Reach for The Stars You Love

When you come back from long term rehab in Florida you want to do anything you can to make sure your life is conducive to living a sober life. You left detox in South Florida knowing there was more hard work to do. You want to be able to build the kind of life that helps set you up for success as you negotiate what it means to live your life with the knowledge that everyone, even you, deserve to be healthy, happy, and loved

You’ve heard people say that you should follow your bliss, right? To me that always sounded sort of out there or a little unrelatable? But I think I kind of figured out what those people are trying to say. I think, “Follow your bliss” just means, find out what you love to do, and do it. I know that may sound too simplistic to be true but I think it’s more powerful than you think.

 

Follow Your Passions

More and more I’m convinced that if we as individuals wildly pursue our personal passions the better the world will be.

I know. To most people that sounds either a little disconnected from reality, or just really self indulgent. Let me tell you why, though. What do you love to do? Besides getting high and feeling those brief moments of euphoria before the devastating crash comes, or drinking so hard that you start to forget your pain, or think you have, or playing poker waiting and anticipating a big win. Probably those are things you’ve done in the past to deal with pain and difficulty. That’s not love.

 

So what is love?

I’m defining love here as something that makes your mood raise, maybe gives you energy and joy. Something you love may motivate you, or give you peace. But you can expand that to whatever it is that provides you the will to live and prosper.

What makes your body feel alive? What thrills your senses? A while ago my therapist posed this question to me as I was trying to work through some anxiety. I took the question home with me and rolled it around in my head a while.  My husband and I started talking about it. We didn’t really know fully how to answer the question at first. But then as we intentionally pondered it, a week or two went on and we found that we knew better than we thought.

As I was digging in my balcony garden I lifted my head up, soil up to my elbows, smiled a sweaty smile at my husband and said, “making an awesome garden on our tiny balcony totally makes me feel alive”. As I was gardening I realized I felt calm, almost something akin to contentment. I loved caring for the plants, watering them and putting them in the right amount of soil–knowing they would thrive and I would feed my family. It made me feel confident, and at peace. Throughout the next few weeks we often would pop our heads up at random times and blurt out another thing we love. “God, I love listening to Janelle Monae. Monae makes me feel connected to myself somehow”, “Biking, I love flying down hills. I feel invigorated and free.” and sometimes it was the tiniest things, “When I feel brave enough to honestly compliment a stranger, and it makes them genuinely light up. That makes me feel thrilled, and hopeful.”

 

Active Attention

It wasn’t just that we were thinking about it, but we were sharing those thoughts with another person. We were actively paying attention to what we love. We were reaching for it. And then we were acting on it more. I gardened more. I started saving for an awesome bike. My husband listened to more Janelle Monae. We both chased bigger vocational dreams and felt like they were accessible because they were dreams we loved, not only because of the end goal but because actively chasing them made us feel alive.

And you know what’s great? A very happy side effect of talking about the things you love and doing the things you love is that you realize that you do indeed also love yourself. It’s hard to get to a place where you believe in yourself and will allow yourself to be okay with loving yourself but it’s easier to get there if you think about it through this lens. What are you if you aren’t what you love? A person is made up of a continuous chain of choices they make. If you spend your time choosing the events and activities that you love, it’s at least harder to hate yourself, if not easier to love yourself.

 

Practical Application:  

Using your new habit of scheduling, actively prioritize doing what you love. I’m not saying schedule in complementing strangers (although it’s not a bad idea to remind yourself to engage in kind and thoughtful interactions), but schedule in whatever your version of balcony gardening, or biking is. Put aside time in your actual calendar to listen to whatever kind of music makes you forget your inhibitions and move your body in a way that feels natural and alive. You can even clean if you want it to still be productive time. Or if you’re dancing claim it as exercise! But if taking the time to be productive also makes the moment at all less for you, do the productive thing at a different time. Spend your scheduled minutes in pure bliss. It sounds luxurious, I know, but it’s for your benefit and also for everyone else’s benefit around you. For me, I have found that at least 30 minutes a day of time doing whatever it is that helps me feel most like the best kind of me, makes an enormous difference in my quality of life.

When I do what I love intentionally like this, I also find that I’m more patient with others. I’m calmer. My emotions are more understandable because I feel less keyed up. When you do what you love regularly, what truly brings joy and life to your body and mind, it makes it easier to want to work through the pain, and anxiety and depression, to have hope that life is worth your time and living it sober, intentionally and fully is worth how difficult and strenuous it can be to create new habits.

I know, this last one feels like a hard one. But I’m telling you. Successful people do the things they love. They do them often and they do them intentionally. They schedule themselves into their calendar like they schedule their bosses or children. Start with 30 minutes on your schedule. Even if you only have your lunch to do something. Maybe find the kind of book you can’t put down, or go for a 15 minute run in the middle of your work day (lots of offices have showers these days), or pick up that sketch book and find a corner to sketch in, away from your desk.

If you or anyone you know are struggling with drug, alcohol, or gambling addiction and are seeking out the best drug rehab in South Florida, or you’re looking for gambling addiction treatment please call us today at (855) 441-2449. We can walk you through our treatments and tell you what it looks like to take your first steps toward sobriety and healthy living.

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