So, I’ve finally finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at what else I read, in terms of blogs, but hers has made it on to my WP Reader. I’m sold! I want more happiness in my life and I’ve started on my own HAPPINESS PROJECT: MY BEST BODY. More and more about that to come in the next few weeks. However, today, I want to talk about 3 things that are sticking with me (not totally unrelated to my own happiness project, but not directly either).
I have to be honest here…..I read the first half of the book feeling so inspired and aligned with the author. I mean, she’s a work from home mother of two who writes. However, I felt like a lot of the things she tackled in the first half of the book are things that I deal with already….tasks to make myself happier that I’ve already undertaken. So, I set the book down….unintentionally…..and when I came back I was ready to address the real work that would lead me to my own happiness project.
- Spending Out – One thing that Rubin writes about is spending out. She talks about getting business cards once she sees the ones she really wants. Seriously…..I still haven’t ordered any and this whole scenario spoke to me! Remember some of my resolutions from last year? Well, in addition to this idea of spending out, she also talks about not waiting for the right time for things….not saving up. This is an area in which I have struggled with the blog. Rubin notes that she stops saving good post ideas for a later date and instead writes them now. This past week I have written a ton of posts (one every day this week) and have started scheduling some ahead because the ideas are coming to me. Usually it’s the other way around. I have heard that you’re supposed to space posts and post on certain days in order to grow readership. I ditched the idea of intentionally growing my readership awhile back when I chose to leave my self-hosted site and focus again on writing what I like. I like the idea of not saving an idea for later, but writing it now. I’m also going to spend out on myself a little more. One of the main goals of my happiness project is to feel better in my own skin. Some of the time I am really uncomfortable while teaching because I feel I don’t fit into my clothes and my poses. I’m going to get into this further as we go with MY BEST BODY, but I’m thinking a new bra for teaching is in order…to say the least.
- Abundance – There’s a line in the book when Rubin in appreciating the mortality of life in which she mentions abundance. Oh man….I had recently scheduled a meditation for my Yoga II class to work with abundance. I feel torn about this word and yoga. I want to be abundant in my gratitude and in love, respect, honest, etc. I want to minimize material things. But, for some abundance of happiness and love come through abundance in stuff. It’s not me and I struggle to feel balanced in abundance. This is a topic for a meditation for sure! Look for another post on it in the very near future (spending out).
- Honoring Your Guide – So, I’m not going to lie….part of reading this book that was a challenge for me were the constant references to people I’ve never heard of. Look, I’m pretty good at Jeopardy, but there’s a lot of stuff out there in this world that I am very unworldly about. This is why I read and research. (Rubin noted that she makes notes on things she reads for no apparent reason…..I do the same thing and thought it was weird until I realized that I too am making notes for blog posts or future reference. You may remember way back to my note cards?) And then she gets to a part where she starts talking about imitating a spiritual guide. The one she identifies with is not someone I’ve ever heard of before, but there’s a passage in which she quotes a blog post comment about idolizing traits of others. The commenter suggests that the traits we admire are those that are yet unrealized in ourselves and that once we can achieve the imitation and adaptation of them, we will find new traits to aspire to. This is part of a perpetual growth pattern (something Rubin talks about as a key to happiness) and something that I totally ascribe to! But, it also got me thinking that I’m not quite sure who my guide is at this point and what all I wish that I was. More meditation is needed. One step I did take toward this is to follow a few new bloggers. I’m hoping to build my tribe and find inspiration (see a post next week about all the inspiration I’m finding!).
As I finished the book I had a greater feeling of being closer and closer to this author’s personality in many ways (thinking back to Learned Optimism) and I started thinking about the framework for a happiness project as she had presented it. Mine will be unique to me, especially as I am not looking at all aspects of my life right now through this project. Although, I have made certain things a priority in my life:
- Date day with my husband once a month
- No yelling mama as much as possible
- Listening to others instead of always talking; and remembering that I don’t always have to be right
It’s too much for me to handle anything more while tackling this particular topic of MY BEST BODY. And while I felt so connected while reading, now that the book has ended and my work begins, there’s a great loneliness to this journey…..