Happiness Does Start at Home

Happy Tuesday!

It’s election day in the United States, and it’s the day millions of people will flock to the polls to cast their vote…and it’s a day that will go down in history. This is one of the most important presidential elections in history – and I mean all of history. It’s a big day, and I hope everyone with the ability to vote does just that before I get on with my story here.

Good advice is not hard to come by, but people who take good advice and recognize it for what it is does seem to be the problem. Perhaps the simple truth is that what’s good advice for one person simply doesn’t work the same way for another. For example, just last week I text my very sweet friend, Andre, who is a trainer. He isn’t my trainer, though sometimes I do workout with him because he trains my husband’s and my best friends. They’ve all been on me forever and always about how bad my squat form is. I hate squats. I do them, but I hate them. I can never get it right. It never feels right. Andre, Geremy, Corinna, all of them…they’ve spent forever trying to give me the best advice on how to do it right so it’s not a pain in my ass (I mean, squats are literally like a pain in the ass, but you know what I mean).

Last week, I was taking one of my OBE fitness classes (God, I love those classes) and the trainer mentioned that I need to keep my weight on my heels while doing squats.

Wait, what?

That was the first time I’d heard that. It changed the game. Here I am with a professional trainer, two exceptionally fit friends, and not one person told me to put my weight in my heels. But, they did give me a load of other excellent advice…it just didn’t resonate. I immediately text Andre to tell him this groundbreaking information (that he graciously thanked me for sharing when I thought I could help him with future clients even though he already knew this advice). The moral of my story is that sometimes great advice works for one person but doesn’t work for another. It takes a slightly different perspective to work for another (that would be me, guys).

So, back to good advice. It’s not hard to come by, but it seems hard to focus on anymore. I see so much anger and so much frustration and so much ugliness anymore. I’ve had to turn off social media more than once. I’ve had to stop watching the news and reading the news. I’ve had to stop reading the comments on things (which is usually my favorite part of any article). I’ve had to take myself away from the reality the world tells me to live by and live in my own reality.

You guys, my own personal little world is a lot better than the actual world. You know why? Because I fill my own little bubble world with people who have kind, generous, gracious hearts. People who will make you laugh harder than you’ve ever laughed. People who challenge you to be the best version of yourself. People who are unafraid to live big and live their best lives. People who fill you with joy and happiness and a full heart. People who think you are the most amazing person alive, but who will be the first to tell you (with love and a smartass attitude) when you’ve being ridiculous. People who inspire you and people who love hard. They are optimistic and fulfilled, they don’t compare or judge. They don’t blame anyone else for things. Best of all, though, I surround myself with people who might not always share my feelings and opinions, but who can sit down and listen to me when I want to talk about something and really hear what I’m trying to say. They don’t become defensive or make me feel stupid if my opinion differs from theirs. We can have differences, talk about them like mature adults, and still be best friends at the end of the day. I like my world.

It makes me want to share some advice with people who aren’t living in their best world. So many people are so filled with hate, envy, judgment, anger, and so many ugly emotions. It’s so disheartening to see people who will tear down another person because they don’t agree with them, and then turn around and praise another person for doing the exact same thing. It’s so disheartening to see people tell others that they are horrible people because of their beliefs simply because they are different than others.

As a proud republican, I don’t expect everyone else to vote the same way that I vote. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I don’t expect everyone to prioritize the things that I prioritize as important in my own life. However, that also doesn’t mean that I don’t support other issues – they may not be as important to me and my own life as certain issues, but I also don’t expect the things that I consider the most important issues to be the same things everyone else considers the most important issues. Unfortunately, we are living in a world where so many people have been raised to believe that their own opinion is the right opinion and anyone who disagrees is not a good person.

The truth of the matter is that opinions are just that. They are opinions. My opinion might differ from your opinion of what’s most important in life, but my life is also much different than the lives others are living. What is a reality for me might not be a reality for someone else, and that is all right.

I try to ignore the hatred and focus on those who get it. Those who know that you can think differently, live differently, and still respect one another. But, I do want to offer some advice. It’s not going to be the right advice for everyone, but it will – hopefully – be the best advice for some people. I just find that these reminders are so good for the soul and the heart.

Live Big

Don’t be afraid to live big. It’s a beautiful thing. If something makes you happy or proud or is important to you, celebrate it and be proud of it, and shout it from the rooftops. It’s your life, and you should live it as boldly and big and beautifully as you want. If you’re happy about it, I’m happy for you (and if anyone is not happy for you, then they probably need to work on their own hearts a little). The point is that you shouldn’t minimize your life just because other people might not care or might not get it or because other people aren’t living the same life.

Fix Your Heart

Remember when the pandemic started and people were being forced to stay home and inside for weeks – some people in some states and some countries have been inside their homes for months at a time without leaving – and the world was changing? I remember reading some arbitrary article that popped up on my timeline on Facebook about a celebrity or an influencer complaining about being stuck at home nonstop for weeks – they were talking about missing things, and places, and people, etc. I also remember reading the comments, and I was horrified.

The comments were overwhelmingly negative talking about how celebrities and ‘rich’ people don’t get to complain about quarantining in their big house with their big pool and their big yard because some people don’t have the luxury of quarantining in a big house, and they’re stuck in a small house or apartment. So. What. I’m not typically a fan of people who complain all the time, but let’s be real here. You can dislike being stuck at home in a cramped studio apartment just as much as you can dislike being stuck at home in a mansion on the beach in paradise.

The world was changing, lives were put on hold, people miss their families, kids are annoying sometimes, and staring at the same four walls – no matter how far apart they may be – sucks. So, let’s stop telling people their feelings are ‘wrong’ because they are have more than you do. Get over yourself. The simple fact of the matter is that you need to fix your heart. If you find yourself having thoughts and feelings like that, you need to fix your heart. What makes you feel like this? Fix it. Why are you bitter? Fix it. Is it because you don’t have what other people have? Fix it. You have every single opportunity in the world to fix your life and make it what you want, but only if you’re willing to fix your heart, do the work, and be patient while you work hard. End of discussion.

Be Nice

It’s not hard. I mean, sometimes, it’s hard. Sometimes, people make you angry. They drive slow in the left lane and you can’t get around them. It’s hard to be nice when people do that. I get it. But, it’s not that hard, as a rule, to just be a nice person. Smile. Be nice.

Don’t Shrink Yourself

Never, ever shrink to fit into someone else’s life. If you’re too big for them to fit into their life as you are, you aren’t meant to be there. Shine, my friend. Be you. Have your opinions, say what’s on your heart, and be yourself. Don’t make yourself smaller to fit in with someone you may have outgrown. If you ever feel the need to change your opinion or not be your bold, beautiful self so that you can be friendly or fit in with someone, that is not your someone, my friend. That is not your someone. Call me. I’ll be your someone. I like people who are big and bold and proud of it.

Make Priorities

I don’t think many people prioritize the way they should. I think the world has collectively told people that they should prioritize things a certain way, and that’s simply not true. Being busy is not a goal. Never being home is not a goal. Having plans every single weekend without a break to just relax is not a goal. Doing too much is not a goal. Always working is not a goal.

Making time for your loved ones is a goal. Making time to exercise is a goal. Making time to take care of you is a goal. Making time to be present and enjoy life is a goal. Making time to do the things that bring you joy is a goal. Working hard and playing harder is a goal. Your goals are your goals, whatever they are. Make priorities out of the things that matter the most, and don’t worry if they don’t fit the ‘norm’ or the ‘mold’ anymore. Who wants to be just like everyone else to the point of sheer exhaustion, anyway?

Laugh More than You Complain

If, at the end of the day, you have laughed more than you have complained, you are living a good life. Don’t forget that or take that for granted. If you aren’t laughing as much as you are complaining, it’s time to start figuring out where to make healthy changes in your life so you can live happy.

Own It

Whatever you are, whoever you are, whatever you believe, whatever you want, whatever makes you happy and smile and feel good – own it. If you don’t own who you are, you aren’t being your authentic self. Own it.

Do Good Things

The one surefire way to feel good in life is to be good in life. Give back. You don’t have to give money or items or anything grand. Giving your time is just as important and just as meaningful. When you give back to the world, you get what you put into it. Do good things. Be a good person. Respect others, agree to disagree, and learn to live and let live. The great thing about life is that we all get to be whomever we want to be, and we get to do this life on our own.

Don’t Worry About Anyone Else

Trust me when I tell you that no one else is worried about you. And, if they are worried about how you’re living your life, they’re not focused on living their own. It’s a vicious cycle. Worry about yourself, and you’ll see such a dramatic improvement in your life. Imagine making your life decisions based on what makes you feel good and not what looks good or what other people think looks good. Imagine how happy you’ll be living your life, your way, on your terms. Now, go do it.

The world is such a beautiful place if you stop focusing on all the things you don’t like. Try to make that a habit. Try to change your thoughts, and try to remember that bashing other people and being a negative complainer or a judgmental person is uncool. You can have your thoughts and opinions without worrying about what anyone else is doing in their lives, and you can live a very happy life.

Today is a day that will go down in history. Whatever happens, remember that you can be the difference you want to see in the world. When you make a difference in even one life, that person will then go on to make a difference in the life of another. And that person will do the same. Imagine what one small act of kindness or grace can do, and then go do it.

Being Content: Finding Happiness Right Now

Happy Monday, loves!

I hope you all had the most fantastic weekend. We did, and I loved every second of it! I know I say it all the time, but we are so fortunate to have had the same amazing friends in our lives since long before any of us had kids. We all got married around the same time, we all had our babies together. We’ve been to every one of the other’s baby showers, we’ve spent a least a day together every week for more than a decade, and we are family.

How does it get better than that? How does it get better than having your very own amazing family and then having this amazing family you’ve created for yourself? You have all these memories. You travel and vacation together. You raise your kids together. You spend so much time at one another’s houses you know them and feel as comfortable in them as you do your own.

Family is what life is all about, whether you are born into them or you make them yourself. And I love that.

It also has a little bit of something to do with today’s post, which is all about being content. If you know me, you know I have my off days and a bad attitude and all the uglies sometimes. But you also know that I lay my head down at night with a full heart and a sense of peace that I don’t take for granted. You know that saying, “I remember the days when I prayed so hard for everything I have now?”

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I do.

I remember those days.

And I know that it’s like to want more. I’m always looking to expand my business, to grow more, to have more, to do more, to give back more, to experience more, to be more. And there’s not a damn thing wrong with wanting more.

But, if you know me, you know that I know that I’m content. Like, really, truly, happily content. What I have is everything I’ve ever wanted. I wasn’t always. There was a time when I was younger when I thought I needed more of everything to be content. More money. A bigger house. A more expensive car, another expensive bag, more expensive shoes.

And don’t get me wrong – I love those things.

But they don’t make me happy. I mean, okay, they do make me happy, but they don’t make me content and fulfilled. They bring me temporary joy (like every single time I put them on) but they don’t make me content.

What makes me content can’t be measured in terms of more.

It’s babies who want to be cuddled. Sweet little faces who love me to the moon and back. A handsome man who has loved me since I was 18 years old and has seen me at my very best, my very worst, my most vulnerable, and my ugliest, and somehow decides every single day to love me even more than he did the day before, and to show it in everything he does. It’s people to surround myself with who would do anything for me, who love me, who make fun of me, who make me feel like I’m home when I’m with them.

Learning to Find Content In Your Life

Here’s the thing – once you learn to find it, it’s so easy to keep it.

  • Don’t compare
  • Don’t wish
  • Don’t complain
  • Focus on what is important

 

Comparison is the thief of joy. If you spend your entire life comparing what you have/are/look like/do/go/whatever to what other people have, you’ll never be happy. Additionally, what makes other people happy probably won’t make you happy and vice versa.

Don’t wish. If you want something you don’t have, make it a reality by creating a goal and working for it. Don’t wish for it. Do it. Make it happen. It’s okay to want more if you’re willing to work for it and make it happen. It’s not okay to sit back and wish your life away.

Don’t complain. I mean, it’s okay to complain that Starbucks once again took 2746938473 minutes to make your latte, but then let it go and enjoy the deliciousness of it and remember that without all those minutes, you wouldn’t have this amazingness in your hand.

Focus on what’s important. People. People are important. Things are not. They’re fun, but they’re not important.

 

Really, and honestly, the best way to find content in your life is to focus on what is good in your life. It’s not to sit back and wish for more. It’s getting to work to make your life what you want and then sitting back and enjoying it every step of the way. If I complained about all the things that go wrong in my life, I’d waste a lot of my time being very unhappy. Instead, when life throws me a curve ball, I take a moment to panic, and then I remind myself that every single thing I ever thought was a bad thing in my life somehow turned into the best thing that ever happened to me.

Every lesson in life is just that – a lesson. You learn form it. You grow from it, and you change from it. You let it hurt, you let it get to you for a minute, but you stop yourself and learn to be content with it. You cannot change it, but you can use it to change you for the better. Everything that happens in your life is for a reason, and that reason is to help you grow. Put your faith first and you will always remember that there is something happening because you need to learn from it. You need to grow and change and evolve, and that shit doesn’t happen inside your comfort zone.

That’s how you find content in your life. You smile when you feel happy. You walk away when you need a moment, and you love what you have while you work for more. It’s easier than you think, and I certainly hope that even just one person reads this and realizes that life is really, really good.