Happy Hour with Kelly 001
Happy Hour with Kelly Winters
Happy hour with Kelly! Now that sounds like fun, right?! 🙂
Happy Hour with Kelly is a new weekly series on my blog that I’m soooo excited about! Every Friday, we’ll meet here for Happy Hour. Woohoo! But let’s be real. Not a lot holds my interest for a full hour, so it’ll probably be more like 10 minutes.
During this time, I’ll tell you the things that I’m the most grateful for during the week. You’ll probably learn a lot of new stuff about me – deeper stuff that I haven’t shared before. You’ll get glimpses and pictures of what my everyday life looks like. I’m almost positive that you’ll see a lot of pics of my handsome, furry, 4-legged son, Bently. And then after you finish reading, I want you to tell me the things you’re most grateful for during the past week. I want to learn more about you! It’ll be really fun!
Why am I doing Happy Hour with Kelly?
When I was at the lowest low of my life a few years ago and everything was ripped out from under me (seriously, I was in such a low place that I didn’t care if I lived anymore), the thing that turned my life around was starting a gratitude journal. I will share my story with you soon. To be honest, the emotions are still a bit too raw, but I’m almost feeling brave enough to share it. But ever since starting my gratitude journal, my life began bursting with joy, happiness, freedom and abundance.
Did my circumstances change? No, not at first. In fact, nothing changed on the outside for months. But I experienced such a profound inner shift from the gratitude journal that I began to meet those challenges with ease, gratefulness for the lessons they taught me and a truly joyful spirt. Gratitude really can change everything! I’m living proof of that!
It’s my hope that having a conversation about our weekly gratitude here in Happy Hour with Kelly will get some gratitude, positivity and joy flowing to you! Writing down your gratitude helps train your mind to see the day in a whole new perspective. You’ll start to see that good things, miracles even, are truly everywhere, even in the very darkest of situations. And then pretty soon, you’ll start to notice that all you have are good days! Don’t believe that can happen? Put it to the test! Try it with me and see for yourself 🙂
My Gratitude for this Week:
I had 2 things, in particular, happen to me this week that made me overflow with gratefulness.
Gratitude #1: Flowers in every room of my house!
I was having an especially hard week, emotionally. I’m doing a lot of personal development work – mainly working on releasing a lot of old emotions and negative beliefs that are holding me back from moving forward with a big goal of mine. This past week I was feeling uncharacteristically down as I revisited, rode the wave and released many difficult emotions from my past.
So what’s this have to do with flowers? Well, flowers are my very most favorite thing! They bring me so much joy. I love looking at them. I love how their mere presence brightens up and beautifies any space. They are so bright, so happy, so joyful, so beautiful. I just love them.
Last week, flower bouquets just started showing up at my house. Bouquets from family, from dear friends, a hand-picked, daffodil bouquet from the neighborhood little boy across the street, even one from one of my old neighbors that I haven’t seen in years! I literally have so many flower bouquets that there is a bouquet in every room of my house, including all the bathrooms. How amazing is that?!
Now, this is not normal at all. In fact, I don’t remember the last time anyone bought me flowers. To have these beautiful bouquets in each room of my house fills my heart with so much joy. Seeing them is like a huge bear hug from God reminding me that I’m loved and that I’m going to be ok. Those flowers continue to be such a blessing and bright spot to me during my emotionally difficult time. I’m so grateful for not only the flowers, but for all the wonderful people who thought of me.
Gratitude #2: I had a breakthrough today that I’m so grateful for! I love breakthroughs!
My breakthrough: I haven’t given myself permission to rest.
I’ve always been a hard worker, an over achiever. A go-getter, as they say. I get it honest from my mom, who is the hardest working, most energetic woman I know. In many ways, I’m a lot like her. Rest and relaxation can be hard for us. Friends and family call my mom the Energizer Bunny. Road Runner, from the Loony Tunes, was the name lovingly given to me by one of my bosses. “Beep Beep,” my boss and co-workers would yell whenever I ran buzzing past them.
But the body needs rest in order to grow, thrive, heal and run it’s very best. In fact, rest and relaxation are some of the most important things we can do for our body!
There were so many times when I felt my body screaming, “you need to slow down. Relax. Take it easy. Don’t work so hard.”
I was so hardheaded that I wouldn’t listen until my body literally forced me to rest. I would come down with something that would knock me flat on my back for usually weeks at a time. Fourteen broken bones in my foot in the year of 1998. Torn Achilles in 2000. Pneumonia in 2002. Mono in 2004. Car accident in 2006. Lyme Disease in 2008. Anyone see a pattern here?
You’d think that I would have listened after all that, but no, I was still as hardheaded as ever. So in 2010 my life started to come crumbling down until it was in shambles and all I could do was surrender and listen. Life (God) will keep getting your attention until the only thing you can do is listen. It whispers at first. But if you’re especially hardheaded like me, it will knock you flat on your back and may even take everything away so the only thing you can do is listen.
(Sidenote — I can’t help it, I’m a teacher at heart haha! Pay special attention to those feelings you habitually resist. What you resist, persists! Releasing your greatest resistances will uncover your greatest treasures.)
I’m proud to say that I have finally learned to listen and to tune in very well to are my body’s gentle whispers (Yay! Making progress!), but just today I realized that somewhere deep down inside of me that I felt guilty about resting. As if somehow it wasn’t ok to not do anything. Like I had to do something or accomplish things to feel worthy.
In fact, just this past week, my body was telling me to take it easy on myself as I was going through all my emotional stuff. So I listened and blew off 2 days of work to enjoy the gorgeous warm spring weather. I did nothing but drink homemade green tea frappuccinos and lay out in the sunshine. Sounds lovely, right? But here’s the thing: I spent most of the days feeling so guilty about not doing something productive. I beat myself up in my head. I called myself lazy saying things like, “a real go-getter would use this time off to work on her goals or do something productive. You could at least work on your blog or clean your house.” I was totally shaming myself for resting.
Severe criticism of myself is my personal toxin and something I’m continually working on releasing. When I finally realized how much I was critizing myself when I should have been enjoying my freebie rest days, my breakthrough came. And it came while I was resting, may I add! Rest, doing absolutely nothing, but just being present with yourself, forces you listen to what message God is trying to tell you. My breakthrough of the day: I may have learned to listen to the whispers, but deep down, I still had not given myself permission to rest.
So from now on, I am giving myself permission to rest. I am worthy of rest. It’s not only ok to rest, it’s crucial for me and for my health. Rest is good. It’s very good. There’s nothing for me to feel guilty about. Negativity be gone! I’m so grateful for that breakthrough!
Now I want to hear from you! What about your week are you most grateful for? Did you learn anything new this week that you’re especially happy about? Please share!!! I’m so excited to read about all your good stuff that happened! Big things, small things, simple things, they are all very good things and I can’t wait to hear about them! Let’s all inspire each other to live with more gratitude!