Tag Archive | Happiness

When It’s Time To Quit

I can fake a smile.

I can pretend that I’m okay…

but I’m only in denial.

My hearts been chained…

been imprisoned by shame.   ~ A 2011 state of mind:

 

sitting on the fence

Time doesn’t always look you in the face. Quite often time is what holds us in the balance of our choices. 

Do you ever wonder why we do some things in our lives over and over despite knowing it will not result in any different outcome? Repeatedly, every time?  Probably results that we know do not serve us.

Decisions for me were times in my life when I struggled. There were these inevitable arguments between my instincts and life’s external/internal expectations. The arguments would paralyze me. Not making any decision is A decision, a decision to remain stuck. That thing we call “time” ran on while I chose to remain behind. My choice had been to remain stuck in the same place because I was stranded in the balance of not deciding. I’m certain I don’t need to explain the pathology behind my chronic indecisiveness to most, nor explain the certain kind of bliss of not taking any ownership for making a decision. If I didn’t decide I couldn’t be blamed. Right?

Denial feels like a wonderful thing….for a awhile. Denial helps support indecisiveness in multitude of ways. Repeating not making decisions was not serving me, it was actually just another form of denial.

When finally I found I could no longer fake the smiles I began to make decisions that started to unchain my heart. Shame began to fall away.

Transparency Time.

I knew things were off for a long time, I mean 10 plus years of a “longtime.” Those misguided notions I chose to let my heart ignore. All that was off in my life; it all began to mess with my emotional intelligence, and this finally messed with my spiritual health, which in turn messed with my physical health.

To be as transparent about this “longtime” as I can let me say I had found the only way to cope with all that I was denying was to get numb. Because I was dealing with physical health issues I had convinced myself I needed pharmaceutical medications to function mentally and physically. With hindsight the truth is the medications helped me stay in denial, it helped me to remain numb to the pain, both physical and mental. This treatment modality helped me stay stuck. So much in denial was I that it took major life alterations for myself to begin to feel again.

Which meant having to make decisions.

Some extremely frightening decisions had to be made by myself if I ever intended to expect different results; if I ever expected a resemblance of emotional and physical health again.What I had been doing by doing nothing certainly was not working except to keep me stuck. Time didn’t stick though and I was losing a lot of it. Too much of it.

A decision had to be made. Decisions had to become part of my game plan. Denial was no longer working. Faking a smile was no longer getting me by.

NOT making a decision WAS a decision. One that in time I could no longer live with.

Deciding to make major lifestyle changes was frightening but staying stuck was scaring me more.

I began the long task of excavating myself to discover what it was that wasn’t working for me and I made drastic changes.

The first one I made was possibly the most important change. I changed my habit of over-thinking everything, every step, every move. I made a vow to begin the change and decided to listen to my instincts while learning to trust them versus the dwelling of second guessing.

Making decisions about everything from my marital status, removing toxic medications and toxic relationships were the most difficult choices to make for this lady who typically found it a struggle to decide what to take out of the freezer for dinner. Don’t believe it if you are told an “old Lady” can’t learn new tricks. Not true. Although the new lessons might come slow, taking their time they’ll come. Just make the decision to learn.

It will be five years in July that I made the most drastic decisions. Making physical changes in moving my residence to living alone, then the gradual removal of pharmaceutical medications that were doing far more harm than any good, all the while filtering those in my life and the weight I give to respective relationships.

With great joy I found my health and my life reaching a place of good I had not been in for a long, long time. This time in my life I decided to jump off the proverbial fence of indecisiveness of being stuck. Deciding this is the time when I finally choose to take ownership for my well-being and the serenity of self peace.

The changes inside me are not changes most see, some who do see the changes see them as misguided deflections, but then there are those who do see the authenticity that I am striving to live today.

No more fake smiles.

No more denial.

When it’s time to quit.

 

 

ttaylor2016

A Bittersweet Pill?

Recently my sensibilities towards life were hit with a big disappointment, a ‘broken heart’ if you will. 
Today I understand I once again put far too many of my eggs into just one basket for there ever to be a healthy outcome.
 It seems I sometimes get ahead of myself. Which is a complete bust when I am trying to be mindful of living in the moment.
In trying to analyze why I seem to set myself up I realized very quickly that was fruitless energy. To place blame on something or someone I have found over and over is an extreme wasted amount of emotional energy.
Instead I make the choice to move forward and find ways to change my way of thinking about not only this disappointment, but in how I let myself create expectations of things I have no control over.  That would be as my mother used to say, “most prudent.”
 
    So like a good daughter it seemed prudent then to begin studying disappointment. 
 From the basics:
Disappointment is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest. Similar to regret, it differs in that a person feeling regret focuses primarily on the personal choices that contributed to a poor outcome, while a person feeling disappointment focuses on the outcome itself. It is a source of physiological stress. The study of disappointment—its causes, impact, and the degree to which individual decisions are motivated by a desire to avoid it—is a focus in the field of decision analysis, as disappointment is one of two primary emotions involved in decision-making.
 
So now I am thinking I am on to something. 
Regret vs disappointment, yes. 

 Season changes, summer being mid swing and Fall soon around the corner should have me focusing my attentions on what positives have changed in my life, and what the these previous months have taught me. Looking for the things (regrets?) that helped manifest the poor outcome which brought about this sense of disappointment.  Like anyone else I have suffered setbacks, experienced rejections, and had my hopes and dreams dashed.

That’s life, yes?

Typically I have a capacity for bouncing back from difficult experiences, and often find I am inspired by them.
But this time my knee jerk reaction was to feel a simple lack of resilience to courageously soldier on. So I started to mentally beat myself up for it. To look at only the poor outcome and not look beyond it for something more.
 
One of things that helped create the disappointment is unrealistic expectations about who I can be, what I can have,  and what I can achieve. My goals I imposed upon myself were ones with great struggles attached. When I failed to be able to create the outcome or goal I was expecting and desiring I was quick to think there is something wrong with me. When maybe it could be that I just took on too much and put too much expectations also on things I have no say in. I made a particular choice, or set of choices, and just maybe it was not be the best time in my life for such choices.  
Now I am seeing that with my knee jerk reaction to when I didn’t get to where I thought I should be, I hit bottom in disappointment.

My disappointment may also be an extension of the trust I put in what I thought to know to be true. When the truth as I knew it failed to meet my high standards of proof I began feeling a disconnect in every cell of my body and began feeling somewhat hopeless.

But, here’s the cool part I realized, at least I think it is cool: This is my emotional intelligence at work; my disappointments can be additional spiritual practices. I can turn this around and learn through grace, diligence and creativity to change the way I way I move forward from a great disappointment and live out the choices I made.

So how?  How would I begin to do this was my next question.

Maybe….

• I ask myself what is it I am disappointed about?  I name my disappointments and then let them go, making a commitment to not keep replaying them over and over in my mind.  And I will also to forgive myself for being disappointed.  I will try to keep in mind that disappointment is a natural response to difficulty. The trick for me is to not let it govern my mindset.

• Counting my blessings and knowing in my heart that I have more than enough. Seeing my wealth not in outward possessions but in of the spiritual intangibles of love, faith, hope, and dreams. 

………and the really tough one I struggle with, despite being convicted in knowing this is an imperative mindset:

  •  To not allow my ideas about what should or could happen to determine my happiness or sadness 

I shall try to remain mindful that to stay in the present.

I am a perpetual student of life, and would be interested to know what you do when hit with disappointments.

How do you assimilate disappointments?


ttaylor2013©

On Mindfulness: This Moment In Time.


Through all these times 

I wondered about:

 the wounds of my soul,

all the mistakes, 

and all of the miracles.

~

Through the tears,

through the laughter,

along the side.

I obsessed.

I sighed.

~

And then

I begin 

to let go. 

~

Sighing,

 finally

letting go,

 always returning 

to the silence.

Over and over.

It heals my soul.

 

I am certain this is not news to anyone that trying to live a philosophy or concept you believe in 100% can still be trying. 

For instance just the day to day logistics can try to get in the way, and old habits are hard to break even when you want to. 

 

Some say Being Mindful of the Moment is just an expression, I disagree. “No surprise there” I hear someone saying. 

it’s true I believe mindful is a verb.

 

I often use to find myself feeling needy of knowing what tomorrow would bring. Today I know this is a feeling I do not have to react to, it is not my need to know what tomorrow will bring. 

Because in all honesty my future is not where I want to be. I want to be mindful of just this moment. I want to be fully present in the here and now.

But because often with that needing to know I could also make myself wicked crazy waiting for the answers.

 

I could. 

I did.

For some time. 

 

It has only been in the last decade of my life that the realization and wisdom come to me that fretting over what tomorrow or even hours from now will bring serves no rational purpose. Least of all it does not serves me.  

I’ve researched, studied, observed, absorbed, and experimented with ways to help myself remain mindful of Staying in the Moment. I needed some lessons, teachings, or maybe some magic tricks that would help me remember to be mindful.

It is too easy to fall back into old habits, old ways of thinking, even when we are trying to change our thinking to grow and enhance our life’s journey

 

Once I had some logistics in place, some ‘teachings’ I could grasp, that which allow now to be gently reminded to remain in this moment by practicing these lessons daily. 

 

First three teachings:

1. Practice Self-Love.  (Another verb.)

2. Practice Self-Compassion 

        &

3 Practice Self-Forgiveness

 

Practicing even one of these teachings helped me remain grounded, to retain a balance in my small world in the beginning. I say go slow..

It was quite remarkable how when I chose just one teaching that seemed like magic in that it helped decrease my level of predilection for wanting (read need) to know what the future is going to bring. 

 

How do we remain in the moment, to stay mindful of the here and the now? It’s the only space of time that matters. This time.. right no.w

In the spirit of this blog I’d like to share the teachings that work for me. My wish is that you are able to take something away, and please be welcome to leave something behind in your comment.

  • I wear or carry “totems” (an Native North American term) sometimes also referred to as prayer beads, worry stones, or even amulets. My affinity for doing so came from my youth. I found great comfort in a “smoothed by time” river rock in the shape of a flat heart.  I found beautiful comfort in holding its warm stone between my forefinger and thumb, or in the closed palm of my hand. I loved the connection with earth as a girl, I treasure it now as an adult woman.

  • *On Mediation: I prefer to mediate regularly; typically it is once every day for at least 15-20 minutes. I found it is that regular practice of meditation that really starts to shape my mind and the way it works. I have heard that this has been backed up by the latest brain studies. I find it easier to maintain focus, have that stillness of mind I am looking for. Being mindful is becoming my norm.

 

  • Journaling: This is probably not a surprise to those of you who know a bit about me. Keeping a daily journal of my goals and my accomplishments while articulating (what I like to think are wise thoughts) into my way of living can be remarkably effective. Absolutely it’s a habit that requires practice. A lot of practice. Journaling at night when I can’t sleep and reviewing in the morning helps keep these teachings alive throughout the day.

  • Reminder Notes: By placing inspirational/motivational notes, and self-affirmations around my small world (as done even on this post) these become helpful reminders for staying grounded and not getting distracted. This can be favorite quote, important concept, notes from loved ones,  or even a short narrative or a poem. A personal favorite are two prayers sent from a very good friend who is one of my spiritual mentors.

 

  • Mind-fullness Alarms:  I loved this teaching especially when I began my quest of mindfulness. Although I don’t do this as a norm anymore; setting alarms to go off at regular intervals throughout the day can be a very effective teaching to help kick-start good mindful habits. This is especially helpful when marathon writing by the way. Having that reminder alarm helps me to get out of my head for a time with regularity.  


It is also important I believe to note of what to be mindful of. Buddhists refer to this as the Right Thought and Right View. 

 Things that consume us during the day, like anger, fear, worry, or frustration, comes from unwise or misguided perspectives. Having a wider & more open mind to other perspectives than our own is a big help. I heard once about a very effective practice of referring to the issues of certain circumstances in our life as “third-world problems”. This is short-hand for a reminder that while dealing with issues we think are monumental, we might instead be mindful that there are people in our world who don’t have access to enough to eat.

It is all about perspectives.

And how we think.

 Can this kind of daily practice of mindfulness achieve a state of bliss In The Moment? 

For thousands of years, practitioners have reported greater happiness and tranquility when we are able to stay In The Moment’ 

 

 So….I think… I shall stay right here in this moment….this here and now – and absorb it for all its worth. 

And this moment in time? 

Priceless!

 

 

Signature 2013

Intentional Fundamentals

Recently I have been writing a lot about being mindful of gratitude. I write, document, and archive what my self-reflections have blessed me with. I record these thoughts so when I am in doubt that this pat is my direct course to peace, balance and feeling grounded. Living with intentional fundamentals is a choice I am making. One that I can lives with.

It has been a fabulously interesting lesson of life, with my results feeling like I am a child quieting and calming myself after a tantrum, I blink back the tears of gratitude, and I began seeing the world through new eyes.

This was an awakening for me. It has caused me to be quite engulfed with emotions. Learning to risk again, and trusting to know that what I am feeling is relevant and is credible..

Things I second guessed about in life became quite clear. In the clarity of these reflections came about my life lessons, when I adhere to this manifesto to living my life with intentional fundamentals the things I found to be true are awakened in my soul, and my heart is set free to love, to live, to feel Peace in all that I do, And all that I am.

This is what I now know:

Intentional fundamentals. I do not own these fundamentals, I did not create them. But I do believe once my eyes were open wide that it became as important to share what I have discovered for myself as it is to live these with great intentions.

• Be present in the moment. I Have touched on this, but let say that I believe this is our responsibility, to decide to be so. Be intentional. Savor positive outcomes AND if the outcomes is not what you are looking for make appropriate changes. Make a different choice if the out come is negative. Learn from what you have just experienced. Also I recalled something my mother use to tell me If in doubt just react, make some decision, doing nothing is indeed even a decision we make. I shall no longer be a victim to the negatives in life.

Happiness never last forever. And the sooner this is realized the better for all involved. Not one thing in life can maintain intensity forever. Life is good, life is bad. Ying Yang for living. We would do well to remember it is NOT the outcome, but the process that matters

• Evaluate what your morals, values and scruples are. Good or Bad we choose them. What are your life’s most prized possession’s? Success? Wealth? Tangibles? Intangibles? Things or people?

• Feelings about life are not who we are. (unless we choose to let them rule our lives ) They should not have to make us who we are.(of course unless we make the choice to be) We can intentionally choose to “let go” of negative feelings. (anger, hurt, sadness, etc….) a traumatic life history, a frustrating present predicament…..are examples. Failing in the past to react accordingly and appropriate should not influence any current or future decisions you make. Opportunities missed are choices made.

• Habits help us create our character and the way we view each other and the world. Behaviors from childhood that were taught to us by our parents , siblings, and acquaintances are what we base our formed habits from. We began deciding early on whether we would continue the learned behavior, or make the changes that best suit our personal wants and needs. This forms who we are; our personalities if you will. Habits help the way we are identified  (by others) and by who we choose to keep company with. We choose to rise above, to shine things on, follow the crowd, or wallow in our despair. Positivity and positive habits enable us to find the positive life experiences in our journeys

• Delivered to Self-Acceptance. A gift you give o yourself. Measure who you are by your willingness to learn from being challenged, by your ability to make changes, and the strength in your character (your spirit) to never give up.

Be happy in your own skin, and accept the differences in others.

 Signature 2013

Living Your Own Truths

Caddo’s  Seven  Word  Sunday  November 4. 2012

Spirit Feeds Life Changes With Blessed Grace

As my life seems to be building momentum in its changes the words that usually never fail me, and are my best friends on many levels… …uh..  well.. they have been failing me…..lately.

Writing this blog is usually never having enough time to write all I think about, and what I think I have to say. This past week or more its been about not having enough words or the right words. It happens sometime to all of us.  It causes me to happily take a break usually. That there are these feelings about life and my thoughts needing to be expressed again is a healthy thing, I take  great comfort in feeling the deep connection to my creative spark looking to find the words that will say what I mean. Always have.

My seven words today are the perfect segue into what I want to express out loud but without getting too personal, and yet not being cryptic. There is my quandary. That there are life changes happening  in my own world and I have shared little of it but with a few loved ones is not unusual, I am in many ways a pretty private person and this post does not change this much.

What I found that was missing and maybe keeping from writing this was grace. The grace to humbly accept where my journey has taken me, to open my eyes to the wonders I have never known. and to reopen them to the things I had closed my eyes to.  Grace to celebrate but with some class. Wise & kind enough to know the difference. Grace to have the right to be simply be happy without any “But” in the same sentence.

This may be where my missing words were locked away, where my grace was being held ..waiting for me. The grace I needed over these changes. I  had to ask myself;”how humble am I?” If I am happy does that take away from others who are not?

Could this be a cost to living an authentic life?

I am happy, and know it has sometimes felt inappropriate to others. This was when I thought my grace had  failed me. Trying to live an authentic life comes with its costs. Sometimes that cost might be causing others pain or discomfort when you are trying to live your own truths. I wish there was another way. I have tried others ways which were neither living authentically, nor being truthful to anyone, least of all to myself…. Nor was there any grace.

My hope is that I can find a way to gracefully express my happiness without it treading on anyone’s feelings, or their toes. To live my life with the grace of my authentic self whose intent is never to hurt or cause disruptions to others is no easy feat. But nor will I apologize for attempting to be true to myself. and for that matter those in my life. Approaching my 6th decade in a few years has left me feeling that there in no time like the present to live as simply and humbly a I can. I don’t want a lot from my life, but what I do want is no mystery to me. To deny those things would be lying to myself.

I want only to live my own truths as graciously as I can.

{A personal note: I need an and want to thank two of the most important people in my life for the observations shared  with me about writing,  or the lack of it of late. I am grateful to you both for knowing me like you do. I was able to take a step back and see the forest again finally. Without a couple of conversations I’d still be stuck. Thank you both}

©ttaylor2012