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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pay Attention ...The Happiness Project Continues.


Where has the year gone to? This year has flown by. In many ways that is a great thing, and in so many others I wonder if I even paid attention to life as it has been. I had been mulling this over for a while now, especially as I went through my gratitude journal, my dream "envision it" journal and then I opened The Happiness Project to do this month's post and to my surprise, the subtitles for the month of October were "Pay Attention" and "Mindfulness" !   Before I go over what is ahead, I want to recap what September's goal were. 

In September's chapter, the author, Gretchen Rubin, subtitled it "Pursue a Passion" as well as "Books" . She set for herself the goals : Write a novel, Make time, Forget about results, and Master a new technology. If you have been following along, I would love to know if you decided to pursue passions and what they were. For me, I loosely followed the chapter and the authors goals. Gretchen always suggests you mold the monthly goals to fit your life and your personal needs and desires;that is what I do.

For books, I began to branch out on the style of books that I read, venturing away from "cozy" mysteries. I have read self help, stories of peoples lives and romantic fiction, and currently am reading a book by the name of The Witches Daughter, by Paula Brackstone... a huge departure for me, as it is a romantic historical fantasy. I am really enjoying all the varied books I have picked as my months reading and plan to keep mixing it up a bit here and there. 

Of course I have not written a novel, but as I had mentioned last month, this blog is like my own personal journal/novel..I do publish, and it is read by you, the followers who live all over the may not be on Amazon, but I am ok with that. I still get a thrill when I see how many are reading, and when you actually leave a comment here, on Twitter or on the Facebook fan page, and it makes me smile ear to ear!

Make time. I have been doing my best to make time for myself, my family, to just sit and play with my cat Queen Bitty. Not putting so much pressure on myself to write daily, or even clean the apartment to meet my high standards...instead relaxing and taking care of myself and my health as it has been teetering on the not so good for a few months now, worse than before; so, it has been a great month to make time.

Forget about results...That is hard for me. I have an obsession with results. If I write a blog, I want to know what the results will be in the form of readership and comments, or new followers. If I plan a new outfit, I consider the results of how I look in it, everything in my life, from cleaning, to eating to walking for exercise, I consider what the final results will be. 

Currently we are allowing ourselves to dream about buying a home again, we have a year before our credit even rebounds. We have to save nearly every penny we can, pray that hubby's job/paycheck continue to provide us with extra money that we can put away. No matter what we do, it will take at least a year, there is no way around it. Regardless of the knowledge that we can not speed this up, I am already scanning the home sales on line, we are driving up and down the streets we dream of living on, and I am even seeing the results of all this in my head. Instead of being able to slow down, and just let time pass, doing what we need to, but obsessing on the results of our efforts, well as you see I am doing the opposite.  I am not sure I shall ever learn to do something without thinking about the results. How about you? 

I completely skipped learning a new technology, could simply not think of a single thing at this very moment. So that being the case, let's move on to October.

~ Motivate on Koans
~ Examine True Rules
~ Stimulate the mind in new ways
~ Keep a food dairy

So ok, first I asked myself what koans were. I read on to find out. I soon found out : " A koan is a question or statement that can't be understood logically.UMMMM??? reading on... " The most famous koan is " Two hands clap and there is sound. What is the sound of one hand?" ...a koan can't be grasped by reason or explained by words;meditating on koans promotes mindful thinking because it's not possible to comprehend their meaning with familiar, conventional logic." I understand the point, but I am not sure I can apply this to my daily life, bu that is just me. Moving on.

Examine True Rules. I won't go over the very deep explanations for this one. Basically "True Rules" are rules one has set for themselves that they live by on a daily basis...hows that for a readers digest version of it? I have very few true rules I suppose. The classics of do unto others, be the best me I can be, put family first ..OH and it is ok to break others rules *giggle*. The author had a few similar ones, but also added in to "...exercise some every day, whenever possible, choose vegetables..." I think you get the basic idea. So again, not feeling that this will be 100% something I will be focusing on, I do not feel that the few rules I have set for myself need to be adjusted or examined to continue on my journey on the road for happiness....but what about you? Do you have rules that you have put in place for your daily life that just might be hampering your happiness level??

Stimulate the mind in new ways. Now I truly like this one, I like learning. Prime examples...when I went to Freshberry & Smallcakes to get material for my Friday blog post, I was truly interested in how the owners came together and decided to get into the yogurt and cupcake business, what made it happen, what did it take to make it happen. I was fascinated, I knew that I was not going to use the material, not the goal of my blog posts, but I personally wanted to know. Then there is the wanting to become homeowners again. I have subscribed to a blog about real estate, I am watching the news , reading articles, and chatting with agents, I want to learn , to know about what we face, and what we will need to do to make this happen. A side effect of it is of course the learning process and stimulating my mind in new ways. The list goes on and on of all the new things I have done in the past month to achieve this so I was already ahead of the game and eager to continue.

Keep a food diary.  I lived many years doing this. As a lifetime Weight Watchers member, food diaries are a huge part of that program. However, I have not done one in at least a year. I know it helps with how I eat, and what I eat, but it also oddly stresses me out, so I think that I may skip this one all together as well. Being stressed certainly does not make me happier. Instead I want to continue focusing on keeping a health diary, a gratitude journal as well as my "envision it" basically what I am pointing out once again, you do not have to follow the monthly goals word for word, but simply instead, use it as a jumping off point.

So there you have it...what has been happening, and what is happening on my own personal journey to happiness. I would love to hear if you have bought the book, been following along, or applying anything from the blog or book to your own life to increase your happiness level. In the mean time no matter what, one thing will help to increase that level...

Remember to giggle each and every day!


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