It feels good

It feels good to feel good. Why do we forget this? Or neglect it? Or choose to stay in an unhappy state, avoiding the things we know will help us to feel good?

There are a lot of really complicated answers for those questions. Some have to do with habit, some with depression, some with disease, fear, outside pressure. Who knows.

The truth is, though, that we can feel good if we choose to.

I forget that too often. Right now I remember.

So I am reminding you. Go do something that makes you feel good. Not because I said so, but because you deserve it. And because you really do have the power to choose.

Timelines

It’s so frustrating to make plans, and base so many thoughts and actions around those plans – only to have someone else throw in a wrench and say, “nope, we’re doing this now”. Or, like I’ve had lately, the wrenches are more like opportunities to do what I want – but I’m so not ready! There are many things I want to accomplish in the coming year, but I have created a timetable for them, a general idea of when it will be best for me to achieve these goals. So why are all the opportunities showing up now? I’m not ready. I don’t have the money. I don’t have the space or the time. Other things have to change before I can take advantage of these opportunities. Stop throwing them at me!

Waiting

never wait

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Cycles and Seasons

Have you ever stopped to think about how much we are influenced by repeated cycles and events? For example, the holiday season. No one is truly immune to it, even when we avoid it. There is a greater sense of community, of connectedness, than at any other time of the year. There is more joy, more sharing, more giving. Also more eating, drinking, and arguing. It’s incredible, and the effects of repeated cycles often continue even when the original situation has drastically changed. About two months ago, I went through a pretty serious depression. I was moody, anxious, grumpy, and just downright sad. The thing was, I couldn’t figure out why. There were no discernible reasons for my mood. Work was going well, at least as well as it ever does. My finances are in good shape, my relationships are solid. So why was I so down?

Finally, it hit me. Exactly a year before, I was unemployed, very broke, feeling very insecure and apprehensive, and my relationships were undergoing some pretty major upheaval. So this year, despite the fact that everything in my life is better, I was still depressed. I didn’t even understand what might be causing it until it was almost over. The one-year anniversary of starting my new job passed, and like a miracle my mood lifted. I felt happier and stronger again. It was very strange.

More recently, it happened again. Spring is almost universally considered to be a time of renewal, as the land wakes up again, the sun stays around longer, and animals give birth to their young. For me, it has always been a little bit the same. Like waking up after a long sleep – which honestly is weird, because I love winter and often feel most awake during the cold months. Still, spring seems like the time to begin new endeavors, to shake off the cobwebs and get moving again. Which is exactly what I have slowly been doing since the turn of the season, both mentally and physically. Moving again. Making room for new thoughts and ideas, discarding ones that no longer serve. Boxing again, which I haven’t done in months. Thinking about travel, and road trips, and visiting places I’ve always wanted to go, even right here in my hometown. Waking up.

I’m excited to welcome spring, and to start moving again in my life. Moving forward, making changes. As much as part of me hates change, I know it is the only way to truly live. So here I am, changing a little bit every day.

What cycles do you repeat? And what are you going to change today?

Taking Care of Me

Taking care of myself has rarely been enough of a priority for me. I tend to focus on the needs of others, because often they seem to be easier to address. And because I sometimes have difficulty identifying my own needs. I’ve really gotten tired of waiting for other people to do the same for me. Took a very long time to understand that it doesn’t work that way.

In any case, I have often let myself be lower on the list of priorities. Lately, I’m making some changes. Instead of focusing on what I want or need, I’ve been focusing on what makes me feel good. I like feeling that I have accomplished things, so every time I do, I write it down. Sometimes by the end of the day, I have a pretty impressive list. I’m keeping track of little moments that make me feel loved and cared for, whether they come from me or from others. I’m taking better care of my body, because it feels good to do so. I’m cutting myself some slack. Not saying that I can get away with anything, but really truly accepting that any success is still success, that any progress still counts. This all adds up to me ending my day with a really satisfied, fulfilled feeling.

This taking care of me thing is awesome. I’m so glad I found my right way to do it.

New Year, Not So New You

Ah, New Year’s Day. The day when we all get to be shiny and new. Yesterday we promised that next year, we would be better: healthier, happier, kinder, more forgiving, more generous, more thoughtful, more organized. Today is the day most of us try our best to fulfill that promise. Tomorrow is the day most of us give up.

We’ve gotten used to instant gratification. Practically everything we could want is available the moment we want it. But changing yourself takes more than a day. It takes more than a promise, or a hope, or even a commitment. It takes work. That promise, and your commitment to it, will need to be reevaluated and renewed. Every single day. Change is inevitable, but if you want to be in control of where change takes you, you have to choose to be so. How many of us are familiar with deciding to work out more often? And when we make the decision, we are so determined, so full of the rush of knowing this will help us feel better. Then we get caught up in daily routines, stressed about work or family or money, and even though we’ve been working hard, there is a day when we don’t stick to our plan. No big deal, we can pick up tomorrow. But then it happens again. And again. And in a while, we realize it’s been weeks since we have actually worked out. We aren’t sure how it happened, but there it is. And now it’s starting over from the beginning, and that’s just plain exhausting.

This is why I say we have to decide to change, every day. There is just too much going on in our lives, we are all moving too fast for a lesser commitment to be successful. Time moves so fast, and in order to make the most of it, we have to take charge.

2014 was a hard year for me. I went through some really rough times, lost some important people, and perhaps most importantly, lost a part of myself. It’s taken me most of the year to realize I will never get that part back. The me that was can never be again. I have become a new shape, smaller in some places and larger in others, and I have to choose how to fill that shape in. And this is a constantly ongoing process. In the midst of all my struggles, I started a career that so far has been an enormous blessing. I’ve moved forward in so many ways. I already started my New Year’s resolution. Two weeks ago, I decided I was done with feeling weak and out of shape. And every day since, I have done something about it. I am very out of shape, so nothing is too strenuous, but there is yoga, and stretching, and the beginnings of boxing practice again. Every day, I tell myself I will do something. And there have been days it almost doesn’t happen. But because I make that promise to myself, it does. Sometimes it is just a little stretching right before bed, but it is something. And slowly, that will grow into something more. Big dramatic promises don’t work for me. I am changing slowly, a little tiny bit at a time. And I am taking charge of how that change happens.

So, my not-so-new friends, I wish you the best of luck in 2015. Whatever your goals, your dreams and desires, whether or not you turn them into resolutions, I wish you the strength and determination to see them through, and to take charge of your life. Blessed be.

Rivers

Here I am, browsing the internet, not really looking at anything particular. Suddenly, there is an article about why rivers aren’t straight. This could be interesting. Now I know. The answer is cool, and actually pretty simple. Join me in learning this awesomeness. 🙂

http://www.upworthy.com/why-arent-all-rivers-straight-the-answer-is-kind-of-mind-blowing?c=ufb1

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