Female · Gratitude · Happiness · Personal Story · Positive Thinking · Soul · Women · Yoga

When the going gets tough…exhale.

The past few weeks have been difficult. I’m not sure why…perhaps it was moving into a new place, no longer living alone? Perhaps it was the reminder that well, I’m still just doing the same old thing that I’ve been doing for a while now. It could be loneliness. It could be alcohol. It could be the lack of outside activities, as I sit in front of a computer 45 hours a week. It could be my lacking of exercise. Or it could be, yes it surely could be, just me. It could all be my thoughts, the constant nagging in the back of my head saying, “you’re not good enough”, or “you’re not doing enough”, or “why don’t you just do something…anything?”. I’m not sure what it is. But I know how to fix it.

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You know that saying about duck tape? That it fixes anything? Yeah, well that is only a temporary fix. We can’t just tape over our problems and forget they even exist. We must deal. We must identify our feelings, accept them, and try to find the positive in any doubt. Why do we doubt ourselves, when we only have ourselves to lift us up? We can’t constantly be relying on others to make our lives better. We must make our lives better.

There are things that I love to do that I forget to make part of my life. How do you forget to do something that you love? I don’t know. Maybe there is something easier about not being satisfied. Maybe satisfaction isn’t something we’re comfortable with; perhaps we are always searching for the next best thing. What if the next best thing has been there all along? What if the next best thing is you. Your thoughts. Your ability to make your life be just the way you want it to be. One day, you won’t have that ability anymore. One day, you’ll just wake up and know that you have to change. Today is that day. Today is the day I woke up and I was happy, because I decided to be. Nothing else changed. From Friday to Monday, nothing really changed. My job didn’t get one hundred thousand times less boring. I didn’t become a yogi. I didn’t do anything different besides accept that I’m here because I chose to be here, I won’t go anywhere until I chose to go there, and regardless if I’m happy or sad, the days continue to go by.

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Things that I love to do which I don’t do often enough: yoga, exploring outside, reading, writing, and dancing. Until last Monday, it had been over two months since I had practiced yoga in a studio. Granted, I did a little here and there at home, on my own, but it isn’t the same. I got back into the studio and damn does it feel good! I hope to get back on my 3 days a week in the studio, and continue to practice at home, even more. I signed up for a yoga workshop to hopefully get into inversions and headstands in October! One step in the right direction…

This winter, spring, and beginning of summer, I spent a lot of time walking around outside. Sometimes I was alone and sometimes I wasn’t. It didn’t matter. It felt great either way. However, since moving into my new place (I’m no longer in the downtown area) and working a lot, I have neglected nature. I have dabbled a little, here and there. But it had been at least a month since going on a long walk in the woods. I returned home from a trip up to Grand Rapids and had this urge to just get outside. I asked my roommate if she wanted to join me. She said no, and proceeded to ask who I was going with, and when I replied, “no one”, she responded, “so why are you going?”, and my retort was, “because we should do things that we love to do regardless if anyone else wants to come along”. She agreed, and I left.

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And I walked. And I got my feet muddy. And I perched up, breathing deeply, reflecting on the reflections over the lake. I thought about the lilypads. I thought about the time I had been in that exact spot with someone who I adore. I thought about the coming winter. I thought about the ripples in the water. I thought about the animals that called this their home.

IMG_5892I thought about the way in which the cattails whispered in the wind. I wondered if the wind tasted good, in the crisp, late summer air. I reveled in the sun setting into the trees, where one moment was dark, and the other way light, all depending on the age of the tree it set behind. I thought about how lucky I was to live in a state where parks are just around every corner; where lakes take up half of the space; and where we can go to be alone, and not worry that someone is watching us, judging us, plotting some way to make our life more difficult.IMG_5899

I felt free. I am free. Aren’t I lucky? Yes, oh yes I am. Sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I forget just how blessed my life is. I forget that I live such a privileged life and I have no reason to complain. Sometimes I forget to breath.

IMG_5898And then I remember that the choice is mine. And I choose to be happy. I choose to love myself. 

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