I Know the Secret to Happiness…

I know the secret to happiness and it is easy; happiness is something every human being can attain.  I can sum it up in one simple word “gratitude”.  Folk like Oprah have been preaching about an attitude of gratitude for well over a decade, but it is 100% the truth and logical when you think about it. 

My lowest moments of life have been when I  focused on what I don’t have and I have completely ignored the bountiful blessings which surround me.  Often superficial and unimportant desires such as not being able to go on a fancy trip, not being able to afford a car I want, losing out on a career opportunity to someone else and then comparing myself to others.  Thoughts like I am too slow, I am not smart enough, I feel stuck, I should be making more money, I should be in better shape, I should be more assertive, I should be more confident or the pity party attitude of “why not me?”.  Thinking I am good enough, I am smart enough, I am worthy enough, I work hard enough; why not me?  Thinking “why not me” is better than thinking “I am a loser”, but it can still keep you stuck in the “I should” have more.  

I used to grumble to my Dad about my lacking in life because my Dad always had this amazing ability to remain positive in the adversity of my Debbie Downer attitude. He would say, “If your Grandmother were alive today she would say you deserve a good swift kick in the rear end!”.  He would then go onto say how lucky I was and how much I had accomplished in life and how so many people would give anything to have the life I have.  He would go through the list of positive things currently in my life and from my past; he would talk about the water view I had from my then small apartment, the countries I had traveled to, the education I had, the pets in my life, the friends I have, how my parents love me, my brothers love me and he would go on and on until I knew I had no reason to be so upset with my life and what was missing from it.  

We can make ourselves miserable when we focus on what is wrong and what we don’t have, but when you start to count your blessings no matter how small, you start to feel humbled and you begin to appreciate the abundance in your life even if it doesn’t portray societal standards of success or happiness.  

I started a self help book by Gabrielle Bernstein, May Cause Miracles, and each day there are exercises to complete, one day I had to make a list of ten things I was grateful for (think it was ten) and I did not have a great day earlier, but by making the list of ten whatevers I was grateful for, it flipped my mood around.

When you focus on being grateful for what you do have, it is impossible to remain down trodden.  Anyone can do this and I understand some of us do have exceptionally hard lives, but one can still look at what they do have.  

The choice belongs to us.  We can choose to focus on what is wrong or what we don’t have and want or we can be grateful for what we do have and what is right in our lives.  

Oprah said if we write down three things we are grateful for daily, our lives would change for the better aka feeling more at peace and happy.

It is easy to do!  I dare you to try making a list of ten things you are grateful for today and watch your mood transform.  

Here is my list: 

  1. I am grateful for this warm sunny September Sunday
  2. I am grateful for the cool breeze coming off the Atlantic Ocean
  3. I am grateful I don’t have to work on weekends
  4. I am grateful I was able to Skype with my brother in Korea this morning
  5. I am grateful for the comfortable bed I sleep in every night 
  6. I am grateful for the chicken sandwich Brian picked up for me at lunch today
  7. I am grateful for my good health 
  8. I am grateful for the walk I will be going on this afternoon 
  9. I am grateful for having cold water to drink
  10. I am grateful for the hot shower this morning 

Your list doesn’t have to be exceptional and most of what I listed are things which are free to everyone to enjoy.  

I hope this blog helped someone realize there is much to be grateful for and much reason to be alive. 

Gratitude equals happiness 

 Peace & love – Rachel 

Day 22 – Summer 2018 Mins Game 

It is starting to become more challenging.  I did another cull of my bookshelf and I may have to get creative for the next eighty remaining days.  

Today’s purge included the following:

1-10 Magnets

11-14 Books 

15-16 Magnets

17 A stale pack of Halls

18-19 Salad toppings

20 Expired lemon juice

21-22 Old Batteries 

Peace & Love – Rachel 

Day 21 – Summer 2018 Mins Game 

Today’s purge is a biggie!  I culled the closet to see what I could find & I found a lot.  I probably could have selected a few more items and I may before the end of this minimalism challenge, but I still find myself attached to some things, which I want to give another chance.

Do you ever find yourself holding a piece of clothing saying “I haven’t worn you in well over a year, BUT I do plan to wear you again”.  That was me tonight. 

You will find in the above picture the following items:

1-7 T-shirts

8-9 Hats

10-13 Shoes

14 Garment bag

15 Pillow Case

16-19 Sweaters

20 A running jacket 

21 A fleece 

It is all going to charity and I was able to set aside a special bag containing the nicest items of this purge to give to a friend’s friend who struggles financially.  

I have now reached a total of 231 items purged from my space.  It feels good to get rid of stuff.  

Peace & Love – Rachel 

Day 20 – Summer 2018 Mins Game 

Today is day 20 of the #minsgame; it is getting harder, but not so hard that I am coming up empty.  

Today’s purge involved the bathroom cupboards and I came up with the following: 

1-10 A variety of skin products to be tossed 

11-12 Choker necklaces

13 Old crusty contact lens container 

14-16 Hair clips

17 Travel toothpaste in packaging 

18 EOS hand cream in packaging 

19 Nail brush never used in packaging 

20 Bracelet 

All of the products in original packaging will be going to charity, including accessories. 

Peace & Love – Rachel

Day 19 – Summer 2018 Mins Game 

I almost didn’t post this today as I am dead beat from the heat wave which has infected Nova Scotia.  The humidity is sucking the life force out of me, and thank God for air conditioning which I have at home, sadly not in the archaic building I work in.  

Today’s purge is another mish mash of pure randomness. 

1-9 Batteries to recycle 

10-12 Ketchup packs (I only like ketchup on my KD) 

13-16 Mugs

17 Dish towel

18 Instruction manual on an aromatherapy mister

19 La pièce de résistance – my Britney Spears magnet

Yep, that is my Britney, but I am moving into a place with a stainless steel fridge and having magnets all over stuff does not jive with my minimalism jam.  I plan to donate Britney for auction to raise money for kitty rescues.  I would totally bid on her.  

She will forever live in my iPod and in my memories…

Peace & Love – Rachel 

Day 18 – Summer 2018 Mins Game

I was away for a few days visiting my parents in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia.  I am behind by four days for the Mins Game, but I am going to continue on instead of playing catch up.  

Today’s purge for day 18 are the following: 

1. A wall ornament from Thailand 

2. Sweater

3. Red velvet blazer 

4. Old IPad box 

5. Stamps 

6. Sponge 

7. Coffee mug

8. Crochet thing???

9. Baby shower ornament from my Niece’s birth 

10. Christmas ornament 

11. Hairspray

12. Expired sun screen 

13. Nail file 

14. Wash cloth for dishes 

15 – 18. T-shirts

Today’s purge was a mish mash of stuff. I am excited to look at getting rid of some bigger items and create more space.  I love purging; it is a great release.  Especially after I visit my parents who hold onto everything…  Visiting their home is pure chaos.  Clutter is chaos.  Clutter is even known to increase depression; I can see why!  

Back to purging until day 30!  

Peace & Love – Rachel 

Day 17 – Summer 2018 Mins Game 

I am beyond exhausted tonight, but I have a purge of 17 items.  

1 Wash cloth

2 Wonder Woman Pez Dispenser 

3-8 Coat hangers 

9-12 Books

13-16 T-shirts 

17 Wrap blanket 

Not much of a blog tonight.  I feel overwhelmed by how much stuff I need to get rid of, and there always seems to be more which needs to go.  

Peace & Love – Rachel