Friday, October 25, 2013

How to Build a Happy Life or Are the Shadow Days Over Now, John Mayer?

Image courtesy of Bitstrips
I'm still working on building my happy life in spite of the shadow days, but I’m struggling with the process.  How about you?  Some days I still wake up with anxiety in my solar plexus and it pisses me off.  I am generally an optimist and I can go along for days with a general sense of well-being, that all is right with the world, despite whatever inner demons are at the top of my to-wrestle-with list.  However, some mornings—like today—I just want to tell my eager-beaver ambition to fuck off.

I want to bury my head in the pillows and give in to the despondency, you know, that it’s too hard to maintain the necessary energy to accomplish all I dream of.  Or even just to be happy.  It sucks.  When I feel this discouraged there’s nothing left to be done but get my bliss on.  What is this bliss you speak of, Melissa? Are we going to sing kum by yah while we hold hands, now?  *barf*

Well, sort of.   When the “shadow day” cometh, I get a little lost at first, but I have a plethora of things that speak secret, hopeful messages to me on just such dark occasions.  You see, I got up this morning with the shadow of doubt and dismay hanging over me and I got mad.  Really, really mad, damn it.  Here I've been working on taking care of myself, following my bliss, getting to know myself, and trust myself, and this is the frackin’ result?  Argh!

But I'm learning that I've trained myself well.  I got up and decided to focus on the little things I love about every day: I made myself my favorite cup of coconut coffee and put together a stellar I’m-a-rock-star outfit. Then I sorted through a box of stuff I’d thrown at the foot of the bed and had been bugging me for a week.  What a relief to declutter just a wee bit.  When that was done, I noticed my nails needed a good buff and polish and while I was freaking out over the textured polish I inadvertently bought (looks really good, though!) and listening to my Peaceful playlist these thoughts I’m writing down bubbled to the surface.

And now I’m tapping away, excited to share with you the reminder the Universe nudged me with this morning: I am truly the master of my life.  Every little thing I've done up until this point has culminated in a safety net to keep me on track!! *chills running up my spine* Whatever my goals are, whatever the emotional shadow that passes over me, I am still in charge.  I am still the only one accountable for my well-being.  Me.  I am the gatekeeper AND the key master.

It's a tough job but when it pays off like it has this morning, I am utterly, well, blissed out. What happened?!  Well, remember the Peaceful playlist I mentioned earlier?  I have this theory that music and people are basically the same thing: expressions of the Divine in vibrational form.  Think atoms:  on a subatomic level we all are just vibrations of energy. And what is music?  Ever been to a concert or club and the bass gets inside your chest and you feel a part of the music? Like its something living that melds with your soul?

*clears throat* Okay, I digress in my usual weird fashion, however, my point is this:  I have expended a lot of energy creating habits and collecting good things and good people around me. This is my support, my heart, my love, my hope, my investment in me and my life.  Take my large collection of music of all genres and tempos.  I throw playlists together every day and keep a soundtrack of my life going at all times. And I save a lot of them. When I’m having a morning like today, I pick one randomly and let the music speak to me.

Today it said, “Did you know you could be wrong and swear you’re right?”  Well, John Mayer sang it to me from my “Peaceful” playlist in his song “Shadow Days.”  I sat up straight and as the lyrics sank in, tears welled up.  Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m a sap.  But hey, *shrugs* that’s me.  I played the song over and over full of awe that the words I most needed to hear were right there all wrapped up in one beautiful piece of music.

And it dawned on me that this was no accident.  All the hard work I've put into my ambitions, my goals, and my life in general actually amount to something.  I am making progress; I am actually making a difference and things are shifting.  Every thought I've had, every action I've taken, including adding John Mayer’s album “Born and Raised” to my Peaceful playlist have an impact.  None of it is frivolous, my friends, when you’re following your bliss.

And music is my bliss—I may not be writing it, but I’m collecting it and it matters.  It ALL matters.  So when you’re feeling extremely unhappy and discouraged, turn to your bliss. What makes you happy?  Painting your nails?  Kick-ass clothes?  Styling your hair? Lifting weights? Baking? Chatting with a friend? Listening to music?  Running a 6-minute mile in the cold light of a fall dawn?  Prepping healthy meals for the week? Reading Stephen King?

If something isn't feeling right, turn to your favorite page and read the words out loud.  Don’t give up, at least not for too long.  You've spent a lifetime ferreting out your favorites…use them, indulge in them.  Make yourself happy, because you’re the only one who can, with every thing you add and subtract from your life.

Like, are you still doing that daily yoga I suggested?  If you've stopped, start right now, again.  This process of making a happy life is not a straight line.  Its curvy and twists back on itself and nothing is settled in one day or one month or one year.  It’s a journey full of surprises and joys and heart ache and love.

Have you figured out what you've been eating and why?  If you haven’t, give it another go. Re-read my post and see if there’s a different way you could go about it that would work better for you. 

And remember: it all matters, even the so called “mistakes” and “shadow days” because they remind us we are not any one moment, but an amalgamation of our life experiences.  We can let go of the dark and embrace the light whenever we choose.  I choose light right now, here in this moment, and like John Mayer sings, "And I'm open, knowing somehow my shadow days are over now."

Love and light to each and every one of you, dear friends. Namaste.

Need something to read or look at for ideas until next week? Check out my Pinterest Boards and follow me on Tumblr.  I'm always adding tons of yoga, healthy living, chakra, lifestyle, funny and thought provoking stuff.

Have you had a shadow day recently? Tell me about it, please! It helps to get it off your chest and I will pick one brave commentor each month for a free 30-minute consultation.


  1. You're awesome. Thank you for sharing... I forget to do the daily yoga regularly but I turn to it on occasion. <3

  2. Olivia is right. You truly ARE awesome! And this posting is just what I needed after a very rough morning. Thanks. :-)