The gateway to happiness is messy.
I kind of can’t talk about this subject enough in one way or another. It’s a message that is infused in the classes I teach and the coaching I do. I know that I keep talking about it.I am sure I will be on a mission, the rest of my life, helping people learn how to come out of a hole to find themselves excelling in their lives. Where to start? When to start? Start where you are and start now.
Not perfect but real.
What’s bothering you about your life right now? Not what’s happening in the world. What’s going on in your day to day life? At home? At work?
Real life has ups and downs. It’s part of mother nature and part of our human nature to not be the same all the time. Well I guess the weather is pretty much the same all the time in San Diego, but we’re not really talking about the weather!
Become not interested in a perfect life. But yes, interested in a real life. Part of living your real life authentically is letting yourself complain, bitch and moan for a hot minute if things are not going right. Stop judging yourself if you are and let yourself express yourself. You will not actually benefit at the end of the day for keeping it all inside. The point however is to let it out and then move on to a solution.
Trust someone – even if it’s one person!
I had a young woman, a client, approach me recently sobbing. She had recently found herself in a compromising situation that she didn’t feel good about. She kept apologizing for crying and feeling angry. The first thing I asked her is if she had told a friend or family member she trusted. But because of the nature of the issue, an issue that could require more day to day support, bringing someone on board in her emotional life was important. She said she was afraid of being judged. I told her that it was my opinion that it didn’t matter. Judgement is about someone else. I suggested she find someone she feels safe with, and tell them. Often what takes us down the slide, is that we are keeping something inside.
I saw her one week later and she let me know that she did tell someone. Not only did it make her feel better, but also that the situation that was upsetting her had dramatically shifted in a positive way. She went from a true situational crisis and emotional crisis into resolution.
Let yourself get messy then move.
I know you worry it’s whining, that you’ll be judged, etc. Maybe someone will judge you for griping, that’s actually not about you FYI. That’s about them. But let out what’s bothering you with people you emotionally trust. It’s not whining. Let yourself swim in it for a bit. Feel it, express it, journal about it, cry about it, rage about it, get support about it.
I like to challenge irritating quotes I see sometimes. I know that sounds weird because in general I am a VERY positive person. I spent a lot of my life NOT that way. And I remember when feeling super crappy, reading some quotes that were helpful and others like “You are as happy as you choose to be.” Really? Is that really true at the end of the day? Here’s the deal with that quote: Let yourself get messy when you need to be. The “ugly” cry is actually gorgeous. I think letting yourself get messy is the entry way to choosing true happiness. Messy is a gateway to happy.
Then move on.
Ok, so you’ve gotten messy for that hot minute, that hot minute may have lasted a long ass time. Now move. Take out a sheet of paper, or make a graph or excel sheet or something. I am still super old school with my pen and paper. No, I am not using a feather pen dipped in an inkwell and parchment paper LOL.
- Make a gratitude list. Write down 5 things you’re thankful for. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s not Thanksgiving. But let’s start to practice this every day. Say them out loud. All 5 things. Try to move away from “I shouldn’t feel crappy because I have so much to be thankful for.”
- Now, write 5 things down that are bothering you in your life. Find a solution for each of those 5 things. Trust me, there is one. Take your time with this. Observe yourself and notice if you’re making any excuses. Like “I can’t because…” Find the “Well I can’t because… I CAN try this instead.”
- Whatever solution you uncover, map out the steps for you to put that solution into action.
Ok, that’s it on this subject for now! Stay tuned for follow ups.