I’ve read stacks of books on being happier. I’ve developed good habits, cultivated positive self talk and wrote pages affirmations. I wouldn’t say that I’m an unhappy person. But I’ve been sold on the idea that I can have a life of ease and comfort. That I’ll be floating on a cloud of constant bliss if I carefully follow all the steps laid out in one of my many books.
It’s didn’t do very much other than keep me occupied for a period of time. It wasn’t until I picked up a book on mindful meditation and started living in the present moment that I found out what true happiness is.
Being in the moment, whether it’s a perfect moment or one that I hope is over soon, opens the door for exploration and delight in ways I never thought possible.
When I’m feeling uncomfortable, like at the dentist for instance, I often will become curious about my resistance to being in that chair. I’ll experience that prickly sensation I get on my arms when I hear any of the equipment turn on. In my mind I’ll create a space where I look for a place of peace amidst my thoughts of “make this stop”. I”ll breathe deeply and intentionally relax my body. It transforms a situation that I want to escape into into a richer experience I want to learn more about while I lean into.
Continue reading “Life can suck, but it doesn’t have to suck the life out of you.”
If I could only lose 30 pounds I’d be so happy. Various iterations of that statement are rampant. But really how happy would a person be just by losing 30 pounds. Most weight loss survivors end up losing the weight they set out to by cutting back on everything they enjoy eating and suffer through their diets during their “maintenance” phase for a couple months, maybe years before returning to the way they originally ate which causes them to gain it all back. And they are more unhappy than they were before because they underwent this huge ordeal and now feel like a failure.
It would be the same as deciding that you would like to make $2000 dollars extra every month. You could take on an extra job or two and make that money, but how happy will you be when you are tired and burned out? How long would you be willing to do this for? Most people find a better paying job.
It’s the same as your fitness goals. You have to decide that you want a better life. More energy, better stamina and an increase in strength. The weight will do what it’s going to do. Most likely, it will go down if you are living in balance. But for some, eating sweets or having a glass of wine is not something that they are willing to give up. So they have more weight on their body than may be considered acceptable by society and the media. If they are exercising regularly and are physically healthy, then what’s the problem? It’s completely okay to not want to be a size four.
A realistic goal is to set your sights on being more fit or eating in a more healthy manner. Start small, make attainable goals. If you feel sluggish after your 3pm pastry, make it a yogurt and a piece of fruit. By taking small steps towards being healthier, you will be eventually create a lifestyle that supports your lifestyle aspirations.
And there won’t be a “maintenance” phase. It’ll be life.