Tag Archives: Wellness

Happiness Project Update 2: Humor Seeker, Dancing Fool, and Big Pants Wearer

11 Jun

Part of squeezing every drop of juice from this lemon includes having a Tony Soprano sit-down with yourself.

And you don’t mess around with Tony.

So in order to start off this Happiness Project right and fine tune my 12-step-resolution program, I needed to ask myself some questions and answer straight up.

Image via Happiness-Project.com

Gretchen Rubin suggested a couple of basic questions that get to the nitty-gritty. So after wracking my brain to answer honestly I finally came up with my resolutions. As I mentioned before the first step is wellness. Spiritual, mental, and physical wellness.

It appeared to be something important, sort of like gas in a car, or Gatorade during a basketball game. You know… essential. So I decided that for the next couple of weeks I’d do my best to seek out wellness through concrete actions.

Now considering my current issues, seeing a shrink would have been a wise choice for jump starting step one, but they always seem to ask you more questions and give you fewer answers. You know, the why are you here today, how can I help you, and why don’t you tell me what you think it means kind of stuff. They know what’s wrong with you, but they strongly believe in letting you figure it out yourself, like a math teacher does with word problems.  Dude. C’mon now, this is not algebra. This is life. So I thought I would save myself the trouble and money, and just go about it this way.

So as I was going about defining wellness, I thought of one of the commandments that Rubin uses to keep herself in check. “Be Gretchen.”

In my case: Be The Guat.  I’ve never really forgotten to be myself, nor have I pretended to be someone else. In truth, I’ve never had enough money to do something like that. I guess that’s the advantage of growing up in the barrio. I’ve gotten lost from time to time, but eventually I find myself again. Something lights a fire under my ass. A picture, a conversation, a quote.

I was reminded of this “Be and Accept Yourself” message a long time ago and that scenario has sort of stuck with me. Where did I find this great piece of knowledge? Breaking Bad on AMC. Real existential, I know. But it is a good show and I’ve never forgotten the speech.

Jesse: You either run from things, or you face them, Mr. White.
Walt: And what exactly does that mean?
Jesse: I learned it in rehab. It’s all about accepting who you really are. I accept who I am.
Walt: And who are you?
Jesse: I’m the bad guy.

I didn’t go to rehab and I’m not the bad guy. But this exchange sort of put it out there for me and I’ve never really looked back. I am who I am. I know Popeye said it back in the day, but Jesse from Breaking Bad sounded a lot better.

So in my quest for wellness, this rule, guideline, commandment, whatever it is you want to brand it kept me in check when answering my questions.

In achieving wellness, I decided to start with spiritual wellness. I wasn’t thinking so much of God or a higher power, that kind of spiritualism. I was thinking more along the lines of my own inner spirit — The Guat Spirit  —  and I’ve found that a couple of simple things help me stay tuned with my spiritual wellness. Humor. Dancing. Food.

I need to laugh at least once a day, and if it didn’t happen throughout the course of the day with my kids or friends naturally, I went to step two. I looked through old books, quotes, movies, or television shows that have cracked me up. Visiting other people’s blogs have helped me out on this one too. So far so good. Has it made me happier? Can’t say … it’s only been a week, but we’ll see.

Dancing. Everybody has their feel-good songs. I realized that I needed to listen to at least one of my feel-good songs on a daily basis. Whether it was old-school, country, R&B, Top 40,cumbias, or merengues. Once a day to get my groove on. That seemed to pep me up. It made washing the dishes less sucky.

Last but not least. Food. I realized that in this Weight-Watcher Jenny Craig conscious community I’m all about the food. I love it. I could care less about portion size or calories. If something is good. I’m gonna eat. If I crave something, I’m gonna get it.

All this worry about pounds and weight is not cool. I could get run over by a bus or semi-truck and die and never get the chance to eat that piece of awesome chocolate or the juicy steak, because I was worried about the calories or fat. Now I don’t go overboard either, or get crazy unhealthy. But I am a food lover and I exercise on a regular basis. So if I gain a pound or two, so be it. I’ll just buy bigger pants.

I take cue from Breaking Bad and Jesse.

I accept myself. I am the seeker of humor. I am the dancing fool in the privacy of my home and in public. I am the eater of food. I am the big pants wearer. It’s all good. Spiritual wellness on its way.

Happiness Project Update: Squeezing Every Drop of Juice Out of The Lemon

4 Jun

I couldn’t believe it when I read it. At first I was annoyed, then I was just angry, then I thought what the hell … why not?

This chick had everything she wanted and she was still not satisfied. What the hell is that? Why are you upset? Why are you having bouts of “midlife malaise”? What is your deal? If I was in your shoes … shit I’d be doing a cartwheels every day.

She had a great job, a good husband, a good home, and a nice kid. She traveled and she was passionate about something in her life, and it was paying off in all respects, so what was the problem? How could you not be ecstatic every day?

Only miserable people seek happiness right? Only people in states of depression want to get better, right? Only those with mediocre existences want to improve, right? You have a bad day, you want to turn it around. You have a bad life, you want to jump-start it in the opposite direction. Who’s happy now that seeks an even happier life? What kind of crazy person does that?

Image via Happiness-Project.com

Rubin. Crazy Gretchen Rubin.

After reading Rubin’s “Getting Started” section of The Happiness Project, I wondered why this chick even began a Happiness Project. I mean she wasn’t miserable. She was content with her life, but for some reason she was being sour. Not everyday all day, but apparently she wasn’t as happy as she thought she should be. She thought she was in danger of wasting her life, so she needed to make a change.

She was happy, but she wanted to be even happier.

I was irritated right off the bat.

But then my sports-minded side of the brain kicked it up a notch and help me understand. I realized, she’s like a professional athlete. Baseball player, football player, basketball player, cyclist … whatever. They know they’re good on the field or court, they just want to be better. They push. They just don’t play to win the game, they play to earn that championship trophy in the end. They’re good, they just want to be better.

They squeeze every drop of juice out of the lemon. She just wanted to do the same. She wanted to have that I’m-bungy-jumping-awesome feeling all the time.  She wanted to learn how to appreciate her good life, I guess.

Me, I just wanted to get there. I think people like myself who’ve gone through loads of crap on an ongoing basis, genuinely appreciate it when something awesome happens because it doesn’t happen everyday. If I got to where I was going, I’d stop off and have a drink to celebrate the awesomeness.

In any case I decided to forge on and create my own project. The only difference is I know I’m not happy, I’m just all right. I know I was meant for something better.

I mean c’mon … Is this it?

Shit, I hope not.

For the Happiness Project there are 12 resolutions. You work on one every month. But I was hoping to end the project in December so each resolution will be about three weeks. As she mentions, everyone’s project is different, but the aim is still the same.

This months resolution: Wellness. Rubin lists Energy/Vitality as her first basic stepping stone. However, I’m in a different boat. The Guat kind. So I figured wellness is a basic necessity for this project. Spiritually, Mentally, and Physically.

Humor is a key component for me. One of the tools in my box. It’s the stabilizing factor, and probably the reason why I haven’t jumped off a cliff. So it will probably be my wingman on this ride — on this adventure to squeeze every drop of juice out of the lemon.

Stay tuned.