So I was thinking about my favorite Mary J. Blige song and how I've wanted to write on this topic for a while, but for some reason I just couldn't gather my thoughts. Thankfully, I was inspired after listening to the Just Winging It podcast on Wednesday when Attorney/Author/Happiness Coach, Rochelle Gapere, was the guest. It was an awesome episode. Click here to check it out!
"I’m expecting this year to be 100 times better than 2016 and I’m doing everything in my power to make that so. No matter what, I’m choosing happiness and positivity! I know there will be ups and downs, but I choose not to stay down and not to let anybody else keep me down!"
I've been going through a transformation and it all started with that journal entry on January 1, 2017. I had no idea how life changing that declaration would be! And, it wasn’t just what I wrote that was life changing, it was the commitment to and action behind those words that ignited the onset of permanent change to my existence. We often quote, “Write the vision, make it plain”, but writing it is meaningless if there’s no actual work toward the vision.
I had been back and forth with my state of happiness for many years. Whether I was happy or not had been based on abundance or lack and my status in life. I had been particularly low in 2016 and I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, which sparked the desire in me to DO something about it. I had perfected the art of plastering on a smile and a putting on a good front, but I was yearning to experience genuine and long-lasting joy!
Choosing to be happy and positive did not start off as an easy feat. I had been so used to surrendering to negativity and allowing my circumstances to determine my mood, that it was a challenge to do anything different. It was and still is something that I have to make a conscious effort to do daily. I basically went through a total renewal of my mind which resulted in a leveling up of sorts in several areas of my life. I realized that self-care was a major factor in being happy. I began to make changes to my diet. I added and eliminated some foods. I became more disciplined and stopped letting my cravings and feelings dictate to me how and what I ate. I added more physical activity. All of this resulted in weight loss and me just feeling better over-all.
I stopped allowing other people's issues to consume me. I refuse to let anybody or anything; friends, family, my teenager, my job, or Kanye, stress me out. That doesn't mean I don't have concerns. It's just that I do or don't do what's in my power and I am no longer overtaken with worry concerning things that are beyond my control.
I adjusted how I post on social media. Although sprinkled with humor, many of my posts were full of gripes and pity parties. I cringe in embarrassment at some of my past posts that I come across, then quickly beam with gratitude as I reflect on how far I've come.
Life isn't perfect. In fact, I've had moments of significant hardship over the last two years. I deal with bouts of sadness, anger, frustration, and disappointment. Regardless of my decision to be happy, life still happens and although men may be from Mars and women from Venus, I'm still human. So, naturally, trials come and various emotions arise, so I allow myself to feel them all, but my perspective is different, which allows me to better handle adversity. I don't wallow in the down times. But, I do take time to ponder and figure out what lesson there is to be learned. I've been striving to recognize the "bright side" in most situations and focus on that, while finding comfort in knowing that trouble doesn't last and everything is working for my good.
All this newness has caused a significant boost in my self-confidence and acceptance of myself. I feel like I have finally reached the place where I truly and COMPLETELY love me!
I've had people compliment my weight loss, which is great, but what makes me feel warm and fuzzy are the comments I receive about how happy I am and the noticeable difference or "glow" that is radiating from the inside out! I will be 40 next year, and as I mentioned in a previous post, I am the happiest I've ever been in my adult life! I have not obtained all the material things I wish to possess or met the love of my life or reached my desired level of success, but I'm truly happy with my journey and have faith in my future.