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Stories and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems, written by a beginning farmer/gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Friday, October 5, 2012

How to be happy: a burst of excitement that needs to be shared

Woah, it's been awhile since I posted. Life has caught me up in its majestic, beautiful, joy-inspiring adventures and my time on the computer has been mostly work-related lately. My environmental work, the kinds of things I share on this blog, have largely moved into the real world and into a community that I interact with daily at UCSC. I plan to continue posting here once life settles into a routine (not too routine I hope!), and I want to post some thoughts and vibrations I've been experiencing lately before I sign off for a bit to catch up on reading and living.

I have learned and/or had reaffirmed in just the first week of school the following:

  1. When you're excited about life and particularly when you have something you're passionate about that you're able to live and do each day, other people want to be around you. I have made more friends this week just by smiling and sharing my inner happiness with them than I've made in a loonngg time. It feels so good to smile and see that smile returned on the face of someone you just met. Share your joy with others and truly engage with them.
  2. Smile in the face of pain, challenge, hardship. I went to my first Warrior Yoga class last night, and this was the major lesson I learned from the Sensei. Smile when it hurts, smile when you don't want to keep going, and always breathe! Attending class last night was INCREDIBLY timely since I have been feeling and jiving with this notion all week, smiling and finding that it really does bring joy to you. What you project into the universe comes back to you--this I believe 100%. Also, don't feel shy about smiling as you walk around the world, particularly when something is inside you bursting to be shared. You can't always shout to the skies about your love for life (certainly do this often, but not every moment), but you can smile and make eye contact with those you pass on the street. Seriously, you will get more people wanting to spend their time with you if you are smiling and excited about life. I know that may seems difficult sometimes, but once you catch the life-is-brilliant bug, you do not want to lose it--and you want to share it, so this blog post is an attempt to share it with you!
  3. EXERCISE DAILY! Man, my parents have been telling me this my whole life, and I FINALLY get it. It feels so good to exercise and face life with endorphins and a sense of accomplishment after a hard work-out. I'm incredibly grateful that I met a very cool someone this week who got me out on my bicycle to ride down the hill from campus. I was so excited to be back on my bike that I rode all the way back to my apartment afterwards--uphill. It felt exhilarating, and I think that was the moment that I caught the bug. Since then, I did yoga last night for two hours (hard yoga, meaning profuse sweating, thigh burning yoga) and then this morning after class rode around the campus, pushing myself and smiling and breathing up the hill. I am ready to take on the day, I've been out in the sunshine and seen the bay over my handlebars, and it's only 11 AM!
  4. You are all you need to be happy. YOU will make you happy, not someone else. Other people, people you love, might make your day brighter and they may be a support to your happiness, but ultimately, it's you who is in control of your happiness. If you haven't felt happiness without the support of another person, you may not have found what you're on earth to do yet. Once you find it, you know it, and you feel so psyched every morning that it's like you're constantly on a high. Obviously, you want to surround yourself with other people who are supportive, encouraging, and who REFLECT the light that you give off. People who take your light and keep it for themselves, or who try to put out your light, are unfortunate people who probably haven't found their own spark yet. Don't give up on those people, but don't let them darken your light. I feel like I'm writing a self-help book or something, but I seriously believe this. Ask anyone who's been around me this week or who's seen my Facebook updates--I am incredibly, unbelievably, incurably happy. Maybe I'm going insane, I don't know--all I know is that I want to hold onto this.
  5. Eat only foods that are real. Don't eat processed stuff or stuff fried in lots of oil or anything that makes you feel meh after eating it. If you eat a lot and feel stuffed, eat only as much as makes you feel satisfied. Don't search for happiness on your plate. Spinach and carrots are delicious, by the way. Since living in an apartment with a kitchen, I have been eating SO healthy and I can feel it. I think it's been a major influence in getting me exercising, because I feel so good and I want to feel even better.
Okay, now I have to do Spanish homework. I have to read a Pablo Neruda poem and write some responses about it. My creative writing teacher actually wrote on a poem I recently turned in that I have a similar style to Neruda, which made me feel that there's hope for my creative writing grade. That's a whole other blog post about how fantastic and inspiring my creative writing class is this quarter. 8 AM Tuesday/Thursday, and I leave class feeling refreshed and stoked on life.

However, with all this socializing, exercising, eating right, and writing creatively, I've been letting homework come last, which means by the time I get to it, it's 9 PM and suddenly I'm tired. It's all about balance, and I'm learning that, but for now, I'm just so glad that I finally figured out how to make friends and be happy and exercise. And I have a few hours before class, so I should sign off and get stuffs done. (Oh yeah, especially since my office is going CAMPING for our work retreat this weekend. I could just keep going on about how fantastic this week has been, but that would be rambling and boring--oh wait, is it already?)

Thanks for reading!
Green Gal

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