The Path to Happiness Isn’t Where I Expected It To Be -Mitch

 

Oh, hey there. It’s been a while. I’ve been out of sorts. I had a couple more medication changes that fucked me up quite a bit in the past several months, and I kind of hit a wall in my career, personal development, and my relationship, and I certainly didn’t give myself time to grieve the loss of my dog properly. I was exhausted, depressed, and totally unmotivated. I gave zero shits for way too long, and now I’m trying to find my path back to the person I want to be; the best version of myself. I’ve found, though, that I spent way too much time and energy trying to make myself want things that were no longer what was best for me. I was trying so hard to convince myself that my goals should be the same as they were in the past that I didn’t take time to evaluate if those were still things I wanted. I went down a rabbit hole only to finally realize that if I’d achieved those goals, I wouldn’t be happy anyway. I needed to acknowledge that goals change as we do, because it’s tough to let go of things, and that’s totally OK.

It’s hard for me to blog here when I’m not feeling myself, honestly. Our mission is to help women live their best lives, and I was certainly not living mine. Nowhere close. I guess I was practicing self care, if self care looks like eating cookie dough out of a tub. (I mean, I think it CAN look like that, once in a great while, but let’s be honest. Doing it fairly regularly isn’t self care. It’s self harm.) Who the hell was I to help guide anyone else? I was a hot mess. What I guess I really lost sight of, though, is that I’m a woman, and if we’re trying to help women live their best lives, why was I uncomfortable starting with myself? I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people out there going through the same things I am, or who could learn from my journey.

Part of it is that it’s really hard to be totally raw and honest online. The Pinterest/Instagram/Blogosphere corner of the internet is full of people with photoshopped and glossed over lives. I don’t blame anyone for wanting to put their best foot forward, especially in a cruel world full of strangers who sometimes want to make themselves feel better by taking other people down. I find that women, especially, fall into this pattern of behavior. When you’re miserable and things aren’t going your way, it’s a hell of a lot easier to lash out and judge other people than to turn the mirror on ourselves. I know I’ve been guilty of that toxic practice. The nickname Mitch the Bitch didn’t come from thin air. I wear the label “Bitch” proudly when I use my skills to stand up for myself and for people and ideals I love. I’m not so proud if I use it to personally attack people. It doesn’t make me better, it doesn’t make them better, and it doesn’t make the world a better place.

It’s equally as bad when I use my elevated skills of verbal decimation on myself, whether I say it out loud, or I say it inside my head. I’m always up for a good self deprecating joke, honestly, and that will probably never change, but I need to be a lot kinder to myself when I stumble. I need to be a lot more honest with myself, as well. A character trait I’m not terribly fond of is my all or nothing, zero to sixty in ten seconds personality. It’s great to ramp myself up and throw myself into something I care about or to reach towards a goal, but it’s a train wreck when I don’t allow myself room for moderation or failure.

Be real; who else does this? We say, “I stayed on my diet for three days then I ate some fries, so I’ll start again Monday,” or, “I really wanted to start blogging again, and I wrote a couple I’m pretty happy with, but then I ran out of time and motivation and now I look stupid because who the hell wants to follow me?”

The answer to failure shouldn’t be, “Fuck it!” if it’s something you really want. If it’s something that you think will make you really happy, start again today. Commit again right now, and if you stumble, start again right away. Don’t give up, but forgive yourself if you don’t succeed and follow the path that you thought would lead you to your goal. My goal is pretty simple. I want to be healthy and happy. I want to be the best version of myself and I want to help other women do the same. For me, that’s going to require nothing but pure honesty, self love and acceptance, and accountability. I’m going to be honest with myself and right here on this blog. I’m going to love myself to identify self destructive behavior, take some time to analyze why I did it, and find a better way to reach my goals when I start again. I’ve found that what we sometimes think will make us happy isn’t really what we originally think it is. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the minutia of what we are trying to do that we don’t take time along the way to reevaluate and make sure that the place we’re going is still the destination we want to reach.

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I can’t say “here I go again” without a Whitesnake reference. My hair band loving heart won’t let me do it.

So here I go again, but not on my own. I have AK and my family, and other amazing, strong friends and mentors to love me and guide me, and maybe I have you. You have me if you need me. Reach out. I don’t care who you are, or where you are in your process. You don’t have to be spiritually awakened, because I know I’m not there yet. You don’t have to know exactly what you want or how the hell to get there, but if you’re reaching for something and you’re not content, hit me up. I’m actually a lot better at advice for other people than I am for myself. Even if I can’t help, I will almost always say something ridiculous and make you laugh and see things from a different perspective.

When we started this blog, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do here, of what my role should be, and really, what I thought I wanted and what I thought would make me happy. Some of that is still right, and some of that has changed, but I promise, it’s OK to figure it out as you go along. Don’t stay committed to things that don’t serve you. Seriously, knock it off. If you made a goal to run a marathon but you keep injuring yourself, that might not be the right goal for you. There are other ways to get fit and strong. I’m not saying to divorce your husband or quit your job right now, especially if you love them and see a way forward and a future with them that could be fulfilling. I am saying that the way forward might look different than you thought it would, and you need to be open to that.

I have a lot more to say. I want to talk about spirituality and the divine feminine, and  I started this blog to talk about gratitude. I’m going to write about both soon, but this is what came out right now and I’m not second guessing it. This needed to come out for a reason, so here it is. You’ll see the good, the bad, the ugly, and the utterly ridiculous here, so strap in for the ride.

Love, light, forgiveness, and an appropriate amount of cookie dough,

-Selfish Mitch

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Smooth Move, Universe. I Hear You Loud and Clear -Mitch

An unexpected kickstart to Eddy’s Happiness Project

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This is Eddy. He had crawled up on the arm of the couch facing backwards and wasn’t sure how to get himself down.

As I wrote in my last blog, My American Bulldog, Eddy, passed away suddenly of a heart attack. He was only seven and a half, and this loss has been terrible on me, and on everyone else who loved him. I’ve spent a lot of time crying, which I think is really normal, but as I was going through photos of him (I’m so glad I took so many!) I started to think about what Eddy cared about. I mean, he was a dog. He wanted food, he wanted walks, and he wanted love. However, his favorite thing was when his family was together and we were all happy. He wasn’t smart, but this guy knew how to spread love. It was hard to be in a bad mood with him around because he was always such a joyful boy.

I decided that the best way for me to honor Eddy’s memory is to find joy and bring it to others. I plan on doing a lot of journaling and beginning each day with meditation while I walk in nature and writing down my gratitudes each day. I figured I’d start Monday, because I like to start things on Mondays, and my journals will arrive from Amazon on Monday as well.

For some reason, I woke up at 6 am feeling better than I have in weeks. Maybe feeling better than I have, physically, in months. I got up, stretched, puttered around the house until just before seven, then grabbed Thor and his leash and decided to start our walks today instead of Monday.

 

 

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Walk? Hell, yes! -Thor

As the little man and I cruised through the neighborhood, looking at the beauty of the Superstition Mountains, we were both deep in thought. Thor was thinking about how cool it was to be able to pee in 634 different places. I was thinking about how odd it felt to walk without Eddy, of course, but I was also feeling grateful for a beautiful, cool morning and that I had my Thor to love. I was thinking that today was as good of a day as any to start spreading happiness to myself and others.

I blog under the name Selfish Mitch, because being selfish has always been a quality I’m aware of, and it certainly hurts some relationships when I’m not living in self awareness and trying to be my best self. If I get stressed or angry, that’s the trait that comes through a lot. Still, when I was diagnosed with chronic illness, I realized it was kind of great that I was born with the innate ability to say “no” to other people and things in my life that don’t serve me. Saying no to others and saying yes to ourselves is actually a big problem for a lot of women, healthy and ill alike, and it’s why so many of us feel frazzled. Women often give, give, and give before we tend to ourselves, which leads to feeling tired, grumpy, unhappy, and unappreciated. It’s honestly one of the reasons AK and I started this blog–to share our journeys of self love and self care as we try to find balance with the world. Still, I’ve been sad and stressed and not feeling well for quite a while, and I realized that I’ve really just been focusing on me too much. Being a little selfish is good. Being super selfish isn’t.

Yes, Eddy’s Happiness Project is about bringing happiness to myself, but a big part of it is purposefully spreading joy to others. As Thor and I were walking around we were both happy. I haven’t felt well enough in the morning to walk him around the neighborhood, so he was thrilled to explore. I was feeling grateful for my body and mind feeling healthy, grateful for a beautiful day, and I started thinking of how I could give back this week. I didn’t have any brainstorms, but there I was, on an unscheduled walk, and all of a sudden a skinny little pup without a collar came up to me. He looked like a chihuahua mix, and he let me pick him up right away. I looked around for an owner, and didn’t see one anywhere. We were pretty close to home, so I picked the little dude up and carried him home. He instantly found Thor’s food and water and filled his belly. I let them play while I grabbed my phone and tried to find his owners. Sure enough, the night before, someone had posted a picture of him on nextdoor.com. They went out to dinner last night, and when they came home their front door, side gate, and garage were wide open, and their little Max was gone.

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The guys on the way back to reunite Max with his Mom

They’d been up until 3 am looking for him. They thought that either the person who broke into their home took him, or he’d run away scared. He’s 8 years old and they’ve only recently adopted him from a rescue group, and he doesn’t know his name yet. We also live in an area where coyotes are known to grab cats and small dogs, so they were beside himself.

It’s just nuts to me that I woke up feeling amazing and somehow decided to go for a walk, during which I was brainstorming ideas to spread happiness around, and I was out at just the right time to find Max. He was standing in the middle of one of the busiest streets in my neighborhood. I hear you, Universe. I hear you Eddy. I was propelled into the right place at the right time to make a couple weep with joy. How amazing is that?

One other thing: a couple of days I turned off my Facebook notifications on my phone. It’s a huge distraction getting alerts pinging on my phone all day long. Once I got home, showered, and opened my computer to handle incoming calls for my real estate team, I did check facebook quickly and a new friend, who happens to be a fellow Poshmark seller, posted that she gave away some furniture to a family that had lost everything and asked if anyone could help. Since I have so much stuff that I’m reselling (650+ active listings on Poshmark, probably 300 more items to list) I will usually help by donating clothes. The other seller and I got into a dialogue about her idea to do classes for low income women to teach them about reselling. That’s another project I could get behind. It could seriously make a huge difference in the lives of families struggling to get by, and it wouldn’t take much of my time.

It’s just amazing what happens when you send signs into the Universe and you have clear intentions. I feel like I manifested two different ways to spread happiness just by going out into nature and asking for what I want. I never feel more spiritually connected than when I’m out in nature, and today was a huge sign that I’m headed in the right direction. Right now, I am happy.

Thank you, Eddy. I promise I’ll honor you forever.

Your loving Mama,

-Selfish Mitch

Introducing “Eddy’s Happiness Project” with Selfish Mitch

You may have noticed that I haven’t been around much lately. My dog, my sweet, sweet bulldog, who was really my favorite person in the entire world, passed away suddenly when my son and I were out of town visiting family in Montana.

There was no warning. He was happy, jumping around, playing with his puppy brother all the time. He’d been swimming in the pool just days before he passed away. The night it happened, my husband called me and said be thought Eddy didn’t feel well. We faced timed and he looked mopey, but OK. He was always moody when his mom wasn’t home. I got to tell him I loved him and I’d be back in a few days.

Two hours later, my husband called to tell me that my best guy was gone. I’d say my heart was broken; is broken, but that doesn’t even begin to describe how deeply I’m feeling this pain and loss. This dog was more than my emotional support animal. He was the sweetest, silliest animal in the world. He came into our home as a 5 month old energetic American Bulldog puppy. When he wasn’t running, he was on my lap. He arrived shortly after I’d been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The doctors had told me that I had blood markers that indicated I had an autoimmune disorder, but I didn’t check enough boxes yet for a diagnosis.

Eddy was with me. He was there when I had unexplained high fevers and pain. He didn’t mind missing his walk when my joints were too swollen to grasp his leash. Every night, between 9-10 PM, if I was in the living room, he’d growl at me until i went to bed. He wanted to go, but he doesn’t like to sleep alone. He wasn’t a smart dog, but it didn’t matter. He knew love. He knew how to comfort. He made us all laugh more times than we could even count. Every day of the seven and a half years he had on this world was filled with joy.

The night after he died, I was still in Montana with my family. My sleep was restless, but as soon as I woke up I felt the strongest wave of peace roll over my spirit. My sweet baby boy came to me in my dream and spoke to me. He told me that he was sorry he had to leave me, that he didn’t want to, but that it was necessary for him to go now so he could return to me when I need him the most in the future. He’s been back a few more times, reminding me to try to find joy. I feel him with me so, so much.

 

The best thing I can do right now, I think, is to honor his memory by taking a few risks. I’m going to dive right back into something that’s been a true PASSION in my life. I’m pretty good at most stuff I decide I want to do, and I happen to love working in real estate, but being on stage is what makes me light up. It fills my heart. With my heart feeling so, so broken right now, maybe putting myself out there can mend a shard or two of my heart. Time will help, I’m sure. The feelings I have so often that he’s still right here with me helps too, but I know that I’ll miss him deeply every single day until he returns to me. Little Thor is doing a lot of work around here, spreading his love around. He misses his big lug of a brother too, and I think they may still be communicating too. Sometimes I’ll think of Eddy and when I look at Thor he has his tongue sticking out. There are all kinds of little things like that that make me know that the Vail between the worlds of the living and the dead isn’t as heavy and restrictive as most people think it is.

I’m incredibly grateful that AK and I started our dialogues that have lead us to where we are right now. If feel like I’m growing at a pretty astounding rate. As I dive into spirituality, my mind feels open. I the impulse to be kind to strangers a lot more. I am coming to be really tuned in to my empath abilities. I’m very grateful for that. The more I learn about being an empath, it just checks so many boxes. I’m using this ability to better help my real estate clients. I’m using it to be a better friend. A better wife, mother, and sister. There are no limits, as I’m a firm proponent of lifetime learning.

I think if I hadn’t been going down this spiritual path of self discovery, self love, and self care, I’d be a much bigger mess. I’m still feeling the loss. I’ll sometimes have a memory pop up out of nowhere and it feels like someone has punched me, HARD, in the gut. It makes it hard to breathe. I have techniques and breathing that can help me. I can get up and do some exercise to get endorphins flowing. If this had happened a year ago, I’m pretty sure I’d be looking for answers at the bottom of a bourbon bottle. If it took 3 weeks of constant drunkenness, then that’s what I would have done. That’s not who I am anymore. I’m making healthy choices, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. I am going to take control of my life to find a way to build that happiness Eddy always wanted.

I’m proud to know that I’ll be starting Eddy’s Happiness Project. I’m going to spend a lot of time journaling. I’ll start each day by writing gratitudes. Then, I’ll make 3 bucket lists. I’ll have a short term bucket list, a long term bucket list, and an ongoing bucket list.

For example, my first item on my short term bucket list is auditioning for a couple plays with local theater companies. I think short term goals should be fairly easy enough to complete in 3-4 months.

My long term bucket list includes getting a speaking role on a TV show or movie. Even if I’m just there as an extra with a couple of lines, I’m into it. Most of these long term goals should be achievable in 1-2 years. I’ll put longer term goals too, like AK and I flying to Montana, renting a car, and hiking different trails all over the state for a month. I don’t know that we could make a month happen right now, but a few years down the road it should be easily doable if we are clear in our intent, ask the universe for what we want, and do the work it takes to get us there.

My ongoing bucket list will contain things like 5 workouts a week and eating on-plan 80% of the time. It will also show my dedication to my work commitments. That one is important, because I plan to buy myself gifts when I achieve milestones.

I’ll be sharing my results here quite frequently, so please follow along! If you’ve been looking to bring more happiness and joy into your life, this might be a great way to do it. All you need is journal, an open heart, and an open mind. Oh, and pens or pencils, I suppose.

Feel free to contact me at any time if I can be of any help to you!

If you’re trying to to bring yourself up from grief and/or depression, I want to help. Let’s be those rays of happy sunshine that breaks through the clouds of despair.

Wishing you love, light, and peace,

Selfish Mitch