Breathing is not living-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

“Life is a collection of moments. Mindfulness is the beautification of the moments.”

                                                                                                                  -Amit Ray

I cannot believe that three months have passed since I started this little project. The W.I.S.E. Project has taught me so much about the way I want to feel and how to achieve it and it is truly in it’s newborn stages. I am excited for the next 9 monthes and the challenges and opportunities I will face. You may think it seems silly to put so much time into studying and practicing mindfulness and happiness but there is a wealth of knowledge available and the outcome is feeling great which is pretty fantastic. Everyday we unknowingly make mistakes that sabotage our own happiness and one of the biggest things is thinking that we have forever so we can put it off till another day, as if being happy is not a priority.The biggest lesson I learned is that breathing is not living and the little moments that make up our lives are much more beautiful if you fill them with happiness and joy. I learned that being happy is a choice that you make, every second of every day.

We often make things like playing on our phones or watching a show a priority when the things that really make us happy like quiet time with our family or sharing laughs with friends we barely make the time for. We often fill our lives with stuff instead of memories and in doing so our lives feel full and cluttered. Instead of recognizing and experiencing real emotions we indulge in way too much reality TV and get lost in the spiking ups and downs of people that we don’t even know. We say yes too much and then we are resentful, our calendars are full, we are tired and cranky but we want to be liked and we want to say yes to all of it but we are not saying yes to the things that make us happy and we are not investing time in our own well being.

We keep our blinds closed all day and we stay inside too often. We need to let the light in and we need to to allow ourselves to feel the sunshine on our face and let it fuel our souls.

We compare ourselves to our friends who we think are wealthier, are in better relationships, are thinner or funnier. Instead of being grateful for our lives and the people in it we measure our lives against the accomplishments of others. We focus on the things we want and the things we don’t have instead of appreciating our many blessings.

We don’t celebrate our own victories, successes, happiness or give ourselves permission to be content with who we are and what we have. We live in the past too much, always wondering “what if” and when we wander away from the past we are thinking of the future. We rarely live in the present, seeing the beauty and feeling the joy of the here and now, embracing opportunities, striving to be healthy and happy, making our inner peace and well-being a priority.

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I recently took a trip to see my husband in Vancouver, he had been working there for about ten weeks and I flew there so I could drive back with him. Our intention was to go to Victoria and make our way home slowly, taking advantage of some the beautiful scenery and some well earned couple time. That plan fell through due to last minute job requirements and I ended up having a lot of down time in Vancouver. We managed to steal some time to be together and it was great but undeniably short. My husband was frantically busy and I on the other hand had plenty of free time to do what I wanted.

I long more than anything for unrestricted time. I hate the demands that are placed on my time and so a day without them is a wonderful gift to me. At first it was great but as the hours dragged into days I felt so guilty about being “free” that I made myself anxious and miserable. I literally needed to call my mom and have a little cry and talk it out. Yes, I am 42 and I still call my Mom and cry. It helps.

I had to give myself permission to be happy. You need to give yourself permission to be happy. Happy is good. Happy is great! Be happy, think happy, do happy things. Sleep in, stay up late, feed your soul, love yourself!

Sometimes we really are our own worst enemies. It turns out drinking wine in a luxurious hotel bathrobe and eating chocolate cake for dinner is not the worst thing in the world.

“Sometimes you have to let go and be free”

free bird

For those of you who like ‘exercises’…not to be confused with ‘exercise’ make a list of positive words. I put an example below, you can start with the letter “a” and work your way through the alphabet. Try to insert these words often into your daily vocabulary to make your days brighter.

e.g. ecstatic, fabulous, jubilant, optimistic, wondrous, worthy, rewarding.

Be W.I.S.E. Friends. I hope you are all working on your well-being and striving to achieve inner peace while embracing opportunities and loving every bit of yourself.

xo

Michelle

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