happiness

House of rain

I have been in a really crappy mood the last couple of days. I don’t know why – nothing specific has happened, I just am not smiling. Sometimes things just get a little overwhelming and I think I maybe just need a few days of recharging – I’m not sure. I know I’ve been sitting in this huge energy shift the last few weeks, and while it’s full of good things it’s also new and tiring. So, I’m trying really hard to honour this feeling – knowing that it is something that is just passing through and not a permanent state.

This happiness journey has led me to understand that while I’m always seeking happiness, I’m not always happy. And that’s ok. All those other emotions are real too. I’m allowed to have them.

But, it does not mean that I don’t keep looking for a moment of happiness each and every day. In fact, I live a very blessed life and I have so much that I am grateful for that I can list off happiness bursts all the time. We are here, we are home, we have our tribe, I can see the mountains, I love our home, I have my friends around me,  I kissed a horse, I hang with Derek… it goes on.

My happiness moment today was picking the girl up from school today and listening to her chat away about how much fun she had with her friends at school.

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happiness

The elephant on my back

I have this spot in the middle of my back, between my shoulder blades, where all of my sad emotions live. You may know the area, it’s the back of my heart chakra – although it took me a little while to put that together.

The first time I noticed it was 9 years ago when my beloved childhood pony Pirate died. I was living in Quebec at the time so I wasn’t able to be with him in his last days, but he was in very loving care with family back here in Alberta. After he passed, my back seized up, I felt the elephant arrive and step hard on the middle of my back. I ended up being bedridden with pain for a few days – not a good thing as I had small children to care for.

Since then every time something really sad happens, or I’m under incredible amounts of stress that elephant comes back. During the worst of the dark night of the soul, it was there as a constant reminder of how unhappy I was. Over the past couple of years I’ve been able to rid myself of that elephant except in the most dire of cases.

The elephant came back after my Dad died, but that time it sat on my hip and pelvic area for a couple of days making it almost impossible for me to move around. At least that time I was kind of expecting the elephant’s visit. I was feeling and flowing my grief emotions, but they were so intense I knew that there would be some kind of acknowledgement from my body as to what I was feeling.

I wasn’t sure how Christmas and New Year’s would be this year without Dad. This season has always been such an important family time for us, and over the past 10 years it’s often been the only time we have been able to be home and visit with loved ones. Christmas actually ended up being a delightful day, filled with laughter and love. Thank goodness for those children who let their love shine so brightly and lighten up the dark clouds of grief. My elephant stayed away and I was feeling so grateful for that. I’ve been really focusing on feeling and allowing all the grief to come through and then letting it pass on out.

That old saying pride goeth before the fall definitely is true for me, as the day before New Years Eve I woke up feeling horrible with a sore throat and that elephant perched firmly in the middle of my back. I home remedied away my sore throat (apple cider vinegar works wonders, I also used raw honey and dried ginger) in short order, but I couldn’t shake that darn elephant. Usually he perches on my back for a good week before I can get rid of that trampled feeling so I was pretty upset – there was still a lot of Christmas vacation things that I wanted to enjoy.

That day Jenna and I ended up going to the Apple Store to have them fix her computer that I had fried (it’s like doing a bad home dye job – I only will do that once and from now get the professionals to do their job), and we spent some time walking around. An aromatherapy store called Escents finally has opened at Market Mall and we went in to check it out. I’ve been using DoTerra for years (and love them), but I’ve had some difficulty changing my account to a Canadian one, and with our low dollar here right now I’m not in a huge rush to have things shipped from the States anyway. The fact that Escents is Canadian is an added bonus.

I ended up purchasing their Rescue Relief Gel on the faint hope that it would offer some relief.

 

When we got home I announced I was going for a nap and had Jenna rub some of the Rescue gel on my back before I laid down. When I got up an hour later I was amazed that I felt about 60% better. I could move my shoulders and I could breathe without it hurting. She rubbed some more gel on, and by the time I went to bed that night I was almost back to my old self. I have never ever had something work so effectively.

I’m now using it on my lower back and hip area where I store all my stress and fear in huge balls of painful muscle knots to see what it can do there.

I was so pleased to find something that actually helped relieve that damn elephant. It was a good indicator that I still have a lot of grief emotions that I need to deal with and release, but at least I don’t have to have the intense physical pain while I’m doing that.

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The good, the bad, the happiness in between….

Today I have been in a real pisser of a mood. I’m not sure what has made today any more spectacular in the bad mood department than any other day, but the feeling is here and it’s real.

There’s a couple of specific things that are irritating me, nothing that isn’t a first world problem, but irritating nonetheless. While I was away my cousin discovered that my furnace isn’t working – which means we have no heat. Perhaps not a big deal in some places, but it was snowing here when we landed on Saturday and it’s been cold and crappy since then. Today wasn’t bad, but the old house didn’t seem to know that and held onto the bone chilling cold of the past few days.

Because of this I’m tired, I need to sleep in my own bed, covered in purring cats. The purring cats and the lonely dog agree with me – they’re not happy that they’re alone at night.

Jenna was home sick today. While that’s really a poor Jenna thing, I managed to make it about me and was all I never ever get any time to do the things I need to do. My course work is so neglected because I’m always running around after people and I never have a freaking moment’s peace.

I had a massage today. I have found a wonderful woman who not only is working out all the tension and the anger and sad emotions that I’ve been storing in my hips (see where this is going?) but she knows how to release my jaw so that pretty soon I will actually be able to chew food on both sides – and maybe even not walk around with it clenched all the time. What a blessing that is!

I’m pretty sure she hit my anger button today as she was releasing things and it has just about sent me off the cranky deep end. The good thing is after all the work I’ve been doing I know this is just a feeling and that it will pass. Sometimes I can separate from that feeling and just allow it to work itself out of me – which is what it needs to do.

So, as I’ve been observing (and sometimes actively participating) in these pissy feelings I’ve come back to the intention of my blog. Happiness. Thank goodness I decided to follow 44 days of happiness last January when I turned 44, and I’m even more grateful that I decided to continue looking for a moment of happiness in every day since then. Because even with all the trials and tribulations of this year there has always been a moment of happiness in every day.

The flip side of my cranky feelings of today are these:

This wonderful, old, loving house we live in. I love it, the kids love it, it has been home since the moment we walked in the door. For some reason the past few days I’ve when been talking to people, I’ve told them the story of the miracle of how we returned home. This old house was empty and when I was home at Christmas time there were no appliances, the rooms were boarded off, there was no working toilet and it was just not in good shape. When I called on a Monday and said we were moving home I asked if it was possible for us to move into that house. By Sunday when we arrived, my cousins and aunt and uncle had cleaned the house, put in temporary furniture, bought some basic groceries (cheese and buns for that boy of mine), put appliances in, and even left a huge bar of chocolate. My Dad let me use his old car  so I was able to get around, and after he died my sister let me use her old car that she had been in the process of gifting to Dad.

If ever I doubted that miracles happen, the wings that lifted us up and brought us back home have convinced me that we are very much loved and very much supported and that with love absolutely anything can happen.

While my furnace isn’t working my mom has very graciously opened her doors to the kids and I to crash here. We can be messy and annoying and loud and she has been so kind about letting us stay here.

So, when you compare all that love and kindness and support to something as insignificant as the furnace not working – the scales are definitely tipped in favour of the happiness, loving, wonderful side.

Every time I have gotten frustrated today at being overly needed by kids and have groaned inside about it, they have either said something funny or come over and given me one of those awesome kid hugs followed by I love you mom. There is no better feeling in the world than that. I would never, ever trade being needed and loved for being alone and unnecessary. I consider those two my greatest blessings. Again, no contest – the happiness side of that coin is the winner.

As an aside, I spent a great part of the day angry about the fact that I’d lost my headphones. I had racked my brain trying to figure out where I had left then and finally I was forced to come to the conclusion that someone had broken into the house and stolen them (yes, only them – they had left everything of value and not messed anything up, but stolen them for certain). I found then in my backpack just a little while ago and did a little dance of happiness.

I’m so thankful for my happiness project and how it continues to steer me in the direction of joy, peace, bliss and happiness. I’m even thankful that these pissed off emotions are working their way through me, because the other option is that they stay stuffed in my hips forever and that’s not desirable.

My happiness moment today was watching Jenna walk across the room holding Aladdin. She holds him like a baby and from the front all you can see is a big ball of fur snuggled into her chest. She walked past me and he had his arm around her back giving her a huge hug. He loves that girl so much and spent most of the day cuddled up with her helping her feel better.

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Anger 

  
I did some energy work today with Asrael which is always good and sometimes difficult. It’s all things that are helping me to let go of some yucky stuff that I’ve been holding onto. 

Today Anger made an appearance. All the things that have pissed me off over the years and that I’ve stuffed down into my hips made themselves known. 

She was talking about my anger and we were working on releasing it – and all I could visualize was Anger from Inside Out. Made it hard to stay serious because he was so amusing to watch. You know, in the same way that it can be entertaining sometimes to watch someone have a break down tantrum. 

But, perhaps it will be easier to relate to my anger if I see it as Anger. In the same way that I can see how Sadness is rubbing all my memory balls and changing them and Joy is running around trying to cheer everything up. 

My happiness moment today was my time spent on this important healing. My ability to  communicate  with,  and acknowledge my feelings is making me a healthier person. That is a big happiness deal. 

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Inside Out

Last night the kids, mom, and I went to see the movie Inside Out. It was an excellent movie – but while I knew it was a movie about emotions I didn’t realize it would unleash a tornado of our own emotions. 

Jacob and I drove home after the movie and he had an emotion explosion. It included a few things, but high up there was his sadness at losing his grandpa. I pulled the car over and gave him a big hug and held him while I listened to him vent out his feelings. I had already vented out my feelings in the darkness of the theatre. Good thing I’m getting used to this public crying thing. Sigh. 

The really great thing about this movie is that it opened the door for us to talk more about feelings. 

Jacob and I had to go into town to do some errands today and on the way in he said well, anger and sadness really got away from me yesterday. It was like anger was pushing things full throttle while sadness was touching all my memories and making them sad. I think fear was hiding over in the corner crapping his pants. 

I really appreciated how the movie showed that sadness could touch happy memories and make them sad. We sure feel that way about the memories of my Dad. I’ll remember something fun we did and for a moment I’m happy and then I remember Dad is gone and my memory becomes sad. Jacob said he felt the same way. It was good to know also that sadness was an important emotion in working things through. 

My favorite part was when the teenage boy saw the girl and all his emotions freaked out shouting girl girl girl 

We went to the mall before going to the Farmer’s Market and he saw his emotions there:

Look mom, here’s my anger and sadness.    
My happiness moment was at the Market. There was a guy there with remote control cars and Jacob and I raced each other and giggled and played together. The guy gave us extra time so we had almost a half hour to laugh and enjoy doing something together. A rich happiness moment. 

 

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