Beautiful Reasons To Be Happy

artem-bali-413154-unsplashPhoto by Artem Bali on Unsplash

 

I’ve heard it said that life is what you make it and I could not agree more! Just yesterday I was enjoying a beautiful sunny Sunday with a good friend of mine, just talking about life and all of the hardships that we’ve been through and our going through in our lives. Everything from failed relationships to loss of loved ones to family problems. Pretty much any challenge that a person could possibly be dealt.

We talked about how in our personal experiences that in time so many blessings came from our losses. We both agreed that the attitude that you choose to have makes a world of difference. It won’t erase your pain but it will make it more bearable and with time it will heal it. Making a conscience choice to be happy, recognizing blessings, and proactively taking care of your physical and mental health.

Well this morning I struggled to motivate myself out of bed to workout but then I saw a text from another friend wanting to hit the gym with me. As I was getting ready I was exploring my weekly Spotify playlist and the song Happy by Natasha Bedingfield played and it was literally a reminder of everything I had talked about with my friend just yesterday! I was SO thankful that I was given this tender mercy because I definitely was NOT feeling highly motivated to work toward my health goals.

I definitely took it as a sign that I had so much to be grateful for and that happiness was solely up to me. The chorus of the song really struck a chord.

Got my dreams, got my life, got my love
Got my friends got the sunshine above
Why am I making this hard on myself
When there’s so many beautiful reasons I have to be happy
People lie, people hide, people cry, people fight

There are so many things that trigger our anxiety, causing us to fear and doubt literally EVERYTHING and even second guess our own individual worth. Whether it’s the loss of a loved on, a broken heart, losing a job, making a big move. It’s always hard when your faced with a sudden or drastic change in your life. The unknown is scary and it’s normal to have that fear and to feel that anxiety, but don’t allow it to consume you and hold you back from living a happy life.

Natasha says it perfectly:

Any day I”ll go bad thinking bad
Everyone is against me and the world wants to fight me
Preparing to battle an enemy unseen
During my stressing I’m blinded to the lesson
That could be a blessing if I’d be confessing that the enemy
I”m trying to beat is hiding inside of me

If we can learn to recognize the blessings that we’ve been given despite the tough and heartbreaking experiences, then maybe as Natasha has said, we wouldn’t be blinded to the lessons we are supposed to learn and the reason everything is happening the way that it is.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been through some pretty tough times and it’s not always easy to just be happy. Even now I have days where I don’t feel happy, but I am ALWAYS reminded of the good people and opportunities in my life. I’m so grateful that I have so many supportive friends that encourage me and each other to be happy with their life and with who they are. I’m grateful that I have friends and family that love me for me and that motivate me and encourage me to take care of both my physical and mental health.

Happiness is a choice regardless of your circumstance. You can’t always be happy but you can make healthy choices that will lead you toward happiness. Focus on the good things in your life no matter how small they may seem and watch your blessings unfold. Like Natasha says, there’s so many beautiful reasons you have to be happy.

 

 

 

 

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Blackbird Fly

alex-wigan-15485-unsplashPhoto by Alex Wigan on Unsplash

 

The other day I met a lady at my beauty counter at work. She had a beautiful tattoo of a blackbird that instantly caught my eye. Naturally I thought of Blackbird by The Beatles, especially since I had heard this song not long prior. However, she explained that she was actually inspired by the poem Thirteen Ways to See a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens.

The blackbird is said to symbolize life in the heavens, such as higher ideals or a higher path of knowledge or wisdom.

This week I’ve seen a lot of things in my life come full circle. You might remember my post last year titled There Will Be An Answer: The Healing Power of Music. That post was inspired by The Beatles hit “Let It Be.” If you haven’t seen James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney, then you need to. Anyway this video kept popping up on my feed, so I took that as a sign that it was significant.

I was really touched by the story Paul shared about his late mother visiting him in a dream and inspiring the song “Let it Be.” Right after the car karaoke of “Let it Be,” “Blackbird” began to play. This really resonated with me because to me it seemed like everything in my life, or at least everything that I’ve gone through in the last year, came full circle.

The first verse is probably the most significant to me simply because it’s speaking of pushing yourself through the darkness to finally see the light and everything good that you’ve been hoping, praying, and waiting for.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

When you go through challenging and difficult times, it is the most amazing feel to finally see all of the hope and faith that you worked so hard to have finally lead you to incredible opportunities and pretty incredible blessings. It’s not always easy; in fact, it’s NEVER easy to have hope when your literally going through hell, but I can honestly say that it is well worth it.

This part also spoke to me pretty loudly:

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

The meaning that I took from this is what I tell people all the time: to focus on that tiny bit of light when it seems like all is lost. That light will eventually get brighter. I know this, because I have seen it first hand. Is it easy? No. Is it worth the effort? Absolutely! The more focus you give the darkness, the darker it will become. The same works for the light. Find that tiny bit of light or joy in your life and give it all of your attention. Eventually it will become brighter than you ever thought it could be.

We are all blackbirds seeking for the highest outcome of joy and fulfillment. All I have to say is keep flying into the light of the dark black night.

 

 

 

Rainbow Connections

ben-neale-343338-unsplashPhoto by Ben Neale on Unsplash

This week has been pretty enlightening for me, especially with Father’s Day being yesterday. I’ve also been thinking a lot about rainbows and what they signify. Rainbows are symbolic of peace, hope, prosperity, and new beginnings. I remember there being a giant rainbow in the sky shortly after my dad passed away.

It’s possible that I probably spend more time than I should on Instagram but this week it was in my best interest. I am a firm believer in signs and I’m not even exaggerating, every other post on my feed the other day was a rainbow. Just to add a cherry on top off this phenomena, today Kermit the Frog’s The Rainbow Connection popped up on my Spotify.

I know this sounds like a cheesy and slightly ridiculous song, but it really spoke to me.  You might think that this a rather silly song, and you might be right, but it is surprisingly profound.

Besides the title itself, the part of The Rainbow Connection that really got my attention was this:

What’s so amazing
That keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see
Someday we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

The reason that this spoke to me was because the rainbow in the sky right after my dad passed away, symbolized to me  that he was in a good place and watching over our family. It was also a message of hope. A message that everything would get better and that we would be okay.

Every time I see a rainbow I think of that moment and how that promise was fulfilled. How things have gotten easier and how my family and I have been blessed with so many opportunities. Both of my brothers are getting married. One of which has brought a beautiful little girl into this world. My younger sister is graduating from college, my older sister is finishing nursing school in December, and I’ve had so many doors and opportunities open up for my career path. Life has been hard no doubt, but it’s also allowed for some incredible blessings.

I was speaking with my aunt the other day about adversity and what has made it possible for us both to overcome our circumstances. We both agreed that it’s a choice you make to actively search for the joy and the blessings. I’ve heard it said many times that God helps those who help themselves.

I can say from personal experience that it’s true. If you are actively looking for ways to move forward and to be happy, then you will find them. Even if it takes a little bit longer than you might like.

The’ first Father’s Day right after Dad’s passing was no doubt the hardest one to celebrate, especially since only three months had passed. It has been three years and I’m happy that each year gets easier. I have definitely felt his presence with me.

I’m lucky enough that I had a father to instill in me the importance of persevering and never allowing yourself to give up. Follow Kermit’s example and keep looking for the rainbow connections in your own life.  As Kermit says, Someday we’ll find it. The rainbow connection. The lovers, the dreamers and me.

You’re Going to Make it After All

pablo-heimplatz-243278-unsplashPhoto by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

Lately I’ve felt a lot of pressure to please everyone, and just end up not pleasing anyone. This week has been especially challenging for me in that respect. I’ve struggled to find the balance between being a good friend, while also setting boundaries so that I don’t feel taken advantage of. Well, as Ricky Nelson once sang “You can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.”

It’s also been a challenge to know for sure if I’m moving in the right direction and making the right decisions for myself. With all of these things weighing on my mind, I began to feel like everything I’m doing is wrong. Well this morning the perfect song came on and really picked me up out of my funk and helped me to recognize everything that I’ve done right in my life and reminded me to trust my intuition.

The Mary Tyler Moore theme song, Love Is All Around by Sonny Curtis played an just spoke right to me. Literally EVERY word spoke to me, but especially the first two verses:

Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it’s you girl, and you should know it
With each glance and every little movement you show it
Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can never tell, why don’t you take it
You’re gonna make it after all

It was just the pick me up I needed. Sometimes it’s easy to succumb to pressure around you and to succumb to pressure that you put on yourself. But it’s essential to take a moment for yourself sometimes to reevaluate your own wants and needs and to recognize all of the gifts and talents that you have to offer the world.

Everyone has their own point of view about what’s right and wrong. And while it’s important  be understanding of people and their feelings and consider their insight, it’s also unrealistic to feel responsible for everyone’s happiness. Unless you’re God, you don’t have that superpower.

Trust your intuition and do what feels right to you regardless of anyone else’s opinion. If you need to take a little time for yourself to reassess your surroundings, then do it, but don’t allow anyone or anything to drag you down.

Everyone was born with unique gifts and talents that should be used to better the world, so don’t be afraid to do it. Don’t second guess yourself because you’re going to make it after all.

I’ll Stand By You

sommi-257178-unsplashPhoto by 小胖 on Unsplash

I feel like my life has taken a lot of turning points lately. All good, but also challenging and a little befuddling. It’s hard to know what direction life is going to take you in and sometimes it can be scary and confusing. For me especially, it’s hard to know for sure if the choices that I’m making are the right ones. This is what I’ve struggling with the most, to know what’s right for me and what direction I should be moving in.

Well as you know I’m a big believer in angels and loved ones who have passed on guiding and watching over us. A couple weeks ago I was sitting in my car just taking a moment to myself to gather my thoughts and contemplate life. I’d been struggling a bit with knowing what people, places, and things were right for me and what kind of direction I should be moving in at this point in my life. That’s when a song came on and that I instantly recognized as my grandma on my mom’s side, who had passed away just shortly before my dad.

The song was I’ll Stand By You, by Pretenders. I could feel her nurturing spirit and the warmth of her embrace as she comforted me. I could hear her gentle voice saying these words to me:

When you’re standing at the cross roads,
And don’t know which path to choose,
Let me come along, ’cause even if you’re wrong
I’ll stand by you,
I’ll stand by you, won’t let nobody hurt you,
I’ll stand by you.
Baby, even to your darkest hour, and I’ll never desert you,
I’ll stand by you.
And when, when the night falls on you baby,
You’re feeling all a lone, you’re wandering on your own,
I’ll stand by you.
I’ll stand by you, won’t let nobody hurt you,
I’ll stand by you, baby even to your darkest hour,
And I’ll never desert you,
I’ll stand by you.

I really needed to hear these words. It helped me know that I had people looking out for me and that I wasn’t alone. It was also comforting to be reassured that whatever direction I moved in, I would be lead to where I needed to be.

It seems like I can sense my dad a lot more often than my grandma, but there was no doubt in my mind that she was right there with me. I could sense it with every part of me. The same way that I can feel it when my dad is with me, I could feel my grandma.

I’ve actually heard this song a couple more times since that moment, and also had a dream about it just the other night. In my dream my grandma was leading me to this song.

Angels and loved ones are ALWAYS all around us, comforting us, and pointing us in the right direction. I believe that. But I also know how hard it is to recognize it at times. It’s really easy to get caught up in ourselves and to become focused on our problems or whatever else might going on in our lives, that we miss simple messages being sent our way.

Those messages can be through anything. It can be through music, it can be in a dream, it can be in something somebody says, in something we read. The list goes on. It can LITERALLY be through ANYTHING. We just have to take the time to open our hearts, minds, eyes, and ears and be more aware to little messages that are meant for us. If it gets your attention, then it’s a message meant for you. That’s an answer specifically for YOU.

 

 

You Belong Among the Wildflowers

chloe-si-39644-unsplashPhoto by Chloe Si on Unsplash

 

Today is a great day and I’m celebrating the 1 year anniversary of this blog! I can’t believe an entire year has gone by!

Speaking of time, this past weekend I had the opportunity to meet up with some good friends of mine for brunch.  We got to talking about life and different personal experiences involving our loved ones. We got on the subject of our baby brothers getting married. Naturally this lead to the pressures and expectations there are to be married by a certain age, especially for women.

I am unbelievably happy for my little brother for finding such an amazing girl that is so right for him. I am such a strong believer that everyone’s life path is so different and you can’t compare it to anyone else’s. I wish that at 23 I had as much figured out and felt ready for a life long commitment the way that my brother does. As fate would have it though, I was mentally and emotionally underdeveloped for that. As much as I wanted to be, I simply wasn’t. At 29 I’ve just barely figured out what I want, what I need, and what’s right for me. Some people (like my brother) figure it out quicker. And some people (like me) take a little bit longer. I guess I’m a bit of a late bloomer.

I’ve always been somewhat of a free spirit and Dad used to call me his little flower child. Ironically enough the song Wildflowers played for me right after our brunch date. I knew that Dad was with me encouraging me to not feel pressured to settle down before I felt ready, or found what I wanted, needed, and what was right for me. I could feel him telling me that I deserved the best and that I should never settle or feel pressured.

Every word of the song spoke to me and I could actually hear Dad’s voice saying these words.

Run away, find you a lover
Go away somewhere all bright and new
I have seen no other
Who compares with you
You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free
Run away, go find a lover
Run away, let your heart be your guide
You deserve the deepest of cover
You belong in that home by and by

 

I’ve always done things my own way. Dad understood that, even if it frustrated him at times. I do things my own way and in my own time. No one should ever feel pressured to do anything that they aren’t ready for or isn’t right for them. I want to be married and start a family, but when the timing is right and with a person that I feel is right for me.

Ali Fedotowsky talked about this in her May 3rd blog post titled Finding Myself After Motherhood. She talked about the issue going on in certain parts of Asia and how it is widely believed that an unmarried woman has expired at the age of 30.

Ali’s growth process and mental development seems very similar to mine. In her post, she talks about how she decided to become the Bachelorette at only 25 years old because she felt like she should be engaged and on her way to having kids, even though she didn’t quite feel ready.

Even in the LDS church there is that cultural pressure. I love the church and believe it to be true. However there is a definite culture, that I disagree with. And that’s the pressure to get married and start a family before you’re 30.

Lots of people do just know and feel ready for a lifelong commitment at a young age. I’m not one of those people. I was given a different path and I’ve needed different growing experiences to prepare me. I believe that God knows us each individually and knows what we need. I believe that you know when the time is right for you and when it’s not. He didn’t think that I was ready at 23 and neither did I.

Not everyone has it all figured out in their early 20’s and that’s fine. Timing is everything. When it’s right, it’s right and when it’s not, it’s not. I’m 29 and have the mentality of a 24/25 year old and I’m okay with that. I’m a free spirit who took a little longer to grow up and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I like who I am and Dad would probably tell me that I belong among the wildflowers.

 

What You Gonna Spend Your Free Life On?

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Lately I’ve been contemplating life and love, what it all means and why we’re each given different experiences. Well this morning a song popped up on my playlist just in time for a new post. I definitely believe that I have angels looking out for me.

Anyway, as I was listening to Free Life by Dan Wilson, I began to be ok with not having all of the answers and with nothing making any sense. Sometimes you just need to enjoy the journey and let everything unfold along the way. Life is funny like that. The opening of the song got me thinking about that.

Let’s take a little trip down where we used to go
It’s way beyond the strip, a place they call your soul
We’ll sit down for a while and let the evening roll
Don’t worry about the time, we’ll find a place to stay

It’s not always easy to sit back, relax and to just let the answers come in due time. As human beings we want all of our answers as soon as the questions develop. It’s just in our nature. But if we can learn to trust and to allow our spiritual nature to be more in control, then I can say for certain that it is so much more peaceful and a much more enjoyable way to live your life. We’re only given one life so shouldn’t we enjoy it and make it count?

Life was meant to be a learning experience as well as enjoyed. What would the purpose of life be if we already had all of the answers? Would there be any need to learn, progress, and develop as a person? Not all of life’s experiences will be enjoyable. I know that from personal experience, but you can still find blessings along the way. I don’t regret any of my failed relationships or hard times that I’ve had to go through. All of those experiences developed me as a person and answers to all of my questions were revealed over time. The next part of the song really got me reflecting on passed experiences as well as new ones.

And in the air the questions hang
Will we get to do something?
Who we gonna end up being?
How we gonna end up feeling?
What you gonna spend your free life on?

There is no way to know for sure what direction life will take you or what will happen along the way. However, you do have control over how you respond or let certain experiences affect you. Sometimes you just need to let whatever is going to happen just happen and make sense of it along the way. I firmly believe that whatever is meant to be will be and if it’s not, you’ll be lead in a new direction. I was thinking a lot about this, which is probably why the next part of the song spoke to me so loudly.

Let’s fall in love again with music as our guide
We’ll raise our ready hands and let go for the ride
Down into unknown lands where lovers need and hide


We got these lives for free, we don’t know where they’ve been
We don’t know where they’ll go when we are through with them
A starlight of the sun, the dark side of the moon

I obviously loved the “music as our guide” part, but this entire part of the song seemed to be a message of not allowing fear, doubt, or the memory of a bad experience hold you back from experiencing new ones, however they are meant to work out or not work out. As I’ve said before, it’s so much easier said than done but if we can all make a habit of just enjoying the here and now and letting answers unveil themselves along the way, then our minds we’ll be so much more clear and at peace. When we’re at peace and our minds are clear answers seem so much more obvious.

I can’t imagine that anyone actually wants to spend their life worrying or living in fear and doubt. So it’s up to you. What you gonna spend your free life on? 😏

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IceWvxaqMpk