Beauty = Happiness = Mindfulness

I'm sharing this post on the five year anniversary of my move to Colorado. That year was a tough one, in the “Wake up, Lil, this is Real Life,” kind of way. My job was getting real, as was my financial situation. Several close friends had had near-lethal bike accidents and I was struck for the first time by the fragility of being alive. These things, along with all the usually moving-across-the-country blues left me sobbing on my living room floor. Multiple living room sobbing sessions, actually. That just seems to be the place that I end up when the going gets tough.

Despite that, I was asked out and hit on more in that year than ever before!  I hadn’t lost weight, gotten a great new haircut, or started wearing short skirts and high heels.)

Besides in the usual cafe/bar scene, I was asked out in the grocery store, the shoe store, the library, the farmers’ market, and the map store. (The map store, really?) I had people call out to me, and then run to catch up to me and ask me my name. A handsome man, who was singing on the street for spare change, stopped singing to talk to me. The charming but married-with-kids millionaire who owns the ad firm next door was constantly smiling at me and checking out my legs. I couldn't believe it! I’d never attracted this kind of attention before.

What changed?

I couldn’t put my finger on it for a while but thanks to my morning writing practice, things clicked; happiness has made me beautiful. And happiness does not mean being in the perfect relationship, having the perfect job, the perfect body, or being completely enlightened. 

For me, Happiness Comes from acknowledging and appreciating the parts of my life that I am grateful for, and breathing into those parts. 

When I wake up in the morning, I open the curtains and say “Damn, mountains, you guys are killin’ it today.” I ride my bike and whisper up to the blue sky, “Thank you for the sunshine! This day is amazing!” I stare into my bowl of homemade soup and say “This is healing soup. This soup can heal anything.”

We talk about “mindfulness” a lot, but this is the ultimate test. Can you pick your life apart into moments, strung together like pearls, and acknowledge and appreciate the beautiful ones, even when life is tough? 

Extra Credit: Next time you are sobbing on your living room floor, try taking a breath and appreciating this hard moment, as much as you appreciate the moments of sunshine and bowls of warm soup. Those deepest blue moments give contrast and clarity to the shiny moments. 

So, what makes you glow?

Let me know in the comments below! Or, if you're struggling to find the sparkle within each water droplet as you stand in the rain waiting for the bus, hit me up. I love brainstorming strategies for a well-loved life.