Pay More Attention to the Things That Make You Want to Get Up in the Morning
By Bianca Sparacino
We have been taught from such a young age that happiness is meant to be this big, all-consuming thing. That it is this moment that cracks open our bones, changes our lives, and sweeps all the weight inside of us away. That it is something that is awarded to us, gifted to us by the world. That it is something we are always in pursuit of until we find it.
And so, we are always waiting. Waiting for this experience, this simplifying in life, this ‘aha’ moment where the wounds are all healed, and the growth is all organized neatly within our ribcages and our hearts aren’t afraid of loving anymore and the warmth never leaves.
But I don’t think happiness is big, or infinite, at all. I think real happiness, true happiness, exists in the acceptance of the fact that we will always be balancing what is light and dark within ourselves. I think real happiness, true happiness, exists in the quiet. In the small things. In a morning cup of coffee, in the sound of your mother’s voice on the other end of the phone. I think real happiness, true happiness, is believing that you are meant to be here, that you are meant to take up space in this world; it is being kinder to your body, it is being kinder to your mind. I think real happiness, true happiness, is finding the human beings who take care of you — not in a materialistic way, but rather, finding the human beings who take care of your soul. I think real happiness, true happiness, is all around you, at all times, pinned and blooming in the things you stopped paying attention to because you were always searching for more. Flowers on your daily walk. The intensity in the air when you meet someone, and you know they’re going to change your life. The way your stomach flips when you hear your favorite song. The way your person’s eyelashes feel as they blink across your neck when you’re holding them.
And I don’t think happiness is something you find, or that it is this destination you get to where the night never comes, and you are bulletproof and unaffected by the mayhem. I think the mayhem will always exist — we are literally made from it; we wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for the crashing and the banging of atoms within this Universe. No, I think happiness exists in the understanding that the hard days hold just as much importance as the beautiful ones. I think happiness exists in finding the things that make us feel known, and special, and at peace in this world, no matter how small or insignificant they feel, and letting them save us. I think happiness exists in learning how to embrace the dark, in learning how to see it as the very thing that makes us appreciate the light.
So, ask yourself — what makes you want to get up in the morning? What brings you hope? What are the things in your life that make you want to keep going, that help you to trust your journey, which help you to believe that you have the capacity to be the person you have always hoped to be. What are the small moments, the small rituals, the daily routines, that make you feel like you are growing, that ignite something deep within you? What grounds you when the world is full of noise? You have to pay attention to the life you want to create yourself because you are in charge of your own happiness, you are in charge of who you become. So, if something makes your soul feel like it is finally home — pay attention to it. Whether it is a ritual, or an idea, or a person, or place — just follow it. Just make your life your own.
To inspire you into taking inventory of the things in your life that bring you genuine happiness, that bring you back home to yourself, that ground you and help you to trust in your journey on even your hardest days — I wanted to share some of mine. These things, while they may seem small, are rituals I have dedicated myself to embracing, each and every single day. When I focus on how these moments make me feel — mentally, physically, and spiritually, it becomes very clear that they aren’t small at all.
Coffee is a ritual in my daily routine. It’s a way for me to take a few moments to wake up slowly and create some peace in my mornings. No matter where I am, or how busy my day is, taking a few minutes each day to sit with myself, and to slowly sip on a cup of coffee is important to me because it sets the tone for the rest of my day.
Over the last few years, I have really connected with the fact that we have to do kind things for our bodies just as much as we encourage ourselves to do kind things for our minds and hearts. Nourishing my body properly, and putting good things into it, is a way that I say thank you to my body for doing so much for me. Self-care is not always bubble baths and ‘treat yourself’ moments — sometimes it’s as simple as remembering to take your medicine, or your vitamins, each day. Sometimes, that is how we show up for ourselves.
Focusing on my skin is a ritual that I have learned to really embrace, and make time for, as I’ve grown up. Being able to take a few moments before I start work to go through different steps that are both pampering and nurturing for my body is a way in which I again, thank my body for what it does for me each day. Moving through a routine also helps to ground me, and to make me feel like I am prepared and ready to take on whatever my day may hold.