Thank You Omobola
I was nominated by Omobola, author of the blog Live life Live Fully, to write ten of my favorite feelings.
Over the years, I’ve blogged extensively about my emotional journey through alcohol addiction and anxiety; first as a medium for exploring and gaining clarity of my own story, second in hopes that my struggles and successes inspire and perhaps help someone else along the way.
I’m realizing now, after coming through a recent struggle, that personal happiness is as much of an effort to maintain as it is to maintain physical fitness and emotional well-being when managing anxiety and addictions.
Yes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade; but sometimes the recipe is challenging to find.
I’ve recently listened to the Master Class series Discovering Happiness, by Shawn Achor on Calm. When life gives you lemons, Shawn gives you a delightful recipe on making lemonade. He talks passionately in regards to the science behind: daily gratitude, journaling on meaningful experiences, physical exercise, mindfulness and spreading happiness through personal connection.
Omobola has spread happiness by nominating me to write about my ten favorite feelings. I am grateful for this opportunity to write in detail, ten meaningful experiences that promote favorite feelings! I will “joyfully” pay this happiness forward!
List ten of your favourite feelings! It’s honestly that simple.
Ten of My Favorite Feelings
Having had my fair share of kissing frogs to find my prince, I am very lucky to have found him. I believe in love – a mature love in action that takes work, commitment, compromise, grit, truth, communication, honesty, respect, vulnerability, risk, playfulness, and everything else that is woven into the warm embrace that is a healthy, balanced love.
The love my husband and I have for each other is this warm embrace.
My blog is called Joyful Stephanie, because I’m basically a happy person. I love to laugh. Children are the best to bring out joy! While running the other day, I passed a little girl who, with genuine eagerness, expressed to her dad that I was wearing green shoes! I laughed with heart-filled glee at her pureness of observation and delight!
3. Inner – Peace
Because I manage anxiety, feeling at peace is a struggle. I’m taking CBD for anxiety, allowing me respite from my raging, fear-based thoughts. I now have space to implement the mindfulness and cognitive skills to combat anxiety, that pre-CBD, was a very real struggle to do. I now have many moments of inner-peace as I walk through my day.
I’ve struggled with addictions for close to 30 years. Shame and low self-worth is a given; feeling flawed because I struggle with an addiction. Confidence was/is allusive, fleeting and quick to dissipate after a well deserved achievement. Confidence feels like an itchy sweater, not quite comfortable and takes some getting used to. However, as I consistently make healthier choices in my life such as living alcohol free, training to run a marathon, learning to snow board, practicing mindfulness, eating healthier foods…I feel more confident in my ability to take care of myself and more confident in my life as a whole. Confidence now feels like I a sweater I deserve to wear.
I had to Google if playfulness was an emotion, rather than an action. There are many opinions out there about that. I will consider it an emotion here, because when I feel playful – I am having fun. There is an energy to playfulness that is contagious. People who are playful are fun to be around! They bring energy levels up, make people laugh. I love feeling playful! Especially when I work with children! Playful adults are awesome, harder to find than children, but we are out there!
As I am learning how to train for a half marathon, I am learning about determination. Recently, I ran in my first relay race. A virtual race (because of COVID-19) where teams of five would individually run their 5km leg of the race and submit results. My team came first place and I was given a shout out for my “smoking” personal best! I gave that 5km run with everything I had. As the only woman on my team and by far the least experienced runner, I was determined not to be the weak link in the chain. I wouldn’t be able to be the fastest, but I could show improvement!
Additionally, upon further reflection, I see that determination, this positive-approach quality, was paramount for my successful adjustment to (all at the same time): a new marriage, living overseas, finding employment in a foreign country, and recreating my life in this brand new world.
This is a biggy. One that has come within my reach during this second half of my life. There is a permission with being in my fifties, an acceptance of I am who I am. I don’t need to constantly keep trying to “fix” myself.
I am not broken. And I am broken. Both are okay.
I can grow and learn, but… who I am inherently as a person, is good enough.
With myself and others. Always be kind. My mother taught me to always be nice to people, because you never know who they are, or what they may be going through. One day, many years ago I was standing at a bus stop, waiting impatiently for the bus. An elderly lady was waiting too. I’m not one for small talk, especially with strangers and on public transportation. However, I am always polite if someone starts up a conversation. I can’t quite remember all the details, but I remember making a conscious effort through my impatience to be kind to this elderly woman who started up a conversation with me.
A few days later, I come to find out that this elderly woman was an aunt to someone I know and she commented on how kind I was. Again, I can’t remember the exact details – but what stood out is the lesson learned: if I had let my impatience take the lead, I would have been remembered for that rather than kindness. A lesson I never forgot.
Ooohhh…another biggy for me. With a history of PTSD, fear and mis-trust its main undercurrents, trust was/is difficult for me. I step lightly around people. It is easier for me to write my story here, then allow another person to get close to me. Trust is perhaps the scariest emotion for me, and the most rewarding as it is slowly established with another. I want more than anything to spread love, kindness and joy to others, but I’m terrified to get too close to people, and let them in for fear of betrayal.
I put my everything out there to the public, but let very few people get close to me. In this context, I’m a contradiction. But, as I slowly settle into this second half of my life with the help of CBD taking the edge off my anxiety…trust seems possible in a slow, seeping evolution kind of way.
Then there is the development of self-trust – that I can trust in myself to be able to handle whatever unknowns happen in life. Again, CBD has helped immensely with this, as I’m much calmer now to handle triggers and the unknowns just around the corner.
10. Aesthetic Appreciation
There are moments in nature or when I hear a certain song or witness a piece of art, that life stands still, my body responds viscerally, my breath catches in my throat as my very soul somehow resonates with the beauty before me.
Winged Victory at The Louvre.
Ennio Morricone – Vita Nostra.…
If you’re interested in cannabidiol, known as CBD – you can read my blog that speaks to it:
CBD has been incredibly helpful with managing my anxiety, along with exercise, mindfulness training, getting perspective with cognitive behavioral techniques, a healthy diet and slowly nurturing personal connections.
I’ve enjoyed writing this! I’ve added my own twist to it, with pictures and video!
Now is the time to spread the happiness and nominate fellow bloggers!
Margie – When The Heart Speaks
Yvonne – Joyful Change With Yvonne
Feel free ladies, to write this happiness blog in whatever format suits you, so you can take the time to lean into the feelings that make you feel the best!!