Tag Archives: beauty

Neutral

By Gloria Smith Cisse, LPC, LMSW, CTRTC

Happiness is not simply the absence of sadness.   Happiness is much more.  It is a place of peace, comfort, quiet, beauty, and contentment.  It seems the thing we are always chasing is a kind of excitement that comes from getting something that we felt we have always wanted or needed.  This can be synonymous with drug addiction or thrill seeking.  I have never really enjoyed roller coasters and I don’t believe emotional roller coasters are any different.

A few days ago while I was in my car driving from one work site to the next, I thought about happiness.  Questions like: What is happiness for me?,  Am I happy right now?, and How would people know I am happy? danced around in my mind.  It occurred to me that I had not been “happy” in some time.  It also occurred to me that I was also not sad.  About a week before Thanksgiving 2015, I lost my mother.  I should be sad, right?

Some of my sisters and I communicate with each other on an almost daily basis. It feels like they are having a much harder time adjusting to life after our mother’s death than I am.  I was thinking that maybe there was something wrong with me because I was not as sad as they appeared to be.  I had made a choice to not depress.  I had not told them that, I don’t know if they would have understood.  I made the choice years ago because I had already spent too many years of my life being “clinically depressed.”

I have made a choice to get off the happiness – sadness roller coaster.  I can enjoy the happiness more because I experienced, understand, and appreciate the sadness.  I have learned to respect and give sadness its time because I know that it does not last forever.   As a matter of fact, I choose to not depress.

veronica-balanceSince that night alone in my car, I have decided that neutral, a place of balance, peace, contentment, and weightlessness, is a great place to be. It takes effort to remain balanced.  Anyone who has ever tried yoga will tell you, it’s hard!   I am not chasing happiness.  The mental picture I have is one coasting at my own pace and being surrounded by the things and people I enjoy.  This does not mean that I will avoid happiness.  It means that for now I will do my life and enjoy the peace that comes from simply doing my life.   I will choose the amount of time I spend sad.  I will not live on an emotional roller coaster.

I prefer to think of it as living like a “weeble wobble.”  Some of you may remember, “weebles; wobble but the don’t fall down.”  I can wobble from side to side but I will not remain in any one place too long,  except neutral…smile!

 

Celebrate you at your best today!

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Too often when I attempt to open an app on my iPad or get my phone camera set to take a picture of one of my grandchildren I inadvertently hit the wrong button. What comes up on screen is a close up, real time image of me. I hurry to make the correction and remove it but not before I catch a glimpse of what I actually look like compared to the picture I have in my head of what I look like.

This is a horrifying experience!

Is this what I look like? Could my hair look worse? The angle brings out every line and wrinkle I’m pretending doesn’t exist. And yet here is reality staring back at me.

This kind of realization and self-evaluation does nothing to improve my Mental Health & Happiness.

Amazingly I’ve had an equal and opposite experience, and I bet you have too. I come across an old photo of me taken ten, or fifteen or more years ago. I almost can’t believe the photo is of me. I look wonderful! And I remember viewing the photo at the time, yet again feeling horrified at how I looked. But I was wrong. I looked good.

I hope you will please confirm for me that you too have had this experience. I’m not the only vain person on the planet, am I? And I can’t be the only person who was at one point dissatisfied with a photo only to realize later how great I actually looked, am I?

canstockphoto13450488I’ll make a deal with you. Let’s take a step to improve our Mental Health & Happiness. How about today we each celebrate who we are and what we look like today. Just remember ten years from now we will look back at ourselves amazed at our beauty. Let’s not wait ten years to celebrate. Let’s celebrate today.