Thursday, October 3, 2013

For when you don't know what makes you happy...


I have a bit of a confession to make.  Most of 2012 was a trying year for me.  Prior to that, 2011 was one of the most successful years of my life.  I was enjoying being back in school, I got married, things were going well at work, and I even found a way to fit in a half-marathon.  And this is how I thrive the most, being just a little too busy.  Everything was great, until it wasn't.

Over the course of time in 2012, I realized that things weren't clicking for me anymore.  There was no tragic event in my life, but only a slow degradation of my perceived feeling of success.  And while I don't wish unforeseen crises on anyone, the "slow death" of my mojo was practically undetectable and just as lethal.  School was frustrating, I was missing my free time, and no matter what I tried, I could not feel successful about my work.

I had been trying a lot of different things to maintain my positude, but nothing was really did the trick.  I had lost my confidence and needed to get it back.  So I had to bring out the big guns. Here's how I did it, and I hope you can get your mojo back.
  • Think positive thoughts: I am sorry that I am offering such mundane and cheesy advice here, but you have to start here.  For me, thank goodness that Pinterest was around so I could see all sorts of quirky, inspirational messages as well as people who just as weird as me.  I take comfort in that.  Find a blog, a twitter feed, or a Pinterest board that speaks to you.
  • Get a new perspective: Surround yourself with sources that can open up your perspective towards the positive.  Try something that you haven't tried before.   I read some books and got perspective from podcasts.  Here are my favorite new perspectives:
  • Quiet your brain: I have heard time and time again that meditation is a great resource, but I haven't been able to master that yet seeing as I can barely sit still through yoga.  For me, I have focused on my own quiet alone time, running, and mindfulness. For mindfulness, try this:
  • Make an effort to connect with people: I began to make more of an effort to focus on improving other peoples' day, and it lifted mine.  I tried to spend more time with friends and family, or talking on the phone when I could.  And, I started writing a blog, where now you know a lot more about my life than I have ever shared before.
  • Remove the roadblocks: For me, I eventually took a leap of faith for a challenging new job.  I also finally finished school so that I had more time for something other than homework.  But I'll tell you that I had gotten to the point where I didn't recognize who I was as an irritable and frustrated person and I immediately felt as though I was my old self again when I began removing some of the roadblocks to my happiness.
After all of this, I found what makes me happy, and it boils down to a few things: Surrounding myself with beautiful and weird things, constant learning about new things through podcasts/blogs/books, taking the time for mindfulness or quiet time, offering happiness to people and (trying) not expecting anything in return, and removing shit that brings me down.  I cannot be surrounded by people who bring me down, because I just won't allow them to ruin my day.  To my husband, you have been an amazing supporter and partner and I couldn't be even close to happy without you.

Everyone has to take their own path to discover how to be happy but the point is, the journey is just as important as the destination, so enjoy the discovery period.  It was a tough lesson, but a worthy one.

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