Making a Happy Promise

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It was four years ago today that I decided to make positive change in my life in an effort to become the best version of myself. I’m grateful for my journey and I’m hopeful for what is to come. If the time has come for you to start your own journey, it may be comforting to have a roadmap to follow. I have created a 3 step outline of how my own journey has unfolded and I hope these steps will help you begin to define and discover how to navigate your own journey. I only claim to be an expert on myself, and I encourage you to become an expert on yourself. My hope is that what has worked for me will inspire you to design a roadmap that reflects your own journey.

1. The Awakening

The realization happens that change is necessary. You may or may not experience the beginning of a breakthrough. The signs showing up around you can be anywhere from violent to subtle. You make a decision to make change. The decision can just be to get started. The focus on exactly what needs attention possibly comes clear, but may unfold in time. The most important thing to do in this stage is be open to whatever comes next. You may feel a surge of energy and a strong desire to explore and learn, or you may just begin to feel calm and open. Be mindful and accepting of your feelings.

2. The Discovery

You begin to pinpoint the areas of your life that need changing. You begin to develop a stronger focus on how to approach them. You begin to explore and learn which vehicle(s) will suit your needs: mindfulness, yoga, piano, music, hiking, art, kindness…. as you begin adjusting to change. Your senses begin to take in and process information in a new way. Colors are bolder, music is sweeter, smells spark vivid memories, you may feel hyper sensitive in every way. Now is a good time to begin to be even more mindful of your thoughts and feelings in an effort to discover how to make positive change. Stay open to change and unattached to outcomes. The less expectations you place on yourself and your experiences, the easier this process will flow, and although it may not be easy, it will be worth it.

3. Finding Your Calm

It is now time to adopt a new normal, incorporate new habits, and accept imperfection. It’s time to live life happier and keep awakening and rediscovering in each moment. The more kindness and love you show yourself, the more love and kindness you will be able to show your loved ones. There is no finish line, so don’t search for it, but instead enjoy the feeling of a new beginning.

Every journey is unique.

Appreciate your own, distinct patchwork life.

Find your peace.

Enjoy your calm.

The Long and Winding Road

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You embark on a journey and it fills you up and teaches you more than you ever thought possible.  This is the stuff of myths and fairy tales born from real life heros and explorers.  You ask the tough questions and seek the true answers.  You absorb the result no matter how energizing or shocking they may be because it’s better to know and grow than wonder and stay stagnant.  Along the way we make discoveries that we may not fully process until a later point in the journey.  The journey is never over, so I won’t say we process our experiences at the end.  This is an ongoing, beautiful movement through our life.  We are all on a journey, we all have a path.  Learning to be at peace with your life’s path will bring you just that, peace.  You have the power to interpret your journey and take action to make it serve you.  Be your own hero.  Live a beautiful life.

Then you reach the part of the journey where you have gone through vital self discovery and realize you want to make changes.  Maybe you feel like life and details are in the way and you are tethered to certain routines and will have to get crafty to make these changes.  But the changes are possible, anything is possible and change is good.

“How you spend your days is how you spend your life” – Annie Dillard.  For me, creating and basking in happy days is ultimately the only choice.  Though we may have to work hard to self discover and manage our findings, the task is well worth the struggle no matter how enjoyable or painful those outcomes may prove to be.  There are times you discover things that challenge you or take your breathe away.  It’s all in how you see those things and how you take action that make the difference.

This life is truly a long and winding road, and my life is made up of so many varied experiences and truths, but the truth I hold most dear and cannot breathe without is the belief that all of this hard work will continue to lead me on a beautiful, happy journey.

“I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery.  It’s a journey of recovery.  It’s a journey of uncovering your own inner nature.  It’s already there.”  -Billy Corgan

Taking A Moment

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Pick a version of yourself from the past that makes you feel loved, hopeful, and at peace.  Add as much detail as you want.  Is there someone there with you that deepens that impression?  Let yourself fall in love with the person you were and remember that you are still that person.  Embrace her, take some time for her, and let her be free of all the things that you know are about to happen to her.  I’m glad that younger version of me didn’t know how it was all going to turn out.  Why should we worry her with details?  Let her enjoy the moment.  Life’s best moments are just that: moments.

There’s not much I wouldn’t do to make myself well and keep myself healthy.  You might say I’m having a love affair with myself.  I’m pretty invested in making myself happy, and I’m not afraid to say it.  But a big part of learning how to love myself meant going back and learning to love the younger versions of myself that brought me to where I am today.  I have spent some time thinking about the times that were hard and how they have brought about the most change.  There’s nothing enchanting about sitting idle in a brokedown palace.  There is nothing natural about being stagnant.  Life is about evolving and growing.  By embracing the flow and staying focused on self-love along the way you nurture your soul and create hopeful and peaceful versions of yourself in the present to look back on in the future.

So when you convince yourself that you don’t have enough time to devote to yourself, or that you just can’t take a few minutes away from your busy life to quiet your mind and calm your soul, remember that one day you may need today’s version of yourself to draw on to ease your mind another day.  Take a moment. Make a memory.  You’ll thank yourself later.

“I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery.  It’s a journey of recovery.  It’s a journey of uncovering your own inner nature.  It’s already there.”  -Billy Corgan

photo courtesy of mconnors from morguefile.com

myhappypromise

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