extra responsibilities and let me have my meltdown in peace and solitude. That is exactly what I did. 

So many people try to avoid this part of the cycle common to many of us. They try so hard to maintain control at all times until a big avalanche of emotion, pain, and desperation overwhelm them. The inevitable collapse leads to a shame and guilt spiral capable of rocking the foundations of life. I have learned I do not want to do this so when I feel the meltdown coming, I accept the reality and allow it to take me where it will. 

The amazing part is those mini-breakdowns can actually result in greater strength and flexibility of mind. Allowing myself to flow with the experience has lead to a clarity of spirit and purpose unmatched by other methods. I understand myself more fully and come back refreshed and rejuvenated. 

The way I see it is we go about our daily life unconsciously collecting baggage and unnoticeable parasites of guilt, other people's issues, regret, petty irritations, anger, dissatisfaction, a case of the what if's, etc. These slowly build up until they are putting pressure on our spirit causing angst and pain. The best way to cleanse these undesirables from our being is to allow everything to fall apart and then put ourselves back together without them. This allows us to fully cleanse any wounds we may have picked up and begin true healing. If we cleanse these wounds early they don't have the opportunity to fester and infect our souls, possibly ripping through us doing untold damage. 

It is good thing to step out of life and reflect on what is going on. It is a good thing to take a moment and think, wow that hurt or that experience really scared me. How can I deal with these things in a positive and nurturing way? How can I nourish my being at this time? What do I need to grow from this? 

I believe all things happen for a reason. I believe the willingness to flow with what life brings ultimately fulfills us far more than fighting that particular part of the path ever will. Each experience has purpose and is a window to understand ourselves in greater detail. Do not run from this opportunity. Embrace it and sit down and just cry if that is what you need to heal. You will be stronger from your release.

Namaste my precious friends and may harmony find you.