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    How I Stopped Chasing Happiness and Started Enjoying My Imperfect Life

    By  (thank you sharing the love and you can find link below)

    “I want to live my life without stress and worries. I don’t need to be rich or famous. I just want to be happy.” ~Unknown

    Have you ever set a goal and then become obsessed with it, making it the center of your life and arranging everything else around it? Did you think that only after you achieved your goal would you be totally relaxed and happy?

    I’ve done this many times before.

    Throughout my life, I’ve measured my happiness by my achievements. I pushed to get good grades in school, then focused on going to a good college, then getting a high-paying job.

    However, even after getting all of those things, I was not happy. After attaining them, they felt ordinary, not as extraordinary as I thought they were.

    The feeling of achievement was not that awesome after all.

    I blamed my achievements for my dissatisfaction—that they were not tremendous enough for me to feel happy. So I thought I had to do more. I found a new goal, and I fell into the trap again.

    I always had something to pursue, and I could never feel happy until I achieved everything.

    I abandoned other things in my life to pursue them. My excuses always were “I can’t rest right now. I am busy doing [x]. I will do that after I achieve [x]. I will be relaxed and enjoy my life only after [x].”

    My [x] constantly changed from one thing to another. And I never let myself rest. I deferred my life to the future. Now was never a good time to enjoy life.

    Even when I went out with my husband for a date night, I could never really enjoy my time.

    The feeling of guilt was always there to haunt me, to blame me for ditching my work, for being relaxed and lazy. Only when I felt miserable and exhausted did that guilt fade away.

    That was when I realized something was not right.

    The Problem with Measuring Your Happiness by Your Achievements

    In the next couple days, I attempted to stop thinking of how to achieve my goals and paid full attention to how I was feeling. I took time out for myself, just to think about my life.

    And it was a painful realization that not only I did not enjoy my life, I missed out so many things in the process.

    I Forgot the Ultimate Goal of My Life

    Everyone wants to be happy, including me. My ultimate goal is to enjoy my life. But I constantly postponed my happiness while working toward other short-term goals.

    I thought I was in charge of my life and my happiness, but I wasn’t. I let those short-term goals control of my life. As a result…

    I separated myself from my loved ones.

    In my vision of a happy life, I was always there with my family and for my family. But the hard truth was, I was not.

    In fact, I turned them down when they showed concern about me. I felt like they didn’t understand my choices.

    The whole reason I needed to achieve more was to be with them when they would be happy and proud of me. But that was not what they wanted. They wanted me, not my titles.

    Whenever I achieved something, they were happy for seeing me happy, not for anything else.

    A part of my happy ending was already with me, but I did not see it.

    I hurt my own feelings.

    As I was busy chasing the idea of my perfect life, measuring my worth by my achievements, I wasn’t fond of myself

    When I did not meet my target, I felt unworthy and I beat myself up.

    When I earned something, it wasn’t extraordinary enough to be proud of. I even beat myself up for not trying harder to receive something bigger.

    I had a rough relationship with myself. I thought I was never good enough for my own love, or for anyone else’s.

    It’s painful believing that you are unloved.

    I damaged my health.

    Because I was fixated on achieving my goals above all else, I ignored my body when she screamed for rest. I thought I only deserved to rest when I could no longer work, when all of my energy was gone.

    If I rested before my energy ran out, I thought I was a loser. A loser would not achieve anything.

    I worked my way to exhaustion just to earn myself some rest. I physically drained my immune system until just a simple cold would easily break me.

    Learning to Be Happy with My Imperfect Life

    We all have the tendency to compare ourselves with others. I grew up believing life is a race, and I tried to be the fastest horse.

    Social media has made this worse. We see other successful people and we crave their achievements. We think if we were as successful as they are, as rich as they are, as talented as they are, we would be as happy as they are.

    Only this isn’t the case.

    The truth is that we are different people, we have different goals and desires, but those are not factors that determine our happiness.

    Happiness is not the result of our effort. It cannot be measured by our accomplishments.

    Happiness is the direction we choose and the way we live our lives. For some, happiness is to hear your mom’s voice on the phone every day. It may also be hearing all the funny things that happened to your one-year-old niece. Or the look in your husband’s eyes when you spend quality time with him.

    Happiness probably can be measured by laughter. Deep down, happiness is love and self-love. It’s realizing how beautiful your life actually is.

    Here are few things I have done to discover my happiness.

    Meditation

    Meditation allows me to catch my breath, slow down, and look at my life with a totally different perspective.

    I used to think I could never meditate because I could not sit still and not think of anything. But I started small with eight minutes a day, and I’ve surprised myself.

    I finally learned that meditation is not about clearing your mind and thinking of nothing; it is about truly accepting who you are and not letting your wild thoughts control you. It helps me recognize and detach from my thoughts; to let go of all the chaos in my life.

    Stay in the moment

    After I started practicing meditation, I began to accept the moment more fully. It was not easy at first, as my mind was always wandering around, making up stories about my life. But as soon I surrendered to the present, I began to show up and truly live in the moment.

    I no longer try to read a book while having lunch. I no longer think of my work while cooking or taking a shower. Instead, I try to taste the food in every single bite, to listen to different noises I make in the kitchen, to feel the warm water running over my body and let it wash off all of the stress and anxiety.

    Needless to say, I have never felt more alive. I now recognize how beautiful and colorful my life is.

    Start writing a gratitude journal

    I end my day by writing a gratitude journal. It felt silly at first. But writing down all the beautiful things brightens my life and makes me appreciate them even more.

    No matter how hard we try, we can never feel positive all the time. Life is brutal sometimes. Still, a gratitude journal helps me to let go of the negativities and feel grateful for the things I have.

    Self-love affirmations

    I start my day by telling myself how beautiful life is, and how much I love myself. Before I get out of my bed, I smile and tell myself, “Thank you for another wonderful day. I love you.”

    When I put my feet on the floor, I thank myself and tell myself “I love you” again. I affirm this fifty times a day, and as a result, I’ve started to believe in myself.

    It is eye-opening and life-changing to see how wonderful it is to have another day to live, to feel love and to enjoy life to the fullest.

    “Today might not be perfect, but it’s a perfect day to feel happy.” ~Lori Deschene

    Happiness is not something to pursue in the future. Happiness is available right now, right where you are. When we stop chasing the shadow of happiness, we begin to recognize that all the things we need to to be happy have been with us all along.

    I still set goals to pursue, but I no longer arrange my life around them. I’ve stopped comparing myself with others. I’ve stopped trying to become a person whom I think will be happy someday. And I now realize what truly matters to me.

    I put myself in the center and I surrender to my heart, my soul. I let my heart tell me who I really am. I see, hear, smell, and taste like I never have before.

    I enjoy all the quality time I have with my husband, I enjoy calling my mom every night just to hear her voice. I enjoy sitting quietly and listen to what my soul has to say.

    Even though life has ups and downs, I now know all the emotions are different colors in my happy-ever-after picture. I appreciate that I can still feel them.

    And I know my life is not perfect, but today is a perfect time to feel happy.

    About Mai Pham

    Mai Pham believes we can create our own happiness. She helps overwhelmed and frustrated people to ditch their stress and enjoy their lives again. Grab her free actionable cheatsheet: 5 Simple Tips to Release Stress and Bring You Calm in Under 5 Minutes and join her free 7 Joyful Days Challenge email course.

     

    Back to School....EEEEEkKKK!

    Back to School....EEEEEkKKK!

    Unfortunately, the wonderful summer cannot last forever and there is that dreaded day when the children need to go back to school.

    I am not sure about you, but in our household,  this is a time of extreme anxiety which takes several weeks to calm down. Strangely enough, I always forget about this, so it always takes me by surprise.

    One thing that is unavoidable in our society is the school environment and the continuous change that surrounds it. Children going into junior school or high school can be facing a huge, frightening change. For some this change is easy as they may have older sisters and brothers or are confident and mature. For others to navigate new friendship groups, teachers, the work load - it can all be too much.


    Luckily Bach Flower Remedies are here to help! They can help our children and they can help parents too. If a parent is not calm and balance when a child is facing severe anxiety, they begin to be part of the problem. A parent must be a rock, a solid dependable form as the child rocks with anxiety. If a parent gets caught up in the anxieties of their children they begin to be part of the problem, and can contribute to their child's anxiety.  Taking Bach remedies means that we will be centred and are able to be the stable rock that our children need at this time.


    The first remedy that I recommend for everyone at this time of change is Walnut. Walnut is the protective remedy that is like a big hug. It protects you from the influences of change and also from the influences of others. As per Dr Bach: "... This Remedy provides constancy and protection from external influences." It will enable you to feel safe and therefore be able to manage your fears and concerns. Often just the feeling of not feeling safe is enough to kick off all the other emotions. Walnut is like having someone with you, holding your hand, putting their arms around you and letting you know 'All will be well'.

    So if you are feeling worried and anxious, it is good to ask yourself some questions, or if you are a parent, to ask your child some open questions so that you can get a feel for what they are feeling at this difficult time. 

     "R what do you think when you think about about going back to school?", "How are you feeling about going to this new big school?" "Are there any worries and concerns that you have that we need to take into count?" We need to listen attentively to our own voice of that of our child. And we also need to observe our actions or those of our children. Are there signs of anxiety, do you feel frightened or alone or scared, or overwhelmed or sad or excited? Thinking about new teachers and friendship groups and bigger loads of homework can all be overwhelming and distressing. 

    If you are able to express exactly what you are concerned about then Mimulus is the remedy for you. If you can say I am scared of what the Year 8's will think of me, or I don't want to go because we have to study so much this year, or I have no friends, then Mimulus will ease this fear. Strangely enough it is also useful for shyness, so perfect for that start of term. Mimulus "... the fears of everyday life. The people who need it keep their burden of fears and anxieties to themselves and do not willingly talk about them with others." Taking this remedy will magically make those fears and concerns disappear. Well not totally, but they do take that horrible edge off the feelings and allow you to 'feel the fear, and do it anyway.'

    If you are not sure of why you are feeling frightened, but you just feel very scared -then Aspen is the remedy to support you at this time. Aspen ….”gives us faith in the essentially goodness and rightness of the world. It helps us overcome vague fears that are not related to any specific cause…by giving us grounded courage and confidence.” Aspen will enable you to over come any fears and to be bold and adventurous.

    If you feel completely overwhelmed and all you can see is the BIG picture - Mock Exams, GCSE exams, months of studying, Failing, Disappointment, Shame, 'Whole future of being a waiter even though I want to be an pilot' kind of thinking...then Elm is the prefect remedy for you.  Elm is great for parents too! It takes all the fear, worry and concern away and leaves you in the position where you are able to just get on with the task at hand. I gave my son some Elm before I started writing his as he was struggling to get a start as he was too frighten about EVERYTHING. I am happy to say he has sat concentrating for the last hour and has broken the back of not revising for his exams (So proud!). Elm gives you the strength to perform your duties. I love it!

    Larch is a wonderful remedy for giving you a boost of confidence. Larch allows  you to gain the confidence to try anything. Larch "gives us that hopeful positivity that tells us we can do things as well as anyone else, and that if we try and fail that too is a way to succeed." At the start of new term and/or a new school we all need a boost of confidence and Larch is the remedy to do this.

    If have to change schools and do not want to, or you are feeling so sad that you have left your old school and you feel very nostalgic about the old school, school mates and its teachers, Honeysuckle will enable you to break the ties with the, often idealised, past and give you the courage to look forward with confidence and adventure to the future. "For those who often think of the past, perhaps because it was a happy time or they cultivate the memory of a friend ... .. They no longer expect to experience happiness equal to the one they have already lived". This will give you the best chance to engage, adapt and enjoy the new environment.

    And I would highly suggest the powerful Rescue Remedyfor when, and if, the anxiety levels rise very high. Rescue Remedy is the emergency treatment and a couple of doses of it do wonders for the anxiety of entering into a new, strange and scary environment. Pop some into your water bottle so you can be sipping on it all day, or carry a bottle in your pocket and take a few drops whenever you need. It will stop that paralysing fear and enable you to get on with the day.

    Trust that it will not take long before you feel settled and happy in your new environment and the anxieties and fears of the first few days will soon be over.

    If you would like me to create a cool bottle of potion to help you over these days please send me an email: cecile@oceanred.co.uk for either a one hour consultation or an email consultation and I will send your bottle by post. 

    You may call me on 01202280031 to find out more.

    Ne brave and be bold - make your presence felt! Good luck for the new school year. 

     

    in https://www.facebook.com/NaturesZen1/?modal=admin_todo_tour

     

    Summer time and the feeling is scary

    Summer time and the feeling is scary

    How exciting that summer has arrived and there are lots of exciting events on the horizon. School routines are all abandoned for 'fun' activities and the whole sensation of studying and education is being put on the back burner.

    This is all well and good, if you are neurologically typical. You see that your hard work brings rewards of fun and celebration.

    However, if your brain is wired any differently, the end of term can be a horrific affair. Not only are you about to loose all the stability that you have spent the whole of the last year managing, you are thrust into an unpredictable environment. You don't understand the dynamics or the expectations. It is scary and confusing and you don't feel safe.

    You are safe.

    Remember that you do not have to participate if you do not want to.  You can find a place that is right for you. Speak to someone and tell them that you feel uncomfortable doing what you are requested to do. Can you think of an alternative?

    Remember there is always a choice. You do not HAVE to do these things and schools and collages need to provide a place for you.

    Sometimes you may want to participate, but it is just too difficult. Can you do your breathing exercises? Just breathe down right into the ground and release the breath slowly. Breathe and release, breathe and release.

    To get rid of any fear that you maybe experiencing, just SCHTOP!  Stop everything and just feel where you are at the moment. Feel the sensations on your body, the wind in your hair, the sounds all around you. Know that all is well in this very moment in time. Pause. And be present.

    Do not allow your mind to wonder into the future. This is when most of the fear comes, when you project into the future and it is simply too much to handle. Having a change of routine, is tough. You will have to manage yourself and your emotions. 

    You have got this. Take things step by step. Slowly slowly.

    This is the way, gently and slowly.

    Know that you are able to manage situations, you are able to be flexible, you are safe, we have your back. As they say feel the fear and do it anyway.

    Breath deep and trust in yourself.

    If you are wanting to get something that can be of great benefit to you at this time, think of buying the remedy Walnut.

    Walnut is a wonderful remedy for change, it is a protective remedy and is like carrying around a big hug with you all day.

    It takes away the fear and allows you the opportunity to trust in the world and so you can participate and enjoy the fun and celebration that you quite rightly deserve.

    You can find Walnut Remedy here.

     

    The truth about GCSE's

    The truth about GCSE's
    It is very easy to get totally caught up in the drama of GCSEs and start to panic at the idea of failing. Here are some encouraging words that show it is not how good you are, that it important - it is how good you want to be, that sets the tone for your success

    Read more