Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Tis The Season to Treat Yourself

"Little things make big things happen." ~ John Wooden

I love this short yet powerful quote from John Wooden. Mr. Wooden was a great college basketball player and coach. He was known for his short inspirational messages to his players. To him, his messages were not just about basketball but about being successful in life as well. He spent his career not just coaching a team but giving them food for thought, inspiration and support. The quotes were small things yet they had a lasting effect on every player on his team.

Life is basically all about the little things. Sometimes we forget to appreciate the little things and focus solely on the big things in life. This is why when we face a major disappointment, we don't handle it as well as we could. Life is always full of disappointments and setbacks. As I have said before, it's how you choose to deal with these moments in life that determine how your life will move forward. When we bypass and ignore the little successes in our lives, we are incapable of truly appreciating our lives overall.

Essentially, life is made up of tiny accomplishments, surprises, great times and moments. Think about it - if you collected all of these little great things, they would add up to one big great thing known as your life. And nothing feels better than reveling in a small moment or enjoying a little thing because you're simply treating yourself and this just adds to your happiness.

First and foremost, we have to keep ourselves happy as much as we can. If we're happy, those around us are happy for the most part and all is right in our world. Happiness is infectious and one's happy demeanor can inspire another to strive to be as happy. As I have written about before, you control the energy you put out there and your energy is directly connected to how happy you are and how you look at life. If you're a negative person, your energy is going to be negative. So if you're constantly having pity parties, crying 'Why me?"and thinking that your life is never going to get better, that is what you are projecting out to the world. You get back what you project out. And no one wants to be around a Debbie Downer. I know I don't. Just as happiness is infectious, so is negativity.

This holiday season, while yes, it is the "giving to others" season, how about giving to yourself? Enjoy the little things...find what makes you happy and do it. It could be something as simple as a cup of hot chocolate to drink while watching a romantic comedy. It could be listening to your favorite music or reading a great book. It could even be volunteering and helping others. The more you treat yourself to the little things, the more you will make your heart smile, which will change your attitude on life. Your energy will be so off the charts. People will want to know what's the deal with you and want whatever kool aid you're drinking, lol.

You need yourself as much as others need you. You need to take care of yourself as much as you take care of others. Love starts within. In order to properly hand out excessive amounts of love to the world, you need to have that abundance of love within you first. Now I am not saying you have to be happy 100% of the time, skipping down the street like a lunatic. That is just not possible. We are constantly tested in life with disappointments and bad times. But a person of true strength and character can get through anything and keep it moving in life.

For example, when my dad died 8 months ago, I was devastated. But I had just started working on the production team for Full Figured Fashion Week and time does not stop because you are standing still. I took a few days to get myself together and then I had to jump back into work. I just stayed focused and treated myself to little things that could get me through this tough time. While nothing could erase this void and pain within me, the little things kept me sane, focused and made me smile instead of crying. For me, music always helps and continues to help me as I grieve even today. I can put on some dance music, disco or some 80's pop music and start dancing around my apartment. It truly is a spirit booster.

I wrote and delivered the eulogy at my dad's service and managed to get through it without crying. I actually made the attendees laugh because I was determined to remember him in a positive light and share my great memories with everyone. One day, a friend said to me, "Wow, I admire how strong you have been through all of this. I don't know if I could have done all that you've done." And I told him that I was amazed at my own strength. Which I was. I don't know how I did it and continue to do it but I do. I take it one day at a time and focus on the little things and moments.

I always treat myself and care for me because I know I have to keep my heart right in order to treat others well. It's that simple. Also, by me treating myself and taking care of myself, I'm nuturing my own happiness and keeping my energy positive. It's like what John Wooden says, the little things makes big things happen. Your happiness and well-being is a pretty big thing. So treat yourself today. It's just another gift you deserve to give to yourself not just during the holidays but every day.

On that note, I am going to have a nice glass of Chardonnay as I sit and gossip with my best friend Herman, who makes me laugh so much that I will be reaching for my asthma pump. What do you plan to do to treat yourself today?

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