style / mindset / simplicity
style / mindset / simplicity
Last week, I confessed to my *serious* problem of not having enough fun. I shared that I’d realized something as I searched for an image to include in the post. Today, I’ll let you in on what I discovered...but first let me tell you my fresh thoughts on fun.
I’ve spent the past several days trying to generate more fun in my life and paying close attention to when I was having ‘fun’.
Certainly there are different types of fun and varying views on what qualifies as ‘fun’.
For instance, I love to iron...so armed with a basket of ‘to be ironed’ clothing and a spray bottle, I can set myself up at the ironing board for 45 minutes of true fun.
Others might cringe at the thought. Just like I do when it’s time to prepare a meal.
It’s all relative.
My idea of fun, might not be yours. And that’s fine...unless we’re trying to plan a fun evening together;-)
The point is, we all have a build-in fun meter. We intuitively know when we’re having fun.
We can feel it. Excited chills, if you will.
I’m deeply committed to finding fun and the accompanying feeling as often as I possibly can. I now understand that this is vitally important to improving the quality of my life.
Okay, back to my revelation...
As I scanned my computer screen for photos to include in last week’s blog post, I noticed something.
Not surprisingly, there were lots of photos of me smiling. Dozens of images with me looking happy.
However, as I considered each picture...what stood out the most was how unhappy I’d been when it was taken. Not mad or in a bad mood, but internally unhappy.
Maybe not ‘unhappy’, but definitely lacking joy.
With a whole lot of hesitation, I went deeper. I wanted to better understand what I was feeling.
I singled out at least a dozen images. I paused and allowed myself to really ‘go back’ to when the photo was taken.
What was happening that day, month, season?
I realized that FEAR was present in almost every single frame.
I was afraid of something in every shot. And looking back now, I realize that I let fear and worry put a damper on hours of what should have been wonderful experiences.
I allowed worry to consume me. My irrational fears ran the show. No topic seemed off limits...
I began to search more frantically for a photo that didn’t conjure a behind-the-scenes feeling of fear. Photos from entire outings and events were bypassed because all I could see was how scared I’d been at that time in my life.
What a waste.
What a sad and sorry waste of some incredible times.
Here’s the obvious kicker….
Do you think that any of what I’d been so paralyzed worrying about actually happened?!
The bills were paid
The relationships mended
The kids survived the sleepover
The water softener was fixed
The rain stopped
To do list, done.
Things worked out.
I’ve spent so many years being overwhelmed by worries.
I’ve allowed fear to permeate almost every single aspect of my life.
Last Friday, something inside me snapped. I refuse to let fear sap the fun from my life any longer.
I won’t allow another photo op to be hijacked by the ‘worst case scenario’ that I create in my mind.
(Honestly, this entire topic makes me angry with myself. And that anger is inspiring real change. How dare I complain of being held prisoner by my irrational, first-world fears. There are people who face terrifying events and circumstances every single day. They are in danger and truly have something to fear. Thankfully, that is not my situation. I am using profound gratitude as a tool to cleanse my mind of old fears.)
As I began cracking myself wide open over the past several years, I became aware that I had this persistent issue with fear. I could tell that worried too much. My first thoughts were usually of the bad, not the good.
My fears seemed to grow from two main roots.
Becoming a mother. I never realized how much there is to fear until I had my children. Overnight, the world became a frightening place.
Having a serious financial setback. Small money worries suddenly became all-consuming. Years later, those fears were still deeply in place, permeating my every decision.
As is the theme for my life right now...I have some work to do to flush out the remaining fears.
I’ve touched on the work I'm doing before...here and here and here.
The time has come to put my fears to rest for good. Syonara! I’m out.
I’ve already done quite a bit of work on letting go of fear. I’ve upended lots of irrational, limiting beliefs surrounding what I fear. This book helped.
Last night, I looked through the old photos again. I was patient and kind with myself and my thoughts. I could actually see how far I’ve come. I realize that I’ve released a lot of past junk. I could spy some really happy moments.
What about you?
Curious about what you’d feel if you looked back over images from the past ten years? Scan your photo file or photo pile and take a look....
What emotion stands out as you recall the moments captured?
Hindsight certainly shed a bright light on this subject for me!
Ideally, I'm now choosing to let fun replace fear. I make a conscious choice to find fun in a situation when I feel fear creeping in. But at the very least I'm calling on gratitude to nudge the fears away.
I’m chipping away at this old habit and it feels amazing.
Letting go of the stuff that holds us back is never easy, but the resulting freedom is so incredibly worth it.
What limiting belief is it time for you to toss?
Thank you for being here and allowing me to share. I welcome your comments...they inspire me and help me grow.
Have a simply beautiful week. Slow down and embrace this month that tends to feel full and frenzied.
And Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister!