Monthly Archives: June 2017

I have to create the habit

“If I want to be happy, I have to create the habit, just as I had to with daily writing, and flossing.” Anne Lamott

As I’ve written here before, I am taking a certification course in Positive Psychology, and one of the things we’ve learned is that happiness and thriving can be – must be – habits you create. I also read this years ago in Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott.

I have to create the habit of being happy – the daily habit of being happy – just like I did with my writing and my flossing. I don’t (very often) think about flossing. I (usually) automatically do it. Well, at least my tooth brushing. Brushing my teeth has become such a habit that not doing it feels weird.

Is that the goal? To make being happy such a daily habit that not doing it feels weird, just like not brushing my teeth?

I have worked hard to create this new habit of being happy, and it now feels a bit off when I’m not. What a blessing. It feels weird when I’m stuck for too long in anger or anguish. It’s starting to feel strange, and I’m starting to notice that something’s not right when I’m not noticing what is right and what brings me joy. Then I pause for a moment and remember. “Right. I have a choice.”

And I try again to choose. To choose to be happy. To choose to love.

To make being happy a daily habit.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Just this breath, that’s all there is

I’m sitting in the airport, waiting. Our flight is over three hours delayed. Ah well.

It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend. My older child graduated from college yesterday (was graduated if I want to be grammatically correct, for Danny, my dad). Then we had lunch, then roughly three hours to pack up all the stuff and clean out the college townhouse. And a longish drive and a long, wonderful celebratory meal. A good day, but a long day.

And now we’re waiting for storms to pass and planes to fly. Which so doesn’t matter. Other than not being home earlier than we will now be, it really doesn’t matter.

But sitting in the airport, waiting, I decided to take a conscious breath. It made me realize how much of a difference it makes to take a conscious breath. It reminded how precious even the simplest moments can be if we pay attention. If I pay attention.

Just this breath, that’s all there is. And then this one. And then this one.

And each breath is priceless. Each one of them matters. Each one of is an opportunity to be here, and to be grateful for here. For now.

Each breath is an opportunity to remember to love – to love myself, to love others, to love all of you. Each breath is an opportunity to remember, to thank, to notice, to live.

I don’t know what comes after this life – although a good friend of mine and I have decided to believe in reincarnation so that we can next time live in Paris. Preferably in a garret apartment. But that being said, this life is all I know I really have, and when I choose to consciously breathe this breath – and then this one; and then this one – I choose to live my life more fully. Each moment, in its preciousness, is more vibrant and more real. More noticed and enjoyed. More rich and colorful. More fully alive. As I choose to be.

Just this breath, that’s all there is. I’m going to breathe this breath and notice my life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Why Am I Thinking?

I have an acronym I offer to clients – WAIT, Why Am I Talking? It’s a coaching acronym we use to remind ourselves (us coaches) to shut up and let the client do the talking, the work, the thinking things through. As a coach my “job” is to listen, ask questions, provide a “mirror” and sounding board…and let my clients do the talking. This is perhaps harder for some coaches (me) than others.

I’m transforming my acronym to what I need now, on a bit more of a daily basis. Why Am I Thinking? My mind can do some loopy things sometimes – making up stories about other people being upset with me, replaying old tapes about what’s wrong with me or how I’ve messed up most recently, looking for where I’ve slipped or need to kick it up or figure out my situation and act quickly so that I’m safe.

Safe from what, I ask myself. Safe from what?

I appreciate my old tapes that still think they’re protecting me. I know that, at least in some ways, they saved me and kept me from harm. I learned to read situations and people in order to detect – and get away from – danger.

But I’m not in danger anymore. I have very little, if anything, to protect myself from. So my old thought patterns that question me, and most things around me, aren’t necessary. They’re overkill.

So, I ask myself, why am I thinking? And when I get caught in my thinking, I ask myself how I can get out of it. It doesn’t do me any good; in fact, now my thinking probably has the most opportunity to hurt me most. Why Am I Thinking is a great reminder to step away. And to choose to think differently.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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