I Can Be Happy When

I’m blogging every day this April in a large blogathon and I thought this would make a good topic for us to discuss.

All my life I’ve been waiting for this or that to be here and I would be happy.

Or if I just take this next class and get certified I will feel confident enough to do Tarot, Astrology or Angel readings. So I kept taking classes.

Then there was therapy! As someone who has had panic and anxiety most of my life, I looked for ways to heal.

First there was hypnosis. It helped.

Then there was Primal Scream. I had to face some of my scariest moments there.

Biofeedback was next. I loved it and learned for the first time what it felt to be totally relaxed. I’d love to have a biofeedback machine here. Yes I do remember that delicious feeling.

Several Past Life therapies were interesting. Did it help? No really but I’m glad I tried it. Yes I would do it again if circumstances presented itself.

I had several talk therapy sessions that were ok.

Now I work with EFT and I say this has been the best along with meditation and visualization. Do I still have anxiety and panic? Yes, but nothing like I used to.

I will be 85 in May and I am learning more and more to be in the NOW. If someone asked me where I saw myself in 6 months or 5 years I would just smile. I don’t have any long term goals and it is quite freeing.

This morning I woke up at 3:30 and my mind started racing about the “what if’s”. The appointments that I put off because of isolating are coming. Our 2nd week after our 2nd vaccination will be this Tuesday. There are things we need to do that we put on our waiting list are facing us. Not bad stuff, just stuff like getting new phones, having our HVAC inspected, buying a new stove top. I could feel my body tensing as all this rolled around in my thoughts. Then I remembered some of what I’ve learned.

Why am I thinking about things that are in the future when now is the only time I have. I closed my eyes and asked my self as I mentally tapped. “How do you want to feel”? Then I did my slow deep breathing and said, “Relax, let go and let God.” The next thing I knew it was 7:30.

Can I do this always? No. Sometimes those ornery voices in my head won’t hut up, but often they will.

NOW clock

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Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Jean.

You can have dessert once you finish your squash.

It’s weird how much of the pleasures of life we put “after” something else had to be done. And we wonder why so many walk around with a feeling like they don’t “deserve” to be happy. If dessert comes after ____, if our hearts desire gets to be after we ____, then by God we can’t allow ourselves to be happy NOW… or else maybe someone will put an obstacle in the way.

Or we will.

It’s not that delayed gratification is bad.

Being able to wait to enjoy dessert until the main course is complete, or wait to eat the chocolate chip cookies over time rather than gobble them all down in 5 minutes… this is a good skill.

But it feels to me that in our Outcome Orientation our culture has had, we forget the journey and its pleasures, we will even suffer through ____ in order just to get to ____.

What happens when we’re freed?

For a lot of us, there’s this intense need to reprogram our awareness, to become more NOW and Present. To put less energy into the “happy when” and Be Happy Now.

For others, well, now that someone isn’t there to stop them from eating dessert before the main course, there’s an imbalance of seeking ONLY desserts, that it’s all about getting straight to the outcome–if we can. While it’s perhaps unwise to make “unpleasant before pleasant” the patterned behavior of home and school and work (TGIF!!), the downsides of that going away without another real skill to replace it is… well, a lot of addiction.

Simple uplifts that let us enjoy happiness potions in our body are, I believe, a more vital skill for thriving than being able to slog through food we don’t want to get ice cream or a week of work to get a paycheck and a weekend.

Ahhh… thank you for giving us something to chew on, Jean! You embody the kind of real-human wisdom that is so so Useful for our emotional world. :peace_symbol:

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I love this! One of my mentors calls it
“Being happy on the way to happiness”
— in other words, sure, keeping goals and destinations in mind (since we’re always on our way somewhere anyway, might as well be somewhere we’re excited about!), AND enjoying the journey, being happy Now, in as many moments along the way as possible, whether with simple uplifts, centering practices, or other ways of coming to Ease and Joy and Calm in our bodies and minds.

Presently, I’m feeling pretty “good at” being happy — I have an adorable baby napping on me, a happy kid playing outside in the rain, a partner I love quietly working next to me, and I’m going to go see a client I really enjoy working with soon.

There’s lots to appreciate!

Bringing more attention to the things I do appreciate, and the things that are working well, infinitely improves my happiness in the moment, and makes it easier to meet the less savory tasks and experiences with more resource.

Of course, when I’ve been in life situations where a LOT of things were out of balance or unpleasant, it was much harder to find the joy or peace I craved in the moment…

And, those times are actually precisely what gave me more skills to find joy in hardship — and, the better I got at feeling and appreciating more of what I wanted to be experiencing, the more the other aspects of my life have come into alignment with that! And it became easier to trust in my capacity to appreciate and enjoy each moment. (Or, at least, most moments!)

I do wonder, too, about the value of having a mom who would say on holidays:

“Life is uncertain — eat dessert first!”

And so we would sometimes have a dessert appetizer or middle course…

And now, I don’t especially care whether or not I have a dessert, because I love savory foods so much too!

Likewise, I enjoy my work and family life a lot now, as they feel in pretty good balance, in ways they didn’t at all, a few years ago… lots of simple uplifts and appreciation! :heart:

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I am very aware of gratitude. Often as I am preparing to go to sleep I think about things that have happened that day and there are usually a lot of experiences that I am grateful for. Others maybe not and some I just have to laugh about.

I remember asking my son when he was about 5 or so if he’d like to go to the ice cream store for lunch. He looked at me with a surprised expression and laughed eagerly. We had fun and it added to some good memories. Another time we played outside in the rain. I remember the day it snowed in South Florida. I woke everyone up to see it. We got a special pass to go to the cape for Challenger’s first night launch which was thrilling. Riding ocean waves, swimming in pools, picnics, going to Key West, New York City, reading books and writing silly stories with my Granddaughter when she came to spend the night, there are some of my favorite fun joys.

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Love this post and can relate. I also like your list of things you’ve done. I’m with you on several of those self help adventures! I love learning from you, @Angelsloveyou. You have a really cool style. I also deal with anxiety and it’s a gift to me to have an 85 year old pal who makes me laugh. Also that ice cream for lunch story is pretty badass. You son lucked out with you.

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Awww @Dru, how sweet of you to write this, thank you. Laughter is one of my gifts I give myself. I am fortunate to have a goofy sense of humor. My son has started saying good morning to me on Facebook’s chat with :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :heart_eyes: I love it and it warms my :heart:
I love learning from you too. Aren’t we all so grateful for this center and all the sharing and help. I certainly am.

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