Category Archives: Happiness

Hanging on a moment of truth

cliff

Turning 39 today feels a little bit like standing on the edge of a cliff, toes curled over the edge, looking down at the waters below and not quite knowing what mysteries lie beneath the surface but knowing that you’re going to make that leap…just not quite yet.

I don’t mean to parallel the upcoming transition to 40 with a jump toward death. No, it’s not foreboding. It’s thrilling!! I find that I’m rather looking forward to it so that I might cross that threshold and enter the next phase of my life.

Lately I feel very much like I’m on the edge of something magnificent but that I’m not there yet. Much of my life at the moment is feeling like preparation, like steps toward a goal. I need to stay the course, continue onward and upwards but I find that much of the time I’m not exactly certain of my destination. Each step becomes clear as I take it but the path ahead is unknown. Each small step forward is taken with a certain amount of faith that I’m headed in the right direction. And there is an anxious anticipation that up around the bend is a clearing where I’ll be able to see all around me and wisely choose which way I want to go from there.

Today I need to remember not to get too caught up in contemplating the destination but to stay present in each moment and revel in the ground that is still beneath my feet and marvel at the little details that uncurl and unravel along the way.

I am completely in love with this journey and full of gratitude for everything that is my life!

 

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A New Spring

Image

Winter is definitely a time of hibernation for me. I eat enough to sustain a bear and I don’t want to do anything but curl up under a pile of warm, cozy blankets and sleep and hide away from the cold. It’s an introspective, internal time when being social sometimes feels forced and the world sometimes feels gray and bleak.

In the past I have tried to rouse myself, like the bear, come springtime. To rise up and rejoin the world but regardless of the season I would find myself retreating again. Not just inwards but away from – everything. Far more turtle-like than bear-like really. I would enjoy basking in the sun but was quick to hideaway under my shell at the first sign of danger.

This spring everything feels different. I am acutely aware of the change in the seasons, the longer days, the warmth of the sun, the blooming buds and greening grass. But it’s much, much more than that – I feel an emergent energy – the buzzing of potential. I’m almost giddy with it! I feel connected with the world and straight up drunk on love for it.

Much like the little sprouts determinedly poking through the dirt I feel vulnerable and tender but instead of being wrapped up in fear about all the things that might smash me and stunt my growth, I feel excited for the possibility of what might become of me.

I’ve been fighting for this feeling for awhile now – clawing at it– and inadvertently destroying it at the moment that I was close to achieving it. So I stopped fighting. It looked a little bit like giving up. It felt a bit like it as well. But it wasn’t. It took a long time, a lot of clenching and flinching and reflexive tightening but I finally relaxed into it. And as soon as I did, the very instant that I let go, the feeling of freedom that I had been struggling so hard find, flooded through me.

I feel alive with –confidence. That ever allusive sense of self-confidence which I’ve mistakenly been trying to find from others was a gift that only I could give myself.  There’s a quote that has resonated with me for awhile now, beckoning me to understand it and I’m finally there. I’ve let go of the fear and the doubt and returned to love.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

~ Marianne Williamson

 


Have a bad day

I think it’s important to embrace our imperfections. I also think it’s important to embrace a bad day.

There’s a movement about the power of positive thinking and it’s great and I get it, I really do. Not only do I think it’s great, I practice it. I believe in the law of attraction and I believe that we can choose our mood and make our own happiness. I am all about looking for the positive and changing our perspective. Practicing gratitude has gotten me through some really difficult times.

But here’s the thing. While it’s good to look on the bright side of things, it’s also okay to have a bad day. It’s okay to get mad. It’s okay to be grumpy, to feel down and depressed, to lose your temper. It’s okay to be tired, and it’s okay to break down into a broken pile on the floor and cry.

And we shouldn’t kick ourselves for it or feel guilty or self-indulgent.

There’s a certain amount of pressure that trying to maintain a constantly positive attitude creates. Being happy all the time isn’t necessarily some enlightened goal that we should all be striving to reach. It’s not authentic.  Happiness is not the only legitimate emotion; we have a range of emotions for a reason.

Down days are impetuses for change. That’s why they are good. We need to face our feelings, all of them, especially the ones that make us uncomfortable. It’s on these days that we can give ourselves a chance to internalize, to go inside and check for internal damage then come back out and realize that we’re still whole.

Many of us have a tendency to fear negative emotions. Perhaps we’re afraid that they’ll take over. But trying to bury these emotions and pretend that they don’t exist only lends them power. They thrive in the darkness. We feed them fear and they devour it and they grow.

Empowerment comes in recognizing that they’re just emotions. They are normal human reactions. They aren’t bad or good. They don’t need to be judged or assigned values. Let them be.  Bring them to the surface and allow yourself to feel them. They aren’t going to take over. Let them come and then let them go.

Allow yourself to have a bad day. Then get up tomorrow and have a better one.