Parades, Fireworks, Stella, and Blue Water

So Gretchen Rubin is one of my favorite guru/writer/life coach/spiritual master/mentors. You know her from The Happiness Project, Better Than Before and the podcast Happier that I'm always talking about--or sending you ;)

She's always talking about her "Secrets of Adulthood," and encouraging readers and listeners to write their own manifestos and personal commandments. Here's a link to her instructions.

I decided in 2017 instead of more resolutions, I'd consider my own Personal Commandments:

  1. Do what makes you happy. Everyone benefits when I take time to do things that me happy: Yoga, meditating, going for a walk, listening to podcasts, writing. These things fill me up and make me feel alive. And then I don't feel anxious or hesitant about giving. I don't withdraw from contact--physical or emotional. Be mindful of this. If I pull away from hugs, touches, and requests for my time or attention, then I need to spend a few minutes taking better care of myself.
  2. Step outside your comfort zone. Just because I've never been a "hat person" doesn't mean I can't decide to start wearing hats. Although I have never enjoyed large groups of people, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy spending time with groups of people. Just because I never wrote a book, did a podcast, started a website...
  3. I'm good. At this point in my life, I know what works and a few things that are never going to work for me: running, hard core workouts, most crafts, building things, to name a few. I'm not going to become a runner. Ever. I will come watch you run a 5k, but I don't want to be part of it. Believe me, I admire you for doing it, and I am equally comfortable with my decision not to do it.
  4. Be an expert but let others be experts too. I wrote about this before. I know what I'm good at. I know what I aspire to and think I can become good. I also recognize areas that will never be my forte. Fortunately, I know other people who excel in areas where I do not. Bottom line: I am perfectly comfortable buying things on Etsy even if they would be "so easy to make."
  5. Fill your own love tank. It's far too much pressure to put on another person to make you feel loved and valued. Side note: When you don't love and accept yourself, no one else's adoration will ever make you feel whole. Experiences fill me up. Not tropical vacations necessarily--although those definitely work--but spending two hours laughing on the phone with my friend while she travels across the country. Doing yoga in front of the fire with lovely oils diffusing into my space. Cooking a fabulous meal, drinking a Stella, and listening to the music of Hamilton
  6. Love without strings attached. This is hard, but I'm still working on it. I have really high expectations for myself and that often spills over onto everyone around me. I love fireworks and parades. I get really excited about little things. I might want that in return. Example: Brad says, "Baby, you want a  coffee?" And I am: 
    Other people don't react that way. That is OKAY. Love for the act of loving. Give for the blessing of giving. And don't let expectations suck the joy out of the experience. 
  7. Invest in experiences not stuff. Pretty self-explanatory. Stuff gets old, dusty, breaks, goes out of style...experiences stay with you forever. Every year or so we get to visit our friend's house in Key Largo. We get in a boat and cruise through the mangroves out into the ocean. In just a few minutes--maybe two beers--the water changes from deep turquoise to the most amazing shade of aqua. Every single time I see that water, my breath catches at the beauty. I feel overwhelmingly grateful and completely humbled to be wrapped in the love of amazing people. You can't buy that shit.
  8. Never hesitate to say something kind. Even if it feels awkward or you're not sure how someone will respond. See 6. In the past, I've hesitated to say things for fear they would sound stupid. Sometimes they do. Here's the thing: If you're saying something kind, it's never stupid. When my dad died, people were so amazing. The texts, facebook messages, cards, emails...I will never forget how those words made me feel. I wrote about it here.
  9. You'll never regret exercise. In the time it takes to talk myself out of exercising or make 50 excuses not to, I can get a pretty good workout in. Not one time have I wished I hadn't exercised. Ssssshhhhhhh ... just do it. 
  10. Spend time outside. That's it. Nature soothes my soul.
  11. Smile. You are loved, loving and lovely. Just the way you are. With everyone's or with no one's approval.
Do you have Personal Commandments or a Manifesto?
That's awesome!!! Please share! I want to see them!!! **Parades and Fireworks**

This post brought to you by Christina Perri's Arms which I listened to 37 times while writing this morning.


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