I might as well get my fifty cents worth while I have you here, right?
I am a happy person. It can drive people around me crazy, I know. I often am accused of having an easy outlook on life. The funny thing is that I work hard to be happy, it's not effortless. Every morning I wake up and make the decision to create happiness for myself.
Not long ago, I read the book A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. For those of you that don't know me personally, you may not know that I am addicted to self help books. It all started when I was on the heels of a nasty break up in my mid-twenties. I had moved to Atlanta to make a new life for myself. One sunny afternoon, as I sat in my living room and cried for the one hundred millionth time because I had a broken heart, I made the pivotal decision to read any self help book that Oprah told me too. It was the best decision that I could have made because it was so much cheaper than therapy.
I've grown so much through every single book she featured on her show over the years that I've decided to do a series of book reviews of all of the best self help books out there. I will call this series Self Help Paradise. Trust me, I've done all of the hard work in reading these books first and I promise you that if you have a restless soul that these books can be a roadmap to healing. I'm no Dr. Phil but I have read all of his books. (Ba-da-bump!) Oh I love that Dr. Phil and his crazy Texas sayings. Like the one time he was drilling into this young guy for ignoring his wife to watch sports. The poor fella looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Dr Phil jokingly said "I know what your thinkin'. You're thinkin that I'm about to have a donkey barbecue and you're supplying the ass." Genius...genius I tell you.
I digress, the point is, (focus Leigh) I read the book A New Earth. To say that it was life changing would be putting it lightly. "Eckhart Tolle provides practical teachings for waking up to a new, enlightened mind-set. If you're seeking a more loving self and a more loving planet, A New Earth has the tools to begin your transformation. Start reading today!" Okay, I just totally copied that from Oprah's website but her people said it much better than I ever could. One of the many perspectives that I took from it is that our ego can create drama in our lives to make us feel special. I learned this first hand one day in what I will call "The day I realized that I was an idiot."
I fear boredom. It's terrible, if life gets too calm then I start to feel complacent. At least, that's what I used to believe. One morning, life was calm all around me. It was a normal day and as I tooled around the house doing my daily chores, I started to get worried and I wondered...was my life special? It just seemed so normal, something had to be wrong for everything to seem so right. Crazy? Yes, I was.
So, I created drama for myself. On a subconscious level, of course. I stubbed my toe and I stubbed it BAD! You know, when you hop up and down, cuss like a sailor, and pray that you didn't just break your toe. Oh...I managed to feel good and sorry for myself for the duration of that day. I didn't stop there though, just after the sting had worn off I decided (subconsciously again) to splash boiling hot water all over my belly when I tossed some boiling noodles into the colander in the sink. I screamed and yelled. I was pregnant with Koen at the time and Roger totally fawned over me. As I lay on the couch crying with an icepack on my belly, Griffin came over to console me. Roger was very concerned about me and as the tears rolled down my face, I realized what I was doing, my ego had won. I had created a reason to cry. How absurd is that?
I made a choice that day. I decided that what would set my life apart from everyone else would be that I would make the healthiest choices for myself. That meant that I would accept my calm life that is essentially drama free and let the drama queen in me go. I released my need to create problems for myself. It was as if for the first time in my life, I allowed myself to be content just being me. No more crazy antics to make my life seem more interesting.
So, now, a year and a half later, I wake up every morning and decide to be happy. As I go through the day, I choose to make every possible turn to create peace for my family and my home. It takes work and it's not easy but I am getting better at it. I don't let the little girl in me that is scared of complacency have her temper tantrums any more. I let that girl go and found a joyful person living within me. I still have bad days and I'm not always happy but, for the most part, I love my calm and normal life. Okay, I admit that sometimes I pick a little fight with Roger just to keep things spicy.
Always read the fine print: I have never read any self help book in it's entirety because as I read the book, I start to feel better about my life and then I just kinda quit reading said book. So, if you read any book that I suggest and the ending sucks...sorry about that. Also, I received no compensation for writing this book review. I did it out of the kindness of my heart in hopes that you might find inspiration in reading at least three fourths of this book too.
Last thing, I swear. Scroll on down to see the winner of Freakshow Friday!