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I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile.  Over the past few months, I’ve actively been trying to slow down a little and pay attention to what’s going on around me.  Living in NYC, you can bet that I’ve noticed a lot of pretty crazy things going on (that I would normally miss because I’m too busy rushing off somewhere), but I’ve also had the opportunity to see some pretty amazing, beautiful, peaceful things.  It’s made me appreciate my life more and more every day.  Here are a few of my favorite recent discoveries and new found appreciations:

  • I get to see the Statue of Liberty every day on my train ride to work over the Manhattan Bridge.  The Statue of Liberty is an internationally recognized National Monument.  What??  How many people can say they get to look at something this beautiful and amazing every day?  Not many.  Indeed something to appreciate.
  • Talents on the Subway/Subway platform.  How often have I rushed by these people, not paying the slightest bit of attention, but rather thinking about  how annoying and in the way they are.  Well, guess what?  Some of them are actually pretty talented.  Sometimes it is a treat to be able to see and hear.  There are definitely times I still get annoyed, but I’m also really appreciating the multitude of talents this crazy city has to offer
  • My most amazing, eclectic neighborhood.  I live in Brooklyn.  There are times on a Sunday afternoon when I’m sitting there with my window open enjoying my coffee, and some beautiful Jazz music starts floating through my window.  It is gives me a heartwarming feeling for my neighborhood, and a real sense of a great community.
  • Parks!  These amazing seas of green amidst this hectic concrete jungle just give me an overwhelming sense of peace.  And random groups of people throwing a frisbee, sledding down a hill, playing a sport or game or simply lounging around together, just make me feel happy.  

I’m sure there are many other things that I’ve learned to enjoy about this amazing city, but I don’t want to drone on and on.  The point is, that taking some time to slow down a little, has led to some amazing discoveries and a renewed sense of peace that I often crave in this crazy city.  So, hold your roll a little bit and learn to appreciate some things you might not otherwise recognize (even if you don’t live in NY, I’m sure you’ll be surprised at what you notice).  It has definitely made me smile more than a few times. 

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I came across this article today on The Purpose Fairy’s site.  It’s about the 15 things you should give up to be happy.  Reading through the article, I kept thinking “that is so true,” so I thought I’d share.  There are some really great points, my favorite (and the one I need to work on the most) being: 

"Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path."

Check out the full article here and start giving some things up to make yourself happier!

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So, it’s been a little while since I decided to start this whole endeavor (good thing I didn’t commit to posting every day).  The good news is that just because I haven’t been posting, doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on feeling good!  

One of the first things I committed to nearly a month ago when I started this project was waking up earlier.  Prior to this, I would wake up and hit snooze as many times as possible, convincing myself it would only take me 30 minutes to get ready (when I know full well that it takes me an hour).  I would be rushing around all grumpy and tired and running out the door to work hungry and frazzled (and likely forgetting something).  I would show up to work flustered and scrambling to get a start on the day, which I was already behind on. This was one of my biggest sources of frustration- not feeling prepared for the day.  

Over the past few weeks, I’ve committed to waking up earlier.  Not hours earlier, just 30 minutes or so.  Giving myself plenty of time to get ready at my own pace, sit down and have some breakfast, organize my thoughts, organize my THINGS for the day, pack lunch, clean out the dishwasher, take my time walking to the train, etc.  I have to say this has made SUCH a difference in how I feel and how happy I am every day.  Starting the day off with a healthy breakfast and a nice calm feeling has been amazing.  Getting to work on time instead of running in late makes me have a much more positive outlook on the entire work day.  Having some time to relax (and not rush) in the morning sets me up for a more zen mindset throughout the day.  I feel more productive and organized in general.  I also feel healthier with a proper breakfast every day (the old saying that this is the “most important meal of the day” is finally starting to ring true for me). 

So, the first change I’ve made to feel good is proving to be a winner.  I couldn’t be happier about it, and sometimes I even look forward to mornings these days.  I would have NEVER thought this to be possible, but it’s true.  The next step is waking up early enough to work out in the morning!  This one is going to be tough, but maybe I’ll get there eventually.  Until then, I’ll be happy with breakfast and a few moments of calm to start the day.  

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I had a bunch of New Years resolutions— to be healthier, to be happier, do more yoga, meditate more often, explore spirituality, be more creative blah blah blah.  Of course, here we are on the 17th of January, and I haven’t started on any of them. It turns out, I’ve decided this is actually a positive thing because I never keep News Years resolutions anyway (like many people).  So, I’ve decided NOT to implement these things into my life because of a “resolution,” but instead to implement these things into my life simply to FEEL GOOD.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty happy in my life.  I have an amazing partner, good job, live in a lovely neighborhood and have friends from coast to coast.  But, I’m pretty lazy.  I watch a lot of TV, go to bars, out for brunch, out for dinner, dread Monday morning and spend a great majority of my free time on the couch surfing Facebook and Pinterest and playing Words With Friends.  Somehow the gym and yoga have fallen off my schedule, along with healthy eating, positive thinking, and just taking good general care of myself.

So, born is the Feel Good Project.  I don’t even know what it means just yet, I just know that I am going to start making some changes that I think will make me FEEL GOOD.  I’m hoping this will encompass everything from eating and exercise to spirituality, creativity, honesty and positive thinking.  I want to get back to just enjoying life, being myself and enjoying the moment that I am in, not thinking about 100 other things. Not trying to get through the weekdays as fast as possible so I can sleep in on the weekend because I’m SO tired.  Not trying on 10 outfits and hating every single one because “I feel fat.”  I want to enjoy every day (yes, even weekdays) and make the most out of this amazing life.  It’s all about self-discovery and how I can help myself be the person I want to be.  

I’m not putting a timeframe on this, as I assume it will be something that is ongoing.  There will always be new things to learn, new ways to improve and a lot of effort required as I continue to evolve as a person.  I’m ready to feel better, to feel GOOD.  

Welcome to The Feel Good Project, I hope it will be a fun and wild ride!