This morning I woke up with zero energy. I was tired and draggy. Too much something or other in my diet, or too much gardening precipitated by the nice weather. Either way, my body felt like lead and my mind like slogging through mud.
I poured a cup of coffee and sat down to read my email. My plan for the morning was to tackle a few important things on my to-do list. I’m almost finished with formatting my new book, Aging Abundantly , Essays on Midlife Change, Growth and Survival, but I just can’t seem to wrap it up. Conflicting feelings, the push/pull of a psyche that lacks confidence is wreaking havoc on my energy around this project. Or, more succinctly, I’m irritable and cranky because I just want the damn thing finished but can’t get myself to do it!
Do you know what I’m talking about? I hate it!
The Universe will not let me feel sorry for myself! What’s with that!
In fact, The Universe is having its way with me, in spite of myself. An hour later, sipping on my second cup of java and my attention still very far away from formatting, I stumble across exactly what I need! Two things, in fact. Synchronicity at it’s best! Thank you, Universe.
The first was a book I’ve been wanting to read and had forgotten about, Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life by Judith Orloff, M.D. Her work is foundational for another book I’ve been working on for a year or so. It’s about energy. Orloff is doing exciting work in the area of the body, mind, spirit connection and learning how to manage our energy. In this book she presents psychological strategies for maximizing positive emotions and minimizing toxic ones with an eye toward decreasing suffering and increasing well-being. I listened to the intro while placing my Audible order and the creative juices started to flow. As a result, my energy levels skyrocketed. All I have to do is read about what’s going on in the world of healing and my spirits lift.
DO YOU HAVE A HAPPINESS LIST?
Next, I read a blog post by one of my new favorite writers, Susan Mary Malone called Do You Have A Happiness List? How could I not read it?? It was especially relevant to me in light of my attempt to do a 365 Day Journey of Gratitude. I you read my post about it you know I was a) smoking something that day, or b) really serious about developing a gratitude practice. I did okay with it for the first few weeks and I even had a couple of people threaten to join me, but life has a habit of getting in the way. My sister-in-law, quite unexpectedly join in and is hanging tough with me. In fact, she’s the only thing keeping me honest! (Thank you, Lisa!)
AVOID ENERGY DRAIN
Posting a gratitude was one of the things on my to-do list today and it felt like an albatross. Talk about energy drain! I’ve been discussing the issue with myself incessantly, as I clearly have conflicting feelings! I want to keep my commitment to myself and I want to develop a gratitude practice. I don’t like feel constricted, inhibited and I end up feeling anything but grateful! Not the intended result. I even wrestled with the difference between appreciation and gratitude. Yikes! Who cares? I know it goes deeper and that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out.
So, Malone made it easier for me. She helped me let go of some toxic energy and turn toward a source of positive energy. A Happiness List, according to Malone, is a “list of things that elate you. Twenty of them,” she says. “Write them down, keep it by your bedside table, and read it before you even get out of bed in the morning.” I could have used that list this morning, what about you?!
“Rather than just appreciating what’s in life, instead this (a Happiness List) makes you smile at all the things that bring you joy. And memories surface as to why.” ~ Susan Malone
I think this is gratitude as well, just in a different form. A Happiness List creates energy in me, whereas, a daily gratitude feels like drudgery. So today, I will create my Happiness List. Tomorrow morning I will read it before I get out of bed and in this moment I am grateful for a new perspective.
Creative minds, like Malone’s and Orloff and the women who are contributing to The Voices of Wisdom Series, are at the top of my Happiness List. Their work, their positive energy feeds my soul and liberates me from the weight of negative emotion.
What would you put at the top of your Happiness List?
[tweetthis]“Happiness is when what you think,what you say,and what you do are in harmony. ”Mahatma Gandhi[/tweetthis]