How I Claimed My Happy

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It has been a wild month of website reveal giveaways and 40th birthday love!

I am so appreciative that folks held space for my sharing over this past month.

The woman I was before would never have done such a thing.

She was not one to talk up her birthday and celebrate herself
She was not comfortable being seen, because “what if people see the real me…”
She was into small, safe…the familiar space of the shadows on the sidelines

She was one who celebrated others into their fullest selves
She was courageously sharing her hard times with others in the hopes it would make it easier for whoever might be reading
She was into feeling – oh so deeply – the bigness of life, the wholeness of things, the preciousness of being

She was strong, intuitive, kind
She was terrified and ashamed
She was so tired of not enough

After the burning and the rising, I find myself in flight, looking around in wondrous gratitude.

I. Am. Happy.

While I have appreciated this feeling, I have resisted accepting this truth.

I have made space for all I love, for love, affection, grace, joy, pleasure, freedom, fulfillment, ease and connection. To the shock and surprise of my weakened inner critics, here it all comes…

Shirt from Coyoteloon

I am claiming my happy, amidst the unknowns and the pains of the world.
I am “walking like a loved woman” (some wisdom from my friends’ Red Tent Circle).
I am living my light, cultivating care, compassion and courage in the world.
I am thriving, that I might better live my purpose and my passion.

There is certainly plenty of work (and play) ahead, yet I find myself in a deep place of joy where I feel happy more often.

I definitely think this is partly from the work with my amazing Listening Partner who also knows Hand in Hand Parenting techniques. (Learn about Listening Partnerships and how to find a Listening Partner.)

Aside from that, though…

Here are some things I am doing now, some new and some time-tested, that are bringing me happiness:

  1. Wild Devotion ritual upon waking (in that half-sleep state): “Today, I am wildly devoted to…”
  2. Mindful Self-Care ritual of infusing my rooibos cardamom tea with a mindful mantra (which I’m lately combining with my “Today, I am wilding devoted to…”)
  3. Walking outside. Regardless of weather. With or without my kids. Loving my body in motion, gaining strength.
  4. Greens. And avocado. And fermented/probiotic foods. And my supplements.
  5. Loving on my future self by prepping things the night before (like my tea, lunch, office space).
  6. Being gentle and kind with myself inwardly and outwardly.
  7. The support and encouragement, witness and inspiration of my sisters.
  8. Joyful and satisfying intimacy with my partner, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
  9. Witnessing the beauty, grace, courage and light in the life and people around me.
  10. You, reading this, right now. And hearing from people like you, who read, connect and comment in an email or Facebook message or a blog or Instagram comment. Fills. Me Up.

One other thing that lifts me up, even in the darkness, is poetry.

Even this morning, in synchronicity, a poem came after a sudden bout of self-doubt last night. (no surprise, after a month of vulnerable exposure for this extroverted introvert)

This poem helps soothe a tender heart and lift spirits…

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

When I Am Among the Trees by Mary Oliver

Isn’t that gorgeous?

“It’s simple”
“you too have come”
“to go easy”
“to be filled with light, and to shine.”

It’s ok to go easy, to be filled with light.
It’s ok to keep it simple, to make it sweet.
It’s ok to show up and shine, to claim your happy.

Let’s make it a #slowsweetsummer, dear one.
Let’s slow down into sweetness and simplicity….

[My painting from last year’s Intuitive Soul Art and Yoga Retreat in Asheville in July that I go to every year. Want to join me? Only a few spots left!]

This summer, I will be using the hashtag #slowsweetsummer to share/journal about my exploration of slow simplicity and sweetness. Want to play along?

Share photos, poems, links, ideas, resources, tips, fun inspiration for slowing down, cultivating the sweetness, and keeping it simple. In all ways with all things. Hit me up. Tag me. Hashtag it.

Let’s love up a #slowsweetsummer where we open our hearts, let the love flow, bring some goodness into the world with our full, ripe, juicy being.

Goodness knows there are so many tender hearts, bodies and beings in need.

Sheila PaiLove on yourself, precious precious being.

You matter. You are enough. You are worthy. Exactly as you are.

I look forward to catching email and social media glimpses of your #slowsweetsummer.

Sending such love and wishes for ease, grace, simplicity and sweetness as you claim your happy,

p.s. Check out my newest joyful offering: Coming Home At Home Retreats! This month I’m starting out with the theme of Appreciation and Acceptance. Oooo, such. good. stuff.

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