I'm behind by a week but, let's be honest, no one cares (including myself). So I apologize if you got up early last Monday to get your weekly dose of what's going on inside Betsy Nooney's head, but I was busy. And trust me, what's laid before you was well worth the wait...
1. If you build it, they will come. I've been reading a lot lately on positivity and the climate of your mind. The most profound (and very summarized) lesson that has stuck with me is this: Instead of focusing on what you want to have, focus on how you want to feel, and then practice feeling that way. How would you feel if you had everything your heart desired? Maybe it's your dream home, 2.5 beautiful children, the perfect life partner, financial abundance...whatever it might be for you. Would you feel grateful? Would you feel complete and overwhelmed by all of your blessings? So take those feelings and shift them into this very moment. Practice living your day-to-day life with this outlook and, supposedly, you will attract all of the things you desire. The more we white-knuckle something, the harder it becomes to attract that very thing. Not to mention the idea that if something is meant to be, it will be, right? Having faith in something bigger, whether that be God in any form, the universe, what have you, helps us find peace in knowing that we're not the only ones in control. Sometimes you just have to trust that someone (or something) out there knows what they're doing and it'll all make sense someday. Now, I'm clearly no psychologist, but for whatever reason (scientific or bullshiteriffic) I believe this to be true. Here are some good resources that I've found helpful in creating the habit of positivity, if you will:
- You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero (currently reading this).
-The Desire Map, by Danielle LaPorte
-Meditation using manifestation (see my previous post here on meditation).
-The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne
-The Universe Has Your Back, by Gabrielle Bernstein
-A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles" by Marianne Williamson
-A Course in Miracles, by Foundation For Inner Peace. This is a hard read, but wanted to reference it since I'm recommending a book BASED on this book. "A Return to Love" breaks this text down beautifully, and it's much easier to read.
2. Just say no. Why is it so hard to simply say, "no thanks?" I always find the need to provide a lengthy explanation as to why I might be letting someone down. Because why? I have a life of my own and other obligations? Or maybe I just need some "me" time and want to stay in and snuggle with my dog. Whatever the reason, no one REALLY cares. If someone gets upset b/c you deny their invitation to brunch, then you probably need to get a new friend. Now, this is a work-in-progress for me. Remember, I write about things going on in my head b/c they're current and relevant to my life, not because I'm on expert on them. But maybe what helps me will also help you. My struggle with saying no or not committing when I don't actually have something else planned yet is more about me having FOMO and being a people-pleaser than it is about them being crushed over my absence. Of course people want us on their social calendar! Because duh, we're fun and they probably really like us...so that's a good thing. But too much of a good thing can still be too much. Listen to what you need and do what makes you happy. No one can fault you for that, and they'll be another brunch invitation next week.
3. Get out. We all get stuck in our ruts and routines now and then. In fact, I would venture to guess that many of us are pretty comfortable here, myself included. I like being organized, feeling healthy and having my life-long to-do list generally checked off in a timely manner. But that's no way to really LIVE, right? Of course not. In comes vacation. Hello my little friend! Thank you for shaking things up and reminding me that there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored and to teach me lessons! Don't get me wrong, getting to the point of being on vacation can be pretty stressful and, therefore, easy to put off. I HATE packing with a vengeance. (I still think there should be a "trip-packing business," so can someone get on that and sign me up for your pilot services while it's still cheap and you're trying to build clientele? Cuz that'd be greeeaaatt). And let's not forget that trips get expensive and you have to take time away from work (which usually means taking more time to work when you return). Who's going to watch your kids (if you're not planning on taking them with you) or your dog while you're gone? But fast forward to the airport (post-security line) and I'm in adventure mode. No more tracking everything that goes into my mouth, no schedule or agenda (for the most part) no appropriate time for a glass of wine (because any and every time is a good time for that on vacay), and no denying fun when it crosses my path. I want to be spontaneous and perhaps push my limits a little. It gives me life! We all need to make the effort to get out of our comfort zone once in awhile and remember why we're here...to be good people and to enjoy the experience of life.
4. Speaking of getting out. I'm on vacation, and it's heavenly. A lot of people have asked me for details on where we're staying, so here's the skinny: We rented a house in a gated community (The Lagoons) via VRBO, and I can't recommend it enough! This place is THE SHIT. Here is the link to our specific home. There are 10 of us, and we each paid $1050 total for 4 nights/5 days, including a full staff (maid, butler and cook), all of our food and drinks (alcoholic and non), transportation to/from airport, customs rep (to skip the line...VERY worth it), and all gratuities. Plenty of room and very luxe w/ sixty three 5-star reviews on VRBO. Who's coming back here with me?!
5. It's the little pieces that make the big picture. So, what do 10 party-ready adults in a huge house in paradise, mostly native Chicagoans, get into on vacation? Maybe hit up some clubs in town or have a dance party at 3am? Perhaps a little beer pong by the pool, or skinny-dipping at midnight. Nope. We did a puzzle. I'm talking a solid 6-8 hours of staring at tiny cardboard cut-outs on the veranda. You know how coloring books are all the rage now b/c they're supposed to be relaxing and therapeutic? I'd put doing a puzzle right up there with that sort of activity. It was obsessively enjoyable! I'm going to buy one when I get back to Chicago and get busy on my new-found hobby. Such a fun, old-fashioned activity! So go get a puzzle, a nice bottle of wine and, get piecing that shit together!