Monday, June 7, 2010

a happiness challenge

I haven't felt like writing lately. In fact, I haven't felt like doing much of anything lately. I've been in this sort of limbo holding pattern, waiting, anxiously, to see if these meds would work. What I'm finding is that taking something is making me more aware of how I'm feeling—pretty much the opposite of what I want.

And so, days have been dragging slowly by. In waiting to feel better, I've been stuck in a shaky world that's about what's not working in the present.

But, this morning a friend presented me with an amazing challenge. To commit to writing positive for a certain period of time and in that writing from the half-full point of view I'd start swinging my mindset in that direction.

On the one hand, that should be easy. I have so much to be grateful for and I know that every day. Having said that, my hands are shaking as I type, and I'm having way too much trouble concentrating to put coherent thoughts together.

I guess that will make my challenge all the more challenging.

And so, taking all into consideration, I'm starting my happiness challenge. From now until my birthday (June 19th) I'm focusing on the positive.

It is a stunning morning. After days of steamy heat, the sky is crisp and blue, with a cool breeze blowing through the city. The sun is bright, the air clear, flowers vibrant against brick buildings and concrete sidewalks.

Days like this are hopeful. Enervating. Anything feels possible.

Ok. I hear Margaritaville. I've never heard that on a car radio in NYC. Talk about a powerful message.

It's so easy in this world to lose track of the good. To get lost in the stress, the pain, the anxiety, the worry. Yes, there's so much to feel awful about. But there's even more to appreciate.

I'm so grateful for my family. And my friends. For the amazing city I live in, for the neighborhood where I can't walk down the street without running into someone I know. For the many opportunities I have been given and have fought for. For having creative outlets. For the people interested in what I have to say and for sharing my journey with me. For being able to make a difference.

I'm grateful for having found the perfect lilac tank top. For having given up sugar successfully and for now fitting more comfortably into my clothes. I'm grateful for naps. For watermelon. For fresh peas from Chelsea Market. For having a car to sit in. For having this laptop to write on.

I'm grateful that I have a choice of delicious yoga classes to go to today. That I finished my first promo film for a client and I'm delighted with it. That I'm still learning new things. That I want to start sewing my own clothes (we'll see how that goes).

I'm grateful to my friend who didn't just listen, but suggested a different way of being when I wasn't able to do that myself. Sometimes we all need reminding and how lucky am I that when I needed it most, someone was there to do it.

Let me be that person for you. Take a moment to savor the good, the nurturing, the lovely. Appreciate it. Revel in it. Soak it in.

Hop on the happiness bandwagon folks. Come do this challenge with me.

An extra smile in someone's day can make a huge difference.


Luna said...

People come by my clinic and daily they say... June you are always so happy! don't you ever get down?
Yes, but it only last a moment, something silly, funny , wonderful, inpsiring, cheerful, hilarius, cute, will roll by and my mode will change... and from being in the Vet clinic all day I have to compartmentalize as I go from room to room, sometimes sorrow to joy in a heartbeat, so I have learned what gives me joy and laughter and how to give it to those who need it...
Your smile brings me joy, your energy wonderful and still I keep the thought of one day getting brownies from your amazing brownie pan... and this too makes me smile

MOLLYC said...

I love this. You have a wonderful friend. I do know that "fake it until you make it" does work. And positive self talk, as cheesy as THAT sounds, is also very effective. With your meds (and by the way, if these don't work, there are others)and a mental turnaround, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN'T CONQUER. And please don't forget all your cyber friends like me who are rooting for you every day. love molly

Caroline said...

Love this! I hope nothing but the best for you in your quest, I'm sure it will be a great one! I don't know, can I - dour old snarky me, be positive for hours, much less days? I don't know... hmm, I think I might be up for that. If my tweets start to seem really weird, then I have definitely joined you! It is great when you need a friend and they are there- I think the epitome of friendship is that. Especially when you aren't in a great mood. I find that you can spot a good friend or a kind soul in those moments, more so than in the good ones - when everyone wants to be near you. Good luck/break a leg etc., but I have a feeling you don't need any of those :o) xo

Dahlila said...

Being grateful for the positive in our lives is a thing to remember, daily. I believe it's important to look around, be in awe, be thankful for what is good.

Yet, I am always very conscious of people who seem to be trying too hard to reach for happy, when I can see it isn't there. Like they're trying to maintain "I'm fine"!!!

I like the idea of practicing acceptance. I accept this is the way my life is at this moment--w/o judgement on myself. It will pass & something else will follow.

It's not easy (I've found) but I like the idea of a way of being w/o self punishment or denial of feelings. It's a balancing act for certain, but every moment gets to be a new do over. :-)


Teri O'Brien said...

Hi Elissa,
I love the name of your blog, and I love your happiness challenge, but I did want to mention that the word "enervating" applies to something that drains one's energy. Is this the word you meant to use, after stating that the day was beautiful and hopeful?
I think it was the Monday June 7 post. Keep up the good work. Being grateful and positive will take your far!
Teri O'Brien