The Super Duper Happy Life is not about having a La-de-da, care-free existence. No. It is about making the choice again and again, again and again to choose Joy, to choose Happy in the face of a world that will tear you down and make your mind so small and dark that all you can see is your own pain and suffering.
I believe that we have free will - we have a choice, not always easy and most times unbelievably difficult, as to how we respond to what life offers us. I have spent years, probably decades in fear of the critical voice that has said - you just aren’t good enough. I have, though my teacher has cautioned me against using ‘war’ language, battled this voice on the mat, on the cushion, in the mirror and in the faces of those I love the most.
Now, I simple don’t let that fear rule me any longer.
I wish that I could say that I came to this change in thinking, in being with hard work, dedication and conscious awareness and perhaps that is a big part, but the truer truth is that it took Heartbreak. … Oh English, you simple language, you - your words don’t have the power to portray depth of emotion.
[side note about emotion: we humans experience life if different ways - and thank the Creator that for; some cry, some scream, some go numb, some lash out, some internalize, some avoid, some keep busy, some do all of that, some of us have had that part broken or traumaztized out of of us, but humans feel - its our birthright, its our gifting and a powerful part of being human.]
My experience is not a prescription, and its not meant to inspire. It is what happend from my perspective, and I share it with you because I must. If it helps you find your way, its not my doing. Non-the-less, I give you this from my heart.
It took everything and future that many parents take for granted.
We, I, found out that B had DMD.
We felt the Heartbreak.
We set about healing.
We set about re-prioritizing for clarity.
We set about choosing to live our lives with integrity.
For me, the phrase Super Duper Happy Life is a talisman. It has special, … it has Magical Powers.
A Super Duper Happy Life takes consistency and a growth mind-set temperred with acceptance and a recognition of limitation; potency within boundaries and the tiniest offerings of self, drops in the Ocean, in service of a better world. It has as much to do with conservation and it does with improvement. Because in the pursuit of improvement, we humans have done irreparable damage and its is time, I believe to stop. Reconsider the direction we want to go and then do that, everyday.
I believe in Us. I believe in You. And I believ in Me.
My first step in creating a super duper happy life: consistent daily actions, the structure. This structure has been years in the making. I have the whole day mapped out and coming for you soon, but for now I wanted to flesh it out a little bit in this post and get very clear on why I do this. I’ll start with mornings.
Wake GRATEFUL + say a prayer, pee
put kettle on (fall/winter/spring)
scrape tounge, brush teeth, mouthwash/oil pull
wash face (oil/cleanser - alternate)
moisturize + e. Oil (alternate)
pour cup of warm water + oil
choose oils + start diffuser
sit for meditation
1 litre water + probiotic
BOYS AM: DRESS, BREAKFAST, BRUSH TEETH
SCHOOL RUN + DOG RUN
Coffee with gf butter, mct oil, collagen + adoptogens + herbs
(mix it up w/matcha, golden milk, shroom coffee, cacao)
Wake GRATEFUL + say a prayer, pee: Waking up grateful means I am starting my day with the mindset that I get to be here. I get to wake up in my bed, in my home, with my family, my dog jumping on my face, my kids noisy-ing about and my husband preparing for his day. My bed is warm, my shelter is sound, I get another day to live in this body, to live this life. It is choice to think this way. Some mornings I forget this and there were some mornings where I didn’t think this. Each day I choose to start my day with at one small appreciation is a day where I can recognize the privilege of being alive and being aware. To this end, I spend some time in prayer - its not elaborate, it is a mindset. Its a sacred moment within the mundane. And then I pee.
Make bed: A relatively new practice, that takes two minutes. I don’t think there is much benefit in doing it in the morning, the benefit though, comes later - when I’m tired. I walk into my room and there is negative space. In art, negative space helps to define the boundaries of positive space and brings balance to a composition. So, there is a point of balance that I can count on, when the chaos of that day overwhelms me. There is also this speech which brought me to tears the first time I heard it (get your American flag out for this one, it’s patriotic, hooyah).
Put kettle on (fall/winter/spring): This starts the night before, when I fill up the water filter. It would make sense to do this and then go back and make the bed, but I have to do this after I make the bed or I neglect it. The amount of time it takes to boil is the perfect for the next few tasks.
Scrape tongue, brush teeth, mouthwash/oil pull: I scrape my tongue, brush my teeth and I either use mouthwash or oil pull. I’m pretty congested in the morning so oil pulling is challenging when my nose is stuffy, so depending on what I ate the night before, I rinse with one or the other.
I’ve linked up my supplies for you here: tongue scraper, toothpaste, mouthwash, pulling oil and some oils to support your oral health here. *I don’t use a neti pot as I have nasal polyps, and until they are removed surgically, I use this.
Wash face (oil/cleanser - alternate): I wash my face with oil and I love it! My over 40 skin loves to drink up this kind of moisture. Somedays I cleanse with something yummy from Angelina Skin Care in addition, but mostly I wash my face with a base oil like jojoba or coconut + oils like geranium, rose, frankincense dropped in.
moisturize + e. Oil (alternate): Then I add a drop of oil to support my skin into my moisturizer. Stephanie Matulle is a fellow Oshkosh yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner and I get Mircle Ghee moisturizer from her as it is divine and she infuses it with so much love.
pour cup of warm water + oil: I alternate citrus oils or use slim n sassy or add peppermint (which is great in the summer). This gets the digestion going after slowing down during sleep and gently warms up the body.
choose oils + start diffuser: a have an intuitive process here, I take 3 deep breaths, ask and choose from there. I visit Emotions and Essential Oils for more information and I take that into my meditation time. I use the insight timer app for my meditation practice.
sit for meditation: this habit is essential for my over all well-being. There is a lot of noise, a lots of chaos in the world and in our home. This practice is accessible at anytime and doesn’t require anything other than a shift of attention towards the breath. I love to have a beautiful set up for my practice, perfect meditation cusion, luxurious wrap, candle, fire, quiet - but none of that is required. One of the most common .. excuses (lets call it what it is, but with no shame) I hear from students is they don’t have time or they can;t find time. I think that perhaps there is an ideal of what the practice of meditation looks like. But, I promise its a simple practice and that will make massive shifts in your well-being and your ability to stay flexible, adaptable and present throughout your day. It is way to orient and move from the inside out.
1 litre water + probiotic: this one is tough one, a definite growth edge. For this first liter of water, I just gulp it down! It’s to cleanse more than to hydrate in the morning. I stand in front of my fridge and read Brene Brown’s Parenting Manifesto posted there. I’ve counted, my gulps and it is equal to about 30 - it takes 2 minutes. I’ve then set up for the rest of the day to drink the other 3 litres to stay hydrated. Surprisingly, I pee less when I drink more. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but its whats happening. My skin in the first place I can see dehydration and brain fog is the first place I can feel it.
Boys am: dress, breakfast, brush teeth, play (if there is time): the boys have their own daily actions and have become very self-sufficient. If you have little littles, hang in there. Nate helps (he’s does breakfast most days). I also ask the boys the night before what they would like for breakfast. They each get A2Z + IQ Mega (with a drop of Vit D) + PB Assist Jr. probiotic from doTERRA. B has some extra medications that he needs to take. They both know what they are taking and why. We get most things set up the night before so to mitigate the scrambling and possible screaming. Boys am smoothie (posting up soon).
School Run + Dog Run: It helps that we live literally behind the school where both boys attend. O is riding his bike now and I take B in the bike trailer as long distance is challenging. After I drop the boys, I go for a bike ride. I am super appreciative that I live in a neighborhood with trails through the prairie and woods. This is an example of batching my tasks. Since I’m on the bike already, I get my exercise in after. Since I’m already moving, I then ride home and get Wendell for a walk.
Coffee with gf butter, mct oil, collagen + herbs (mix it up w/matcha, golden milk, shroom coffee, cacao): I use my intuition and mix it up. I tend towards coffee addiction so to receive the benefits of the caffeine without the negative side effects I switch it up. Though I “love coffee”, I really have no business drinking lots of it. My vata-pita constitution goes haywire and it taxes my adrenal system. However, my heart, lungs and brain all benefit from just a little bit of a boost from the magical “black juice.” and so I find a balance that works for me. I have also found that coffee may give me a boost, but it doesn’t necessarily help me to focus. Its excellent for doing one task or automated tasks like cleaning up.
Then I move into my mid-morning actions, which I’ll post up for you next time.
I need to reference two places/people of inspiration in creating this map:
Cate Stillman : yogahealer.com and her book/program Body Thrive .. I went through the 10 week Body Thrive course and this creating very fertile soil for the seeds to take root.
Ange Peters : hol-fit.com. Ange’s Beautiful Life Blue Print and the following podcast were written in my language! Also listen to her podcast, episode 41: The Rituals that Create the Ripple.
Ingredients: Use all the organic, non-gmo, locally sourced things. The base of spinach with the addition of good fats, provides a slightly sweet and creamy smoothie. I'm of the mind that if it's good for me, I will put it into my system, but this .. is .. delicious*.
3-5 handfuls of spinach
1.5 cups nut milk
1 tsp spirilina
1 tbs collagen lipids
1 tbs plant based protein
1 tbs mct oil
1 tbs grass fed cow's butter
1 tbs seeds for the current cycle (see: seed cycling)
1 tsp adaptogenic herbs: ie ashwaganda, maca, astragulus, chaga, reishi, etc. (see: adaptogens)
1 date (optional)
3-5 ice cubes
Combine and buzz in a high powered blender.
Makes approximately 32oz
Drink with your supplements and vitamins.
*If you are used to a sweet fruit based smoothie or a creamy chocolate shake, add a maple syrup to taste and gently use less overtime. Sugar is one of those things that causes a great deal of inflammation in my body leading to more intense emotions of irritation and anger, so with the exception of a treat or in season fruit, I've been slowly eliminating all suger from my diet.
You taught me that Anger is powerful and I thought it would take away my Joy forever. The fire, the rage, the power of that emotion, I feared at times would burn it all down. But, then there were moments where time slowed down and the sun shown upon me and I fell down in humility; and then you lifted me up as Gratitude filled my heart.
I felt so awkward this year. My eyes, my skin, my hair all changed, my lungs and heart and the breath I breathed, all felt so fragile and yet there was a strength holding me up under it all, holding me gently under my arms.
I’m learning to listen. To listen to what matters most, my own voice when it’s connected to You. May next year be free from doubt and fear and full of courageous Love and Adventure.