Tag Archives: Happiness

I do not apologize.

I got this idea from Courtney at The Rule Breaker’s Club. This is so cathartic, a highly recommended exercise.

I do not apologize for being tender.

I do not apologize for being sensitive.

I do not apologize for being afraid.

I do not apologize for being weird.

I do not apologize for being the weirdest person you’ve ever met.

I do not apologize for not liking myself.

I do not apologize for loving myself despite not being loveable.

I do not apologize for loving myself despite not being who I want to be yet.

I do not apologize for being patient towards myself.

I do not apologize for not being there yet.

I do not apologize for being daring.

I do not apologize for putting myself in difficult situations.

I do not apologize for feeling everything deeply.

I do not apologize for being human.

I do not apologize for panic attacks in the middle of a conversation, even if they make me seem like a crazy person.

I do not apologize for needing to learn lessons the hard way.

I do not apologize for trusting the wrong person with my heart.

I do not apologize for not being the strong woman of my dreams.

I do not apologize for being weak.

I do not apologize for being in transition.

I do not apologize for being different than you thought.

I do not apologize for changing.

I do not apologize for getting worse.

I do not apologize for getting better.

I do not apologize for being me, every version of me.

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Regrets? Stop it.

This certainty that if you could, you would magically transport yourself back to the moment you made the decision you question today. You would be different than you were.

You think that somehow, you are capable of willingly doing something horrible.

But really, the feeling of regret is not an indication that you’ve done something wrong. You feel pain because you can’t accept that at the time, you did exactly what was best for everyone involved.

Regret means you’re ready to be forgiven. It is a call to forgive yourself in this very moment.

No matter what your belief system, you are always doing the thing you think will help you feel better than you currently feel. Either that, or you are testing the waters of unhappiness, discovering whether or not they are bearable, and if happiness is really worth the effort. Even then, though, you are weighing discomfort of unhappiness against the discomfort of effort, deciding which one will make you feel better.

Fake cliché story I will invent now:

You’ve been cheated on. Do you trash his car, or do you move on, and “be the better person”? Which one will make you happier? Which one will feel better? For some people, the answer is clear. For others, it isn’t. Maybe both seem equally satisfying. Maybe both options feel terrible.

Maybe you think you probably shouldn’t destroy his car because you might feel a little guilty later, but maybe the ecstasy of payback will drown it out. So, you trash it. It turns out it was his sweet old mother’s car, which she had spent her life’s savings on. You feel terrible. Birth of regret.

You find out the cheating story was a rumour. Worse.

Or maybe it was his car, and he did cheat on you, but you feel so much worse than you thought. It wasn’t worth it. Birth of regret.

In any of these cases, your knowledge of what it meant to feel guilty was not clear enough to motivate a decision you wouldn’t regret. 

How do we know what a “good” decision is, without knowing what a “bad” one feels like? Stories aren’t enough. We learn through experience. What does a “bad” decision mean, if it is, itself, necessary for “good” ones to exist?

Who you were is not a story, a decision, or the product of an outcome. Who you were, are, and will be is always a moment. The present. Regret is self-punishment, but the one you are punishing is the person you are NOW, not who you were then. You are punishing the person who has grown, evolved, become greater. Doesn’t seem very fair, does it?

Regret is an opportunity to accept that you did the best you could then, just as you are doing now. And we all know that we are who we are partly because of our mistakes, aches and pains. You needed (and wanted) the lesson in exactly the way you got it–and if you are feeling regret, then you did get it.

Forgiveness is practice for the next time you mess up.

It’s a penny in the bank.

It’s betting on the process of life. Which, by the way, is the only way to feel peace.

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We All Need

Somewhere to go

Something to do

Someone to report back to

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Do More, Think Less

Do what you do

Do it well

Do it loud

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Minimalism = Happiness

Ask only for what you need

&

Use everything you receive

 

You decide what

and how much

you need,

and you find clues

in every dream.

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Let Your Body Determine Your Schedule

Do you create schedules that, once followed, make you feel exhausted, unfulfilled or lazy?

This was my pattern for quite a while:

I have so many interests that I often become overwhelmed. I want to make sure that I have time to do everything I love, so I create a tight schedule that includes it all and ensures that I’m working towards all of my long-term goals. I give myself tasks for the morning, an hour for lunch, time for “fun” activities, rest, enough sleep, and even periods for thought and doing nothing. It’s the high school model, and I did well then, so it should work now, right?

Wrong. I did well in school, but in school I was a sheep. I’ve grown so much since then, so do I really want to go back to that rule-abiding mindset? Whether they’re my own or the school board’s, these rules are imposed with too much thought given to “should,” and not enough to “want” or “need.” I feel like hiking when I should be writing, sleeping when I should be playing. Life becomes very stiff and does not encourage free will and thought, which is what helps you adapt to inevitable change, whether external or internal. And inevitably, I become unhappy.

I rebel against my inner dictator, and I identify with my inner hippie. I do whatever I want, whenever I want with a view to reconnecting with my true desires. I watch movies and eat all day and live off of my savings. I sleep in–after all, if I sleep until 3pm, it’s because my body needs and wants it, right? I have a lot of time to think about my dreams but I become sad when I don’t spend enough time making any real plans or taking any real steps–my dreams seem unattainable and I start to believe it.

I go back to my original activity-stuffing tactic, because I no longer trust myself.

Is it possible to listen to your body, like in schedule #2, but get shit done, like in schedule #1, and actually be happy, like in dream land?

I think so. I believe that what these schedules lack is self-knowledge; my interests and goals are the building blocks of my day, but knowledge of my own psychological and physiological patterns is critical for establishing a productive schedule.

For example, through trial and error, I’ve discovered that I feel most productive, whether I follow through on any plans or not, when I get up early; with so much waking time, I end up doing something. Then, perhaps early rising is a worthwhile habit to develop. I know that to feel good when I get up early, I have to get enough sleep. I know that when I eat a hearty breakfast, my appetite is regulated for the rest of the day.

I know that I feel good when I have a regular workout schedule. I haven’t figured this out completely yet, but I won’t beat myself up about it–what’s important is that I realize that exercise is crucial to my self-esteem, and I’m working to find a comfortable place for it in my life.

I know that sometimes, when I start writing as soon as I wake up, a sense of accomplishment pervades my day; perhaps I could try incorporating early writing into my daily or weekly schedule.

I know that at night, before bed, I like to think about my plans for tomorrow. When I wake up, I like knowing exactly what my plans are for the day; this way, I don’t waste my precious energy figuring out what to do and whether it is worthwhile–I just go. So, perhaps before bedtime I should create a “thinking time” block, during which I can allow my thoughts to wander into wider, even spiritual, territory, I can reevaluate my goals and purpose and set exciting tasks for the next day.

It’s important not to become disheartened when your scheduling doesn’t work, because each failure is a learning experience, and each new piece of knowledge brings you closer to success. The faster you get up and try again, the faster you get that next failure out of the way. 🙂

Finally, if you find that a regular, long-term schedule works well for you, hooray. However, if you undergo and enjoy constant change as I do, you must realize that once you’ve established the perfect schedule, you might need a completely new one. Therefore, what is most important is developing the ability to know when you’ve changed, and to adapt not only to external circumstances but also to internal ones.

Your plans should motivate you–they should be less of a to-do list, and more of a reminder of what makes you feel and radiate love. Your life should be a challenging but scenic canoe trip, not a steep, frightening mountain climb (unless you like that sort of thing) or endless channel surfing (please, just shut it off).

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