Always in style: Happiness looks good on you

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After a recent acupuncture and cosmetic facial rejuvenation session, my practitioner regarded me and said, “Happiness looks good on you.” It didn’t matter that I wore my grungiest romper or that my messy bun hung askew, or that my mascara had long since washed away by the time my appointment rolled around. Nor did it hinge on my bi-monthly facial treatments (although if you ask me about my healthy glow, I’m happy to hook you up). The happiness she referred to—the byproduct of a grateful heart—is a mindful choice that I slip into daily as part of my morning ritual (usually as I savor my first cup of freshly brewed magic). At times, however, the sparkle dims: I might be tired, frustrated or cranky. But once I accept that happiness is not grounded on the external, I empower my inner beauty to radiate outward. Happiness is that one-size-fits-all, must-have accessory that never goes out of style and looks good year-round.

How does happiness look on you?

 

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It’s okay to begin again. And again.

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If you feel like you’re starting over at square one today, pat yourself on the back for starting at all. Lately, I’ve not only begun the process of reinventing myself (again), but I’ve changed my mind countless times on how I envisioned my future—my “Someday.” Lesson number one: How many times do I have to remind myself that I am a work in progress? That means there are days when it looks like I have it all going on but others where I’m a hot mess from head to toe. It means my canvas might be covered in swaths of pinks and purples and a splash of glitter. Or blank when my sparkle needs to recharge. Lesson number two: I recently read that changing your mind equates to self-respect, and that “you owe nothing to your younger self. You are not failing because you are no longer chasing a dream you’ve outgrown.” Even if that younger self was last week.

How do you start over each day?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Hang in there: finding solace amidst the fallout

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It’s okay if you fall down and lose your spark.
Just make sure that when you get back up,
you rise as the whole damn fire. ~ Colette Werden

The physiological responses that accompany love and heartache can be similar. For example, a new relationship often triggers the pulse to race, or butterflies to replace hunger pangs. Heartache, too, can cause the heartbeat to fluctuate, or a loss of appetite. I find myself seized by the latter illustration—tears swift to dampen my lashes, my belly hollow. During a recent trip, I picked up a silver kitty pendant that hangs onto the delicate chain by its front legs—a twofold reminder: that life is fragile, and to ‘hang in there.’ On the heels of my post, ‘Letting go…,’ I wear this talisman for solace, of sorts, amidst the fallout of a severed friendship. My spark(le) may have dimmed, but soon I will fan the flames and ignite my passion ablaze.

Where do you find solace within the heartache?

Photo source: sanctuaryspring.com.

Allow time, space to heal sting of rejection

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The sting of rejection lasts well after the jab hits its mark. I guarantee that most people can relate to this truth at some point in their lives. For me, these words hit home on multiple fronts. From a new acquaintance to a long-time girlfriend to close family members, I bear emotional wounds that tear open each time I’m rebuffed. Yet, I’ve been told I’m too sensitive, that I take things too seriously. And when my chest tightens, awash in near-debilitating sadness, sometimes I question my sanity: Am I too sensitive? Do I take things too seriously? Let me be transparent here: I am flawed. I screw up often. I jump to conclusions, respond with unkind words, hurt those I love. I also apologize, attempt to make amends and right the wrongs. But today, if you notice my sparkle shines less bright, forgive me. I might be allowing time and space to heal a reopened scab imprinted across my heart.

How do you process the sting of rejection?

Photo courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

When you fail, because you will

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When you fail

The blues of mental and physical wear and tear
are not as devastating as the yellows
of the quitter. ~ James J. Walker

The next morning, I reeled from the previous evening’s confrontation with a homeowner in my community. Although he did not attack me, personally, he questioned the integrity of the association BOD on which I serve. He pushed my buttons; I sunk to his level with my response. Twelve hours later, I struggled to lift my ego off the floor. I allowed one person’s attitude to steal my peace and rob my sparkle. When I see this homeowner next, I plan to apologize. But, until then, I need to accept 1) I’m human and 2) this isn’t the last time I’ll fail. And maybe it really isn’t failure but, rather, an opportunity to address my own flawed heart. A heart that is resilient—that breaks a million times—its scar tissue a reminder that I am not a quitter.

Do you believe in failure, or opportunities?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Handling the unexpected

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road less traveled

When I complete a survey now, I check the 50-55 box (when did that happen?). Finally, I’ve discovered happiness in its myriad levels—joy, contentment, peace. I’ve gotten the hang of this balanced life thing and look forward to simplifying in the New Year so I can experience more of the above. I’ve set the cruise control and am prepared to sparkle my way into this new season. But what happens when you’re traveling on the right path and life behind the wheel doesn’t look like you hoped for or expected? Maybe you’ve returned to your proverbial waiting place to plan for a new transition (e.g., career change or physical relocation). Perhaps your GPS requires recalibration to allow you to regroup while you navigate the scenic route for a spell. It’s possible a recent challenge or setback is meant to strengthen you to help family or friends. Just take a deep breath, sit back and savor the ride. And Happy New Year!

How do you handle the unexpected?

Image courtesy of jk1991 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

A rebirth of sorts: happiness at last

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Re-birth
As the year draws to a close, and as I grasp tightly (kicking and screaming) the vestiges of my forties for a few days longer, I reflect on that for which I’m grateful: Those friends who have come and gone from my life—the ones who bless me daily, and those who served the sole purpose of teaching me (sometimes painful) lessons; the second chances I’ve been gifted, a new path to traverse—a clean slate, if you will. I’m energized by the possibilities, my heart lighter than ever. And as I step into this new season, I can honestly say I’ve discovered what I’ve been searching for all this time. The funny thing is it’s been right under my nose all along. Because when I finally stopped focusing on me—my needs, my expectations, my self—I understood for the first time what it means to be happy. So happy rebirthday to me… a fresh beginning to sparkle where I’m planted.

Where could you use a rebirth?

Image courtesy of Nongkran_ch at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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