Fun- Go outside EVERY DAY. This sounds so pathetic, but there really are days when I don't go outside. It happened a lot last summer. Life is just better when you spend some time outside. (I refuse to say NATURE because then that means my concrete walk to the pool doesn't count.)
-- I did it! I walked Glen, went to the pool, read outside and I went to Bear Lake and spent TONS of time outside. You just feel good. You feel like you did something, even if it was a 2 minute walk. If you do one thing, do this, you guys.
- Choose to DO over NOT DO. On both Tuesday and Wednesday we had plans to hunker down and work on some research stuff at home. Both afternoons we got invited to do things - Tuesday we went to the Owlz game and to Buffalo Wild Wings with Chris & Haley, Wednesday we saw Despicable Me 2 and went to Iggy's with the Holdaways.
-- We DID! Both were late nights where we didn't accomplish what we'd planned for that night. Did we regret it? Absolutely not. It was replenishing and FUN.
-Do new things. Break out. I love sitting on the couch and watching The Office for 6 hours, but am I learning anything new or having FUN? No.
-- This meant going to the family reunion with my parents even though The Beard had to work, I hate camping, I'm not a lake person, and I'm not super tight with my dad's side of the family. But you know what? I had an amazing time! I learned to ride a jet ski with my 70+ year old grandma! I played with the cute babies and told ghost stories with the young girls. I came home exhausted and smelling of smoke but so refreshed and energized. I've got a pretty awesome family.
- I read The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. He's a Buddhist monk and he stresses the idea of mindfulness, or being mentally present. Basically, he says you shouldn't wash the dishes just to get the dishes clean and move on with your life. You should wash the dishes to WASH THE DISHES. Whatever you are doing at any given moment should be the most important thing in your life. Otherwise, if you're always thinking about what you SHOULD or RATHER be doing, you will never have real happiness from life and you'll always feel like you don't have time.
-- Again, my multi-task-y-ness is a problem here. It's about being mentally quieter. I tried to think about things as I was doing them - applying mascara, playing with Glen, walking to and from the pool, driving to Bear Lake with my parents and just t
alking with them instead of trying to read, listen to music, nap or make to-do lists. I found much more pleasure in those things and, as they always say, I think I did them BETTER than if I'd multitasked.
- Journaling. Latter-day Saints are all about journaling, but I've never been that consistent with it. And when I do, I only write positive things or notes from scripture study. But being mindful means thinking about your day, good and bad, and remembering it.
-- I'm sucking. I wrote like once this week. But I have motivated myself by keeping my journal on the coffee table so I remember to write while I'm watching my bedtime 6 Office episodes. I also promised myself that as soon as I finish this almost-full moleskin journal I can go get a really pretty new fancy journal. The kind with the fuzzy cover and a tiny lock and key. (jk... kind of)
- Meditation. I've only ever done this in yoga, and even then not specifically. The goal is to achieve real mental "rest" by accepting all thoughts and feelings and quieting the mind in peace.
-- I have yet to exercise the patience to do it for the recommended one hour a day. But I am trying to do it for at least 15 minutes each day. A couple mornings I did it when I woke up - I shook my muscles out, tied my hair up and propped myself in the lotus position while acknowledging each thought, feeling, idea and then releasing it. I was amazed to find how much PEACE I felt. Even if I had to go clean up all the fuzz Glen ripped out of his hedgehog toy while I was all zen.
Look at this guy. I'm in love with him.
My Happiness Project: Overview
My Happiness Project: Week One