Just in time for the holidays, @GaiamTV is bringing happiness back

The holiday season, for all of its jingling bells and ringing in the New Year, can actually be one of the most depressing times.

The Christmas music everywhere reminding me of the people I won’t be seeing this year.

The flurry of gift-grabbing and couples snuggling all around me while I just wish for a few extra minutes of sleep.

Knowing I’ll be at work every day while my daughter tells people she’s mad and asking why I have to go… and knowing also that at midnight on New Year’s Eve I’ll still be working instead of home with her…

Sometimes it’s too much loneliness to bear.

But then something happens to pull me out of my cycle of negativity.

Something that makes me want to rediscover happiness in my life ASAP.

A serendipitous something, like an offer to review GaiamTV’s film Happy arriving just as I begin a mad hunt for my own happiness.

By the way, you’ve heard of GaiamTV, right? Bearer of the first positive, healthy streaming videos for those looking for mental and physical balance?

Well Happy is a documentary which introduces happiness in places and circumstances you’d never expect. Like the poor, thin man who pulls a rickshaw for a living in India in terrible heat and crazy monsoons saying, quite simply, that when he sees his son’s face he is happy- and rich.

Brings back perspective when I’ve said pretty much the same thing about Zahara the last few years.

Happy also dives into some current psychological studies like did you know that about 40% of happiness depends on our intentional activities, while only 10% is based on our circumstances?

So what happens to you isn’t nearly as important as what you do for yourself! Aha 🙂

It got me thinking about what I need to do to be happier as opposed to giving into the holiday humdrums.

1) I can’t explain the pleasure of losing myself in a good book! A device is more convenient but the feel and smell and sound of the pages as I turn them is a doorway to utopia for me. I vow to buy myself these anti-stress treasures and allow myself the time to read on the train to and from work instead of updating my social media sites.

2) While it’s true that my room doesn’t have to be perfect, the lack of organization on my single mom journey has gone from a little laziness to outright pandemonium. Nothing is where I think it is ( I’m too tired to put it away but also, my daughter thinks it’s funny to rearrange and hide things, like putting all my lipsticks into different bags and hiding those around the house!) 

It’s avoidable stress if I just commit to a bit of structure, like one day a week to make sure everything’s where it belongs. I don’t have to worry about time management or missing an opportunity for something fun instead if I’m just doing it once a week.

3) Keeping the face to face alive in my friendships instead of relying on social media and texts for communication. Part of why I’ve barely seen my friends lately is because I feel guilty spending time without Zahara when I’m not working. But I have to keep reminding myself that a little me-time makes a much healthier mommy. A few hours of carefree friendship, two or three times a month isn’t cause for guilt and I miss my friends!

4) Another emotion I need to get over is the fear of taking Zahara on vacation alone. I’ve done so much with her by myself, but I worry about being overwhelmed if I go away without someone to help me. But In a few months I’ll have my flight benefits and I promise to use them to start exploring this Earth again… maybe starting with a Puerto Rican vacation sometime this year since that’s where I was truly happiest.

🙂

5) Last but not least, I have to starting eating healthy again. I don’t mean diet, but just go back to the daily dose of fruits and veggies I was getting since I was pregnant with Zahara. I really like citrus and berries and, surprisingly, a lot of vegetables. And I know I have more energy, better skin, and less rundown when I’m eating those things instead of food court fast food like I have been at work the last four months! Getting back to that regimen of good eats will balance me inside and out, and it’ll help with all those moments of total exhaustion that ultimately lead to depression in the first place.

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So what about you, dear readers? What 5 things can you do for yourself to make the end of this year and the start of the new one truly about happiness? Leave me your answers in the comments section. While you’re at it, go check out Happy and see why I think it’s a film everyone should see. I’m certainly in a better mood after watching it!

And guess what? Gaiam’s offering you a FREE 10-day trial to their awesomely unlimited, 24/7 streaming content. Plus, when you sign up for the trial you’re automatically entered to win a 3-month subscription and  a cozy, organic fireside blanket. Visit http://bit.ly/GetGaiamHappy for this promotion.

Gaiam TV’s $9.95 per month subscription is no strings attached; there is no commitment, and members can cancel at anytime. So happiness is just a few clicks away! Go find some for yourself.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GaiamTV. No request to share any particular point of view was made, however I was given access to GaiamTV’s website and subscription content. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own, including the recently unpopular notion that reading an old-fashioned book is still a desirable activity or that I should SEE my friends, not just interact through technology. 😉

God grant me the wisdom to know the difference

The Serenity Prayer

“When I need a healing I just look up to the ceiling
I see the sun coming down I know it’s all better now”
– lyrics to “I Cry” by Flo Rida

To start all over again with someone new, to learn all over again how to play the back and forth game of smile and tease and discover and delight…

to know who to trust…

AND TO BE GOOD AT IT…

it’s a scary thought.

How much does he need to know about the girl I was?

How much of that girl changed, and why-

Is that necessary to explain? To detail the many hard choices my heart made to protect itself?

Or does that leave me vulnerable and exposed to a new level of pain?

How simple it would be to just not try to be with anyone ever again.

To just close my eyes instead.

To dream of moments when I’m light and airy, free of the weight of heartbreak and solitude and self-starter, up and comingness and responsibility.

To just be a girl

laughing with a guy,

dancing through the night,

waking with a feeling of joy.

Dreams are easy to experience. Easy to enter into and exit from, unlike reality, where it’s always a bit messier. 

The mess- passion, misery, letting someone know you better than you know yourself.

Giving him the power to use that knowledge against you…trying to believe he won’t.

The thing is, I had already begun living the “rest of my life” with a man. Shown him my most hidden self, the silliest, the sexiest.

He didn’t deserve it.

And I don’t WANT to start all over. It takes so much effort and time!

It takes so much…

everything.

I’d rather do that with myself. Learn about me, give myself the knowledge of the deepest parts of myself so I have the power to control my OWN destiny.

Maybe I get lonely sometimes, but my heart is telling me I don’t want a relationship right now.

I don’t want another mess.

That’s not to say I’m forcing anything. There’s more than one way to be light and airy. I can enjoy myself, my time, my work and my daughter.  And along the way, if someone makes my heart feel it’s worthwhile to let a little mess in, I won’t stand in the way. 

For now, THIS, knowing this and accepting it, is enough.

And when it’s enough, there’s no reason to yearn for more.

Funny how the heart learns to reason with the passage of time and the overcoming of injuries. But I guess that’s what growing up is…

Reason,

right or wrong,

romance,

respect for how it all FEELS.

Listening to the voice inside that lets you know when it’s time to let go…

Accepting that you’ll know if it’s ever time to try again.

Fa la la Long Island fundraiser

The holiday season is officially upon us, and from the North Pole to Nassau county, the celebrations are clearly underway. If you really want to get in the spirit, why not spend some of your time and money to benefit a great cause while crossing some items off your to-buy list?

The Holiday Expo at Stuart Thomas Manor on December 6th is a fun way to get on Santa’s nice list while you shop! This event is brought to you by Nassau Networking Moms and is sure to please even the most discerning shopper since it’s chock full of goodies like complimentary beauty tips and styling, door prizes and raffles, and even a fashion show.

The Nassau Networking Moms group is made up of local moms who take on the daily balancing act of family and business, so when it comes to planning events, they really know their stuff. There’s even going to be Zumba throughout the night!

Not only are they amazing do-it-all and do-it-well women, with this event, they are also fundraising to help a fellow Long Islander in need. The expo helps raise funds for the family of Crissy Fox, an inspirational woman and mother who is continuing to fight a long battle with cancer. As if that wasn’t enough, the Fox family was devastated by the recent destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. The money you spend at the event will help this family through the kind of difficult times when the support of one’s community can truly make things better. Come on Long Island! Let’s do this!

The vendors and sponsors include everything from apparel to beauty supplies to jewelry and more. The list goes on and on and has both big names and local favorites! You can check out the flyer below for more detailed info on the who’s who of the businesses that will be represented.

Trust me, you’ll find plenty of gift-worthy stuff, plus the admission is FREE. You can choose to register on the Eventbrite page for the free ticket OR pay just $10.00 (plus a $1.24 fee) and score a VIP SWAG BAG worth more than $85.00! That’s a little gift to yourself. 😉

So before the holiday shopping frenzy becomes all-consuming, take a night off to laugh and feel good about the holidays again. Get over to the Holiday Expo on Thursday, December 6th from 6 to 10pm and have a fa la la good time!

Everything you need for the holidays, all in one place. Why shop anywhere else?