30 Day Happily Ever After Challenge

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The world has gone completely berserk. It’s no wonder so many are depressed and withdrawn. Do you find that it seems nearly impossible to focus on the positive and actually feel happy?

If so, join me here on the blog for a free 30 day adventure where we will be on the hunt for happiness in the “Happily Ever After Challenge,” coming up in the next few days.

#happilyeverafter

Are you in?

Be Gentle With Yourself

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We humans, or at least the majority, have a habit of repeating the negative self talk we received in our past. Not always received in words but also in actions or lack of attention/love.  Of course, we may know a few who always seem as if they are self-assured, self-confident, adore and love themselves. Whether that’s true or not, we perceive them to have it all together and perhaps that’s what they intentionally give off.

I have a lifelong practice of habitually sabotaging myself. Always beating myself up and tearing myself down for every little thing. The way I look, not liking this about me, not liking that. Not liking this aspect of my life, being self-critical of my talents or lack thereof.  Even if I receive positive reinforcement in the way of compliments and building up from others, it doesn’t go unappreciated, but it seems I reflect and focus on the negative about me. Why is it always easier to believe the bad stuff about ourselves?  I’m sick and tired of this limiting behavior.

Aren’t you?

I think it’s high time we learn how to reclaim our lives and in ways that is right for each of us. And I believe I have found the first few inches of this pathway into enlightenment or self-love or whatever you want to call it. Are you ready for it?

I am practicing being gentle with myself.

“What does this mean exactly?” you may ask.

For me, this meant taking a mental health day, which means a day for me, a vacation day, a day off from pretty much everything except for the fact of dealing with me. And I didn’t even really “deal” with me, but I did take time for me and with me and nurtured me and romanticized me and listened to me and talked to me. Yes, I talk to myself. Am I crazy? Well, the jury’s still out on that one, but I encourage you to talk to yourself, too. Positively.

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And you don’t have to be super weird and make out with yourself in the mirror like James Franco or anything but telling yourself “I love you” is a good thing. Hugging yourself is a good thing.

This is what I did on my mental health day (if you need an example for yourself):

I cannot recall if I slept in on this particular day but I didn’t get up early. I know this. I did wake up with a smile (prob around 6/7/8), because I went to bed the night before whispering to myself to just practice happiness and be grateful for all I have in my life. Just mostly be grateful and happy for my blessings.

1. So, wake up with a smile and intention that today is going to be a free and gentle day and whatever happens, I am okay, and everything is going to be okay.

 

I downloaded an app on my phone months earlier, because I wanted to try something, and I read about it, but I’ve never been able to fully embrace it, because…well, partly, I felt it a bit new age-y and partly, because I cannot seem to still my mind long enough to fully appreciate  the benefits that this action brings. Some may call it ‘lack of action’ but without further ado, I’m talking about – meditation. On my day, I did it. And I LOVED IT!

2. Besides enjoying my coffee and biscotti, I laid on the couch, listening to the guided meditation and experienced a more relaxed head-space and presence of self that I hadn’t before. (Comment me for the free app and free meditation.)

 

I lit fragrant candles, fixed myself a long hot bath and poured in some yummy smelling bath beads I forgot I had. I turned my phone music app on to Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Etta James and the like, because that’s how I roll…or that was my mood at the time. I shaved my hairy legs. I soaked. I got carried away, not by Calgon (some of you may get this reference), but by fragrance, out of this world magical musical tones and closed eyes, allowing my mind to transport me to wherever the wings of my imagination wanted to fly. And I just breathed. And relaxed. And didn’t live by a clock or schedule, for once.

3. Soaked in a hot bath, full of fragrant bath salts, flickering candle close by, listened to mood music, daydreamed happy thoughts, listened, breathed, smelled, relaxed.

 

I took a walk outside. We live in the country so it’s peaceful most of the time, unless someone is out in their yard with a chainsaw or have a tree-cutting company hacking 3 or 4 trees for 2 or 3 days, which happened recently. It was peaceful on my mental health day, though, thankfully.

4. Walked in the grass, feeling grateful for grass. Sat in my new lazy tree swing with my feet up, staring up into the tree bark and leaves that were lovingly shading me, feeling grateful for beautiful strong trees, grateful for a family that I love, feeling grateful for me and focusing on the good stuff that I have done (and do) in my life. My intention was strictly positive, so nothing negative came to mind during this time – actually the whole day!

 

I had made a video, just because I’d never done this before, of myself. Call me insane, but I felt the need to tape myself a day or two before my mental health day, right in the middle of my funk. I wanted to address it. I wanted to say it out loud. I wanted myself to see it and hear it from my other self (if you get what I’m saying here – no, I do not have multiple personalities). I wanted to be real and authentic. Then, I watched it and listened to it as if it belonged to someone else and thought about how I’d feel for this person had it been a friend or stranger. I watched again. And really listened. And then I deleted it, because it took up too much memory on my phone and because I wanted it to remain private. On my special day, I wrote a letter. (If you’d like tips on what I covered in this video, so you can do one of your own for self-therapy, comment me.)

5. I  wrote this friend (because we all need to be friends with ourselves) a love letter, telling her how wonderful she is, how brave, how courageous, how proud I am of her for her accomplishments, how much she has to give, how much talent, how much love. I told her she’s beautiful, inside and out and how she can do anything and I am here for her and she has others that are here for her and to trust herself and go after what she wants but to also be happy in the journey, as each step on our paths are meant to teach us something about ourselves and our lives. And to be mindful of each moment and to forgive – others, as well as herself.

 

I read a lot of different things – parts of different books that inspire me, different articles that I was in the mood to hear on this day, things I wanted to know more about, things on meditation, things on forgiveness, things on how laughing is healthy. I watched funny videos. I watched inspiring videos. I watched happy videos with the AWWW! factor – with babies and fur-babies. I put on funky music (play that funky music white boy!!!) that made me want to dance and I moved my bootie to the music. You have to pick tunes that inspire you to get up and dance a happy dance – one where you have no choice but to groove to the music, ya know?

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And hey, it doesn’t have to be a pretty dance. If ya look like a big ole weirdo, so bit it, but I wouldn’t recommend dancin’ a jig on the freeway. And if you’re super uncoordinated like this white chick (meaning me, just to be clear), just take safety precautions, okay?

6. Read things that inspire me, watched videos that inspire me and make me laugh, that uplift me, that show me how to see things with different perspective, played funky music that made me get up and dance and sing, even if it was probably scary looking and made the dogs cry.

 

I love hot tea. I know it’s summer and believe me, Mississippi summers suck. It’s hot as hell here!!!  Well, I’m guessing. Probably not, but it’s super freakin’ hot!!

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GIFSec.com

But when you have the a/c on and it’s nice and chill in your house, so much so that it makes you forget about summer heat lurking outside the door (or almost), you might wanna put a kettle on. This is a nice way to spoil yourself, or this is how I spoil me.

7. Put on a kettle of water and steep yourself a nice cup of hot tea in one of your favorite flavors with some nice raw honey, which is also healing for your body.

Did you know honey is nature’s antibiotic?

 

And, well, this post has gotten too long, so I’ll stop here, but you get the idea, right?  Have a Be Gentle With Yourself Day. Talk nicely to yourself. Focus on what you have. Focus on what you’ve done well, what you’ve accomplished. Tell yourself “I love you.” Talk loving things to yourself and just know you are awesome and you can do anything, and you still have time, and forgive yourself, try to enjoy the ride, look for the good things, the lessons, and know you will be okay.

Ciao for now. Love you!  Smooches!  xoxo

A New Day – A New Chance To Be AWESOME!

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Hi!  How are you?  Been a bit chaotic this month?  Yeah, me too.  December is just full of busyness, buying, wrapping, cooking, eating, cleaning, decorating, and just endless going and doing.  Well, 2016 is upon us and guess what?  Yup, you guessed it, it’s time to reinvent yourself, and/or your business, and/or your passion.  Not sure what it is about the year being NEW that inspires us to make changes and goals. What’s wrong with a brand NEW day?  Like TODAY? Each day is another brand new chance to become the person we have always longed to be.  Maybe your ideals and ideas change? Then, make changes that day. Don’t wait for a new week or month or year. Make each new day a chance to begin something or start over, because that’s what happens with each sunrise – another chance.

After much confusion and busyness and chaos and depression and indecisiveness and prayer, I finally reached a decision.  I tried to be still.  Not such a good thing for me when I am keyed up, depressed and worried. Because it makes me focus more on the depression and overthinking everything rather than the doing.  I have to keep my hands busy, ya know?  I mean, meditation is a wonderful thing and I encourage everyone to practice meditation, stillness, silence, prayer, mindfulness, but, for me, meditation and stillness has to be practiced when I am not in a state of worry, panic and overthinking. Only then can I relax my mind.

Since I was 5, my lifelong love has been writing, poetry, telling stories, writing songs – creating.  The voices from my childhood get in the way sometimes, because I allow them to.  I allow them to sabotage what I love, because I think somehow I don’t deserve happiness or success or joy.  I find ways to distract myself from writing. I feel maybe I’ll never be good enough, my stories will never be good enough.

So, this vision came into play for the video series I finally started. I thought it was a beautiful vision. Everyone needs to tell their story, share their story.  We need to hear their stories and learn from them, empathize and sympathize and connect with those stories, those storytellers.  It was a beautiful project, idea, with amazing people and engaging stories.  Not sure if it was God, timing, the universe redirecting me (although I thought the universe was calibrating destiny when the project fell into place), or if it was simply a lesson or two I needed to learn by committing to the project (because I have learned a ton about myself as a result).  For whatever reason, the video project is at a stall, which is forcing me to overthink everything, like many, if not all, creatives do.  I started to realize how much I miss writing for me, telling stories, working on my novel, writing poetry, writing songs – WRITING anything for me.  I miss my characters.  I started getting hungry – hungry for words – hungry for finishing that novel – hungry to re-engage with my characters (my imaginary friends).

Not sure if we are supposed to have more than one passion that we want to pursue but all I have time for is one at a time.  To be worked in and played with around family and work.  I know I cannot do it all, so I am choosing the one thing that’s been a part of me all my life and I am making a commitment to finish this novel, then finish book 2, then book 3, then book 4.  If I never get back to the video project, then it will stay there in the back of my mind. If a miracle occurs, then I’ll have time to write and do the video project and feel utter bliss! But until that miracle happens, I will stop sabotaging my writer self, stop feeling unworthy of goodness and happiness and I will do that thing that brings me joy and release, because each day that I write, even for 30 measly minutes, I find that place of joy and release. It’s like walking through a portal to another world of magic and wonder and weightlessness. And how can I deny myself that?!

So, I am back.  I don’t know how often I will blog, because I do work a lot of hours, spend a lot of time with family and leftover time will go to writing, but I’ll do my best to check in at least once a week or more if I have time.

What are your goals/ resolutions/ changes you would like to make for yourself?  What plan of action/ attack are you strategizing?  Get ready.  You don’t have to wait for January 1. You can being implementation today.  Good luck and God speed!  If you need cheering on, holla!  If you need an accountability partner, I’m here for you.  Just drop me a comment or email me

Top 10 Clues to Cure Christmas Blues

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So, I’ve received all your chiming in…or Naw.

But I’ll give my 2 cents anyway.  This is Phase II that I talked about…

We are sick of Christmas.  Or we are sick of having the blues.  Or all the above.  We just wanna get through it.  Without too many tears in our wine and hopefully more than a couple of dimes to rub together.  So, what’s my cure for the Christmas blues?  Well, get a pencil and try some of these things out, ’cause I have a few.  See if they work for you.

danceout1.  DANCE!!  Don’t feel like puttin’ on your dancin’ shoes?  Well, I don’t always feel like dancing either, but when you live with a seriously crazy dancing teenager, when she says dance, you dance. Whether I feel like it, or not (not today because my little mini me is feeling icky), I get up and shake a booty.  Usually in the kitchen.  Not sure why it’s usually in the kitchen but that’s where we always seem to wind up and dance.  And sing.  Badly.  But no matter what sort of mood I’m in and no matter how tired I am, dancing always makes me feel better.  So, turn on your favorite tune that makes you wanna shake a leg, whether they be skinny chicken legs, or you leave the fat and skin on, shake it, baby, because, first of all, it’s good for you, gets that blood pumping, and second of all, it can put a smile on that face.  Oh, and if you wanna get rid of some of that flab, it’s probably one of the best exercises known to man to work up a sweat, boost your metabolism (as well as your mood), all while putting a smile on your face!  And if you have someone in the house or office just sitting around, pull ’em up there with you, because while it’s fun dancing alone, it’s more fun dancing with a friend.
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2.  SING!  Believe me, I cannot carry a tune in a bucket but when I sing, and especially when I sing loudly, it makes me laugh!  When I hear myself, it’s just hilarious. Yes, that’s how bad it sounds.  My dogs (and every other dog in a 2 mile radius) howls right along with me.  Okay, so maybe they are crying for peace and for me to shut up (likely, the case), but I’ll go on believing they are trying to sing with me.  When my daughter and I sing together (very off key), we both start belly laughing!  And if you want a little extra belly laugh, sing in the mirror!  Watch your face as you “try” to sing and if you’re a wonderful singer like we are (NOT), make yourself sing off key while looking in the mirror.

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3.  LOOK IN THE MIRROR and make silly, sexy, wacky, kissie faces!  Just look at yourself.  Don’t take yourself seriously.  If you ever have taken a selfie, which it seems most of the world has, then you can hang around in the mirror for 5 minutes acting wacky.  Look as if you’re looking at someone else, trying to make them laugh.  Try the sexy look, the pouty lips, blow your mirror self a kiss, look serious, don’t laugh, try to keep a straight face, hold your hair in a certain way that makes you look like you have a mohawk, or put 10 pony tails all over your head, because THAT’S super sexy, right?  Act like you’re doing a music video and YOU are the STAR!!!

4.  If you aren’t into the Christmas lights, or Christmas movies, or Christmas music, there is no rule that you have to be.  Though it does help to realize other people do love that crazy stuff and helping them to enjoy it goes so freakin’ far.  Maybe if you try to get into it ‘for them,’ it will help you not focus on your issues or your lack of love for the holidays but refocus your energy on those other people who you love, which always seems to help me.  FOCUSING ON OTHERS and wanting to make them happy takes the pressure off of yourself and helps you to see everything in a new light.

5.  TAKING A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, or better yet, a walk in your own back yard, in a park, in the woods, on a trail, down your country road. Just be sure you are safe, people will not hit you with their car or bike or whatever and take a nice walk OUTDOORS!  I don’t know what it is but being outside in nature, feeling the breeze on your skin, the sun in your face, the trees, leaves and grass in view, along with that amazing fresh air – well, it cleanses the senses as well as the soul.  I can get this sitting in my porch swing, listening to the birds and catching the breeze, while bundled up with a blanket and a cup of hot tea, or a walk in the back (because we live in the country), a walk to the pond and sitting on the pier to contemplate life, or just meditate.  We are trying to improve our mood, so meditation would be better than contemplating anything.   Just be close to nature and notice all the beauty that’s surrounding you.  Even if it’s cloudy or rainy or snowing, there is beauty to be had in all of that, honestly!  FIND BEAUTY everywhere you look.

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Okay, so these are my top 5 ways of finding a somewhat cheerful disposition.  Do you have any to add?

6.  Eating scrumptious food?

7.  Having a glass or two of wine?  Yeah, a little sumpin’ sumpin’ can’t hurt.  Just don’t drink and drive, because that’s – well, that’s just stupid.  And we know you’re not stupid.

8.  Look at happy pictures online.  Like – of cute babies, sweet puppies and kittens, look up funny images that are sure to make you laugh.  This has helped me.  I’ll look up crazy faces of dogs, cats and babies and it’s hilarious!  You can’t help but laugh, even if you are in the midst of tears at first!  Cracks me up every time.

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9.  Watch a funny movie!  Something with Robin Williams is THE BEST or anyone you prefer that makes you laugh so hard, your gut cramps up.

10.  And my last idea for helping you get out of the funk you’ve found yourself in?  Go volunteer.  Anywhere you like.  At a children’s hospital.  Those sweet faces love to sit in your lap and hear you read them a book!  They eat that stuff up!  Soup kitchens always need servers and it feels amazing to your heart to help those who aren’t as blessed as you are.  You might not think at this moment that you are blessed but I can promise you someone else has it so much worse than you.  When you focus on helping others, the thought of yourself and your hard times or depression/sadness/lonliness/whatever you’re going through falls away, at least for a while.  And afterwards, your heart stays lifted when you think of those people you helped.  And we all need to help others.  And we all need to feel helpful.  And our hearts can always use a lift, right?  Right.  If you need more places to volunteer, I have tons of places and things you can do, so just ask.

What else ya got?

Is it the holidays or just me?

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Take into account I’ve already had 2 glasses of good wine so I may be a bit too honest. But is it the holidays or just me?  Okay, I realize it’s not just me.

Most of us get the holiday blues. We must understand and remedy (or try) this as best we can, yes? Because, hello!? It’s bloody Christmas and we should be effing joyful and not half drunk and sappy, yes?  Yaaas!  So, to pull apart these feelings to further understand them…we’ll call this Phase I.

Phase 2 can be in 2 days once we’ve received the hoorah from all of you that would like to chime in with all your ho ho f***ing jolly ho and tell me how you really feel.  Just being authentic here…  In the moment…

So why have we fallen into the deep dark abyss we call the Christmas blues?

1) We’ve lost a loved one – yes, they’ve moved on. Either they’ve gone to the other side or they broke up with us or ended our marriage. You thought they’d be there forever, right?!  Well, we were wrong. And it hurts. Deeply. More concretely and breathtakingly than anyone can possibly imagine.

But I get you. Been there. Done all of that. It sucks. You think one day you’ve finally gotten a hold on it and you’re good.  Right?  Then Christmas comes along and rears its ugly head and it’s all fresh again. As if it happened yesterday. I mean, it happened 13 effing years ago or longer. But, well… Here you go. It might as well have been yesterday.

Because, duh, we miss ’em. They should be with us, celebrating, laughing, filled with glee, but they’re not. And ya know what? I know you know what. It feels like shit!

And reason #2) You’re po.  Downright poor! You barely get by paying your bills just by the skin of your teeth! Skin? We have skin on our teeth now? Om, no.

And Christmas is now? I mean, yes, I realize it’s been in the STUPIDDD department stores since July but, oh, I tried not to realize it’s December. Actually, all my months run together, thanks to those Christmas in July ads.

So, I just figured I’d have another 6 months to try to scrimp and save for what everyone wants – at least the top 3 on their wish lists, because God (no offense) knows that’s what it’s all about.

3) You are not a Christian, you don’t follow Jesus and don’t get, nor have you ever gotten the whole celebration, overspending, overeating, glad tidings of it all.

Om, I don’t know where to go with this one… Because, well, even half drunk and pissed off as I am as loved ones absent, po as I am and the commercialization of it all, I still do get the whole Jesus thing, so I cannot empathize with you on that one, I do try to take into account of the real reason we have Christ-mas.

It is hard to focus on just the one main reason sometimes, though, right?!  We are human. We hurt. It sucks. Most of us love Jesus. It’s not about dissing the main dude and especially on his birthday. It’s not about that.

We forget what it’s REALLY about. Maybe ’cause of our ego, we’re selfish. We want our peeps and to have more moola. 

And because crap seems to happen at Christmas and when it does, it’s 10 times worse crappy than if the crap fell in your lap in May.

So, for Phase I, why are YOU feeling the Christmas blues? Tell me. Lay it all out there. I realize it’s THE most heart-wrenching, stabbing, melting your soul and your brain like hot butter (or it can feel that way) time of year.

Maybe by Phase 2 or 3, we can remedy our blues (or try our best) before Christmas Eve. So, lay it on me.  Just be real. Be authentic. Share your truth. We are listening.

And we (I) will do our best to help you/us all through it with at least a pirate smile on our faces. We’re in this together.

Are You a Mindful Type of Person?

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Are you a mindful person?  I would love to say I am but I’m rather an aspiring mindful person.  I try to be mindful at certain times, in a certain moment, on a certain day, but that’s not really being mindful, is it?  No.  I stress and depress and project it onto others around me, especially those I love the most.  I direct it onto my closest friends, my mom, my daughter, God, heck…even my dogs.  God forbid I’m working and one of the dogs has to go out, or I’m in the midst of focusing on a project and I get a text, so I even project my stress onto my somewhat smartphone.

You’d think I’d be happier.  I mean, I’ve got it made.  I work from home, which is just a life choice I made a while back, because I wanted to be present for my daughter.  I wanted to raise her properly and be here for her.  Not to say that parents who work outside the home are not raising their kids properly.  Not at all.  I used to do the 8 to 5, the commute, working late, working on a Saturday.  I did the whole thing.  It’s just a choice I made that was right for me and my daughter.  I have awesome contracts with clients I love, finally.  I’ve worked for some true devils.  I mean, before doing the WAHM (work at home mom) thing, I worked for attorneys and there were some devils in that mix, let me tell you!  I can’t believe I did it for as long as I did, but the money was awesome and the perks weren’t too bad, either.  Yeah, I’ve worked for some monsters but the worst one I ever had was one of my clients, whom I kicked to the curb last year.  No, I love my clients now, so I should be happy.

So I work from home, I get to hang out with the kiddo, take her to everything (or rather, let her take me, since she’s got her permit), hang with the dogs, take Mama to any appointments she needs me to (she lives just next door), not work for attorneys/crazy people/head cases/monsters (although there are 2 attys that I actually adore and call them friends but they are a very rare exception), no commute, no extra expenditure on gas, no dealing with people in the office I don’t particularly care for, I get to fit my work schedule around family time and appointments and walking the dogs, washing clothes, whatever.  I get to fit in a little bit of time to work on the novel I started a year or so ago.  I can jump on the treadmill whenever I want.  I’m healthy.  My family is healthy.  So, one thing goes not according to plan or wrecks my schedule and I have a meltdown.  What’s the deal?  Am I going through mentalpause?  Or are my hormones all wonky?  Oh, maybe it’s the lack of sugar in my diet since I’m into weight loss right now.  Or the fact that I’m hungry from putting less food in my belly.  God help everybody when I take coffee off my menu.  Trying to get healthier.  Yeah, I’m gonna healthy all over the ones I love.  Poor things.

I keep telling myself to live in the moment.  Be present.  Be mindful.  Mindful of my words, my thoughts, my actions.  Be kinder to not just those I love, but to everyone I come in contact with.  Be kinder to myself.  Be gentler.  Stay calm, slower to anger.  Be patient with myself and…well…just everybody.  I haven’t much patience when it comes to someone doing 40mph on the interstate and I can’t get around them, ’cause grammaw over here in the left lane is going 40 also and refuses to pass.  No, actually, I imagine myself shooting out one of their tires, not so they’ll have a wreck, mind you, but slowly pull off to the side and get the heck outta my way.  Mean.  I know.  This is what I’m saying.  I’m so angry.

This is not being mindful.  Oh, I’m sure of my emotions.  I know what I’m feeling.  But my feelings are out of control.  Depressed and crying because my baby just entered 10th grade and I’m simply not prepared for her to be this age, yet — this big — this grown.  *sniff*  I realize I have 3 more years with her, but do I?  She’s getting more involved in clubs and activities, with friends, stuff in school, stuff outside school, pretty soon she’ll have her driver’s license and probably a part time job.  I’ll never see her.  My baby will be out the door even before college.  Am I afraid of being alone?  I don’t think that’s it.  I’ve always cherished my alone time.  I’m not the lonely type.  If anything, I look at it as an opportunity to write or to read.  Boring, you say?  Nah.  I love it.  Sometimes I think I need to find a man so I won’t be alone when she goes off to college and then I realize how stupid that thought was.  Divorce was good for me.  Maybe I just need to learn how to chill.

I need to learn how to be mindful.  I need to cease, slow down, stop, HALT!  And be still.  I need to pray more, meditate.  I haven’t meditated in I can’t tell you how long.  I used to do it every morning.  Hallie even did it with me!  We looked forward to doing this together every morning.  So, why did we stop?  I think I let my work hours consume me.  Now that I actually have clients I love and work that inspires and benefits me (and the world), I need to reevaluate my life, my time, ME.

I need to ask myself what it is I want and get to it.  I need to get back to the plan.  I need to fit in my fun quality family time, work hours, writing hours, exercise, walking and smooching dogs, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn and everything else I have to do and be glad about it.  Be glad I have the opportunity.  Be mindful of every minute and make sure I’m not wasting it.  I admit, I waste a lot.  I think too much.  That’s my strongest weakness.  I can’t get out of my own head.  I need to prioritize and eat the frog.  Meaning, get the work hours done M-F as soon as I can get done and get it out of the way, so I have the free time I need to do everything else.  I procrastinate a bit.  I get distracted by my thoughts, an idea of a storyline I’m working on, so I quit work to type it into my book.  I’m so disorganized.  Even this post is all over the place.  I ramble.  My thoughts are scrambled and rambling.  I’m a rambling gal.

So, I’ll shut up and just make my greatest effort at being mindful.  I’ll live in the moment.  I’ll be gentler with myself and others.  I’ll stay calm and if I don’t have a nice thought or word, I’ll keep my lips zipped!  I’ll let it pass.  No one needs my stress.  I don’t even need my stress.  I’ll try to chill and be thankful for each moment I’m given, thankful for all my many blessings, and I do know I’m blessed.  I’ll just start acting like I know I’m blessed.

How to be mindful…

Hmm…

  1. Being in, living in the moment – each minute of the day – not so much inside my head, just aware of my thoughts, my feelings, my actions and words and what’s going on around me.  I will make a choice.  I will choose how to spend each and every moment.  I can participate or I can observe.
  2. Staying calm, being gentle, slow to anger – if someone tries to piss me off or I start to overreact, I will breeeeeeeeeeeathe and I will smile, forcing myself to chill and be patient.  I will not flip anyone off.  I will not cuss.  I will not yell as if I believe the other driver can hear me.  I will not tailgate.  If the checkout person in Walmart is in a pissy mood, I will smile at them, try to engage them in polite conversation and try to ease their suffering.
  3. Act with love.  Speak with love.  Feel love and exude love.  For others as well as myself.
  4. One of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned (thank you, Tessa) is “it’s not all about you.”  I will remember it’s not all about me.  Just because a person is acting a certain way, it may be about them and it probably is.  I tend to get paranoid.  I’m getting better at this.  I will focus more on others and realize everyone has a struggle.  We never know what another is going through.  I will take my mind off myself and focus more on others and see if there’s any way for me to be helpful to them.
  5. If I get distracted, I will come back to center.  When I realize I’m goofing off (like now.  I should be working), I will refocus, stop playing or thinking or procrastinating or wasting time (even though I just had to talk to y’all), I will ask myself, “Self, what do I need to be doing right now?  What am I doing?  Do what needs to be done.  Eat the frog.”  Y’all do know what ‘eat the frog’ means?  I’m not actually going to Eat.  A.  Frog.  That’s just wrong.
  6. If my mind begins to wander, I will bring myself back, get out of my head, refocus, and do what I need to be doing.  I will be mindful.

Any other tips on how one can be mindful?  HALP?!  Please insert in comments below.  ’cause we all need to know.

Smooches!  xoxo

 

 

Photo courtesy of arttherapyspot.com

Crazy Legs!!

You possibly find it taboo to discuss these things — depression and the like.  Perhaps you think, “If I just ignore it, it’ll go away.”  Or you avoid people that suffer with depression as if they have the plague.  I’ll bet no matter how happy you are or pretend to be, you have a certain level or type of depression in your own life.

There are various levels and types of depression.

1.)  You are melancholy due to the crappy weather

 rainy

— we all suffer from this, because we need that Vitamin D from sunshine to boost our mood and make us feel and actually be healthier.  Oh, I can enjoy a drippy and dark cloudy day with the rain droplets bouncing on the leaves and dancing on the windowpanes but going without sun for too long will bring anybody down.

2.)  You receive rejection.

rejected

Any sort of rejection.  We all want to be liked, loved, appreciated, told we are gifted or talented or a friggin’ genius.  When we are rejected, it hurts and it sucks.  We all have to face rejection in our lives.  Nobody ever said it was going to be easy but there are ways to help yourself feel better fast.  Dwelling on it isn’t one of them.

3.)  Someone leaves you or you leave them.  Each is a form of rejection.

died

They may have died.  They may have moved away or you did.  They (or you) may have ended the relationship on purpose.  It happens to all of us.

4.)  You’re sad.

sad

You can’t pin down any specific reason why.  You just are.

There is honestly an endless list of what makes us sad, bitter, and angry (all parts of depression) — but there is also an endless list of ways to bring yourself out of it.  No, it’s not in pill form.  No, I’m not talking about liquid happiness we sometimes find in alcohol.  And no, it’s not about finding Jesus (although it certainly can help).  There are ways, simple plans of action you can take — anyone can — to make yourself happy, bring yourself out of the deep dark cold cave and into the bright warm sunlight.  And if there’s no sun, you can shine your own light!  sunny

Ready?

So, step 1 and 2, you may have read about changing things up/ doing something different(ly), singing loudly and off key the other day and those things will help.

Need something else?  Try these:

1.  You know that saying, “Dance like nobody’s watching?”  Do it.  Yeah, that.  Get out those crazy legs, crazy-legs-o

put on your best, most favorite upbeat dancy song and work it!  I didn’t say twerk it.  Not only is this great exercise and gets that blood pumping, but if you do it right and have fun with it, you will laugh at yourself and your crazy dancin’ legs.  Move those crazy arms, too,

Moving-animated-picture-of-dancin-dude

if you feel like it.  Sing along at the top o’ your lungs if you can pace yourself well enough.  Some of us aren’t coordinated to sing and dance at the same time.  😉

If you cannot dance or move the way you’d like, you can actually close your eyes and imagine/visualize yourself dancin’ all crazy to some great music.

visualize

Your mind has power over your body in so many different ways (too long to explain in a blog post) and if you can visualize it,

visualize 2

it’s the same as actually doing it and can totally lift you out of your funky (funky in a bad way) mood.

2.  Affirmations.  Yes, I said it.

eye roll

Don’t you roll your eyes at me.  No, seriously.  Okay, I’ll admit I used to roll my eyes, too, but listen…  Do this:  Take a short phrase that means something to you that is meant to empower you and lift you up.  Write it down.  Read it again and again, at least 3 times.  Accentuate and embellish the words with curly cues and drawings of your own choice.  Trace it.  Use different colored pencils, pens or markers to brighten up the words.  Then, say the words out loud (Yes, out loud!) 10 times.  Say it like ya mean it!  Look back at those words throughout your day and go through the exercise again if you feel the need.  Need some examples?

“I am beautiful!”  — because you are.

beautiful

“I am a ____.”  — fill in the blank.  Don’t say “blank.”  (Yes, I know there are some smart asses out there as I am one of them.)  So, if I want to be a writer, I claim that I am a writer, then I declare I am a talented writer, then I believe I am a well paid, published writer.  You take your want/wish/goal/aspiration and make it a true statement for yourself as if it has already happened and you just are.  “I am a highly paid, sought after, NYT best selling author and I’m sooooo happy!”  Or “I am having the most awesome day ever!”  Or “I am so happy, because I have so many blessings in my life!”

i'M AMAZING!

Now you try.

And when you say them, smile.  Force it.

fake smile

Fake it till ya make it.  It might start out as forced, but after a little while, it’ll be natural.  funny smile

It helps to think of all your blessings and even say each one out loud.

sweet smile

Need examples?  Let me know.

bunny smiles

(FYI, I have suffered with depression for as far back as I can remember, as have both sides of my family as far back as I’ve traced, so I know a thing or two.)