Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The "secret" to happiness

"Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake and help us see we are worth
so much more than we're settling for."
Mandy Hale, The Single Woman:Life, Love and a Dash of Sass

Life isn't easy, and it likes to throw lots of curveballs, but it's all how you handle and smash those curveballs that counts. It's okay to miss and strikeout, as long as you keep putting yourself out there until you smash one out of the park.

Of course I just put everything I'm going through into a simple metaphor using baseball, but that's just how I roll :)

I'm not going to lie and pretend like everything in my life is fine and dandy. I'm currently in the middle of a "rut" right now: my exercise, eating habits and motivation have been lacking, and I've lost focus of my "why", but I'm reminded on a daily basis that I am surrounded by amazing people who love/like me for me.

Throughout this rut, I have remained positive the majority of the time, I have continued to be thankful for what I do have and I continue to stand strong and fight through the madness. I also continue to be incredibly hard on myself, having expectations high above what most people think is "realistic".  But looking back, I guess Im just 10X-ing everything in my life, not just my goals, because I know that I will never have the life and dreams I aspire of unless I push myself further than most people are willing.

All of this is what will make the end result that much sweeter and happier.

With all of that, I have been more realistic than many realize and I have opened my heart and world to everyone in the hopes that my story and situation can help even just one more person find happiness and peace within their lives.

My story will have me hold the titles of divorcee and single mom.  My story will have my not just lose my marriage, but will have me and my children lose our home. My story will have me losing my excellent credit standing. And finally, my story will have me being one of the MANY grown children moving back in with their parents. I could dwell on all of these "negatives" and let it bring me down or I could focus on the positives.

My story will have me be a happier, more aware individual. My story will have me described with the adjectives of strong, healthy and eventually successful. Eventually my story will have me hold the title of entrepreneur. My story will have my children growing up with 3 great adult role models under one roof, including a hard-working male role model.

Throughout this past year, I have found a happier me inside, focusing on myself more than I ever have before.  Mentally, I could not be stronger, and because of that, I have been able to put some focus into the physical me. I have gotten back into working out and eating healthy, and it's just this amazing circle of how my physical health continues to strengthen my mental health and how that strengthens my physical health and so on and so on.

This physically and mentally stronger me has also made me this more positive person you now see/read about.  Look back on my blog posts from the last few months versus 2-3 years ago, and the tone is so different, its like two different authors.

All of this has made me see the world from a clearer perspective and continues to remind myself on a daily basis (if not more often) just how lucky I am to be surrounded by amazing friends, family, co-workers, and even facebook acquaintances.

I know that when the time is ready, the perfect person will come into my and my kids life. For all the tough times I have seen in the past - and for the ones that will be in the future - the bigger picture will have 10x more brightness.

So what's the secret? Think happy and positive thoughts. It sounds easy - or maybe you think it sounds stupid - whatever it is - it works. I listen to personal development podcasts on a daily basis. I cut out the negativity of the news and instead watch personal development videos. I limit my television watching and instead put that time into developing my businesses and my future.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Failing Forward

The only way to succeed in life is to fail along the road and learn from those failures. I've had my handful the last few years and I'm doing my best to learn and move forward.

But for the last few months, I've been in a rut.. During this rut, I have allowed myself to ignore my schedule and my to do list, I've stopped moving forward on my business plans and let them sit, I stopped doing my morning routine (aka the miracle morning), I stopped exercising consistently and worst of all, I stopped eating consistently well.  In reality all the things I stopped doing tie together very easily. When I'm eating well, waking up early to do my miracle morning and exercise is like a walk in a park. When I do those, my day is kicked off on the right foot and I'm living a much more productive life and can check off my to do lists, follow a schedule and get the businesses working for me.

The thing is I KNOW all of this, yet I just can't figure out how to get back into my good spot, and I know part of the answer is figuring out what caused me to get out of it. I've tried to think about this a lot today - as i ate my way through the morning and early afternoon, as I rested and as I soaked in a hot and refreshing detox bath - yet it wasn't until typing this specific entence that (I think) I figured out the "culprit". It traces back to right around the time that I finally realized/"accepted" that I could no longer afford to pay my mortgage. My ex was not providing the support agreed to in our agreement and I was taking money out of savings like a kid asks for candy in a candy store, and the pot was starting to run dry. In order to try and get the financial terms of the separation agreement in place, it would cost me more money than I would see come back in the long term (if I even won) - and would take way too much time and cause way too much stress - so I had to come to terms with the fact that I would be getting a fraction of the agreement and there was just no way I could keep the house.

I talked to some people and had accepted this fact and worked through the months long battle of getting the house listed. Or I guess I thought I accepted it all. From day one, I felt like I've failed, but I know that my "failure" was mostly out of my control. I was in this situation due to a financial hardship that was (more or less) out of my control. I would have learned no lessons from my past if I just continue down the road of believing I have accepted this, so instead, I will accept that I am still working to accept this failure and that I know I have to take some of the responsibility - both mentally and financially - for this failure.

It will not be easy to come to terms with, but knowing what is causing me to not give 100% of myself to make the life I dream of will allow me to acknowledge the issue each time I struggle to stick to my routine. So although I decalred yesterday Day 1, tomorrow is a me day - and a new day 1. Upon passing publish on this post (and sharing is), I will go to bed and set my alarm for 4am. I will wake up at 4am and head downstairs to do my miracle morning (and I encourage you all to go to miraclemorning.com and/or search for Hal Elrod's podcast to find out more about this life-changing routine!). I will do a 21 day fix exercise as part of my miracle morning and I will eat my healthy balance meals. As Hal says, th first 10 days will be unbearable, the next 10 days will be uncomfortable and then the last 10 days will be unstoppable and a new routine will have formed.

With that commitment, tonight - although it took me a couple months to get here - I go to bed thankful for the lessons Ive learned through my failures and the abilites I've learned from my therapist to see this on my own and work through it all with the help and loving support I receive from my family and friends. And I of course am incredibly thankful for amazing parents who have opened their home to my children and I, so that one day I can afford to support the three of us on my own.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Forgiveness


The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur started tonight, and for those unfamiliar with the holiday, it is the holiest day of the year. The holiday is meant to bring about reconciliation - both amongst people and between individuals and G-d - and is the day that G-d decides the fate of our next year and whether we shall be written into the book of life.

Note: Im a believer in G-d, Judaism and what they stand for, but I personally don't actually feel that our fate is decided directly by G-d and only once a year, I think that we all have a say in our own destiny on a daily basis.

With that, the topic of forgiveness has been at the forefront of my mind so much recently, and not just because of the holiday.

What is forgiveness? Google defines forgiveness as "the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven". Okay, easy enough, but that doesn't really tell us too much.

If you look deeper into the meaning/process, it is generally defined as a "conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness"

And that is where forgiveness is hard! I can easily say I forgive someone, but that won't release the feelings, so how do I truly get to that point where I can forgive someone especially when they don't deserve to be forgiven.

I grew up with the understanding that forgiveness was a two-way street. The person who has done the wrong should understand what they did wrong, apologize and take steps towards not doing it again, and the person who was wrong forgives. For instance, in this scenario you don't tell a kid to say I'm sorry for hitting someone when that's the 10th time they've done it - they aren't actually sorry and aren't learning to stop hitting from stating those words.

So when the first part isn't there - especially all 3 aspects of them understanding they did something wrong, apologizing and taking steps to not do it again - and more so they continue to do the same "wrong" over and over and over again, as in the above scenario, how do you "let it go" and provide forgiveness?

I truly understand that forgiveness is less about them and more about the individual offering forgiveness (me), but no matter how much I want to be able to, I can't. I still feel that the act of forgiveness is about more than just me. If I forgive someone and just let their antics fall to the wayside, what lesson is this person learning other than that they can continue to act that way and get what they want?

Again, I know that's not what it's about, but when you have continuously forgiven someone only to have to forgive them for the same behavior, they aren't actually sorry or going to make changes. If I offer my forgiveness, all I'm doing is closing one door just for it to continuously reopen.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result - so if I'm providing forgiveness over and over again - even if I never express that forgiveness outwardly to the person - I'm just setting myself up for a different type of internal struggle.

What has worked best for me in the past is to just drop that person from my life and let distance and space provide the opportunity for everything to just clear the air, and if it's meant to be for that person to be in my life, eventually an opportunity will arise that brings them back in.

But what about when you can't just completely cut someone out of your life and you have no choice but to let them continue to hurt you? Maybe one day in the distant future I can find that place in my mind and body to forgive someone who truly doesn't deserve it for my sake. In the meantime, I will allow G-d to offer that person his forgiveness and I'll just continue to work towards becoming the best me I can be! Hopefully that will be enough to get me inscribed in the book of life for another year :)