Apr 2, 2012

The Happiness Project: April

I'm trying to be a little more on the ball this month.

My March resolutions went pretty well, except for the flossing.  I don't know why adding that to my routine is so hard.  Maybe because I can't wait to fall in bed at night and I don't want to do one more thing.  Maybe I should floss in the morning!  There's an idea.

I think that the evening tidy-up routine added to my happiness.  It mostly added to my happiness in the morning, when I didn't wake up to chaos.  On the mornings when I did wake up to chaos, I was definitely less happy.  Being more responsible with the clothes in my bedroom led to being more responsible with my laundry in general (i.e. not allowing "laundry day" to turn into "laundry three days") and to keeping my room tidier in general.  Are you noticing a theme here?  Tidy Heidi=Happy Heidi.  I have too much clutter in my head to cope well with clutter in my home environment.  But apparently clutter between my teeth doesn't matter.

I also read our Church magazines (Ensign and The Friend) cover to cover.  I read the April issues the day they arrived in the mail, but I'm still working on March.  Anyway, my favorite Ensign article was by Elder Bednar.  I loved his thoughts on grace and the Savior's atonement.  And every time I read The Friend I think about what a fantastic family resource it is!  I'm trying to think of ways to bribe encourage my children to read it.  Your thoughts?

For April resolutions, I'm not even going to look up my original plan, because I know I need to do something else.  Last week I read "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene' Brown and l.o.v.e.d it.  Brown's "guide to a wholehearted life" spoke to my soul.  Maybe its precepts are the steps to happiness that I have been looking for.   The very first paragraph of the book  embodies the idea that I want to shape the next month:

"Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.  It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.  It's going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging."

Beautiful, yes?

So, in an effort to apply some of Brown's "guideposts," here are my resolutions for April:

1.  Be kind to myself.  Redirect my inner critic.
2.  Practice gratitude, especially when I'm feeling vulnerable.
3.  Replace emotionally numbing behaviors (for me: TV and sugar) with more constructive activities.
4.  Practice positive affirmations (based on what I learned at General Conference).

If you haven't read anything by Brene' Brown, you're in for a treat.  For a dose of her work, enjoy this video.  Happy April!

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