Monday Musings: Happiness Project, November

October was a very fun month because of Halloween!

Also, Blogtober added to my enjoyment of the month. I'm really proud of the fact that I met my goal to blog at least once a week. It was especially fun to do some Dracula-themed posts. Here's a list of October's recipes:

Piperade Egg Cups
Monday Musings: Happiness Project, October
Green Beans with Mustard and Pine Nuts
Pommes de Terre Boulangere
Slow Cooker Boeuf Bourguignon
Stake Steaks
Eggplant Impletata
Quick Braised Red Cabbage with Green Apple

I also had the goal to make new recipes. I made five more new than the recipes above, but they needed to be tinkered with to perfect them for a blog post. I also had more Halloween recipes to post but I ran out of time to make them or take photos. They're perfect for cool weather so they'll be posted eventually this fall or winter!

Two books that I read for fun were:

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant
A History of the World In Six Glasses by Tom Standage

The first one was a quick read which focuses on meditation and simply saying "I love myself" either out loud or to yourself over and over again. Whether you feel silly about saying "I love myself" or maybe doubt whether you believe it, it really is uplifting to show yourself some positivity. It motivated me for my November goals, which are to be thankful for not only the other people and things in my life that make me happy, but to celebrate what I am able to do for myself as well.

The next book crosses over into my goal to become a minor expert. I've become fascinated with food history, so this was perfect. It discussed beer, wine, cola, coffee, tea, and spirits. The beer chapter was particularly interesting because of the discussion of the start of grain consumption and bread making.

Aside from reading and enjoying more cooking videos, I attended a cooking demo at the Culinary Institute of America. I've never cooked duck, so I thought a demo taught by real chefs would be the perfect way to learn. They made duck breast with cherry sauce, which was delicious. It was served with an herb salad, smashed potatoes, and a lovely Merlot.

I have to confess, I didn't do any Duolingo lessons. As Gretchen Rubin talks about on her podcast Happier, I working on another language is something my fantasy self wants to do. I've tried many times but I've not made it a successful habit. I think I'm going to put it on the back burner and try again in the future when I feel more inspired.

Onto my goals for November. I'm a little late getting them out but November has been a hectic month so far.

An obvious choice is to enumerate all that I am thankful for. I think we look for external things in our lives to be thankful for, but I want to recognize and thank myself and my body for all it does for me. One September goal was to exercise, along with other ways to take care of myself. I loved checking off my list when I worked out because I am visual. I want that accountability again this month, but from a different source of motivation. I want to celebrate my body’s ability to propel me through life. I also want to care for and celebrate my energy systems and mind. To do this, I’m following the exercises from the book Intuitive Self Healing by Marie Manuchehri and also doing her Affirm Your Worth cards. The cards act like a springboard to make me realize all I should be thankful for. I feel energized when I flip through them. I used to journal a lot, but I kind of drifted away from it. By the time I go to bed I feel too tired, but I love looking back on my journals and recalling good moments in my life. I’m going to create gratitude lists to count my blessings and also to celebrate the little things in life. Usually it’s watching the sun rise through my bedroom window, which has been much easier due to the time change.

I’ve been evaluating my Happiness Project so far. Is it making me feel happier? I don’t feel bounce off the wall happier, but I feel more content. I’m less reactive to stressful things. I’m calmer in general. I’m not so hard on myself. In the past, if I got writer’s block or wasn’t into whatever I was working on, I would berate and push myself. Now I just accept it and take a break or move onto a different task. It’s refreshing. My negative self-talk has declined because monitoring all the things I do has helped me appreciate what I do for myself and what I’m good at. I carve out more time for joyful activities because I’m monitoring them. 

My November goals:

Journal what I'm thankful about
Do the chakra balancing activities in the Intuitive Self Healing book
Show my body gratitude by exercising
Read the Affirm Your Worth cards
Celebrate the Ordinary