I used to really dislike cats. I never wanted to be near them and always complained. I thought they were gross and smelly and irritating and they made me sneeze and made my eyes water and generally made me feel horrible. If one came near me, I would move, which usually meant they would follow me. I think cats have a 6th sense.
My husband had cats when I first met him and I wondered how long they would last. I almost considered not dating him because of his feline friends and my extreme dislike for their presence. When they passed away from old age, I never wished for cats again.
Flash forward ten years.
Look at me know. This cat loves me and wants affection all the time. As soon as I sit for a minute, he shows up. I actually enjoy his company and this surprises me. He loves to sit right on my chest and rub all over my chin and face, giving me kisses. I allow this behavior and smile.
Who knew that a cat hater could become a cat lover? This is very odd to me and makes me wonder what other things in my mind might change over time. I wonder if we should get a dog?
How have you changed your mind dramatically?
Be the change you want to feel. Create it. You have the power.
Be the change you want to see. Choose to change your mind to focus on what’s good, and what you’re thankful for instead of all that is wrong with your given moment. This is hard to do, yet it is critical to our happiness, and is totally doable if we give ourselves permission.
Last night I wanted to change my attitude, so I chose to go for a walk. I was in a pissy mood, and needed to move and stretch and be alone to process my thoughts and to get over my negative feelings. I don’t write about these things because I want to focus on what’s good versus what’s unpleasant. My life is perfectly imperfect and we’re constantly learning and practicing and hopefully getting better all the time.
Life IS unpleasant many times as we pursue happiness, and we all have our unpleasantries, which is why I choose to not write about my own. I don’t need to share these details because I think we should focus on what we wish to create, which for me is joy and peace and love. I choose to share my daily reflections and solutions to dealing with what is and seeing the good even when things are frustrating to me. This helps me to overcome the negative feelings too and to continue down my path of happily ever after.
We all get to choose how we react to what is, and Here I Am is about being present and seeking the good in the middle of the busyness and chaos and pissiness. I know, that’s probably not a word, but doesn’t it sound good?
By going for a walk, I cleared my head and got exercise and released some really good endorphins. I highly recommend going for a long walk when you’re less than happy. It’s so rewarding in so many ways and I came home feeling more peaceful and open minded.
So the next time you’re feeling pissy or down or any other negative feeling, think about what you can do to get through the feeling until it passes and be the change you wish to feel. Don’t wait for someone else. You have the power. Am I right?
Have you heard that helping others can increase your happiness?
The magic number seems to be 100 hours per year, which amounts to about 2 hours per week. Who knew that helping others could enrich our own lives?
Are you volunteering or helping someone other than your immediate family? If so, how much time do you spend being of service?
This has been a question I’ve been noodling on for awhile and am using as a guide as I’m always trying to maximize the Happy Hours in my days.
When I felt like everything was ok in my life and still felt like I was missing something, it was Susanne who asked me how I was being of service and how much time I was dedicating to this part of life. She loves to help youth and seniors and spends a fair part of each week helping others and she told me how helping others really made her happy. Her face would light up when she’d share stories with me. She inspired me to think about how I was spending my time.
I belong to a Christian’s women’s group that runs a thrift shop. All proceeds from sales goes into an endowment fund, from which scholarships are given to women pursuing higher education goals. I love being part of this volunteer organization and believe in the mission. I started volunteering one day per week for an hour or two, helping out with donations. I love going to the shop and seeing the ladies who work there regularly, and feeling appreciated for my little Happy Hour of service.
Recently I joined the board of directors, who make decisions about running the store. I have been working on a strategic change project that has been taking a lot more than 2 hours per week. I love being involved and using my business background and interest in change management to help lead the change and “working” with a team. As I share my time, I feel helpful and happy to be making a difference. I think this is an example of how helping others can actually make you happy. I feel thankful for the relationships I am building and for the difference I am making. Happy Hours well spent.
Life is good.