Are You Happy Now?

Life sucks…but it doesn’t have to!

By January 31, 2019 No Comments
wanna be happy master your story

Life sucks sometimes. It really does. How’s that for an opening to a blog post!!! I’m a realist, but a hopeful one rather than a bitter one. Being a realist means acknowledging the crappy realities of life. Being an optimistic realist means acknowledging the crappy parts of life while still being able to acknowledge the good parts of life. As an optimistic realist I’ll tell you life sucks…but it doesn’t have to. I’m gonna lay my life bare for you in this post. I share a lot of deeply personal stories in my books, but I tend to keep things closer to the chest about my current goings-on. Yet…readers like you relate to real-life stories better so brace yourself!

I started 2019 as bright-eyed and hopeful as anyone. As many times as I’ve said, “This is the year” and it turned out to very much NOT be the year, this year still felt like it was (…is…) going to be the year. But some things have been happening to really make me step back and wonder “WTF?!?! How can this be the year when all this shhhhhhhhhyte is going on???? I mean, life sucks right now!”

What I’m about to tell you is not complaining, it’s just telling you how sucky the year started out. For starters, we’ve been battling our rental agency for the home we live in. The place turned out to be in terrible condition which wasn’t apparent during the original inspection. One of those things was a rodent infestation. I keep my bed on the floor so my dog can feel at home (he’s an adorable little guy). But with mice crawling around my room there’s no way I’m gonna sleep down low. So I’ve been — trying — to sleep on my easy chair in the living room while I try to get some catch-and-release traps to work. So, I’ve been living on about 1 to 2 hours of uncomfortable sleep. PJ is cranky, people. Add to that, I contracted a MRSA from the gym that’s been causing me immense physical pain in my whole body. While the doctors took their sweet time trying to figure out what it was. Life sucks, yeah?

Now… add to that I dove into two business partnerships that went sideways last year. One partner was a crook who undercut me and ran. The other was negligent, leaving all their responsibilities on me, which was unsustainable. So, my finances have been in a shambles and I’d been doing side jobs that would still allow me to finish writing The New Be-Attitudes. As a business decision to help me get on better financial footing, I bought a car. Sounds irresponsible, but I had good reasoning and planning for it. Well…turns out the car dealership was crooked and sold me a vehicle with a broken fuel pump. I found out by waking up the morning choking because the entire house was flooded with noxious gas fumes. It was a miracle the fumes hadn’t been ignited and incinerated our house! So, with the spare time I didn’t have, I dove into studying lemon laws, lawyers, actions I could take and let the car lot have it. Luckily they fixed the issue without fighting me, but, they’ve been negligent in other ways so that the car I bought can’t be used yet. This didn’t fix my financial situation, it made it completely impossible!!!!!

Life sucks, hard. Financially on the edge of losing everything. In whole-body pain. Getting no sleep. Chasing after mice. Chasing after a crooked car dealer. Chasing after a crooked landlord. Literally picking up pennies off the street… How the hell am I supposed to save the world with positivity in these conditions??? There’s more but I’ll spare you. I will be honest that I’ve started 2019 feeling crushed. Crushed. Anyone who uses that word and really understands it doesn’t use it lightly. If you’ve ever felt crushed by your life circumstances you understand despair on a very deep level. And–by the way–if you feel or have felt crushed and desperate, my heart goes out to you! I feel for you, and wish you a quick and clear path out.

While I have started this year under soul-crushing circumstances, I’m still optimistic. Great things can still happen. Sometimes, it’s in the toughest of circumstances that the best things happen. In that spirit, I’d like to share

Get back to the basics

A major reason for life going off the rails is because we pickup unimportant ‘stuff’ like unhealthy habits, unhealthy relationships, unnecessary obligations and the like. Start by carving unhealthy and unnecessary things out of your life. It’s just extra baggage to carry around.

Next, focus on yourself and your own needs. Fill your own cup on a daily basis. Create a routine that grounds your mind and heart in something positive and self-loving. Repeat some positive, supportive mantras. Surround yourself with positive messages and positive people.

I start each morning with a routine of tai chi, yoga, and shamanic ritual that remind me of who I am and the positive traits that represent my best self. Starting the day with a grounding ritual puts a positive spin on the rest of the day, so it’s a vital part of self-care. Yet, morning rituals are often the first thing skip when we start to get too “busy” or we think we’re doing good and don’t need it. Guess what, if you feel like your life is slipping, this is exactly the kind of ritual you need most. If you’re not a morning person, evening rituals can also be powerful. You can end the day with ten minutes of meditation or journaling. Taking some time to let go of the stresses of the day helps you clear the slate for a new day.

Also, cut the crap out of your life. Cut down on needless distractions. Let go of habits and other things that don’t serve you. Put your damn phone down more often. Take some time to plug in to the beautiful world around you. Get better at picking your battles and letting go of the ones that you don’t have the bandwidth for.

Breathe…Make deep, cleansing breaths a central part of your life. Seriously. Stop every hour to take a few cleansing breaths.

Lose it once in a while

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t always handled my circumstances with utter grace. I’ve been freaking out from time to time. For instance, MRSA is no laughing matter, it can be literally life-threatening. My concern isn’t just for me, but for my family and others that it could potentially spread to. Finding health solutions when you have no money makes the whole situation exponentially scarier. Okay, so we don’t always act gracefully when the weight of the world is on our shoulders. The pressure we’re in has to get out from time to time. Better to release the pressure in ways you choose rather than being triggered and taking it out on those around you. When life sucks, if you don’t release your frustrations from time to time, you’ll explode. Exploding only makes things worse and can hurt others as well.

I have a friend in strikingly similar circumstances as me. She said she cries… alllll… the time these days. While that sucks, it’s okay!!! It’s good, in that she’s expressing her emotions rather than bottling them up. I’ve cried a couple times. I’ve also let out some barbaric yawps while I’m alone. Blogging, journaling and writing have been therapeutic outlets. Exercise and meditation are great. Find an outlet that works for you to let yourself fall apart or get those frustrations out. Don’t think you have to keep it together all the time. That simply isn’t realistic, and thinking that way will only make things worse for you. So when life sucks, allow yourself to lose it once in a while in healthy ways that you choose.

Happen to life

What the heck does that mean? When life sucks, it’s often because we’ve been reacting to all the negative circumstances that pop up. Reacting to life is never pretty. Not ever. Reacting to life is just freaking out in one way or another. Life is happening to us, and we’re freaking out.

Well stop freaking out and you happen to life. This means choose who you want to be from moment to moment, and be that person despite the circumstances. It’s important to remember that you aren’t what happens to you. Life sucks from time to time, but that doesn’t mean YOU suck. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Who are you? Are you a person with inner strength and grace? Are you smart and solution oriented? Are you creative and inventive? What special qualities do you have to bring to your life? List them. Seriously. Write down your special qualities, talents and passions. Take a good look at them and decide how you can apply them to your difficult circumstances.

When challenges arise, don’t let them overwhelm you or knock you off track. Stop, take some breaths, then be your BEST self. Because that’s who you really are — your best you. But being your best self when life sucks can take conscious effort. You may have to consciously try to handle tough circumstances with grace and creativity. So, set the tone you’d like for your life regardless of circumstances, and be that.

Need some help? The New Be-Attitudes was written specifically to help you choose mindsets that empower and strengthen you through tough times, not just now, but past healing and future. It helps you choose attitudes to live your life by so that even when life sucks and you don’t know what to do, you can at least be your best through it.

Remember, this too shall pass

Sometimes I hate that phrase. But in the hardest times I love it because it is a good reminder that nothing is permanent. Life shifts, evolves and changes. So do we. Shift and evolve your life in the best possible direction. Stay consistent. Things are already changing, even if we can’t see it. Be diligent, proactive and patient. If life is dark, the darkness will pass.

Edit your story

Being the Master of Your Story is one of the most powerful things you can do. Here’s a simple little formula to help you edit your story in positive ways:

X but Y and Z
or
Life sucks, but it doesn’t have to and I have the tools to make things better.

Here are some examples:

  • My boss is a tyrant, but that’s no reflection on me and I don’t have to feel intimidated by his behaviors
  • My relationship is falling apart, but we can get things back on track and I will give it the attention it needs, today
  • I’m sad about losing my grandmother, but she’ll always be part of my life and I’ll honor her life by passing on her legacy
  • My neighbor doesn’t pick up after their dog, but there are positive actions I can take and I will be brave enough to do them

See, reality is relative. Your reality isn’t real, it’s just a story. That’s why your reality is so different from mine and ours are so different from everyone else’s. We see things differently because our perspectives on life are unique. This doesn’t necessarily make someone right or wrong, it’s just how we’ve been launched into the world. Since your life is a story, it means your reality can be edited and changed into something of your own creating. If life sucks, it doesn’t have to. You can do things to make things better. You have strengths and talents and passions for life, and it’s your birthright to express them freely. You have every right to live a life you’re totally jazzed about.

Start looking at the story you’re telling in your mind chatter, in your conversations with others, in your choices and actions. If you don’t like the story, put a positive spin on it! Give yourself a happy ending {cough}. Whatever crappiness is happening now, say it, then add a triumphant end. See yourself overcoming whatever part of life sucks, and ending in a happy place.

Visualizations are a powerful part of editing your life and coaxing imaginary happiness into real-life happiness.

That’s all for now. Be patient with yourself. Be patient with life. Big changes can happen slowly. Sometimes they happen and we don’t even realize it. All the more important to keep doing those positive, little things that we’re not sure are working. They are. You’re not alone. I’m sending encouragement your way. You CAN do it!

Now…When life sucks, what works to help you turn things around? I’d love to hear!

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