Resting bitch face was my norm. Everywhere I went people would comment on how unhappy and bitchy I looked. If looks could kill. My RBF definitely reflected my inner world for a long time.
Now, I catch myself with a content smile more often than not as my norm, and of course everyone says I get duck faced when I’m concentrating, learning, reading, etc. I’ll take duck face over RBF, any day.
In order to wake up and see a smile on my face, and then want to share it has not come easy for me. I faked it for a long time, forced would be a better word, really. I didn’t like being nice, being mean, rude, and short was much easier.
I have consciously made decisions to see a different version of myself come to life. I have taken myself from a completely lifeless, careless, inconsiderate, and angry little girl, to a much more content, enjoyable, loving, giving, thoughtful, self loving woman with room to grow.
I have grumpy days, more than I’d like, but the anxious, depressed, self loathing, and hateful person that lived inside of me is far different from having a grumpy day or moment. Much much different, remember that.
So, if you feel like you are in a depressive state more often than not, if you have a perma-scowl on your face, ask yourself these questions: “what am I so mad about? what is so bad? what is keeping me from smiling? why am I letting it, or him/her have that kind of control over me? How long do I plan on staying in this state of disgust, exactly? Am I ready to know what it’s like to feel good and feel God?
If you can process the anger layer by layer with at home self care, then try all the self help tips if they sound like a good, safe, and healthy idea.
If you know you can’t process the pain, and enjoy life, and those around you the majority of your time, then maybe it’s time to call in a life coach, or a therapist.
Once you give a voice to the old grumpy man dwelling in the basement, he might warm up to you, and become your friend, your voice of reason, your voice of strength, and acts of courage. But, you have to let the anger speak, and show itself (safely!!), or it will hide, collect dust, and give you reasons to walk around with resting bitch face. Don’t do it.
If you are doing it, stop, snap out of it, wake up, and come back to life one simple decision at a time. Baby steps to big change is a quote that forever sticks out. The small and significant routines bring my days and my smile to life.
One stitch at a time crafts the blanket that cradles and cares for life’s most precious gifts. One breath at a time brings you closer to savasana where you are able to rest in the warmth you created. One step at a time brings the runner to the finish line where he collapses in awe of his body and capabilities. One word at a time the author is able to bring the pages to life and awaken hearts and minds all over the world.
Stitch, sew, string your life together one small, simple, sweet, and significant change at a time.
A few of my current favorite tips:
1-Wake up: what’s my breath doing? Can I make it deeper, more even, more purifying? What am I thankful for? How do I want to feel, this morning, afternoon, evening and the next time I lay my head on this warm cozy pillow? Got that? Breathe that in. Go create that, but do it first thing. Always, always set the tone for your day with your first inhale.
2–As you are stringing together your first moments of the day let your feet hit the ground, connect, breathe, open, feel expansive; dig down deeper, reach up taller; think longer, leaner, stronger; breathe deeper, more even.
And, also feel the air and energy around you, and notice how light and expansive you are as you eat, drink, and ready yourself for the day. Ground down and lighten up is the idea.
You’re making it a point to consciously wake up your body, mind, and soul connection first thing, and making your presence known. You’re allowing yourself to feel the space and time of the moment as you prepare to move to the next.
You’re starting your day centered, calm, and consciously. Feels sa good.
3-Find something to help you reconnect when sh*t gets real. It’s going to happen, someone or something is going to step on your toes and derail your happy train.
We all know we need to breathe deeper, so do that first, and maybe even envision yourself inhaling light as you do so, white light.
Maybe you need to have a stress ball, or gratitude rock handy. Do you know about hand mudras or crystals and how to use them or why they would be helpful? What about doing a few mountain to monkey poses where you stand, as you remember you are safe, and all is well when stress sneaks up? If you’re at home create a safe place where you can go for 2-5 minutes, and do some jumping jacks, or push ups to get out the angst. Find a love for quality essential oils, dab some lavender oil on your temples, and take a few deep inhales of it to notice yourself calm. Do you have a therapist or friend to vent to and bring you back to center when it’s just too much? Find a favorite quote to memorize that will come in handy during the tough times, but make it as healthy of a release as possible.
Don’t let bad habits be your go to reliever. You’re worth a healthy happy life, and you can choose to create the healthy space and body you crave one conscious decision at a time.
And, if you f*ck up, and have a shitty moment, or make a bad decision, just remember that you are worth trying again, and again, and again. Every fail is just life trying to wake you up, and redirect you to what is meant to make you feel alive. Keep going. If you’re trying, you’re doing it right.
4-Make it about someone else as many times as you can in a day. How can you help them, this moment, this situation? How can you make them feel better, safer, calmer, kinder, happier, and more loved and appreciated? How can you make someone feel special, important, and like they matter?
I struggle with chronic pain from old car accidents and I find that I feel best when I get out of my head and ask others how they are, what they need, or what’s good in their life. For a short time I am able to get out of myself and enjoy what someone else has to offer. Many times these moments where I’m able to make it about someone else are what save me from an emotional meltdown when the pain becomes so monotonous, and sometimes I prefer to wallow in my own self pity…..balance.
How can you change your corner of the world right this very moment? Do good because it feels amazing to give of yourself, and to serve others as often as you can no matter how small the gesture. I’m sure you know first hand that the smallest of gifts both material and non can be the most memorable.
5-Present yourself with love everyday. I don’t mean you need to put on your fake eyelashes and heels to do your housework. What I do want more women and men to do is look in the mirror or down at their bodies and be truly thankful for the blessing it is. I do want you to take time to notice the lines, details, freckles, spaces, and the miracle that is your body. I do want you to put coconut oil or lotion on with love, brush your hair with gentle care, notice how your eyes light up when you smile after brushing your teeth, and wear the colors that make you feel most confident and alive.
I do hope you find a ritual or two a day that makes you stop and truly experience the body you have and the abilities it possesses. Dry brushing, fascia blasting, sugar scrubs, face masks, detox baths, essential oils, manicures, pedicures, conditioning treatments, the number of self care habits you can take in are plenty. Pick one a day and enhance your own natural beauty.
Notice what you love about you and enhance it, magnify it, enjoy it, and share it. Smile and tell yourself you love yourself and today as you pull your hair up in a messy bun. Notice the glow your skin has as you apply your coconut oil. Wet your lips with your favorite gloss and recite a kind word or two to yourself. The color of your eyes, the veins in your hands, the freckles on your nose, the mole on your shoulder: notice it all, it’s all so unique and it’s all so you…..enjoy, enhance, embellish, and encourage others to do so along the way.
6-Try or learn something new everyday. Want to learn Italian or Spanish? Download Duo lingo and trill away. Yoga seem fun? Log onto You Tube and enjoy a free 10 minute morning routine to wake you up and get you started. Always wanted to write a novel? Read one, a successful one, and see how it’s done, and then write a page or 10 or 100 of your own creative thoughts. Has being an artist always excited you, but you never learned? Find a local art shop, studio, or free online advice and let your colorful side show itself a little at a time.
You’re not going to start off writing Harry Potter novels, creating Picasso pieces, melting into the splits, or traveling to another dimension via transcendental meditation right away, so just let that go right now.
You must put in the energy if you want to create something worth anything. Let yourself be a beginner and just enjoy trying new things every single day. Enjoy learning about your body and mind, and what it does, and doesn’t like, just be curious. Enjoy the fruits of your efforts and marinade in the sweet nothings that just so happen to be your everythings.
Try, enjoy, or don’t, take note, learn, grow, move on one breath, one new motion at a time. All.Day. Long.
Wake up new cells, bring yourself, and the life you desire to life one good decision at a time. And, if you can’t make a good decision, take a deep breath and be thankful you’re here to make a bad one.
Photo: Renee Atherton