Here’s a thought… The universe will respond with the same energy that you put into it. I’ve always thought I was someone who believed in decisions rather than destiny, and definitely in people rather than the “universe”, but the more I think about and experience them, the gap seems to be lessening and lessening between any one of these things.
I’m finding a pattern in all the literature about becoming happy or making life changes, and it is in the belief that we each have the power to manifest whatever lives we choose (choose being a key word here in that we can also subconsciously choose to lead a life in an opposing direction than what we want or think we want). In short, our brains are powerful computers with the ability to create and process our own realities, and an equally powerful tendency to underestimate and second-guess themselves.
When it comes to cultivating happiness, it’s not such a strange leap to focus on health and wellness. But what is strange is that when we talk about health and wellness, we almost always think in terms of fitness, of taking away and depriving rather than supplementing and reprogramming, of discipline rather than ease, and of the body rather than the whole being.
What’s more, when we talk about ailments of the mind like anxiety, or depression, or something as universal as stress, we surround them with stigmas of shame or weakness, we shroud them in secrecy, and we fail to get to the roots of the problem.
If you take, for instance, someone who is 23-years-old and has a degree in dance and has been living in Switzerland for 3 months, agonizing over what she wants to do with her life, and you take a deeper look at why she feels troubled, you might find that her state of discontent is actually self-perpetuated. You might delve into the reasons why she secretly wants to remain stagnant and you’ll discover that she finds comfort in familiarity. You might even find that feeling lost seems easier than admitting to herself that she knows exactly what she wants, but doesn’t truly believe she’s capable or worthy of achieving it.
Self-knowledge is a fucking can of worms; but once you open it, you start emboldening yourself to move forward, to grow, and to awaken to the person you know yourself to be.
For me, I’m starting small. I can’t take on all my anxious, self-loathing insecurities at once, so I’ll just take it one step at a time. My first goal for myself (and I’m announcing this publicly so as to be held more accountable) is to spend a little less time in the bathroom everyday- for those of you that are thinking “what the hell does that have to do with anything,” let me explain…
I’ve noticed, living with my aunt and uncle and infringing upon their hospitality, the inexplicably (though I’ll try) long amount of time it takes me to get ready each morning…
I pee, I try to remember the details of some strange dream I just had, I yawn, I stretch, I crack my spine and neck and toes and everything else that will crack, I wash my face, I take out and clean my retainer like a grandma with dentures, I brush my actual teeth, I try to groom my hair into some kind of acceptable shape, I eventually give up and take a shower instead, I stand under the hot water and try to motivate myself to turn it off, I squeegee the steamed up mirror, I dry my hair, I put in my contacts- now able to see my face- I get distracted by some unruly pimples, I squeeze said pimples and make my face a red, swollen, masterpiece of shame, I proceed to cover said masterpiece with layers of makeup that probably caused the pimples in the first place, I look myself in the eye and scold myself for perpetuating this vicious cycle, I look at the time, I’ve been in the bathroom for an hour and I’m not even dressed yet... “shit”.
If I take a minute to think this all through, I can admit to myself that I’m hiding. The girl smiling mindlessly in the foreground really feels like the little boy crying in the corner. My hour in this tiny, private room is really time spent obsessing over what I can’t fix in the mirror’s reflection and dawdling in an attempt to ignore what’s really scaring me, that today is a new day and I’m not going to do anything different from yesterday.
The hardest part of my day is always starting it; and the more this happens, the more it feels like the days are getting away from me. So here’s my goal, to get myself past all the procrastinating, through the front door, into the cold, all wrapped up and bundled and tired and imperfect, but out there nonetheless. If I can do that, then maybe the days in turn will reach out to greet me with a new sense of purpose and possibility.