Since Saturday’s question of where the venom comes from, I’ve been taking another look at what makes me happy. I took an uncomfortable look at the ways that I am filled with venom. The ways I can be dismissive or downright mean. Hey I’m no saint. :) The more I thought of those difficult, woman in the mirror, realities of my personality, the more I thought about ways to solve it for me. And that is to focus on making myself as happy as possible as often as possible. I know that when I have a focus that is larger than the annoying realities I can shrug the annoyances off. My best example is when I worked in retail and kept my focus on my writing and never got caught up in the work place dramas or affected by nasty customers etc.
If I’m going to continue to transform the venom injections of each day, I need to have a ready repertoire of what makes and keeps me happy. You know, simple and manageable stuff that keeps me going.
Have you ever checked out Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project? Gretchen spent a year “test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.” And then she wrote a book. She can guide you with far better information on, well, making a project out of it.
My little list started with the promise that I would get back into getting up early to write and do yoga. As a motivation, I decided to tell myself that it was an investment in my happiness, so I wouldn’t press the snooze button and roll over. The rest of the list is just choosing from things I already own or things that are free or cheap. To remind myself that I don’t have to spend money. Although it’s nice to spend money once in awhile. :)
1- My number one goal is to get back to doing stuff for me in the mornings before I go to work. That’s at least my morning pages and a session of Kundalini Yoga. Truly, that investment is the one that pays me the most. I just plain old 'feel good'. I am putting my goals first, making my goals a priority by getting up to do them. I feel more motivated when I get to work, less distracted. Some times I can be in a bad mood simply because I’m mad at myself for not getting stuff done. So I’m getting up when I wake up. Monday it was 3am and this morning it was 4:07 am. I used to be a religious 4am riser but then I let it fall by the wayside. Dr. Wayne Dyer mentioned it in the most enlightening way quoting Rumi –“ The morning breeze has secrets to tell you, don’t go back to sleep.” I love that idea, I will hear the secrets if I simply get up. Get up! Get up! And the secret is that I’m way more productive and happier if I don’t press snooze for 15 more minutes of shut eye. Plus when I get up the moment I wake up, I’m actually less tired than if I sleep by the snooze button.
A good article on reasons to rise early
My other ways to invest in my happiness in no particular order are:
2- Sitting somewhere to feed the squirrels. I love squirrels, they make me laugh, they are fun to watch and feeding them reminds me that the Universe always provides so trust in the Universe.
I love what Squirrel Meaning and Symbolic Thoughts about Squirrels has to remind us about squirrels.
It's not commonly known that the squirrel only actually finds 10% of the nuts he hides for safekeeping. This is another message from the squirrel that we can also foolishly over-prepare.Although, I like to think that what one squirrel doesn't find, another squirrel does.
This one says:
The gathering power of Squirrel is a great gift.
It teaches us balance within the circle of gathering and giving out.
They remind us that in our quest for our goals,
it is vital to make time for play and socializing.
Squirrel teaches us to conserve our energy for times of need.
If your totem is Squirrel or Squirrel has recently entered your life,
lighten your load of things that are unnecessary –
things that you have gathered in the past and may be cluttering your life –
thoughts, worries, and stresses.
3- Music & Singing – I have a vast music collection because I love music and I worked at a Record Store back in the day. I used to meet up with a girlfriend every Sunday for breakfast and she also has a vast collection. One year, she decided that she would play all of her music in alphabetical order and every week we'd meet up and she'd say, "I listened to the Bangles, The Beatles... Next week I'm moving onto the C's."
I'm going to pull that idea out of the vault and start doing that.
And the singing part is self explanatory. lol I love to sing and my cats tolerate it. :)
4- Playing with my cats (speaking of the cats). Gatsby , my tuxedo, loves to play fetch with a straw. He will sometimes bring the straw to bed to remind me that anytime I’m ready, he’s ready. Zelda, my grey domestic long-hair, loves to get under the sheet just as I’m flicking it in the air to put on the bed. She meows as I tickle her through the sheet. And I giggle! I've been trying to do that earlier every night so I can play longer with her before I have to go to sleep.
5- Ken Burns Jazz . I like to slip in a DVD while I’m getting ready for work and listen to stories of Jazz. I wish there were more affordable Jazz collections.
6- Crockpot cooking. I used to do more of this. And would try out zany recipes. I need to pick that up again. Cheap, easy, set it and forget it and leftovers!
7- Scribble Drawing – I literally scribble on a piece of paper. And then look for shapes and colour them in. It’s like looking for shapes in the clouds only doing it on paper. I have a sketch book filled with them. Perfect to do in a waiting room.
8- Long Walks – walking dates. This is my favourite way to get together with friends. A good walk across the city, through the ravines, along the water, anywhere. Sadly, not enough of my friends say yes to it. My one friend Lolo will walk until I say stop because my joints are hurting. Lol It’s free, you spend quality time together, you get a work out, you get to see the city.
9 - Spiritual Cinema Circle – I’ve been a member for several years now, so I have quite a collection of movies and shorts. They are a nice change from the Hollywood blockbuster. I watch them more on a winter weekend and I’m always thrilled with what I watch. One of my favourite shorts is about a little girl who outgrows her imaginary friend.
10 - And of course the zillions of physical books I have in my place, still unread. Plus my kobo and kindle that I carry every day!
11 - And Food! The summer and the best fruits. Blueberries and raspberries for breakfast makes me smile with each bite. Walking with a bag of CHERRIES! Oh Cherries, how I squeal the moment they are available. lol Fresh Strawberries in an almond smoothie. Watermelon, morning, noon and night! It's so easy to eat healthy in the summer!
So, yes, that's my easy list. Are you thinking about yours? Please do tell me what you do to invest in your happiness?