I have a confession to make: I’m the happiest I’ve ever felt in my life right now. I’m typically a pretty happy person naturally, but lately it’s been consistently off the charts and with a calm peacefulness that’s new for me.
I started to wonder what I’m doing differently. So, here’s what I discovered about cultivating bliss upon reflection:
I’m taking my own needs seriously and treating myself like I matter by prioritizing my self-care. That means I’m working out, meditating (most days), getting good sleep, taking dance lessons, spending time with people I love, and journaling each day. I’m using My Bliss Book to prioritize my day, aligning my actions with my biggest goals, and reflecting on my successes.
I decided that this summer is my time to finish the first draft of my long-anticipated novel (finished the first draft a few weeks ago … Yay!), to really take care of my body (see point #1), and to exponentially grow my business. So, each day I take at least one action in each category. Even it if seems like a small thing at the time, by the end of the week, those actions really add up and I feel satisfaction from no longer delaying my dreams. Momentum is building and it’s exciting!
Our time and energy are the most precious gifts we can give someone. I no longer squander them with people who waste my time. When someone shows me who they really are and it makes me feel uncomfortable; I believe them, trust myself, and move on.
It felt awkward saying “no” at first, but it’s incredibly liberating and gets easier every time. And, if I see that someone is disrespecting my boundaries, I speak up. If I don’t like the outcome of that conversation, I say good-bye. No drama, no second-guessing, no attachment, and no sideshows necessary.
While on my fitness journey, I tried a variety of strategies that were recommended to me. One that I was told would have amazing results to help me “lean out” was to go low-to-no carbs a few days a week. Well, I tried that for a while, but it made me feel crazy. Suddenly food became a big focus, I felt extra emotional and weak, had disrupted sleep almost every night, was very critical of myself and my body, and sometimes couldn’t complete my challenging workouts. It just didn’t feel good to me.
So, I started eating healthy carbs (oatmeal, pistachios, raisins, veggie burgers, green drinks, apples, sourdough bread, etc.) again and occasionally enjoying less-healthy carbs (pizza, french fries, wine, ice cream, etc.) in addition to lots of protein-rich foods (fish, eggs, whey, lentils, Greek yogurt, etc.) and healthy fats (like coconut oil, avocados, and olive oil).
The results? I feel energetic and emotionally balanced, I sleep through the night every night. I’m actually cooking homemade meals and enjoying my food more. I feel strong and positive about my body. I feel good dining with friends without the drama of what to eat. I’m 4 lbs. heavier than I was at my lowest weight, but who cares when you feel the best you’ve ever felt?!
I’m not sure why I ever wanted to look so “lean” when I’m naturally an hourglass-shaped woman. I’m extremely active and my body needs energy from real food sources. My body fat is a healthy 16%. I want to be fit, healthy, curvy, strong, and feminine … not to look like a little girl. I guess I just didn’t question what society has trained us to believe about skinnier being better … it’s not, at least not for my body.
Focusing so much on weighing less takes up valuable energy and attention that could be focused on being more. I’m happy to be taking care of my body and fulfilling it’s unique needs without allowing it to completely dominate my life and disrupt my well-being. I have a deeper respect and appreciation for my body and the life it enables me to live.
My environments have always deeply affected me. Awhile back I lived in a space that I couldn’t write in. I don’t know why, but the words would never flow onto the page while I was there. I had to seek outside environments to express myself through my writing. That became very burdensome as it’s difficult for me to write in bustling environments like coffee shops and restaurants. My attention wandered, people came over and talked with me, and I ended up not accomplishing very much despite my best efforts.
That all changed when I moved into a new place with more space, lots of light, and blissful quiet. I chose only to keep the things that are useful, beautiful, or bring me joy. It was a tough and time-consuming decision process, but worth the purge because now I’m surrounded only by beauty.
My environment energizes me in a whole new way. I’m writing all the time and the words flow beautifully. I don’t know why I waited so long to make a change that positively impacts my productivity every day. I love being and creating in my inspiring new space!
When I have a negative thought, I no longer analyze it wondering where it came from, what it means, why I’m having it, etc. Instead, I just let it go. This one change has transformed my ability to focus on what I want to accomplish. I’m finding that we move a lot faster toward our dreams when we’re not constantly questioning ourselves.
Thoughts are just thoughts until we energize them with attention and emotion. I’m choosing to give my time and energy to thoughts that empower me, help me achieve my goals, and make a bigger contribution in the world, and that’s making all the difference.
So there you have it, my list of realizations of what I’m doing that’s resulting in higher levels of joy, happiness, and fulfillment in my life. I hope that this list helps you explore adjustments that could enhance your life as well.
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