To me, happiness is a state of mind. We can choose to be happy no matter what our situations (just look at people like actor Christopher Reeves who proclaimed his happiness right up until his death). There’s no better example for chosen happiness than Stacy Brice, one of the brightest lights in the Twitterverse. And here’s why…
Name one moment in your life when you threw a pity party for yourself and the reasons why you felt you weren’t able to achieve your goals. Were you feeling stuck? Had you felt you failed? What wasn’t working in your life?
I haven’t had anything remotely like a pity party since early 2003. Then, it was due to the ending of a relationship that I’d worked so very hard to make work. And in truth, today, I can’t even remember the specifics to share with you–that’s how over it I am.
But what I did was I hired a terrific therapist who gave me some tools to use when I felt low (ways to think about things, and ways to engage myself), and it’s to the point, now, where I only have anything even remotely resembling a pity party during the first day of my period–because my hormones are a bit out of whack, and I’m not as available to myself as I usually am.
Even our lowest moments fulfill a need in us or express our desires. When you threw yourself that pity party, what did you hope to gain? What need did you fulfill?
I don’t recall, because it’s been so very long since I had one!
Can you look back on that moment and tell us how you felt when you did decide to take action? What results came about from your decision to take charge and move on?
This I do remember. I remember feeling pathetic and just so lost. Taking the action to get into therapy helped me feel empowered and a bit elated.
Everyone has a Someday problem hiding deep inside, even little ones. What variety of the Someday Syndrome do you currently harbor? What would you like to achieve but haven’t yet?
This is another one that doesn’t get me.
In 1996 when I started training to be a coach, I learned well about this thing we do where we lie to ourselves by saying something like, “I’ll go to the beach when I’ve lost ten pounds and can look good in a bathing suit.”
The lie is that we tell ourselves that we have to do A before we can do B. In truth, we most often don’t, and we could absolutely do B before A happens.
When I learned that, I started applying it to my life–noticing when I did it to myself, and realizing when I’d notice it that it meant I needed to really look at whether A had to come before B, and if not, then I needed to move on to B. So now, that process is second nature to me.
Sometimes, though, I realize that A doesn’t have to come before B, but I still don’t want to move on A for either a very good reason, OR because it just doesn’t matter to me that much.
In that situation I apply another tool my therapist gave me six years ago. It’s what I call the Aliveness Test.
When I realize, for instance, that A doesn’t have to come before B, I examine B, in part, to see how NOT doing it would impact my aliveness. If it would impact it a lot, then I have to do B. If it wouldn’t impact it much, if at all, then I feel free to still not do B.
What advice would you give others seeking what you’ve discovered?
Being awake, aware, willing to take action, and willing to change the way you feel about what’s happening will move you out of the place you’re in.
If you could ask for one thing, right now, what type of help would you ask for?
I honestly don’t need anything, but would share a couple more things:
- Surrounding myself with other people who refuse to wallow in self-pity, and who are living a well-examined life themselves is incredibly helpful and empowering on my own journey.
- Realizing that everything I do, and feel is a choice was difficult at first, but empowering once I “got it.” Because if what I’m doing and feeling is a choice, then when I feel crappy (for any reason), I can choose to do and feel something different. Often, that’s as simple as going to have a cuddle with my cat–which leads me to feel unconditional love (and unconditionally loved), which then leads me to feel content, and ultimately happy. I may not be able to change my circumstance, some times, but I can choose to change how I feel, and what I do about it.
- I gave up trying to control other people, and resigned as Mother of the Universe. In doing so, I don’t take on things that aren’t mine to take on, and I let people walk their own paths, and experience what they’re meant to experience.
- Number 3 is part of a tool/way of being that I added just this year. I had believed, on some level, that struggle was part of my DNA. This year, I’ve chosen to focus on ease. So wherever I struggle, I immediately imagine myself in a boat, paddling hard upstream… and then just stopping, turning the boat around, and letting it float down stream. It reminds me that I don’t want, nor do I have to, struggle….that there’s an ease-filled way to go.