Purely anecdotal but I do not know a lot of latinas who make their own personal happiness a priority, including myself. I got to thinking about this while listening to a podcast called Over It and On With It where life coach, Christine Hassler asked a listener whether she thinks she deserves to be happy. The listener responded with a flood of personal beliefs about happiness which including that being happy means being careless and irresponsible and selfish. When she spoke those words, I was like, “Yes, those are my beliefs too.” It clicked for me. I wish it hadn’t and I wish this is not what I believed. I know this not right or healthy but I totally identified with that listener. This does not make being happy an easy process. I resist it. I come from two immigrant parents who worked really hard for a long time. They valued hard work. I remember my mom always saying we should marry a hard worker. She didn’t say anything about a nice guy or someone who will treat us right or be faithful, it was simply, find a hard worker. And always BE a hard worker. And take care of your family and don’t you dare be selfish and you have to do what’s best for the family and not just for you. Don’t be selfish. My mom’s words have changed a lot and now she just wants us to be happy but undoing all that programming is not easy and takes time.
I read about happiness, relationships, personal development. I listen to podcasts along the same genre. I also write affirmations, exercise, do yoga, try to sleep 8 hours a night. It is working but I still have a hard time putting myself first. I have a hard time doing what is best for me and investing in myself. I now try to surround myself with people who make me happy. I make it convenient so I see these people often and keep in contact with them. But those stupid beliefs still get to me. I’ll have an amazing day spending it with people who I love, full of laughter and games and great food. But toward the end of the day, I start feeling scared and nervous like something bad is going to happen. Like this is too good to be true. I still get scared. I want to allow myself to be happy. I want to take it all in and not worry about the bad, just because things are so good.
I deserve to be happy. And I will do the things I need to do to be happy. And I will experiment and I will get things wrong and I will try again and then try something different. But remember, you deserve to be happy no matter what people told you growing up or no matter what you saw growing up. YOU deserve to be happy. Do one thing today for yourself that will make you happy. And then keep doing it. And then a month from, do a new thing that will make you happy. And then keep doing it. Fill your life with all these things/people/actions/job that make you happy and then there won’t be room for any of that negativity.
I read the Happiness Project and couldn’t help but love the organization of Gretchen Rubin’s plan to make yourself happier. Not all people are going to love such a systematic approach to happiness but it appealed to me and my personality. After establishing your personal commandments for the year, you establish the 12 areas of your life you would like to see an increase in happiness. Each area will be a focus for each month of the year.
I read the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I’ve decided to create my own Happiness Project this year just to give me a constant nudge to think about what makes me happy and a reminder to keep doing those things.
Project begins by identifying personal commandments that you use or want to adopt for your life that encourage your own kind of happiness. Here are mine:
Be the kind of woman I want my daughters to be
Forget the Past
Let go, Let God
Stay In Touch
I am always more than enough
Be silly, be playful
First, mother yourself
Be a haven, a sanctuary
Be a treasure house of good memories
Smile to yourself
What other people think of me is none of my business
There are no wrong choices
All the heavy things, just let them go
I am not a victim, I am a Creator of my beautiful life.
I like to look at these commandments at the beginning of the day or when I am feeling sad or stressed out.
Next step: Identify 12 areas from your life where you want to be more happy and fulfilled.
I hear everyone saying that 2016 was the worst. Coincidentally, it was a tough year for me and it was not just because of the elections. However, the elections was some pretty disgusting icing on a cake straight out of the Trunchbull’s oven (read the book Matilda). This year was full of moves, new jobs, dealing with some painful family issues and relationship trouble. I was in the thick of it for about six months and I never want to be there again. But I know really important lessons come from pain and I need to look at 2016 as a teacher.
So what did I learn?
I do not have control over a lot of things. Like all external things. It is not my responsibility to fix everything and it’s okay. Focus on me and my inner calm.
Connecting with friends is so important for my own mental health.
Writing and journaling are my healers.
Worrying did not help any.
Kind people are the best!
Doing something different, something new, will help you.
Plan more next time when a transition is heading your way. You need it and deserve it.
Give yourself the time to transition and rest.
Sister are angels.
What did I accomplish?
I moved closer to family and I see my sisters more often
I journal more
I read more books
I am earning the highest income ever and saving roughly 50% of my income.
I found a job with coworkers I like
I started a blog with my sisters
I have a new and lovely home.
What do I want for 2017? I am still designing my master plan for this year but I am really excited and optimistic and unicorns and rainbows are involved. Yes, that excited. -Leti