Monday, 12 January 2009

Think of something that makes your whole person smile

I left a note on Vegan Chick's blog as a response to her entry Breaking Out of that Comfort Zone. She had posted a list of really adventurous things she intends to try in 2009, things like, 'Learn to play an instrument', 'Go whale watching,' 'Write a book'! Just reading her lists made me feel uneasy--thinking of stepping out and doing things, I mean. So I asked her how I can break out a bit. In her response, she advised me, 'Think of something that makes your whole person smile. Do that. Every day.'

Hmm. This is going to take some time. Just off hand, I can't think of anything that makes my whole person smile. I can think of things I've accomplished, things I'm proud of, things I enjoy, things I esteem, things I aspire to, things that I am moved by, things that annoy me, things that challenge me, and things that make me cry. But I can't, off the bat, think of anything that 'makes my whole person smile'.

'Think for a second,' Vegan Chick wrote to me, '--what makes you laugh? What makes you smile? What makes you happy inside? Choose something very small to do that makes you feel good. Very small. Whatever that means for you.'

Well, umm, it makes me feel good to work out. I have to admit I really enjoy doing my home exercise DVDs. I enjoy them while I'm doing them, and I enjoy the way I feel after I've finished.

It makes me feel good to go out into the British countryside and hike along a well-established and way-marked trail. That is one of my favourite things to do, ever. (As long as it's not overrun with other walkers. In this, Wainwright and I are in agreement!)

It makes me happy to write and doodle in my journal. I enjoy writing things down and parsing out the days. (Although lately, it's become a bit alarming to me how many of these days have slipped by in what I've thought of until lately as 'routine contentment' but which I am now beginning to suspect is actually a plain old rut).

Something small. Very small. Something very small that makes me happy.


Sparkly things.


Writing my blog.

Reading other blogs and checking my message boards...

I don't know. I can't think. I think this is because I don't really do anything. Not in the sense Vegan Chick must have meant. I'm a very solitary person; all my pursuits and my comfort zone are, well, insular. But some part of me must want to break out. I put it all here on this blog nobody reads (present company excepted). I will open up to anyone who gives me a chance. But there's just this feeling that something's out of balance, and I think Vegan Chick hit it when she said,

'We have each been given certain gifts. But these gifts are not for us. They are for others. We can open the gift, but we must give it away. And not to do that is being selfish and irresponsible.'

The universe keeps sending me this message.

It may be time for me to stop hiding from it.


Jeni Treehugger said...

WOW! I really loved that and what Vegan Chick wrote too.
Got a lot to think about myself now......
I'm also a very solitary person so we have this in common as well. Oooh and walking in the countryside is my top fave thing to do and I'm partial to sparkly things as well......
Happy New Year to you by the by and listen to the universe - it knows what it's doing even if no-one else does.

Anna Down Under said...

It is hard, isn't it? The only thing that I could come up with is singing! That's one time when I feel good down to my soul. I don't mean singing karaoke or even singing at a paid gig -- those are fun, but I'm usually feeling some nerves then. I mean when I just put on my favorite song and sing along with everything that's in me.

And right now -- I might add walking to that. LOL I seem to look for ways to get out and do more of it these days. :)

Maybe start by asking yourself who you most look up to or aspire to be like. Then ask yourself what qualities that person has that you admire so much -- or what is it they do that you aspire to do. Maybe that's one of the things that would make your whole being smile if you did it? Maybe -- it's a place to start for ideas anyway.

anonymous said...

You once sent me a lotus for recommending that you get out more, rather than being overly concerned with your 'self'. I note that I recommended 'tennis or something'.

When I was more affluent I used to rent a house for a couple of years that had its own large tennis court. I probably played for a couple of hours every week, and usually played with guests for an hour before lunch.

As for it being a competitive sport, it is if you keep score, but we never kept score, never worried about the lines, just kept running up and down hitting the ball and enjoying the workout.

It doesn't matter what you do as long as you enjoy it (and it's morally sound and legal).

What I enjoy is to go to places like Calcutta, India where there are many street people. I just walk around the streets and throw a couple of hundred rupees into each temporary dwelling, especially where there are kids. I don't stop and chat, I prefer the surprise, out of the blue approach. This amount is not much, around five bucks, but enough to keep a family going for a couple of days, and when I've done around
80 families during the course of my stay, that's it (I probably earn half of what you do).

Not surprisingly, when I stop to indulge myself in some Indian sweets, they taste heavenly.