“This is Major Tom to Ground Control/I’m stepping through the door/And I’m floating in a most peculiar way/And the stars look very different today”-David Bowie, Space Oddity
So the month is almost over. Goodbye New Year’s resolutions & all those golden promises of a better this, a different that. New Year’s resolutions are SO overrated.
Instead, let’s play a game.
1. PICK ONE WORD TO ALIGN YOUR VIBE BY.
Pick a word, any word that makes you feel the way you want to feel. Hopefully, underneath that feeling is probably the desire to be HAPPY, so pick something that ultimately correlates with that. (Or not. It’s your life, your word, your choice).
I chose “Astronaut.” It makes me feel adventurous, spacious, star-lit, weightless, & in awe of all that is possible. It reminds me of all that I’ve yet to discover, of everything I don’t yet understand. It slices through the illusion of time & space. It shifts my perspective of myself, the way one might imagine seeing earth from a great distance.
& yes, it makes me think of cute, smart guys smiling, their heads encased in a glass bowl. Which makes me giggle. & we maestros know it’s all about getting your giggle on, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, giggling has been nearly extinct here on my personal planet for a while, which is very distressing for someone claiming to be a Flow Mojo Maestro. Laughter & happiness are a vital part of what puts the flow in our mojo. Happiness is truly where “IT’S” at, & there’s all sorts of neuroscience out there proving this to be much truer than the fluff stuff so many make it out to be.
But I’ve been feeling so dang low for reasons that would make most feel pretty dang low too, that, after a crying jag in front of my new ladydoctor, she asked if I’d like to be referred to a counselor. Yes, please.
Now, I need to first state that I’ve never been a huge fan of talk therapy based on my past experiences. I’d usually feel like a dissected bug under a microscope, the therapist sleepily asking “& then what happened?” or “& how did that make you feel?” I often left feeling worse than when I walked in the door.
I found yoga, & art-making & movement, & the ocean, & meditation, & the medicine of beautiful food, & the hearts & ears of friends… these are the things that would help lift me out of sad slumps.
But sometimes sad slumps require a a bit more lift. Like, rocket ship platform sort of lift, with a huge blast off of blue flame behind you.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN HAPPY LIST.
Lucky for me, I got hooked up with a cognitive behavioral therapist who speaks my language & doesn’t cringe when I drop an ocassional F bomb. She’s all about the “reframe” of distorted thought patterns, & assigns “homework” (though in my coaching world I like to call them “actionable tasks”) to help me create new brain thought grooves.
My first assignment? The happy list, followed up with implementation. It’s ridiculously simple (though more & more I tend to think most brilliant things are).
It goes like this: brainstorm a list of all the things that make you happy. Then, go through the list & circle all that you currently enjoy.
Go ahead. Do it. You know you want to.
Chances are you’re not doing half of the things on that list, but that’s ok. I’m not swimming in the warm ocean with dolphins, eating tapas with friends in new countries, enjoying sweet smooches or any such hanky panky, rollerskating, skateboarding or laughing so hard stuff flies out of my nose these days either. Some things are just slightly out of reach sometimes. Don’t get all bent. There ARE other ways to bring up the joy meter.
Look at your list again. What things that aren’t circled COULD be included in your daily dose of Vitamin Me? (Hats off to the fabulous Raji Simpson, for that spot-on expression!)
Pick at least three. & then invoke them into existence through intention & action. Easier said than done? It’s that ACTION part that trips so many of us up, & partly because I think our ideas & intentions can tend to be pretty damn grand that it all gets more than just a bit daunting. I’m all for dreaming big, but big dreams often don’t mean shit if you don’t know where the launch button is located on your rocket ship.
The trick is to start in increments your practical mind can handle. Don’t worry about what’s going to happen after you exit your current stratosphere, just take the steps necessary to fuel you in the direction you want to go.
For example, on my Happy List is art-making. Whenever I allow myself the luxury of making something just for the fun of it, time dissolves & I’m smitten with color, line, texture, hidden messages & surprises that arrive in the midst of it all. But because of my “logic” (& my previous experience showing my art in a seemingly “professional” manner), I have a hard time dedicating time to the pure fun of process. I want to create something that I feel is “good” right from the get-go, both fetching & frame-worthy, something that will “contribute” to my “professional” trajectory, maybe earn me my karmically alloted portion of fame & fortune. & so I get frozen, often not bothering at all.
What a head case, right?
I need only look to my two daughters, ages 3 & 5, to get my head on straight & remind me of the innate joy of play & process. Seava whipped up that rocket in five minutes flat without fear or judgment. I framed it over a Danielle Laporte word pic to help remind me that little kids don’t worry about what they’ll be when they grow up. They don’t care if a horse isn’t purple with orange polka dots. They just care about having FUN & being HAPPY. Everything is a rocket ship to take them there.
That’s not to say they don’t get frustrated when the rocket ship won’t launch or lands them on a planet different than where they’d imagined. But usually they either decide where they are is perfectly doable (& often even preferred) or they figure it out… by taking small, focused steps to get them where they want to go. Baby steps.
Baby steps are those five minutes a day (that can easily grow into a Hemingway habit of five hundred words a day) you allot for that book you’ve been wanting to write for five years. It’s the one picture you take & post daily to help you cultivate your photography commitment.. It’s the one green vegetable a day instead of that third cup of coffee you choose to eat to help your body feel better. Or the commitment you make to waking fifteen minutes earlier each morning & walking around the block to get your blood pumping.
One. Small. Step. Every day.
Next thing you know, you’ll be out there, in a stratosphere of your own making-running marathons, holding solo photo exhibitions, giving readings for your published book- & you’ll look back at the place where you started, wondering why you didn’t let yourself start sooner.
Start now. The stars are waiting.
(& now, for a little extra love, enjoy “Space Oddity” as experienced in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” a fun & funny film about making a choice to LIVE your dream & not just daydream).
Check out my friend Penny’s art here: www.SenoritaPenelope.com. So much to love. xo
Cricket Desmarais is preparing for take-off. She would love to share her astronaut skills with you should you, too, wish to explore outer space. Click this link HERE TO FIND OUT ABOUT HER COACHING PROGRAMS, HERE TO HIRE HER FOR WRITING PROJECTS, or HERE TO TRIP OUT ON THIS VIDEO ABOUT SPACE.