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Leaning into the grey

Do you know someone who is ALWAYS happy? They seem to have a positive outlook all the time and nothing seems to phase them? I used to get annoyed that I didn’t seem to feel that way. I wasn't happy, content or whole. If you too get annoyed with the happy let me share with you with a little backstory that helped me appreciate the happy.

About 15 years ago, I had a moment that shook me yet I actively denied for years. I was with my kids and they were laughing, playing and genuinely enjoying each other. It was a moment any mother prayed for. Love, happiness and healthy! I remember asking myself why that wasn’t enough. I remember thinking there must be something wrong with me because I couldn’t remember the last time I truly laughed and felt happy. I couldn't understand why I felt so numb in the moments that I knew in my core I so deeply cherished. I shook off my moment and refocused on my kids. I tried to be present.

Fast forward about 10 years. I was reading Brené Browns, The Gifts of Imperfection shortly after my then husband and I separated. If you haven’t read it, it’s a must! The general gist of the book is that there are ten guideposts to wholehearted living that come from Brown's doctoral research . As you come back to my ramblings, you will hear many references to Brené and her work. It has been foundational for my healthy mind and healthy soul. The ten guideposts are as follows:

1. Be authentic

2. Give ourselves self-compassion

3. Build our resilience

4. Feel grateful and notice its connection to joy

5. Develop our intuition and trust

6. Express our creativity

7. Play and rest

8. Make time for calm and stillness

9. Seek meaningful work

10. Laugh, sing and dance

Within each of the guideposts are themes of courage, compassion and connection. I had my lightbulb moment when I learned that avoiding the bad and preparing for the worse didn't change the outcome, it only stole the true joy of the good. I realized I had been avoiding the dark and hard, avoiding the courageous conversations and trying so hard to be someone I wasn't that I lost my ability to feel the joy when it was present. WOW, that hit my soul hard. I had worked so diligently to mask what wasn't working in my marriage, denying my emotional needs tucking away my inability to communicate my them. I didn’t allow myself to feel the sadness or recognize my hurt. It became clear to me that I couldn't feel the authentic happiness and joy because a I was so busy avoiding “negative” and hard feelings.

Now, there are times that I see the grey and smile. I am reminded that the grey moments in life bring so much more color and joy to the happy! So lean into your grey and wrestle with what feels hard so you can celebrate the beautiful with vigor and live with your whole heart! #healthymind #healthybody #healthysoul #theanchoredsoulyoga

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