"Your thoughts and your feelings create your life. It will always be that way. Guaranteed!"
The past few months I have had so many bad days. So many days that I woke up in a bad mood and throughout the day my mood never changed, nor did I attempt to change it. I was so sick of it though! I did not want to be in a mood daily for no real reason. I needed to find a way to lift my mood on days whenever I was feeling less than happy.
I desperately needed a change though because each of us only gets one life and we all need to spend as much of it being happy as we possibly can. Happiness is contagious and makes you feel so much better as a person. I looked into different books in the self-help genre. I hate that it is called self-help. They should be called positivity books or something more socially acceptable.
One of the books I ordered was The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I had also ordered 2 others but I chose to start reading this one first. At first the book seemed like bullshit. It was almost like a scam because it just seemed too good to be true. It was almost like the book was a sales pitch and someone was going to swoop in and try to sell you something. That is not the case though. There is nothing to buy, except the book of course, which I had picked up for $4.
The book starts by explaining the law of attraction. It is very simple, whatever you put into the universe through your thoughts will in turn be what you attract back to yourself. So if you are thinking negative and bad thoughts, eventually something negative and bad will happen to you. Likewise, if you are thinking positive and good thoughts, something good will happen to you. At first I was not buying into this… Then Byrne used the example of people who have a bad morning and the rest of their day is just total garbage. I can think back to a time when I woke up late, rushed to school or work, and just had a terrible day overall because I was in such a bad mood after having a bad morning. I can say that anytime I have ever woke up late I had a bad day. Any time that I woke up in the morning refreshed after a good night sleep, with plenty of time to get ready for my day, I had a good day. I suddenly began to believe in a lot of the concepts and principles mentioned in the book.
After a few days of reading I decided to practice a few of her techniques. One technique is to make a list of positive things that make you happy and feel loved, so that whenever you are having negative thoughts you can read through the list and make yourself feel better. Another one is focusing on the positives in every situation, like going to work or exercising. They really do work! If you want to have a good day, you can in fact have a good day. If you want to be a more positive person, with a better outlook on life, you can be whoever you want.
Even when I think of myself versus my boyfriend, Jon. I am more of a realist. I see the world for what it is. If I had to lean town optimist or pessimist, it would be pessimist. Jon, however, is an optimist. He is also one of the luckiest people I know. Maybe it is not really luck though. Maybe he brings these good things to himself through the frequency he emits.
Another concept Rhonda Byrne writes about is love. Love is one of the most powerful feelings we feel as humans. If we all could just have love for each other that alone would make us very happy, but then the law of attraction comes into play and the feelings and thoughts you possess will in turn come back to you, so you will also feel the love that you put out. It is literally a win, win, win situation.
Reading the principles in the beginning of this book and discovering many of the powerful passages makes me want to be a happier and kinder human being. Not only will I reap the rewards of maintaining this behavior, but so will the people who surround me. Everyone could be more positive and overall better people.
Now, do I believe that if I picture checks coming to me and pretend like I have wealth that I will suddenly come into money? No. Do I believe in everything in this book? No. And even if the stuff I do believe in does not make out the way the book claims, does it really matter? No. Because this book has given me something to believe in and that is exactly what I needed right now.
Give it up... for good!
I recently did something I thought I could not do. I did something that even if I just thought about doing it, it would stress me out. I did something that I never really wanted to, but always knew I should. I finally quit smoking.
I, just like many smokers, wanted to quit for a while, but always put it off. Just thinking about quitting and not having my pack of cigarettes to turn to whenever I was stressed, made me light up. I would tell myself I would first cut down to only a few cigarettes a day and then I would quit. This would momentarily appease my thought of quitting until I no longer had the willpower to do so.
After learning my dad had lung cancer as a result of smoking for the last forty years, there was no better time than the present. Quitting would never get any easier, nor would I ever really want to quit. This habit was essentially a death sentence and giving it up would be the best thing I could do for myself.
May 23rd at 5p.m. I smoked my final cigarette. I was originally only quitting in order to support my dad. Then it sunk in, in 30 years I could be the one who has cancer. I made up my mind, I was going to be a non-smoker from that moment forward, no matter how hard quitting would be, I would do it. I would do it for my health and my future.
It is indeed true what they say about the first 72 hours; they are absolute hell. All you seem to think about is cigarettes and all of the positive associations you may have with them. You tell yourself that one will not hurt and as long as you are trying that's what counts. Having one is giving in though! Do not let your cravings control you! They will soon enough go away for the most part.
As a smoker, your entire daily routine revolves around smoking. You plan out the next time you will be able to slip outside for a quick smoke break. Or the next time you will be able to take a break at work and catch a few puffs.
The harsh reality of smoking is that it is terrible for you! Not only is it bad for your health, but it is bad for your wallet. Smoking 1 pack a day that costs $6.25 a pack is roughly $2,300 a year. That is a very significant amount of money.
Being a smoker is easy. Being a smoker gives you a way to relieve your stress or easily entertain yourself. Smoking day after day and year after year makes you weak though. It forces you to miss moments with friends and family because you needed to take a break to catch a cigarette. It makes your mind constantly be consumed with figuring out the next moment you will be able to smoke.
My words of advice after quitting are to do it cold turkey. Throw away all of the cigarettes you have and tell yourself you will not buy more. Have your boyfriend or girlfriend, mom or dad, brother or sister, pretty much anyone you know, help you quit by offering encouragement through the really tough times where you cannot think of anything other than a cigarette. Download an app on your phone that will track your progress and look at it anytime a craving is strong and you are considering giving in. Go for a walk whenever you are really stressed or frustrated. Pick up a new hobby that will help keep your mind off of smoking.
Smoking is only killing you, remember that every time you light up. I smoked for years and ignored that fact the entire time. Hopefully at some point, every single smoker comes to this realization and can give up this horrible habit.
The Unpredictable Side of Life
Until two months ago I knew almost nothing about cancer. I obviously knew it killed people. I knew there was not a cure. I knew there were types of treatment like chemotherapy and radiation, or even surgery to remove the cancer, but that was the extent of my knowledge. I never thought I would have to worry about cancer. I never thought my family would have to deal with one of our own having cancer. I sure as hell never thought that at only twenty two years old I would have to think about the possibility that I will be losing one of my parents.
When my dad was first diagnosed and the cancer had not been staged, I had a lot of hope. I prayed that treatment could slow the cancer down for years and possibly cure him. I thought he would have a hopeful prognosis, because something this tragic could never happen to my family.
His first appointment at the cancer center informed us that his cancer was at least a stage 3a. This was not the best situation, but I knew it could be a lot worse. There was hope he could live quite a while longer with a good quality of life.
His second appointment, and after more testing, revealed that the cancer has spread to his bones, liver, both lungs, and brain. Radiation was no longer a treatment option, only chemotherapy. Surviving was not a word that came out of the doctor’s mouth when discussing treatment. The doctor was focusing on preserving quality of life and slowing the progression of the cancer. The goal is ultimately to keep my dad comfortable for as long as possible.
The doctor did not discuss length of time my dad had left, nor did we ask. We shook our heads as he spoke about the type of chemotherapy that would be used, where each spot of cancer was throughout his body, and what to expect in the coming week. I was trying to digest this news that seemed to have happened so suddenly…
Flashback to my nephew’s birthday in the beginning of March, my dad sat across from me in the restaurant and he seemed perfectly fine. We ate, joked, and laughed as a normal family does. Everything was fine as far as we knew. Now, three months later, we are all finding out he has stage 4 lung cancer. It just does not seem real.
This experience is making me see the harsh reality of life for the first time. None of us know how long we have on this earth. I assume most of us think we will live well after retirement and maybe even hit 100 years old. We work our entire adult lives in order to save and live out our golden years in comfort, yet that can be robbed of us without any warning. The memories, love we share, and experiences are what we look back at in order to feel complete. Live your life for the people in it, not the objects you own or money you have.