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January Reflections:

How to Have a Good Day Everyday

Most people know I’m a very happy, positive person. I’m off my game when I don’t personally feel that spark or jolt of happiness when going about my day. One morning this month, I woke up stressed and feeling off. I had deadlines to meet and small tasks were starting to feel like huge perils by the minute. I could feel the early panic begin developing in the pit of my stomach. “It’s going to be a bad day,” I thought and I hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet! A few minutes later into my morning routine and I had an a-ha moment, the day wasn’t over yet, it was just getting started. How could it be so bad when looking around me and everything was really, really great? I stepped back and knew I could fix this day I had already marked for loss in my head. I simply needed to shift how I was looking at it. Luckily for me, Alice’s More Mindful Moments book had just the tips to help me look at the day from a different perspective:

  • Focus on where things are going right
  • Let go of what’s out of your control
  • Remember that worrying is an extreme waste of energy
  • All moments are transient, this too will pass
  • In the grand scheme of things, tasks can feel large and daunting break them down one-by-one

No matter how small or large of a situation you’re looking to redefine your perspective towards, it’s helpful to know stepping back can shed some much needed clarity on it and in turn make for a really, really great day. Hope you have a good day today! –Breana

 

February Reflections:

Stop Feeling Guilty For Where You Prioritize Your Time & Be Happy Where You Do 

Attending the Life Planning Workshop today, the group went through an exercise on where we think we value our time and figured out where we truly spend our time. While my results were anticipated, seeing the list populate was helpful in understanding where my overall priorities sit. In understanding this, I know there are certain aspects of my life where I think I should be spending time and know I don’t. Family, self and work came in first for me. I feel guilty for sometimes not taking the time to attend to the rest of the list. However understanding that my time is spent on keeping in touch with family, taking care of myself and working hard are really important to me. That on top of other commitments I have make it difficult to do anything else. I’m very happy and proud that those are my top three choices of where I spend time and wouldn’t change a thing. The next time I feel guilty that I haven’t done a chore that day and opted to catch up with family that lives on the mainland instead via phone, I’m going to remember the time I spent laughing and sharing stories instead. 

“It’s not that you don’t have time. You have time, it’s just not on your priority list.” – Alice

 

March Reflections:

Declaring Your Own Self-Manifesto & Having Your Dreams Come True

It is amazing what happens when you take time and energy for yourself to think about what you want for yourself. What you want to happen today, tomorrow, next month, within the year or life itself. Here is how I started declaring to myself what I want for this year.

  • January 2018, set goals for the year based off Physical, Mental, Spiritual, and Emotional states, in pursuit of better overall well-being. I bought a brand new, colorful journal that matched my word of the year: GLOW, to start fresh and new, and to inspire me for the year of change ahead that I wanted to create for myself.
  • By writing down clear, concrete goals for myself, it became part of how I viewed my year and I check back on my goals often to remind myself and check-off progress made. When I accomplish a goal, I mark the date next to it (& smile).
  • By keeping my goals at my fingertips, they have become ingrained into my everyday life. My daily thoughts, but also my conversations with others have shifted to incorporate my goals into them. People, that have either been in my life already or new people that I pass or strike up a conversation randomly, and I are connecting on a different level or they are able to connect me to accomplish one of my goals.
  • Three months into 2018 and I’ve accomplished a lot already, it is inspiring to think if I keep doing this how much more I can accomplish! I also love that I’m getting to connect with a lot of people in my life at a different level.

 

April Reflections:

Travel & Perception

I had the pleasure of traveling for work this month after several months of serious focus on my projects in Hawaii. One of the greatest joys in my life is traveling. To visit people from all over the world and see how they go about their daily routines, experiencing what it is about their home that makes them get up in the morning, what makes their life unique and beautiful, is inspiring. We all have commonalities – more than one can imagine – as we are all humans living on Earth, but what variables define who we are and where we are from. THAT is why I travel. To get outside of myself, my everyday, my routine. To walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and live a bit more humbly knowing how we all interact in synergy together in the chaos and harmony that is life.

 

May Reflections:

Committed

Two years ago a friend, a triathlete, overheard me say I wanted to try paddling. In my mind I wanted to get in a boat and ride a few waves and call it a day. She generously connected me to her friend, an Olympic kayaker, to try paddling. On a Friday evening, I met the kayaking friend at a canoe club and she had me practice paddling solo in a boat. I thought it was odd that we wouldn’t just go out and paddle with a group of people but appreciated her thoroughness and respectfully obliged to this “training session”. That being said- at the end of the hour she looked at me and said, “Great, we have practice Monday, Wednesday, Friday, see you next week.” I was shocked, did I just try-out for a team and have no idea? Yes. It makes sense now looking back given the level of athleticism and love for the water both women had, it only seemed natural that triathlete would connect me to kayaker to do competitive paddling. The whole event was comical because it caught me off-guard and at the time I did not have an ounce of free time or money to fund a new hobby. Ever since that experience I envisioned what it would be like however to be on a team and I pictured a life that I envisioned myself living in Hawaii. Practicing three times a week at sunset on the ocean. It seemed magical to be able to connect to the water through movement and in synchronicity with five other people in your boat to a history deeper than yourself.

It’s been six months since I started my Happiness U journey. In January I was inspired by HU to write down a list of all of the goals I wanted to accomplish for the year one being to join a paddling club. I’m not sure how much I meant it at the time, I would almost imagine I’d even put it down to learn more about paddling but low and behold, I wrote it down, began talking about it, people heard me and continued connecting me to the right people and now I’m a paddler. I am practicing not only three days a week but sometimes four or five. I spend money on workout clothes or my first paddle. (I sometimes say you have to start things blindly in order to do them, ha!) I can’t believe how much my life has changed, for the better. Minus a intercostal muscle I’ve pulled. I played competitive sports in high school and to be back on a team is indescribable. We even won first in our race last week, that sensation was addicting and long-forgotten. At the finish line, having passed it with six strangers who’ve become friends and all of us looking around to see no one else there. Your heart explodes as you realize collectively, WE DID IT.

While I was looking to check off the boxes on my 2018 list, what stood beyond the lines on paper were other variables- time, dedication, new challenges, new people to meet and experiences to be had. We all think we will get to some of our goals tomorrow but we don’t realize how quickly tomorrow has come and gone. I am so eager to learn and live a fantastic, challenging yet interesting life that in doing so I’m still learning how to balance everything but the journey is exhilarating and so worth it. Thanks to HU for giving me the head-space to realize this for myself. I challenge you, reader, what are you waiting to do that you haven’t done yet?

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