Plot Twist

this is not about me

Plot twist: My story isn’t always calm. But, it’s my story to tell, and in my own way.

The key to my own happiness has been consistently and mindfully letting go of expectations and outcomes and letting it all unravel one glorious moment at a time. Letting things be what they are and not what I’m expecting or hoping for has been a labor of love and worth every effort. Being grateful and seeing the glass half full leads to feelings of peace, pleasure and calm. But, instead of finding the strength to be grateful, often we settle into feelings of entitlement which leads to bitterness, sadness, or frustration. Both of these ends of the human experience spectrum can be born from both chaos or calm, the reaction is always in the hands of the person enduring the circumstance. Even if the pain and the struggle are real, we all process emotion and produce the resulting behavior according to our inner process, motives and our needs in the moment. And that is human.

We all find a different lesson in the same mess. So, what’s YOUR process?

One choice is catastrophozing (an irrational thought process leading us to believe that something is far worse or much more intense than it actually is) a situation or outcome and I wonder if this behavior serves people well or if it is simply a negative attention-getting strategy. We often create a happy-chaos or good-madness just to be surrounded by drama. Some people exist better in crisis mode, or at least feel more relevant or needed when there is a problem to solve.

The opposite of catastrophizing is occhiolism (the awareness of the smallness of your perspective) which may help you stay more grounded and capable of navigating the authentic storms when they pass through your life. Or maybe the opposite of catastrophizing is magnificentizing… it all depends, and it’s all ok, just let it go. It’s really not about you, no matter how much it feels like it is. Too much self-concern can overwhelm a person to the point of having no room left for humility. Too much narrow focus on your own problems creates a warped vision and experience of reality. (Google synonyms of “selfconcerned” for a more detailed list of the mean and negative words that this practice can lead to… spoiler alert: narcissism)

“A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure” Henry Kissinger. So what becomes of the coal that cannot stand the pressure? It becomes dust, even though it had the natural potential to be a diamond. It’s not always easy to stay present and let go of the urge to fall apart and catastophize, but think of the potential for that little piece of coal that was able to grin and bear it… it becomes something that cannot be broken… But, sometimes being broken is human. “She was brave and strong and broken all at once” -Anna Funder

So, imagine yourself happy and let go of expectations. What is your current process? If you begin to be mindful and more aware of your process, will that lead to more moments of calm? There will always be storms and there will always be rainbows. The key is to find the lesson in the mess.

The Burden of Thriving in Troubled Times

file00077219763

Life is amazingly persistent at teaching us salient lessons along the way. We may not always clearly recognize them, but, if you slow down, be still and let go during times that have something to teach you, there is much to be learned.

“The problem is you think you have time” -Buddha

Sometimes it takes a tragic major life event to shake things up and break the routine just enough to help us rethink our world. What seems like tragedy may actually be an opportunity. Growing and making the best in the aftermath of a terrible loss will not change what has already happened. Using a dark time as a springboard into better times will pay homage and honor those who have been hurt or lost. When faced with any type of personal tragedy you always have a choice.

Often the most essential lessons about ourselves are presented in the most somber times. These are times when we stop and reevaluate our lives, our purpose and our plan. We feel heavy and burdened, not ready to take on any of life’s obligations. And just like learning, we all grieve in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to experience a loss just as their is no right or wrong way to learn a lesson. Life has a way of being gently abrasive. Life will find a way, but we all have the choice to absorb it independently, in our own way. The point is always to just internalize it in the end. Whatever you think the lesson is, it is. Being able to see the opportunity for growth means you are on the right track.

Troubling or challenging times is the perfect juncture to question dogma. Be brave and grow in the face of hardship. Experience profound movement in times of struggle. No need to be a hero, just be one for yourself, quietly, in your private moments.

Breaking News

television

I never watch the news. The news is sad and scary and someone else’s inflated, alarming opinion of what is happening in the world. Since I was a kid I had wished for a HAPPY news report instead of the horrible, depressing broadcast that my father watched every night at 10pm, but unfortunately there was no such show airing. Why did everyone want to know every detail of the heartache and tragedy happening around us?  Why do we like to work each other into a frenzy of “poor them” and “what-if”? I care about what is happening in my community and I am concerned with the state of the nation, but I don’t like being bombarded with daily doses of overblown breakdowns of the worst misfortune media could hunt down before their deadline. I also can’t stand scary movies or anything that has Zombies. I’ve spent more than a few nights awake and terrified with horrible Hollywood images in my head and it doesn’t serve me.

I know there is pain and sickness all around me, and I know danger lurks everywhere and I need to be careful and warned.  I just enjoy thinking about goodness and beauty more. I enjoy hearing stories about other people’s success and triumph!  Even small victories and menial tenderness holds my attention better than bad fortune and struggle. I want to feel brave and free, not scared and confined.

Before I made my happy promise, I was an avid watcher of murder mysteries and cop shows. I loved a good whodunnit and would study the facts and try to solve the mystery. They fascinated me. At the same time, I was experiencing horrible nightmares and bouts of fear. I realized these shows, although mostly fictional, were having a deeper impact than I knew. This terror and uneasiness consumed my thoughts and the cycle had to end. I created scenarios in my head, every situation had a foreboding tone and a bad possible ending. But, when I took a step back and manifested my goal to be happy and feel more at peace, I started to feel change happening. One of those changes included watching far less television. I needed to get other people’s thoughts and images out of my head and start designing my own. I needed to give others less control over my mind space.

When I started filing my time with rethinking my situation, writing my blog, and collecting research from reliable, intelligent sources, I started to feel less fearful. I started to feel more empowered and my momentum fired up and propelled me forward. I felt brave! I noticed my dreams were getting better and my anxious moments were disappearing. I stopped letting others fill my head with scary images and nonsense. I became far more interested in things based in reality and my new perception of what mattered.

Looking back over the last few years since I’ve experienced major shifts in my mind, body and spirit, I feel proud, peaceful and strong. Change takes time and conquering any blockage is demanding. The people around you that truly want to see you happy will step aside and let you hunt down and conquer that happiness by whatever means necessary. Chase your bliss and be suspicious of anyone who tries to keep you from it. If you feel like shifting some basic habits can have major positive ripple effects in all areas of your life, then trust that instinct no matter what others think or say. Believe me, I used to have to justify not watching the news or scary television or movies, but now I just don’t even engage in conversation about it. I changed a simple behavior, enjoy feeling the benefits and refuse to apologize for that. I still manage to know what is happening in the world. I am aware of issues that exist in our society and I manage to form my own thoughts about how they make me feel. I no longer watch the news or any late night cop shows (or zombie movies) and I’m managing just fine.

Habits can be shifted and the results can be sweet.

photo courtesy of pablogv2004 on morgue file.com

myhappypromise

(function() { window._pa = window._pa || {}; var pa = document.createElement('script'); pa.type = 'text/javascript'; pa.async = true; pa.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https:' : 'http:') + "//tag.perfectaudience.com/serve/507e0153f16a97000200001c.js"; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(pa, s); window._pq = window._pq || []; _pq.push(['datasphere.track', 'BDSP-12593449']); })();
%d bloggers like this: