Once upon a time, I had someone ask me, “Renee, are you happy?” I paused for a moment and looked at them with blank eyes and a little shock… and I said, “No, I’m not happy.”
It took me by surprise to see that I was living my life without joy and never stopped to really consider how it could be any different. This was a huge wake up call for me.
I wanted to be happy in my life, in fact, I wanted to be the happiest person I knew and at that particular time in my life, true joy and happiness seemed so far away. I could barely see the light.
I didn’t know that my joy and happiness were actually just a few breaths away from me. I didn’t see that my happiness and joy came from inside of me and not from outward circumstances.
The other day I was walking downtown near my home and I saw this sign that said “start your weekend on fleek”
Hmm… “on fleek” about my weekend… Oh, I probably have to tell you about what “on fleek” means because I didn’t know that new internet slang term until about 6 months ago, but before I get to that wisdom, I gotta share that on this particular day, I just felt like I wanted to cry constantly. Today I want to share 6 useful tools about how we find happiness when it seems so far and out of reach.
I wanted to know why I felt this sensation of tears welling up, tightness in my throat. Yes, my senses and empathy run stronger during this time in my cycle, no doubt. I wanted to feel excited and like this moment, my day or my weekend would be “on fleek”.
What is “on fleek”?
I learned this term when I was hanging for the day with some friends doing a photo shoot… Boswell and Melissa. I guess the term dates back to 2003, but it means “smooth, nice, sweet”.
For me, it wasn’t the term that triggered me on the sign, it was the idea that I didn’t feel in alignment. I felt like I wanted to hibernate. I wanted to crawl under a rock and cry. I didn’t know why and I wasn’t allowing myself the space to do it. I was pushing on through.
As it turned out I needed a lot of downtime, mediation, laughter, herbs, yoga and healthy foods. When that was done, I realized that I also needed to let myself open up and trust… Both physically and emotionally. I was reminded that it’s all figured out, I’m safe whichever path I choose. And…. I get to live “now” and that’s the best gift. I gave myself permission to feel my feelings and confront my fears. I chose to love myself enough and then I began to love my life. I appreciated the flowers and birds chirping and the beautiful elderly couple who walked down the street hand in hand. I diligently noticed my thoughts so I could keep my focus on these gorgeous gifts around me, instead of any loud thoughts from earlier in the day. That present moment space feels like freedom to me. That is what I crave most, freedom. I want to create and teach and dance and move and love… Part of my urge to cry was a deep feeling of missing my son that day and it was also a deep yearning for some quality time with ME.
*Give yourself the space to sit with yourself and just be. Breathe and move your body in whatever way feels best.
*Dance it out – seriously- moving your body, moves your mind
*Meditation practice (sit in silence for 10 + minutes and notice your thoughts)
*Call a friend and share yourself
*Spend time in nature
*Eat veggies or a have a drink with high vitamin and mineral contents.
And remember that if you want a smooth ride and an “on fleek” week or weekend… you must remember to love yourself enough to create space for yourself. It’s this space (even if it’s a 5-10 minutes) that will open you up to the fact that your joy comes from within, not from what’s going on outside of you.
PS. Oh and note that at the time of this, we are experience Mercury Retrograde. I never used to believe in this but now I pay attention because I have seen first hand the effects on life when Mercury (the planet) decides to stop moving or go backwards. It’s a time when we want to hibernate more, slow down, be more introspective and grow through some old patterns that don’t serve us
PPS. If you have been thinking about making changes to more fully love your life, I have 2 openings currently for my Love Your Life Coaching — a one on one coaching program that shows you how to Love Your Life, your body and be the happiest person you know. I’m doing free 30 minute phone interviews with people for this right now. In this session you’ll discover the biggest breakthrough holding you back in loving your life and the steps you need to take to get the happy outcome you desire. If you are ready for this, email Jackie (our chief of client happiness) right away so you can schedule with me. These two spots will fill fast and if you’re ready, take action now: firstname.lastname@example.org
To all my healthy friends and clients: if you feel like you know lots about this, please read again because these “fake” sweeteners are disguised in more and more healthy foods every single day. You gotta stay on top of this stuff.
Before I get to this though, I gotta share this brief story where I was super judgmental. It began in Mexico with me in a chair on the beach.
First, let me say this… everyone can experience judgment… even if they tell you otherwise, they aren’t really clear on how humanity works. Humans are designed to judge.
There is an awareness though, that I personally discovered for myself and it has allowed me to back up from the critical judgement I may feel in a moment and observe the situation with compassion or curiosity or humor, etc.
Okay, back to the beach in Mexico… I could hear people all around me ordering alcoholic drinks with Splenda (artificial sweetener). It was so common, almost like a new fad or something. As i noticed my judgement build up inside, I decided to do my whole back up thing to observe… I saw that these people around me were really trying to do their best. I can only assume that they wanted to have fun, drink their drinks and feel like they were being more health conscious while doing so.
People hear in the news about how terrible “sugar” is for you so they might naturally assume that the “Splenda” or artificial sweetener option is a better one.
They assumed wrong.
Consuming with artificial sweeteners is poisonous.
The argument these manufacturers use is that you consume less calories and avoid sugar. You may avoid sugar but you end up eating something just as bad if not worse and the argument of calories is the biggest hoax. It should mean nothing to you.
I was doing some assuming of my own… assuming that most of my newer clients know the truth about artificial sweeteners and I keep getting asked this question lately when I’m speaking too. Then I see the folks around me on vacation and I realize that there could be more awareness on the subject of how toxic artificial sweeteners are for us.
What tipped me over the edge was while I was eating my lunch outside, I saw a bird devour an entire packet of Splenda right next to me. I was yelling at the bird like an crazy lady… saying stop it, don’t eat that. It’s so bad for you. I was trying to get the bird to drop the packet. It just flew away with its Splenda drug so it could devour it in private.
The question is really who is the crazy person?
To put it simply, you are being fooled, we all are.
Food manufacturers are putting artificial sweeteners in packaged foods under different names so you don’t recognize them. I have personally seen them in the ingredients of some oatmeals and I hear that they are hidden in fruit juices like V8 and other packaged foods. Of course, we know they are inside soda touting to be zero or lower calories.
Please become a label-reading junky and use the list I give you below!
Read what you are eating and avoid packaged foods. Some could call this negative, I don’t… I call it a reality.
Knowledge is key and I want to encourage you to be empowered to make choices that support your health. You are not powerless over the food industry and I can help you come up with a plan to guide you.
Save the list below so you can check your packaged foods for these items and avoid them:
Sweet N Low
Hydrogenated Startch Hydrolysaates
*Data courtesy of Roberto Ferdman via Quartz. (qz.com)
Have you ever heard a conversation that sounded like this before?
You are so fat. You look terrible in that. I cannot believe you let yourself go. I cannot believe I have this health issue… how did this happen to me? I’m so angry at him, he doesn’t even listen to me. I’m such a bad mom. I cannot believe she lied to me… I cannot trust her. I cannot trust anyone! I cannot live like this anymore. I’m so sick of sugar controlling me…., tomorrow I’m going to stop eating it. I can’t go out tonight, I have nothing to wear. Nothing looks good on me and I don’t have anything to hide my fat stomach.
No doubt that these moments are deeply frustrating and depressing. The dialogue we have in our own minds can lead to the biggest thing that holds us back with our health, weight loss, happiness, relationships and getting exactly what we want. I will eventually teach you how to begin to change this dialogue with yourself. At the bottom of this page, you can register for my free video series and live webinar that is coming in about a week.
For now, I want to teach you an important law that you can take with you and practice today. For me personally, I have experienced noticing the strong critical judgment I had on myself over the years and it still comes up from time to time.
The law is this: everything that happens to you is part of the divine plan, stop judging it as right or wrong or good or bad.
Often your biggest flaws are often our greatest strengths and the more you get hung up on all of the bad things going on, you will not be able to move forward, heal and evolve. For example, your weight or disease or health or relationship crisis could be your best gift. It’s hard to see that when you are in the middle of it all and you’ll never see it if you stay attached to things being “good” or “bad” or “right” or “wrong”.
There is no such thing… it all “just IS”. It’s all as it “should” be.
The issue is your perception of the experience.
Here is a story to illustrate from a fantastic children’s book that I read to my son, called Zen Shorts:
There was once an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years.
One day, his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.
“Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it two other wild horses.
“Such good luck!” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the farmer.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown off, and broke his leg.
Again, the neighbors came to offer their sympathy on this misfortune.
“Such bad luck,” they said.
“Maybe,” answered the farmer.
The day after that, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army to fight in the war. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by.
“Such good luck!” cried the neighbors.
“Maybe,” said the farmer.
Good and bad get all mixed up.
You never know what will come next and how it will impact you.
Today, practice this law of non-judgment.
Judge yourself less. Judge others less and witness the situations you are in as neither good or bad.
It all just is.
Starting next week, I’m opening up the first of the 4 free videos I created on burning fat, winning at sugar cravings and getting more energy. I’m also going to be doing a LIVE webinar after these videos with Q&A. I cannot wait to connect with you.
To make sure you are in “the know” when it all begins, click here.
It Just IS,
PS. Be sure to be in the know when I unveil the free videos and details to be on the free webinar with me by clicking here.