Power of Happiness

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“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” – Dale Carnegie

Many of us think of happiness as a fleeting image. We are at an amusement park, on vacation or some other entertaining venue or event, which induces us to be in a state of happiness.

The power of real happiness has little to do with our environment or circumstances. It is a daily choice.

For years, I kept waiting for the day to come when I could be happy. I thought it meant clearing away all the heaviness inside of me. I figured I had too many “shoulds,” in my life that came before happiness, until I discovered that happiness is there even when life feels like it’s not cooperating.

In choosing happiness, it’s to choose well-being. It’s to acknowledge all parts within ourselves in harmonizing or at least, being copacetic with each other. The internal battle is not being fought, because one part of me is not trying to banish the other parts.

To get rid of any part of ourselves doesn’t contribute to wholeness. In happiness, it is to know things aren’t always in complete agreement, but it is to trust that they can co-exist without there being a struggle. Control is not necessary when it comes to the outside or other people, happiness is felt in letting go.

Even when I have things going on in my personal or professional life that I want to be more satisfactory than they currently are, I make a choice. I can either go down the road of feeling futility, disappointed or just wrung out. Or, I decide to focus on something that feels good, even if it is allowing myself to sit for 5 minutes and reconnect to me and what I want.

If we make our minds up to be happy rather than concerned about things, which are problematic, we may actually come out with better solutions when the time is right.

How many of us spend hours wasted on thinking of a future problem, something in which we currently have no power to change or solve, and come to find that it was all a waste of “thinking, or obsessing?” It pays off to set our minds to happier thoughts, rather than the familiarity of the punishment in our thinking.

Some of us feel we must only think of solving problems. If there’s not a problem , we’ll create one.

It’s something to keep us in our comfort zone of familiarity. Choosing to think happier thoughts, requires effort. It is not easy to shift, but when we start thinking we’re okay as we are, that life is okay as it is and that whatever happens around us is okay too, we automatically become happier.

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.” – James Oppenheim

Creative thinking comes from letting go of the type of thoughts, which weigh us down. When we start to feel heavy, holding the reins emotionally, we can change the direction. We can acknowledge whatever is making us feel like mud and still choose to re-focus on creating more well-being.

If we want to manifest the best life possible, it pays to focus on what we want rather than on what isn’t working. The more creative we are, the greater our sense of well-being.

When we are in this lighter, more buoyant space with our emotional state, our actions can more easily match to carry us to the goals we say we want. Sometimes, our actions must come first and then the change of thoughts will follow.

For myself, it really is about shifting what I am doing. If I start to feel crappy for any reason, I ask myself do I want to dwell here? The familiarity of the old wallowing feelings start to surface and I literally have to disengage and ask myself, what would give me joy right now? What would be in alignment with my goals? And I shift into action first, I start writing or doing something creative. If my thoughts move first, I look at something, such as my vision board, or think of what I want. Anything to break up the downward spiral…and re-focus on my sense of well-being.

The more connected we are to all parts of ourselves, the less we lose touch with that sense of good feelings in ourselves. Even if we’re momentarily thrown for a loop, the happiness we have at the base of our feelings, never really goes away.

 

 

Negative Thinking is Exhausting

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Kuan Yin: Goddess of Compassion

We can be stuck in negative thinking, because it is familiar.

It can be just what we know. Especially, if our thoughts are focused on a situation that won’t change, such as some of the WHY questions: “Why am I alone?” “Why can’t my partner do what I need?” Why does my life, job, home, relationship suck?” 

And the I HATE statements: “I hate this situation I am stuck in, I hate making decisions, I hate him/her, I hate that I’m fat, I hate my life, job, etc…”

And so on…you get the picture.

Perhaps, upon waking the thoughts are there, the same ones like a wheel turning and all they manage to do is wear a person out!! Seriously, what type of mood does that put forth for the day ahead?

The reason it’s so exhausting is that those thoughts are stressful and if we were to act on them in an angry or stressed out manner, the outcome will probably not be what we want.

There is a way to stop the negative cycle of thoughts from taking over the day. It takes time to begin a new practice and I suggest starting small, very small….that will make it easier to continue and create a new habit.

1. Stop for a second in the middle of a negative thought. Ask yourself if it is helping you? The answer is more than likely, “NO.” All it does is keep you caught in a circular pattern.

2. Tell yourself to relax just for a minute. Close your eyes. Nothing bad is happening right in the moment. It’s just you here. Now as silly as it is, say, “I want to feel happy.” If you listen to that statement, you should feel some of the stress associated with negative thinking drop down.

3. Now. Pour some kindness on yourself. Meaning, tell yourself you are doing the best you can in your circumstances. Be compassionate. The kinder you are to you, the less angry you are with others.

4. Look at the situation, relationship, or whatever it is that keeps you uptight, BUT look at it through the eyes of kindness. Take the compassion you have for yourself and look outwards. Is there a small glint of acceptance for what is in the now? Do you feel a different option in how you are thinking, acting or desiring?

This type of transition may be incremental to some of us over time or it could be an epiphany. Slowing down and stopping the negative thoughts will make a difference in our lives, even if it is just in how we feel each day. Instead of having a pit in our stomach as we face the day, maybe there is a warmth throughout our body that no matter what we will be emotionally, “okay.”