Hello. Hi. Wow has it been awhile–the longest I’ve gone with an intermittent posting schedule and lack of social media activity, in fact. I’ve missed what blogging brings to my life, but lately I just haven’t been able to press publish. If you could only see my WordPress dashboard…drafts upon drafts of unpublished half-written content, tons of reminders for widget updates, and a last published date in June (my email inbox is another issue entirely). It’s all a bit overwhelming, which is a word I would say describes the past few months for me quite well.
That’s what’s interesting about life, change is guaranteed and sometimes things can get to be overwhelming and chaotic–quickly. If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you might remember a few posts I wrote about struggle and expectations. It’s actually been so long since I’ve read those that I found I needed to read those words again (side note–it’s so interesting to read through posts from a few years ago!). I was able to thrive after working through my adjustment struggles a few years ago, and I’m now at a point where I am transitioning yet again into a new stage of life.
I’m going to be a college senior this year (even writing that out doesn’t seem real, I have no idea where the time has gone), and with that comes change and adjustment. Last semester and this summer I’ve been facing some challenges, which is something I hope to write about once I get my blogging mojo back and find myself once again in my usual creative space.
In my young adult years, I’ve tried my best to keep a positive attitude and outlook whenever possible. This has genuinely made a world of difference for me, and is something that started to come naturally after a few years. Recently I’ve found more of a negative space returning, and negativity is always hard to grapple with. On the one hand, it’s beneficial to experience what you’re feeling but on the other it’s important to not let it become how you feel most of the time.
I was sent a book to review recently and it seems like it came into my life at the perfect time: 365 Days of Happiness by Jacqueline Pirtle. I started reading this book in the spare moments that I’ve had throughout the day (before bed instead of going on social media–a goal I’ve had for awhile, while in waiting rooms, and in the morning with my cup of coffee before work), and it’s a book that is perfect for those little moments in your day.
I started taking notes of the pages that really resonated with me, and I wanted to share them with you (also the book has the cutest cupcake bookmark!). I’m only going to share my absolute favorites as I don’t want to give everything away, and I hope that you pick up a copy because there is definitely something in here for everyone!
Day 5: “So what makes you feel like you could hug the whole world? And when do you feel like you could hug the whole world?”
I love how this is worded, and when I read it my mind immediately started thinking so what does make me want to hug the whole world? As I thought more about it I realized there are quite a few things I am blessed with that make me full of joy: my family and friends (getting letters and messages at spur of the moment times makes me feel so supported), solo traveling (and I recently realized this means traveling anywhere–I made a day of health food store shopping and cafe reading in a nearby city and it completely changed how I was feeling that day), animals (enough said honestly, animals bring me immediate joy), my blogging community (who has been so supportive of me during my blogging break!), and watching the sun set over the lake (among many other things!).
Day 25: This entry has you envision that you are running in nature towards an end goal, but you notice a beautiful bird and are faced with the decision of still running toward your goal or stopping to look.
This made me think a lot about what my relationship with my creativity has been recently. I’ve been wanting to put content out to keep up with my goal of blogging weekly and engaging with the blogging community, but I realized that it isn’t reflective of my current journey and feels like I’m rushing a goal instead of making it a lifestyle. It’s phrased as “nourishing your being on the way, with all that there is for you to experience” and I love that wording. By taking a break from writing and focusing on my current experience, I was allowing for rest and for my creativity to pick back up naturally.
Day 31: Imagining yourself standing at the top of a mountain and shouting with joy “I AM Alive!”
This is something that can be easy to lose sight of, especially when dealing with overwhelm and change. Being grateful for the day, for breath, for life, and for the possibilities that are there simply because you are alive in this moment. 🙂
Day 38: “Every rejection is a sign that the universe has your back”
I’ve always believed that every challenge and obstacle is the universe guiding you to where you need to be, even if it’s difficult in the moment and you can’t see where that direction could possibly be.
Day 154: Growing our own gardens
This day is about planting the thoughts, activities, inspirations, and creations you need every day to grow and admire your own life garden. It’s really easy to see someone else’s life garden and think it’s better than yours (more interesting, more peaceful, more beautiful–I know I am definitely guilty of this!) but you have to be wary of venturing into the gardens of others and especially of staying too long in them. We can admire and even try aspects of other people’s gardens in our own, but we shouldn’t stray too far from our own intentions and give up ourselves in the process.
Day 182: Tanks of love, happiness, rest, nutrition, peace, etc.
We all have tanks (sometimes people use the phrase “pouring from an empty cup”) that need to be refilled once we use up everything by living our daily lives. It’s important to be aware of what tanks are running low, and taking the time to refill them before returning to our usual routine. I have definitely run most of my tanks low a number of times in my life, and sometimes it’s hard to find the energy and willingness to refill them. But when they’re full life has so many possibilities and you have even more energy to give to the world around you.
Day 188: A life road trip
This is the one that I want to end this post with, because I feel as though it is the most applicable to my life and something that is so hard to do but can be transformative. It’s about going on the road trip of life, stopping where you are, and taking the time to say ok this is where I can be right now, it’s okay for me to be here in this time and space. When we hit rough patches in life, we want to speed right past them and leave them behind. They’re uncomfortable spaces to be in, but are important for personal growth. You learn how to navigate the terrain before moving on to your next life destination.
This is one that I try to work on often, so that I can make the most of life at every part of life. I recently had a chat with an amazing creator and supportive friend Giulia about what it means to stay positive even in times of struggle, and her response really helped me with my perspective on positivity. I asked if I could share her response in this post, because it had such a tremendous impact on my perspective:
Positivity is in recognizing the essential Beauty of struggle. If you’re going through a hard time you shouldn’t look the other way, ignore the pain, and keep going on with a smile on your face trying to convince yourself that that’s “staying positive”. You should LIVE the pain, accept the struggle as a part of Life, trusting that it is just a part of the path and that there’s a Divine design of Love where this struggle is contributing to a Greater Good…Emotions are a beautiful gift and we shouldn’t deny some just because we don’t like feeling vulnerable…Live, accept, embrace, and let go. This is what true positivity is.
I am feeling supported in the community I have found in my life, and through the words in 365 Days of Happiness that I look to frequently. I wanted to share this with you as it has been a large part of my journey recently, and I’ve loved getting back to writing and creating. 🙂
I received a copy of 365 Days of Happiness in exchange for my honest review. 365 Days of Happiness can be purchased through Amazon. I would love to know what your favorite passages are and what you’ve learned about happiness! Comment below, send me a message, or email! 🙂
Jacqueline Pirtle has been leading life-changing workshops, talks, and private sessions since 2006. Her passion for “sprinkling happiness” and being “high for life” shines through in all of her work as an energy healer, mindfulness and happiness coach, and author of 365 Days of Happiness. She was born in Switzerland, but has lived everywhere. She now makes her home in the United States with her wonderful husband, amazing kids, and sweet cats, and can often be found having a little chat with a falling leaf, or indulging in a cupcake at her favorite bakery. To learn more, go to http://www.freakyhealer.com/
Jacqueline wrote a reflection for me to share with you as well:
Your mind is a beautiful, powerful, manifesting, super-machine that enables you to experience whatever you want in life. That is why it is of the utmost importance to learn how to shift your thoughts—so they aid you in living the magnificent life you want to live.
How do you separate your thoughts?
It is simple:
- Your not-good-feeling thoughts don’t get you where – and how – you want to BE and live. They are the opposite of being and living happily.
- Your good-feeling thoughts resonate with where – and how – you want to BE, and with what you want to experience in this lifetime. They are your direct connection to your happiness.
So let’s get thinking!
Here are 4 powerful tips to shift your thoughts into bliss:
- Acknowledge that you are not a prisoner of your thoughts, rather that you are in charge of what you think and can shift your thoughts at any time you choose.
- Accept, respect, appreciate, thank, and love all the thoughts you have without judgement. No exceptions! None of your not-good-feeling thoughts have to go away and none have to be figured out by digging deep into the “why.” But they do have to have the space to simply BE, because they are an important part of you.
- Become aware of the thoughts that don’t feel good for you and shift them into the opposite; from ugly to beautiful, from not enough to plenty, and from unhappy to happy. The more mindful you are of them, and the more you practice those shifts, the more normal and easy positive thinking will become for you.
- The good-feeling thoughts… For the love of yourself, indulge in feeling them, focus on them, and celebrate them without limits. If you must, throw them a party and go all crazy about them—it’s what you deserve and what will create more goodness for you.
Above all though, take a deep breath, relax, and have some fun with all your thoughts – the good and the not-good – smile and laugh with them and about them.
This will result in you becoming an expert in pressure-free thinking, resistance-free thinking, and having a blast being in charge of a positive and thriving dream team—you, your mind, and your thoughts.
I promise that when you let your thoughts set you free to BE and live happy, everything will be possible for you—the same as everything is possible for me. That is when 365 Days of Happiness becomes a reality.
Have fun thinking your shift!
With the happiest and most thoughtful wishes,
©2018 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.