The Mind is a terrible thing to not control!

Been at this self-improvement thing for a few years now.  Been working on improving my mind, communication, etc.  My body is the last part of the process because without a strong mind, conquering the body improvement is impossible!

I wouldn’t have been able to make this endeavor possible without the work I put into my mind.  Clearly, that’s why I’ve been so unsuccessful over the years at permanent weight loss!

After being diagnosed with depression a few years back, I began to put all my efforts into understanding the mind…how it works, why it works the way it does, what affects the way it works, etc.  It has been an enlightening process.

I’ve learned what exactly makes ME happy and what sends me into the fastest downward spiral to hell!  My 20s have been my own personal hell and also the most fascinating for me.  I’ve suffered, but I’ve been able to pull myself out of places that I never want to ever go back to!  It’s the journey I’ve been on that I wouldn’t trade for the world!  I’ve learned more about myself in the past 9/10 years that makes the last decade worth it. 

I’m in a place of peace with myself.  I’ve learned that I need to be ME.  I need to be honest with MYSELF.  I needed to know who I was before I could find the peace I’ve been searching for for so long.  During my process of healing my mind, I would complain that my husband and I never seem to do what I want to do.  So he asked me what I enjoy doing.  I DIDN’T KNOW!  That was an awakening moment!  How could I be so far into my life and not know what makes me happy?  Then I went thru the process of figuring out what makes me happy.  I had ideas of what I thought would, until I was actually doing the things and learned that they didn’t make me happy at all.  So many times people THINK they know what they want until they actually have it and realize its not what they wanted at all. 

The first thing I tackled in the self-improvement process was recognizing not to sweat the small stuff!  In my mind, my husband not doing the dishes was just as serious as a car accident!  How dare he not do the dishes!  Seriously!  Is it that important that the dishes get done?  Once I realized the difference between the small stuff and big stuff, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders!  If the house isn’t clean all the time or the grass gets a little long…who cares, why does it matter?  It just means my time is spent doing more important stuff.  When the little things need to get done, they will get done.  In the meantime, why worry about it?  I remind myself that if I die tomorrow, I would rather die knowing I spent my time with my family enjoying them rather than in the kitchen doing dishes. 

I used to worry too much of what people thought about me.  To the point that it was controlling my happiness or lack there of!  I always knew it was my biggest mind control problem, but was too weak to fight it.  I’m a creature of research…I NEED information!  The more I know the better I can tackle something.  I went on a search to understand the mind.  I found THE book to explain this and it changed my life!  “You Can Be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective” by Richard Carlson…the best book I’ve ever read.  It was just the thing I needed.  Once I finished it, the switch was made in my mind.  It was quite an A-HA moment.  I urged my husband to read it because I knew it would help him too.  He always scoffed at all my self-help books.  Eventually he did read it and agreed it was THE book to read!  At times we remind each other to re-read the book 😉

My rolfer told me that people keep too much bottled up inside and don’t speak their minds enough..always worrying what people will think and take things the wrong way.  She said when we hold our words back, the stress stays in the jaw.  I can attest to this!  I started to speak more of my mind.   I used to worry SO much about saying the wrong thing.  Now, sometimes I do as my husband so often points out, but I react now by saying “who cares!  if they are offended, that’s their problem!  i have a right to say things just as much as everyone else!”. 

Another thing I’ve learned is what sends me into the downward spiral…not having control of MY time.  When I feel like everyone else is controlling my free time, I start heading downhill.  I found this out this past May.  My husband and I decided to not go anywhere the entire month of May (on weekends).  We were in for another Summer of traveling on weekends and wanted to stay home to concentrate on our needs before our time was no longer ours.  This past May I experienced pure JOY!  I truly was HAPPY!  Real happy!  I couldn’t believe what I was experiencing.  Soon the traveling started and I started the spiral.  It became very evident that when I’m not in control on my time, I’m not happy.  This information makes my life that much easier!  I know now WHY I spiral and how to keep me happy.  I can talk myself thru the spiral and not let myself go to far down.  I try and make the best of these times…find ways to enjoy them.

I’ve been SO fortunate to have a wonderful understanding husband who has stayed with me thru the BAD years.  We are headed into another 10 years together and I KNOW they will be incredible.  I’m sure we will have challenges, but we are both in better places with ourselves to tackle them together.  We’ve both learned and continue to learn who we are and grow WITH each other rather than apart.  It certainly hasn’t been easy by no means.  But our relationship is stronger than ever and we can tackle anything as long as we stay as a team.  We are quick to remind each other when we have lost control of our minds and are letting the thoughts take over.  After the dust settles, we realize it ourselves and thank the other for the reminder…something that wasn’t possible before reading the book mentioned above.

I’ve been in constant self-improvement mode for a few years now.  It’s amazing how much you notice about yourself and others when you actually pay attention and know what to look for.

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