Before I begin, I would like to say thank you to all who have served and do serve our country or support those who serve our country. We all contribute to the greater picture, to the greater freedom. And it is also the perfect segue into this post, which is about the larger picture in life, the most important things in life.
Holiday Survival Kit:
I think there is a perfect recipe for the holidays, and life in general. Now, you know that I don’t really ascribe to recipe following, you know that I like to improvise and do my thing (you can’t hold me down).
So, in the spirit of a typical Suzlyfe recipe, I am going to list ingredients and give general amounts, but the real measure is up to you, your taste/preference, and your kitchen (ie world). Use what you have on hand, what you love, and respect your body (and mind)!
5 Ingredient Recipe for Holiday (and Life) Happiness:
Build your crust
1) Grace and Respect
Life is filled with potholes. People will trying to bring you down (as discussed in the post on Shaming earlier this week). Events will fall short of your expectations, for yourself, your body, and others. So build your foundation out of grace and the ability to rise above. In the marathon world, Meb (in the past), Kara Goucher, and even our friend Tina, these are all elite athletes that have set certain expectations for themselves and found a wall that they run straight into. Last weekend, I encountered a wall with the instructor’s comments. I ran into a wall that I knew I wasn’t going to be able to bring down. So you know what you do? You find a way around. You acknowledge that wall, strategize, and then figure out your reaction. You cannot control the majority of your life–from the wind on the avenues of New York to the behaviors of others. You can only set yourself up for success and control your reaction to whatever you find.
“Things” don’t always go your way. Grace and the ability to be flexible will enable you to deal with whatever comes your way because what comes with grace is perspective.
2) Love, Philanthropy
Love for yourself should engender love for others. You should love yourself enough to share what you love about yourself with others. Love brings us together, binds us, keeps us humble. Growing up, I volunteered a great deal–community service was a huge part of my upbringing as a result of my mom. But you have to have a foundation of respect and grace upon which to build this. Otherwise, your base will fall apart and the flavors won’t work.
You should love yourself enough to take care of yourself. Because by taking care of yourself, you can put yourself in a position to help others. If you need a little help, starting with a virtual charity fundraiser like the Team Challenge Turkey Trot is a great first step–it is no pressure, but gives you something to work towards. Or simply donating goods to the food bank. Use apps like Charity Miles, simply make a pledge, track it yourself, and get your friends involved.
3) Laughter, Beneficial Strategic Selfishness
Joy and laughter help support the love, philanthropy, respect, and grace in our lives. I support my health, help find my joy, by taking care of myself physically. Sometimes that means a run, sometimes (like yesterday?) that means not exercising and instead resting and enjoying my treats. I surround myself (selfishly) with people that make me laugh, that brighten my day, and I spend less time on the relationships that don’t contribute to that. But in so doing? I feel like I am able to give the world more of myself. You don’t need to be rampantly selfish, but laughter and pleasure give spice to life–like cinnamon or red pepper flake.
4) Willpower and Determination
This is the binder to life. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the concept of willpower in the comments on Jenni’s blog. She did something amazing and turned it into this banner. I am so glad she did, because it made me come back to what I had said.
Willpower and determination are the eggs, the fats, the guar gum etc in gluten free recipes, that binds everything together and gives your creation structure, not just flavor and substance. These qualities keep the cookie from crumbling, so to speak. And it comes in different forms. Sometimes you need the big guns, and other times just a pinch will do.
5) a dash of Badass Unicorn
This is the seasoning. The finishing salt, the balance. This is the wild card ingredient. But it is the dash of YOU. The dash of personality, that ingredient to situations that only you can contribute. Your sassitude, your genuine care, your sensitivity, your ability to withstand any forces of nature. But make sure that you never forget to add it–otherwise, that recipe will never be complete.
What would you add to this recipe? What is your “icing” on top?