Happy Healthy Life

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Prior to my experience with FBC (f-bomb breast cancer for new readers), I was a half-full kind of girl. I had a great life, but truth be told, I don’t think that I appreciated it as much as I could have. In fact, I know that I didn’t. There. I said it.

Since FBC, however, I’ve been actively focused on cultivating a happy, healthy life (a Silver Lining of FBC). How do I do this? The answer doesn’t have to be complicated, though it does depend on the synchronicity of a few factors.

Here are 10 ways that, when I fully incorporate them, I know that I’m going to be happy and healthy.

  1. Identify What’s Important  Recently, I wrote down my top 5 things that I believe are the essence of how I want to live life. My list includes things like “family time,” and “writing time” as well as values such as “impeccability” and “kindness.”
  2. Strive for balance. I tend to be an “all or nothing” person in many ways. The HOTY (a/k/a Husband Of The Year) talks about my pendulum swinging from one side to the other. So, post-FBC, I’m doing my darndest to find balance. I am choosing NOT to do it all..or to even try to do it all.  When I get it right (e.g., Pajama Day), I demonstrate to myself that I am more fulfilled and content when I strive for balance rather than living in extremes (Silver Lining).
  3. Exercise Regularly. I exercise 6 days a week. I’m not saying that to boast. The truth is that if I don’t exercise, I get a little cuckoo & even a tad grumpy. The Silver Lining about exercise is that the more you do it, the more you want to do it. Exercise gives me energy and helps me focus.
  4. Pursue Passion. I believe everyone ought to pursue his or her passion in life. Passion is what makes life worth living, and it happens to give my life a great deal of meaning and purpose. Each time I work on something I love, it creates a joy inside me like nothing else. Plus, when I am passionate about something, I have an extra drive to work hard and do well.
  5. Nurture Creativity. I happen to believe that we are ALL creative people. Sometimes all it takes is creating a little space in your life to find, nurture and express your creative voice. When I was sick, my creativity flowed. I thought it was weird that it took FBC to get my creative juices flowing, but I chalk it up as another Silver Lining.
  6. Eat a Healthy Diet. As you know from Friday’s Fixin’s, I am especially mindful about what I put into my body. As you know, I eat boatloads of fruits and vegetables, stick with lean proteins and stay away from saturated fat and cholesterol. Having a healthy diet helps keep my weight under control and gives me energy which are added Silver Linings.
  7. Explore your Spiritual Side.  Much — if not all — of my spirituality is found in nature, either on a mountain or by the ocean. I’m also on the verge of adding meditation to my repertoire. I say on the verge because learning to meditate has been a challenge for me because my mind goes in a million different directions. However, it is for that very reason that meditating would be extraordinary, right?!? Are you spiritual? Where do you find spiritual fulfillment?
  8. Give Back. One of the major Silver Linings of giving back is that not only is it an opportunity to contribute positivity to the world, but it also honors my beliefs and passions. By giving something back, I inevitably find purpose.
  9. Simplify Your Life. By simplifying my life, I find that I have more time to do what fills my heart and gives my life meaning. To simplify, I do my best to block off some disconnected time and schedule only what’s important (family, friends and work — in that order). Simplifying my life also helps reduce stress and makes my life easier to manage (Silver Linings).
  10. Set Daily Goals. In the morning, before I start my day, I create a list of 3 goals that I find fulfilling and meaningful. I write the list in my journal and limit the list to three things. This ensures that I don’t multi-task (because multi-tasking makes me feel overwhelmed and I am so much less productive!). I also try to tackle the hardest things first!

Doing all of these things at once may seem daunting, and it is at first. So, I recommend incorporating one thing at a time. Begin with what you are good at and add from there.  Life is like a marathon. Having trained for a marathon (three, actually), I know that there are times when it is excruciatingly painful; however, the Silver Linings far outweighed the challenges!

So in my post-FBC days, I am truly about the journey…trying everyday to live a life of purpose.  I hope that you are able to do this WITHOUT the FBC…which would be a major Silver Lining.

 

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Comments

  1. E.B. says

    I really do love this blog! I tried meditation a few times, my parents firmly believed in it. Last time I tried it the lovely person conducting the class walked over to me and very gently said "You need to relax, you are twitching! Just breathe and be." It was like Diane says above, my mind was going all over the place. A few days later, I read an article where the person interviewed said her favorite mantra is "Be here now. Here be." Hmmmm, serendipity? I gave it a shot (again) and little by little, I have improved. Nowadays, no matter what, I set aside a bit of time every morning after morning prayer and meditate. It does help my day (busy law firm = stress, stress, stresssss) flow way more smoothly. Although I do still twitch from time to time. Hope you had a great Pajama Day, I spent the whole day in my jammies and had pancakes for dinner!

    • says

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment, E.B.! How wonderful to know that little-by-little it has helped you. I'm SO EXCITED that you had a pajama day! Pancakes for dinner? That's the BEST!

  2. Diane says

    Love, love love this insight. Here's a thought on the subject of meditation~ sitting and just watching your mind jump from one thing to another is a form of meditation. It's actually a good thing to do and it requires concentration. Sit, eyes closed, and watch where your mind goes. If nothing else you're completely focused on how many thoughts, and sensory input are flying by. Sometimes I just start by focusing on what I can feel; my foot against the floor, my legs crossed, the temperature on my skin, the smells in the room, the sounds around me. I always am in complete awe at how much is really happening inside and out.
    I love the idea of setting just three goals. Work in the flower garden, make dinner for my friend and her family–(she's having her lumpectomy today), and go to my pre-op appointment with the plastic surgeon!

  3. Kim C says

    This is ALL so true! And living through change isn't always easy. From what I've read about Hollye and for me, we found support from like minded people – friends, yoga classes, meditation group, nutritionist, naturopath, therapist…… Once we get started and with SUPPORT we can begin to slowly change. I found that one change made the next more natural. I started with (well, a cancer diagnosis as well) diet and supplements, then meditation and yoga. This drove my passion and spirit, nutured balance in the mind and further stabalized my diet and exercise. If you can, reach out for all the help and knowledge you can. It helped me to know why I was doing all of this and the interconnectedness until the benefits were self evident in me and my relationships. To be at peace and to feel whole in just being you! As Hollye said, it isn't easy, but it is possible! And it takes constant nurturing, diligence and love of oneself. We are all worth it!

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, Kim! You're so right about our shared source of support. You're also so right about finding and being at peace is worth every bit of effort!