My mum is having a Christmas party today. As excited as I am to see friends and family, I have to admit I find these things a bit of a trial. Old memories become fresh again, etc. This time, however, I have approached it slightly differently.
‘How can I support you?’ I asked my mum. This gives me the security of knowing what I’m doing today,, and the happiness factor of knowing I’m supporting someone.
I am working on it. I am. Acceptance is the root of mindfulness. Sometimes you’re happy, sometimes you’re sad. If you accept each state as it comes, without holding on to any state, then you have done it. You are being mindful. You are at peace.
Yes, bad stuff happens. But, essentially, we are in control of our own lives. With each healthy meal we eat, with each workout that we do, we are shaping the future we want – a future that will make us happy. It is implicit, then, that success is completely subjective.
To me, success is having a healthy body and mind. I’d like to help others. I’d like to have financial freedom, and handle that with integrity.
Life can be confusing. Looking after ourselves, looking after others. Deciding our paths. Deciding what socks to wear. Dealing with heartbreak and loss. Having to curb our more expensive or sweet food habits. Fitting in exercise. Staying well. Loving, forgiving. And sometimes, saying no. It’s a minefield.
It is a constant path, working all that out. It really is. Thankfully as you get older, though, or as you learn more about your illness(es), it becomes easier, and you know roughly what you’re doing.
When things have got difficult, though, you find you can take solace in the small things; fresh sheets, a cup of hot chocolate. Have a look and see what lovely things are around you today.
Happiness is within reach. Here is my list of mood boosting activities – it is a list I keep for when I need a pick-me-up. Try making your own list and watch your life expand.
Write a letter to an old friend. In fact write lots of letters to lots of friends. It will let people know they mean something to you, keep your connections strong and fill you with warmth to remember your special people.
Spend some quality time in nature. Flowers and leaves, an autumn breeze; if you can’t remember the feeling, go and explore; see for yourself.
Bake something tasty. A wholesome quality only found in the kitchen. Even if it’s through use of a bread maker, cook up a treat, and then share with your family, neighbours and friends. Joy!
Cuddle your pet. Just look at them… A cuddle would make you both happy and you know it.
Make a smoothie. Health, vitality, fruit. What’s not to love.
Water your plants. It’s a nurturing feeling. Try it – and the plant will thank you by continuing to fill the air with freshness and oxygen.
Do a little organising. Making lists is oddly relaxing. Your head has everything in order, you know?
Do a little sprucing. Tidying is far from a chore when you know you’re heading for a better mood. Put some music on. Get into it.
Do a yoga pose. You don’t have to spend money as free lessons are all over the internet. Breathing and relaxing into a posture is a delicious way to energise and unwind.
Play your favourite music. Dancing around the kitchen or laid back taking in the world; it makes no difference. Music is the original source; it makes you happy.
“You’re one of those people who remind me that the world is full of good people.”
A woman held the gate open for us today, and I was touched.
The thing is, our lives are full of good people, who make our lives that bit better; our partners, kids, brothers and sisters; the worker/s at our local shop; the repair people we see out and about. Remember to smile the next time you see them, or even say thank you if it’s appropriate.