Tuesday, August 27, 2013

my way

While self help books tend to emphasize that it best to have just a couple of goals at any time, I tend to have gazillion goals and ideas floating around in my head any given moment. And I can see why that is not such a great idea. It makes it difficult to focus, and if you are constantly shifting between all your goals your progress is of course going to be way slower than if you have only one or two goals that you are working on.

But here is a thought. Maybe it is still okay. Maybe there is room for types A, who strategically achieve one goal after another, and types B, who chaotically make progress towards various goals, but are less likely to ever check anything completely of their list.

When my husband (type A) is tidying up, he will finish tidying up one area before moving to the next. I (type B) on the other hand, move randomly around tidying up a little bit here, and a little bit there. So if he gets interrupted while tidying up we may have one room that is tidy and nice, while if it was me, there would be still be mess everywhere, although less than there was before. So is one situation necessarily better than the other?

When I took a drawing class a few years back, my teacher explained that when doing composition drawings (e.g. fruits in a bowl) many people tend to start with one piece in the setting (say an apple) an completely finish it before they move to the next. However this means that they do not see the composition as whole, and usually they end up drawing things disproportionately. So in this case, my trait was actually an advantage, as it was natural to me to be working on all the pieces at the same time:)

That being said. It can be frustrating. And although I know that I have been making a lot of progress in the last year, it has been a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, rather than having completely mastered some area of my life. But I am hoping that at some point it all comes together, and I will realize that my whole drawing is done in a nice balanced way:)

Are you type A or B? Do you think one is better than the other???

Thursday, August 1, 2013

accept your feelings. good, bad, and ugly.

When I read The Secret some years back, I decided to experiment with the teachings of the book. For one week, I would not allow myself any negative thoughts. I would be positive, grateful and happy. After couple of days, I got the worst headache ever. It really felt that my head was going to explode, and this headache lasted 48 hours. I wondered weather the headache had anything to do with my experiment. Weather I had so many negative thoughts, that just needed to get out of my head!

Today I have no doubt, that the headache actually came from my experiment. And from not doing it right. In my experience, denial and resistance do not work. You need to accept you feelings: good, bad and ugly. Then you can let go of them, and replace them with something more beautiful and positive.

When I realize that I am on a negativity spiral, the first thing I do is to look at my negative thoughts and feelings. I try to observe what is going on in my head and my body without judging. I accept all those negative feelings. I love them. I am thankful for them, because I can learn from them. Then let go of them. Not forcing anything. But just tell those thoughts, thanks but you are not useful for me at the moment. You can go now;) When some of this negativity has left my body, I replace it by thinking of something positive or imagine positive and healing energy flowing into the space that was occupied by all those negative thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I write things down that I am thankful for. There is always something. It can be silly, and it can be trivial. But it can still get you off the negativity spiral and on the posirivity spiral.

While I feel happier on average since starting the happiness project, I also feel that the lower points have become more difficult. It is as if I've let go of some protective armour, and now the negative thoughts and bad feelings touch me at my innermost core. I think that part of it has to do with responsibility. Before, I was blaming people and situations for my unhappiness, probably more than I realized. Realizing that your happiness is 99% up to you and your attitude is empowering, but at the same time it can create a feeling of shame and blame. There is also added disappointment, when you are really working on your happiness, trying your best, but still fail at times...

But fortunately, I feel that I am also better equipped to deal with these low spirits today than I was before...

I am very curious to hear weather other people on the quest for a happier life have similar experiences with negative thoughts, and how they deal with them???