There is nothing like a trip to another part of the world where you don’t speak the language! Not only do you have to rely on your intuition and read non-verbal signals, you have plenty of time to think and practice surrendering to the moment.
I traveled to Italy to attend an international conference on pain. While my day job looks at the science of pain, I find myself drawn to the developments regarding the psychological management of pain. In one particular conversation with a vivacious Physical Therapist, I shared my personal “health” philosophy. Although I am in good health, the pain in my life is emotionally driven therefore I must focus on finding happiness. She quickly placed her hand on my arm and said, “Do you mean finding meaningfulness or is it just happiness you seek?”
She went on to explain that she looked at happiness as a close ended question—a yes or a no response. “Does this cappuccino make you happy? Today it is not hot enough or big enough so it is easy to say no, I am not happy. However, sharing this time, these thoughts with you is making me happy. I find this time meaningful which makes me happy and I will carry this moment with me. I’ll forget about the coffee but I will not forget about you.”
I felt an electricity course through me. This was an AH HAH moment! Yes, it is meaningfulness I seek—not just happiness. With meaningfulness, happiness is one component but it also includes love, truth, hope, reason, joy, sorrow, purpose, connection……and so many other rich feelings. Meaningfulness is a spectrum of which happiness is one aspect.
THINGS may or may not make you happy but it is through our experiences we extract meaningfulness.
A wave of contentment washed over me the last two days of my trip. While I live with appreciation and gratitude, my experiences and future experiences continue to shape me. Yes, I could do without many of the decisions I face and the sadness I carry, but in the end, I am richer for it having shed the tears and shared the laughter. I have acted on my dreams while the all too familiar voice of fear and criticism taunted me.
I am a better friend, a better woman because I rest on yesterday while I drink in today.
I seek meaningfulness.
From the heart,
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how will people remember you? humor i am i am a human washing machine i am a work of art. i don't care what you think i eve everything you think i see you i will be heard. i will be seen. if you're happy and you know it thank your ex inclusion inner critic inner mentor inner voice integrity invite happiness to linger isolation it takes courage to be you it's a good thing i like you it's ok to cry judgment kaleidoscope karen schlaegel kindness labor of love laugh at yourself laughter learning from the past leave your comfort zone leaving your comfort zone lessie miller letting go letting go of expectations letting go of the past letting the past go life after divorce life is short light up the room limit your negative thinking living authentically living in the moment living in yesterday living on contingency lmao looking back to where i began looking forward to my future lortnoc loss of a parent love love me outloud love mom love yourself-no great gift low self-esteem manage your inner critic manifesting manifesto men mental fitness mental wellness middleaged bodies mind maintenance mindfulness practice mindset matters modeling good behavior moms and daughters monkey mind more than a pretty face mothers mother’s and daughters mother’s day move it! moving on after divorce mr. rogers my girlfriend voice my letting go ceremony my own worst critic my tank ran dry mystical machu picchu need for control need to vent negative thinking new beginnings new orleans new year new you no blame games no regrets not good enough nothing more badass than loving who you are numbing older and wiser on-line dating opiodcrisis opposites attract our new normal outsourcing discomfort overachiever overwelmed parenting parents patience pause pause and prioritize pausing for poise perfectionism perfectly imperfect badass periscope personal power personal responsibility personal sanctuary planting the seeds of hope pleasure principle plug into your power positive memory recall positive thinking post-divorce gratitude power play pp moment pray for peace prioritize your time procrastination psychology today putting fear aside quiet mind quiet time racial justice racism raising children ready to recieve recalibration recall recycle redefining the future reduce regrets relationships relationships & communication relaxation relaxation technique remove the stigma renovators & rescuers repurposing resentment resolutions respecting differences respond rather than react reuse sadness sadness is a verb salsa dancing same wavelength saving money saying goodbye scam second hand stress self-acceptance self-care self-esteem self-expression self-loathing #mygirlfriendvoice self-support system self-talk selfcare sense of humor setting intentions shame shedding limitations shelter in place simplify sisters of another mother sitting with discomfort smother and hover social obligations solo travel soul sisters of solace speak your truth spelling bee stay at home order stigma stop complaining stop the nonsense stop the stigma stress stress busters stress management stressfree struggling struggling accelerates growth subscribe substanceusedisorder sud super hero powers support surrender taboo take my advice talk back to negativity tall poppy syndrome texting while angry the 5 c's the conscous kid the fear factor the four agreements the happy truck the inner critic the office party the single life the soul the voices in my head theemotionalrollercoaster think positive this too shall pass thoughts matter three gifts to share with friends and strangers time for change too many parties too little time toxic thinking treat yourself triggers & the inner critic trust turning 50 turning shit into sunshine twa unemployed unplug unsolicted advice use your voice v is for vulnerability valerie frankel visualization volunteer vulnerability warrior woman ; responding from a place of power website launch wellness what you feed gets stronger what's the worst thing that can happen? 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