Part One: #Thehappinesschallenge
“What would make you happy right now,” she asked, “better clients and to feel better” popped out of my mouth. The past few months had been a difficult time. Feeling sad, lost and unclear about many things in my life and I had not been sleeping.
My cousin lives in Miami and we chat by text a few times a week. She is one of the few people I can speak with candidly without fear of judgment or criticism. We share a great love for reading and often that is the basis of our conversations. If you’re a reader you understand discussing the books you’ve read often spark conversations around things in your life that somehow relate to what you’ve read.
Reading is very comforting – it is an escape for me. A way to experience people, places and things. As a child I would say I have to use the bathroom, I would lock the doors and stay for hours. I would read anything I could get my hands on.
“Be Happy, Be Present, Be Grateful; you’re wonderful, you just need to remember that” she said. I’m challenging you this week, do one thing every day that you love or something that makes you feel good, really good.”
And that is how it all started – I accepted the challenge and here we are today. I wish I could say it was a simple thing to do and I breezed through it but that would not be true. I am in a much better place today then I was before this challenge because it has truly helped me.
On day one I was motivated and excited to do something different, 2019 kicked my ass so badly and I was ready to get back to living instead of feeling sad, worried and sorry for myself. I had been in a slump but instead of talking about it, I pulled away and shut the world out including the people close to me.
I brewed a cup of chamomile tea, opened my dining room door, sat on my favorite bench and wrote in my journal. I felt as though my heart was breaking but It was wonderful to finally get some of it out. The cool air was refreshing and that night I actually slept, all night. I woke up the next day and I wrote a to-do list, something I had not done since 2019 started, I felt good but honestly, I was scared. I enjoyed journaling but I haven’t done it for a long because I didn’t know if I could bring myself to write about some of the things I was truly feeling.
I set my timer and I cleaned my bedroom. There is something wonderful about my space (my home) being organized and cleaned. Having a clean home makes me feel good inside and it makes me smile. I cleaned, made my bed with new sheets, showered and got into bed. It was 2 PM in the afternoon but it felt good, something I hadn’t felt in many months and the most satisfying part, I slept like a baby.
I felt so good after cleaning on day two that I decided to clean our entire home on day three. Cleaning shifted the energy of the space. Every part of the house I walked into I smiled. The rest of the day felt easy and I felt a bit of peace. I lit a vanilla bean candle and fell asleep at 8 PM.
Fresh Flowers are beautiful, they smell lovely and they make me smile. I have bought flowers weekly for myself since my early 20s. I felt out of it and so foggy that buying myself flowers did not seem like a priority. On day four I slept in, woke up at 11:41 AM, showered, drove to the florist and bought myself flowers. Cutting and arranging them, made me feel better. I felt like myself and decided to reach out to a close friend to see how she was doing. We had a wonderful conversation.
I started #thehappinesschallenge on August 4th. I had finally broken down and shared with my cousin how terrible I had been feeling lately. It was a struggle to get through the day. When she suggested the challenge, I felt like this entire thing was a waste of time. However, by day three, I really felt the difference and it was the beginning of many beautiful days to come. The fact that I felt terrible kept me going but having someone to support me with understanding and kindness really helped.
I hoped to publish the entire article but it is very long and I decided it would be better to publish in two or three parts. I hope you return on Thursday to read part two of this post.