Do What Makes You Happy

Notice how the title is not do what makes others happy? This is because despite what you may think you cannot control how others feel about any given thing. genuine happiness generally comes from within so you should be focusing on doing the things that make you happy. Note that the things that bring you happiness also may change as you grow and develop as a person. You also may be thinking that this sounds a little selfish, but taking care of your own needs is an important thing we should all be doing.

Nothing is less satisfying than doing something to meet someone else’s expectations or standards of you. As Someone who tried to meet someone’s expectations of me for many years nothing feels better than just doing things to reach my goals and make myself happy. This was another way having half my body paralyzed positively benefited my life. I had to change my focus from making everyone else happy to focusing on my needs. I do not doubt that if it had not happened I would still not be a priority in my own life.

No matter the medium throughout my entire life art has always been one of those things that centers me and brings me to my happy place. That being said art has been my biggest focus during my latest writing hiatus. Whether it’s drawing, or something else It’s one of those versatile things that I can also use to retrain my affected hand. It is nice to be able to hit two birds with one stone yet again. Side note: I’m sorry I have been absent as of late I haven’t been able to make the words work so I’m taking a break.

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Living While Burnt Out

Throughout life we will all go through stages of burn out at different times for different reasons. Personally I seem to function in a way that I burn out often, but I become insanely high functioning at these times. Depending on what I’m doing I may take steps to reach burn out knowing that it could help me finish something sooner. In the last three and a half years alone I have burnt out more times than I would like to admit, but when half your body is recovering from something it tends to take a lot out of a person.

When I burn out for any reason the first thing that happens is hat no matter how much or how little I sleep I do not feel as if I have rested at all. This results in shifting into autopilot, and becoming robot like and not really being there mentally. Everything still happens in my daily routine, but in all honesty I do become a little more sardonic than sarcastic haha. If you ever cross paths with me during a burn out you will know because everything seems very automated and less me.

It is important that when you burn out you need to take time to meet your needs and rejuvenate because a burn out period is not going to resolve itself without some attention. We are only almost half way through the year and I have already burnt out twice over the book and editing. Now that it is done and I’m waiting for it to be available in all amazon markets I have taken a full day to just relax, I even took a three-hour nap. I feel like at least one day a week should look like this regularly.

The Loss Of A Loved One

Losing someone who truly is a big part of your world is one of those things that either breaks you or makes you stronger, but for me it was a mix of both. It broke me for over a year before It made me stronger. There were a few things that definitely helped and hindered the healing process and that’s what today’s post is about.

Things that helped me:

Exercise

 When you lose someone and are grieving I found that the easiest way to stop feeling like crap is to get some exercise. Personally I chose to run because that’s the easiest way for me to get all the positive endorphins flowing, but weights and other forms of physical ctivity help to so do what works best for you.

Meditation

In the darkest of moments we have to be able to hold  on and go to that uninterrupted happy place. For me I go to my favourite place I have travelled to which happens to be a beach on the island of Samso Denmark where I imagine myself laying on the beach drinking a margarita in July with my friends in the sunshine. As I visualize it I can hear the waves crashing into the shoreline and all the birds being vocal and having a riot. Then there’s a row of family and friends just soaking up the sun and reminding each other of all te fun times of the good old days. It’s a peacefully happy place.

Self Care,

Despite any and all of the emotions you are feeling remember to take care of yourself and do what you need to get through the ups and downs of losing someone. For me self-care is usually one of two things: a solo dance party, or spa day. When it comes to a solo dance party I throw on a mix of my favourite feel good songs and albums and dance it out until I feel better. Spa days can be a variety of things from a face mask and some down time to an aroma therapy bath, either way it’s also a great way to pamper oneself into feeling better.

Writing

 One of my most important people I have probably written over twenty letters to her as if I could send them to her and she could read them. Even though I know she will never physically receive them, It is pretty cathartic to write out each thought and emotion at the time. Sometimes after they’re done I read them out loud with tears running down my face like a waterfall as if should was standing over my shoulder listening. Strange, but definitely helpful.

Being Social/ Talking about it, 

Getting out of the house to go be with friends doing anything or nothing and just hanging out was one of the best distractions to get out of my own head in the tougher times of grief. When I say talk about it, I mean when you’re with someone you trust and they ask you how you are doing don’t lie and say you’re fine as you hold back all the emotions. Let you’re friends in on how you aren’t doing great and depending on how the respond  you will get an open ear to talk to and a shoulder to cry on if you need it.

Things that hindered:

Alcohol

It doesn’t matter how much it  hurts I promise that no amount of any substance will help in the long run. For the first several months after loosing her I drank often just to stay numb and get through the day and it was the worst thing I could have done. Let yourself feel all the emotions running through your body and just try to deal with them one on one as they come by. Numb is bad even when one feels like they are completely dead inside.

Food

Don’t Eat those Feelings I promise that after you eat them you’ll just be angry with yourself for gaining that weight that you will want to immediately lose. I gained fifteen punds after I lost my most important person solely because I couldn’t go and run off my emotions because it was four months after a stroke. After I realized what I had gained not only was I crying over greif I was crying over my weight gain. Don’t eat the tub of icecream.

 Shutting Everyone Out

Honestly I shut down emotionally for four or five months not letting anyone know that I was completely dead inside behind the smile. Again not a great choice, but It showed me what not to do if nothing else. I shut everyone out to the point where nobody even knew how much her death affected me and that was very unhealthy. When I opened up about it I learned who wasn’t really a friend with each response that went along the lines of, “She’s dead get over it.”

Being A couch potato, 

Also don’t hide from the world because you think you are the only one feeling these kinds of pain. There are a lot of us going through similar things that can show you the empathy and give you that metaphorical shoulder to cry on. Don’t just lay in bed and watch movies that make you more sad and more deppressed because you’re loved ones will always be in your heart and they would want you to live your life to the fullest each day.

Greif can be Really hard, but surviving the last three years of my person being gone has taught me to live life to the fullest knowing that she will always be right there in my heart. A year and a half after her passing I got a memorial tattoo on my  chest as a daily reminder that she will always be in my  heart and that helped me move forward a lot. I’m luckily at a stage where during the sad days I go through all the happpy memories and times we had together and that helps my heart smile. In the end I was very lucky to have the friendship and eternal love we shared even during our disagreements.

I hope that my experiences with greif can help at least one person deal with the loss of their loved one,

Addy

Happiness: Contributing Factors

If you want to achieve complete happiness one of the things you are going to have to do is care less. By this I mean stop putting so much thought into the things that do not matter. Figuring out what does and does not matter in your life can be a daunting task as well as confusing and timely. When I started the process of cutting out the things that don’t matter it took about a year of continuous revisions before I was free of all the unnecessary crap.

I am not going to lie I found the process difficult myself, but I started off with stopping all the things I was doing to “maintain face”. You know the events and social outings you have no interest or get no value out of, but you are expected to go to by friends or acquaintances. Yeah stop going to those, yeah I don’t care if you get a formal invite or one of those sill Facebook event invites just politely decline if you have no interest in going.

The next big step for me was cutting off contact from the acquaintances and childhood friends I didn’t even like back when I was in grade school.  The ones where you have nothing in common, you’ve always pretended to like, and you honestly don’t care at all when they hit you up to talk about how great their lives are. Not only are they a waste of time, but depending on how you connected in the past encounters with these people can be quite emotionally draining.

For about a year I repeated these two steps up until now where I’m able to live a life of peace, happiness, and mindfulness. I hope your search and attempts to happiness take less time. 🙂

Addy

Freedom

Freedom: supposedly we all have it, but most of us rarely feel it in the daily hustle that we call life. For the first time since quitting my 8-4 to write my book and work on my recovery. Other than feeding pets and maintaining hygiene and healthy eating habits I spent the day having a solo dance party in 6.5 inch heeled boots with a one inch platform. I guess that I’ve been running my “ship” a little to tight recently and need to unwind during my family’s vacation. It is wonderful to not have a single worry in the back of my mind and being able to just live in the moment, not worrying about the past or the future.

I guess I worked on my current project a little as I modified and fixed the timeline for each part, but I’m enjoying just making sure that I enjoy myself and destress each day so far. There’s a lot of freedom in being able to spend four hours meditating each day, normally I average just two hours a day. I do not think that I have ever been so centered and at peace for this long and it’s pure bliss.I fully intend on spending the rest of the day doing a bit of a spa night for myself.

Cheers,

Addy

After Self Love

After you start Unconditionally loving yourself there will be some pretty major changes in how ou live life as well as the prospective you see things from. In your journey of self-love you will likely start embracing and working towards your true self because you start to believe in who you are as a person and will realise that you are better of to be unique than another “sheep”. After finding self love and embracing it you may also start to unconditionally love everything and everyone around you while supporting and even embracing everyone’s individual path.

After realizing how much I loved who I was becoming as a person I  started working on listening to my body and it’s needs when taking things one day at a time.  Living in the moment instead of the past or the future is a really beautiful thing, it has resulted in feeling about fifty times better than I did living life in the fast lane more on par with society’s views. I’m a firm believer in getting back what you put out into the world and that’s why I do my best to live out each moment with loving intentions.

If I had  done this weeks photo shoot five months ago it would have had an entire different feel as I was not yet at a place of self-love, instead I was at the beginning of an enlightening and fulfilling journey. I bet if someone was able to meet me now and five months ago they would see a completely different person as that is how much self love changed my whole life.

Cheers,

Addy

Rolling With the Punches 

We should all set out each day to live life to the fullest, but on the same note we need to remember to take care of ourselves as well. The last stretch of my book I definitely neglected my needs and two weeks later here I am getting over the last of the head cold I got from neglecting my needs. Male sure that you stay active, eat as best you can, and get enough rest. 

Remember to fuel your body

Proper nutrition is a big part of staying healthy and not getting sick. Instead of writing or creating of any kind for endless continuous hours take breaks for food when you would normally eat. No matter the project there is always time to take ten minutes or even an hour to make food and properly feed your body. And no I don’t mean go to protein shakes and liquid food just because they are quick and easy.

Get enough rest

Instead of drinking coffee like a college student drinks beer you should cut off your caffeine at a point where you can get a full night of rest. It does not matter if you are one if those people that can pull an all nighter without any caffeine what so ever like me. Instead of straining your body why not go to bed and repay your body with some restful sleep.

Stay active 

If nothing else just go outside for a fifteen minute to half hour walk and get some sunshine. Just incase you didn’t know the sun is beneficial to the human body as that is one of the best free sources of vitamin D. Yes I know that artists and writers love to live like vampires and rarely see the sun, but it is so good for you so just do it. I promise that if you start trying to listen to your body and take care of it accordingly you will start to feel much better. 

Cheers , 

Addy