I usually don't write blogs "like this" (sitting in front of the TV), I usually mull my thoughts over for a few days and then start writing, but this episode of Oprah hit me so hard, I had to grab my laptop and start writing!
Oprah had a woman on the show named Toni Morrison and they talked about an interview they did many years ago. Part of their discussion was about letting your face speak what is in your heart. Whether you are talking about your children, loved ones, friends, or coworkers - people need to be seen. When one of those people walk into the room, your heart is glad to see them, but does your face show it? Many of us are so concerned with with "other people" think that we seem to have put the mute button on ourselves.
You know you've been in that situation, you see someone you haven't seen in a while and all you want to do is wrap your arms around them and give them a big bear hug, but you settle for a one armed-half-hug because you don't want to seem to excited (there's people around...geesh). Have you ever noticed what reaction MOST people give that kind of embrace? They are genuinely HAPPY for you! They feel the love! Hell, sometimes they want to join in on the hug because positive emotion is just so contagious! And even more importantly, the person who is receiving that hug feels SO special!
Don't let your true feelings be muted, life is too short to worry about what other people think.
Life is SHORT! Be in the moment! Your feet will still hurt in five minutes so when you come home from a long hard day and your child comes up to you and wants to show you all of the cool things she painted at school "Mommy, mommy LOOK!!!" and you stop for a moment and wish you just had five minutes to put your feet up, I say this... Grab your little one, sit her on your lap and put your feet up and listen to all the stories she has to tell you :) When your little one, loved one, friend, etc walks into a room and your eyes light up and you make time for them, it shows them how valued they are. Toni shared an example of a time when her eldest son came into the room and showed her a painting he did at school, she said "Oh, that's nice!", she said he ripped that painting up into tiny pieces and let them fall to the floor. She asked him why he did that and he said, because I saw that little smile on your face. She instantly knew what he meant. It was that dismissive little "uh huh, oh nice, oh sure" kind of response. You can make your best friend feel that way, your mother, or your spouse. When someone wants to share something with you, BE there with them and be grateful that they have chosen to spend that time with YOU.
Now, some of you might be thinking, "what do you mean 'BE' there, I'm sitting right across from my boyfriend/best friend etc", yes but are you mentally and emotionally there with them? If your cell phone is in your hand; you are not really there. BE in the moment with those you choose to spend your time with. Hang on to their every word and let your face speak what is in your heart.
When you are in the moment you can truly appreciate and experience life. So many of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we don't always LIVE, we just exist. This is a saying I have held close to my heart for as long as I can remember. I forget it, often, but I always come back to it. I think to myself, if today was my last day, what kind of stories would I have to share in heaven? I could tell you about the long, hard day I've had - I have had a lot of those. But what about the fun things in life, the things that make memories. I watched a TV show recently and the main character was out on a first date and he was asked "what do you like to do, what are your passions" and he said "I like bowling"... I don't want my answer to be bowling. I want to talk about all of the things I am passionate about, and not have to stop and think about what those things are. When you are in the moment and you (yes I am going to say it, yes it is very cliche) "stop and smell the roses" you will see things a little differently. When you make time to find the beauty in every day life, you will be happier and filled with more joy.
Think about it for a second... When you really sit back and relax, what do you see? I bet you notice the pretty rainbow after the rain, or maybe you see the fresh morning dew on the grass in your backyard. When you rush through life because all you are thinking about is getting the kids off to school, or turning in that report - you miss all of those things. Life is what you make it, my friends. You can choose to have a happy life or you can let those opportunities pass you by. Now, I am not saying that everything is always rainbows, lollipops and fucking sunshine... sometimes life kicks you in the pants and you really need to let it all out. You might be mad for a month! That is okay too, but bring yourself back and remember to allow the beauty in :)
Whether you are reading this thinking I am totally nuts or you are right there with me, I have a challenge for you. These are my top 3 rules for being happy and I challenge you to practice them :)
1. Decide to be happy
You can only be happy if you choose to be. You wake up and realize the alarm clock didn't go off, you are about to be late for work, the line up at Starbucks is WAYYYYY too long, but you finally sit down at your desk and take that first sip - only to realize the lid wasn't on properly and that warm fuzzy feeling in your chest is actually hot fucking lava coffee all over your shirt - THAT could really mess up your day, OR you can say, "Well, its a damn good thing I didn't clean out my car like I planned to on the weekend, I should still have that sweater in there... might stink, but its dry" and then tell your shitty but funny story when you go out for drinks later that night.
2. Make other people happy
I find immense pleasure in making other people smile. Whether it is a "Hey I saw this while I was out the other day and thought of you" gift or just telling someone they look nice today. Making someone else's day can often have the same effect on you. I am sure you have done it before, it's pay day and you are feeling good so you decide to pay for a coffee for the person standing in line behind you. It probably cost you less than $2 but I bet you will have made that person's day! It has happened to me before and then this magical little thing happens, you want to "Pay it Forward". Someone does something nice for me - holds the door, gives me a compliment, or buys my coffee - I can guarantee the next 5 people I see are getting a MEGAWATT smile from me and a compliment and a free coffee! It feels SO good to share the sunshine :)
3. Accept that you cannot change anyone expect yourself
In life we encounter all kinds of people. Some of them we fall in love with, some of them just dream about serving them a shit pie like Milly did... If you dont know what I am talking about please watch this video:
So yes, sometimes I want to do that to people because I just dont understand them. Why are some people so mean?! Shit pie. Why do people leave their animals (or children) in a hot car?! Shit pie. Why this, why that, WHY WHY WHYYYY???? Shit Fucking PIE!
You can drive yourself CRAZY my dear wondering why this and why that. When you realize that you cannot change people and you cant figure everyone out, you will be a lot happier. Do not waste one precious minute of your life thinking about those kinds of people. People will only change for themselves, you might be able to help people but in the end you cannot change anyone, you can only change yourself. So when all you want to do is scream WHYYY?! Step back, pretend you've given them a shit pie, smile, and move on :)
So, please remember to let your face show how your heart feels, be in the moment, and take the steps you need to take to live a happy, healthy life :)
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