“Choose Balance Now” has become a mantra of mine. Here you’ll find posts about how I balance my mind, body and spirit.
This is about a journey that sometimes returns to the same place. I may follow a different trail here or there, but I usually end up re-visiting some of the same spots. I’ve realized that I really enjoy visiting most of those spots and feel incomplete when I don’t get to visit them and share them with you (nature, photography, my challenges with depression and self-care – what I call Boosting Your Bliss).
Over the last couple of years my website (like me) has gone through a lot of changes.
At one time or another I’ve written about being an online merchant, self-help type stuff, sharing my experience with depression, the importance of self-care, nature, photography, digital art mandalas and created mandalas to color.
I’ve felt that I needed to conform and find ONE thing to focus on and, well, that just DOES NOT work for me.
My life as a whole encompasses many different things – and I find joy and lessons in many of them. Many even intertwine and inspire the others.
I really believe that one of the gifts of life is sharing your experiences with others (and vice-versa) – lessons learned, struggles had and triumphs won. It can help others to know that they’re not the only ones out there with these challenges… and that there is hope… and a future.
For me, that encompasses sharing my challenges with depression, how I’ve learned over 20+ years to thrive even though my brain chemistry is wonky, and the things I do to keep myself healthy (self-care) – things that fill my soul and bring me bliss.
Being in nature, doing photography and creating digital art (like mandalas) are 3 things that really bring me great happiness, so I share them with you here. I invite you to sign up for my newsletter where I’ll share what I’m up to – and what brings me happiness. I would enjoy hearing what it is that brings YOU happiness (share it in the comments below).
If you just don’t know what you enjoy – maybe everything just seems totally blah! – then perhaps some of the suggestions I have for finding the spark of life will be helpful to you. Depression has knocked me off my horse, de-railed my train and taken the wind out of my sails a number of times so I’ve created an arsenal of tools to help me get back on track.
One tool that helps me to start finding that spark of life again is a different type of gratitude journal – something I call Grati-Feeling.
I know, believe me I KNOW, when you are feeling miserable it can seem like there is nothing to be grateful for… but there is… even the tiniest thing, like the miracle of breathing – bringing oxygen into your lungs automatically that keeps your body going – what a wonder that is. Or getting to see a sunset/sunrise. The photo above is a sunrise that I was able to watch – it was a beautiful gift.
I’ve created a Grati-Feeling Journal – It goes beyond just writing down something you are grateful for, you also FEEL it. In becoming aware of that feeling you can start to notice more of it in your life.
Go ahead and grab a piece of paper, a notebook or even your cell phone and write down something you are grateful for.
I am grateful for starting anew and allowing myself to return to all of the things that bring me joy.
Then write down how it makes you feel and anything else that comes up. (happy, blissful, in awe, just better in general?)
I feel great joy, happiness, whole and peaceful.
Sit with that feeling for a while.
Good, very good.
Repeat writing down a Grati-Feeling daily and watch what happens over time.
Now over to you….
Share with me something YOU are grateful for in the comments below. If you can’t think of anything, let me know and together we can find something to get you started with Grati-Feeling!
I am grateful for you taking the time to read this – it makes me feel good!
As each day goes by my “message” – what I have to share with the world – becomes clearer.
It’s not JUST about being a depression survivor (that was part of the vehicle that got me to where I am now).
It’s not JUST about being an “active participant” in my mental, physical and spiritual health (although that is a HUGE piece of the pie).
And it’s not just about loving nature and capturing it in photos! (that is part of me that re-kindled after I moved from Blah to Bliss!).
It is larger than just doin’ the 4-G’s of Feelin’ Good for myself. (Goin’, Greens, Givin’, Gratitude). (more on that here: http://bethsawickie.com/the-4-gs-of-feeling-good/ )
It is about being part of creating positive change in the WORLD around me by making positive changes WITHIN me.
It took me A LONG (long – what’s a longer word for long?) long time to truly internalize this. To truly “get” it.
It used to be my automatic reaction to say…. “I’d be happy if……
– he’d change.
– she’d just stop being a PITA!
– if everyone and everything else in the world would just DO what I WANTED THEM TO DO – then all would be well in my world 😉 😛
(and to be perfectly honest… I still DO fall back into this pattern! But now I recognize when I’m in it and I get myself the heck out of it – because I have the tools now! – like the ones I share in “Get Back on the Feel Good Train” – get your free copy here: http://bethsawickie.com/blah-bliss-tool-kit/)
Some wise souls advised me to look within, to work on myself.
“Why should I do that?” – I’d say, feeling totally insulted. (** more in a bit about how I got over feeling so darn insulted.)
I’m not the one with the “problem”. It’s him, her, them, the World!
But you see, in pointing fingers at everyone else I was HANDING OVER MY POWER to them.
I was in essence saying that I DID NOT have it within me to be happy.
These other people/situations are what controlled whether or not I could be happy.
I believed that all these other people were the gate-keepers to my happiness.
I made myself a victim of a non-existent enemy.
AND… I made THEM unfairly responsible for my Happiness or Misery.
Ugh… when I think about it now it makes me feel sick.
BUT…I’m thankful to have gone through that because it is in going through the crap that we understand the true lessons we are here to learn – if we open our minds, listen and reflect.
** So… how did I get over the whole “feeling insulted” thing?
Well, I can’t say I “got over it”… what I did was just kinda say F-it.
If he/she/them (whoever I felt needed to change at the time) was going to keep being the way they were – keep MAKING ME unhappy…. well, then, I was just going to ignore that and go do things for myself.
Do whatever I needed to do to help myself feel better. I wasn’t going to hang around being miserable and just wait for them to change and MAKE ME happy.
And when I did that – when I started to change the world WITHIN ME…. that is when the WORLD AROUND ME began to change.
I began generating my OWN HAPPINESS – my own Self-Bliss – from within.
This meant I was less effected by all those things/people/situations that I previously felt were holding my happiness hostage.
They could do what they would do…. it didn’t effect me as much because I wasn’t relying on them to generate happiness for me.
Some of them were positively effected by the changes I made within myself.
My light started shining brighter – and it helped to light them up too!
That same light illuminated parts of me I didn’t know existed. My spark and zest for life returned.
Does that make sense? Let me know if it doesn’t and I’ll explain it in a different way…. because I REALLY want you to at least start to get it.
What my aim is with this whole “Blah to Bliss” movement is to….
Help others over their self-imposed hurdles and help make their journey to Bliss a bit more linear – with not as many stops, u-turns and detours as I took.
Help others become generators of their OWN Happiness – their own Self-Bliss.
Please let me know what your current hurdles are with moving towards Bliss – where you’re stuck – and together we’ll clear a path.
And if you know anyone who could benefit from my message, please share this post with ’em – use the buttons below.
Sending you lots of good thoughts 🙂
Are you ready for positive changes? Let’s move the world from “Blah to Bliss” starting with ourselves.
Join my community of AWESOME people committed to having a positive impact on the world starting from within 🙂
Right HERE: http://bethsawickie.com/blah-bliss-tool-kit/
It was late Saturday afternoon and I was BEAT!
I was up early and made it to a 9am yoga class – a major accomplishment for me. When I realized I was up and functioning and had time to make it there – almost instantly all the negativity/doubt started swirling in my brain. All the reasons why I wouldn’t make it there on time or shouldn’t go popped into my head. And I was tempted to believe them like I used to do.
I won’t make it – I’m going to rush around and be late. The dog still has to go out before I leave – that’ll make me late. I haven’t put away laundry so I’m not sure where my clean yoga clothes are. Oh heck – I’m not even out of bed and there’s all these things stacked against me – I “could” roll over and go back to sleep for a bit… then wake up AFTER yoga class and be pissed at myself.
Then I said to myself – Hey! Wait a minute! Are all of these negative things absolutely true? Um… no, they’re not.
So then I made a game out of it and stomped those suckers out! Swooshing each negative thought off my mental touch screen like silly app pop-ups!
I CHOOSE Bliss!
Next I went and got my eyebrows done.
I didn’t realize just how out of control they were until she brought out the scissors – yep – the SCISSORS! And she trimmed away like she was giving me a regular ol’ hair cut! YIKES!
I looked in the mirror after all the pluckin’ and trimmin’ – Another moment of Bliss 🙂
I went home feeling fabulous and ready to dive in to my work for the day.
Work for the day included watching/reading lots of training about how to best communicate my message to others.
When I’m in the zone, things just flow – and boy, did they!
Fast forward to later in the day. My “friend” had come to visit (that time of the month). For me that usually means feeling exhausted for a day or two. Just wanting to crawl up on the couch and binge-watch TV shows while I eat anything “bad” in the house (chips, ice cream…etc.).
I had kicked butt with work earlier – exceeded my planned to-do’s 🙂
I was feeling crappy – cramps 🙁 I popped some Aleve, scooped some Ben & Jerry’s out of the pint – I scooped it so I wouldn’t sit there and eat the WHOLE thing at one time. And, btw, it was the new flavor – “The Tonight Dough”!
And I turned on “How To Get Away With Murder” which I’m behind on.
I got through about 20 minutes (and the scooped ice cream) and I peak outside – WHOA! – totally nifty clouds out there!
One of the things that makes me happy is Sunsets – Live Paintings in the Sky I call ’em. I love watching them and photographing them.
So then, much like yoga this morning, I had the tug-o-war with myself over whether or not I was going to choose to do something that would boost my bliss or stay on the couch with Ben and Jerry.
It was a tough one…but… the TV and ice cream would still be there. This OOAK (one of a kind) sunset would not.
Besides, I KNEW that being outside and watching the sunset would bring a big smile to my face.
Heck, a stunning sunset is enough for me to forget I have cramps for a while 🙂
So, I decided to Choose Bliss (again!).
Here is a little video I recorded for you that shows the sunset…
Bliss Booster Action Steps
- Step back, breath and ask yourself if you feel happy with what you are doing/thinking?
- If not, what can you do – right now – to move yourself towards Bliss? What can you do that would make you feel good right now? Take a moment to breathe in and out slowly, close your eyes, clear your mind and let the answer come to you.
- Now, say buh-bye to the hum-drum and go Boost Your Bliss!
And go grab your “Blah to Bliss Toolkit” HERE.
Now over to you….
Share with me what YOU are doing to Boost Your Bliss today!
Let me know in the comments below 🙂