Taking Happiness On: The Choice is Yours
I've had a helluva week over here. We're in the process of getting new floor for our tiny houses (awesome) and it means we have to move out completely for a few days. Hotels were no an option (too expensive, plus... dogs) so we decided to glamp it out on the property. Needless to say, this week has been full of moving things out and cooking and prepping allll the things for the week! (Now you know why I've been in the kitchen so much).
I've had moments of feeling completely alive and free and moments of being a total wreck and stressed out of my mind. Mostly though, I've felt really grounded. This is a new feeling for me. I'm so used to just taking on stress and anxiety and rolling with it, and as I've begun the process of disrupting that (see previous blog posts), I'm less inclined to roll with it as quickly. It's proved to be... eye opening.
What I'm discovering is, I actually like feeling happy.
If you're thinking, "yeah, duh, what a concept," stay with me. As humans, we talk about being happy, and yet we often tend to gravitate toward unhappiness. It's not fault of our own (well, sometimes it is). There are so many things pulling us in every direction and many of those things aim to steal our happiness. News, for example. Someone challenging us in a conversation. Political discussions. Every day, we are bombarded with information and stories and situations that can take us any which, and sometimes every, way.
The wonderful news is, we get to choose what to do in those moments.
Say, for example, my husband Tim walks in and he's had a shitty day and he's complaining. All of a sudden I start to feel gross and then I snap at him and we both end up in a bad mood. Sound familiar to anyone? It used to happen to me all the time. Until I caught myself. I've learned and trained myself to notice my body sensations and to check myself when they get to feeling... "funky." It happened this weekend. I started to just feel pissed off. sometimes, being pissed off feels kinda good. It can feel good to be angry, to let off steam... and eventually, at least for me, the anger catches up to me and then I end up feeling worse. So, anyway, back to feeling pissed off. I noticed it. I paused. I asked myself, "Is this mine or someone else's?" After listening, turns out it was Tim's. From there, I had a choice. I could stay in self loathing and pissed-off ness and commiserate with Tim, or I could lift my spirits. I went for the latter.
Anybody heard the song "Good Day," by Nappy Roots? That's my go to song right now when I'm in a mood that I know isn't serving me. So, I put the song on. In less than 30 seconds, I was dancing around the room and my energy had completely shifted. It didn't take much. From there, the spiral affect began. I started to see camping on the property less as a hassle and more like a super fun adventure. I spent ALL weekend in the kitchen making peanut butters bars and casseroles and soups so we wouldn't have to worry about cooking much of anything, we could just grab it straight from the cooler. The more I felt good, the more I kept searching for it. The more I kept pulling myself there.
Now, you might be thinking, "But Amy, what about all the talk about feeling your feelings?"
Yes, I do talk about feeling your feelings. I also talk about there being a difference between feeling your feelings and allowing your feelings to take over and run the show. We need to allow things to move through... not linger. I allowed myself to feel pissed off in that moment with Tim and then I made a choice. We ALWAYS have options. I have plenty of moments I choose to stay angry. To stay unhappy. I make the choice. Whether it serves me or not is debatable. I also have many moments where I'd rather not be in that place.
The great news is I have the free will to decide, either way. And so do you.
The next time you notice you're in a mood (which I feel like is most of us, most of the time these days) check yourself. Is what you're carrying yours? If not, who's is it, and are you willing to let it go? If so, what can you do to let it go? Say "I'm letting it go" out loud? go on a walk? Sing a song? Dance? If it is yours... same protocol.
Train yourself to notice and pay attention in those moments... are you choosing happiness or are you choosing something else?
Either way, It's your choice to make in the moment that feels right for you. That's really all that matters.
Look at what you are choosing this week and what it's offering or not offering you with love. I'll be doing the same.