I have discovered that my most productive and harmonious days are the ones I start with telling myself:

It is OK to not get all my stuff done today.

The most important thing I need to do is nurture myself and loved ones.

It is on these days when I have been baking, fixing, cleaning, singing, dancing and playing with my kids well before noon. It is sad that although these two statements seem so simple to say, my body/mind/soul has been trained to believe that I must suffer to learn… That I must achieve every action with seamless perfection. This pressure keeps pushing and pulling at me, leading to a dysregulated (i.e. physically/mentally/emotionally stressed) state. When a past trauma is triggered in this state, I mistrust my innate resources and fears rule. I resist change and even positive forces. I become addicted to my suffering as it is the one constant and dependable companion.

Fortunately, I was blessed with many resiliency factors and I have thrived under pressure. All negative behavior comes from a state of stress and unmet needs. If someone is yelling, criticizing, accusing, nagging, over-reacting, controlling etc., then that person is in a state of stress (internal and/or external). Identifying needs and feelings eases the stress and eases the negative behavior as well as works to heal past hurts and rewire core negative beliefs. It also opens the door to further understanding, connection and establishing trust.

Deep breaths and baby steps… Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Dance as though no one is watching you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though heaven is on earth.”

~Father Alfred D’Souza