Do you look outside yourself for answers to finding more joy? You know something is missing in your life... but you just can’t pinpoint exactly what that is. So you do what many of us do which is seeking and searching for that sense of security only to find yourself thirsting for more. Maybe you fill up your calendar to escape loneliness, spend your free time shopping, or perhaps go on the newest and greatest cleanse. Did you know that everything you need to feel more happiness exists at your fingertips at this very moment?
I’d love for you to imagine right now what it would feel like to be healthy in your mind, body, and spirit. How would you feel waking up? What would your morning routine look like? What clothes would you wear? How would you nourish your body? What would you do in your free time? Who would you hang out with? How would you feel when simply sitting in silence? Peaceful, content, and at home with yourself?
The number one thing people I work with want LESS of is STRESS. What they desire MORE of is HAPPINESS. So let’s set aside this idea of searching outside of ourselves and go within and uncover 5 of my favorite tools that you can begin incorporating NOW... think of it as your personal “Happiness Playbook.”
1. Stay In Your Lane- whenever you are suffering (triggered, reactive, sad, frustrated, annoyed, impatient....) ask yourself “whose lane am I in right now?” Chances are you are in someone else’s lane or God’s lane. Worrying about the weather? That’s God’s lane. Frustrated because you do SO much for your friend and she isn’t reciprocating? Yep... you are cruising in her lane trying to control her speed. When we quit invading other people’s energy space and focus on ourselves, a peacefulness arises. When you are in your own lane, you don’t need to take on the effects of other people’s choices and behavior. It’s a healthy form of self-protection AND it’s a great way to allow others to work through their own “stuff.” A powerful by-product of this tool is you are also able to practice ACCEPTANCE. When we stay in our own business, we are forced to actually feel our own feelings without projecting them on to others. Moving away from resisting “what is” (our feelings, worries, concerns) and into feeling them, accepting them, and moving on is a powerful way to create more serenity and happiness in your life.
2. Celebrate- Parties don’t just need to be for birthdays! If you look closely you will find reasons every day to celebrate something. A good friend who was an expert at creating joy would find reasons to celebrate all the time. The Oscars were on... time for a party! Her cat’s birthday... you guessed it!
It’s not that you need to throw a party for everything... just begin to look at life through the eyes of celebration. Your niece got on the Dean’s list? How about inviting her over for lunch to celebrate or mail her a congrats card? You closed a new account at work? Why not meet with your team for coffee or happy hour to give yourselves a high five? I just love this idea of intentionally recognizing (aka celebrating) moments big and small each day. It gives life more of positive energetic feel...and it’s fun.
3. Mystical Wonder- When was the last time you walked through the woods or your city park with utter amazement at the colors of the trees, the feel of the bark, the sounds of the birds, and the smells of Spring? When you see a deer or a fox do you pause with the wonder of a child or go back to your smart phone to google about different types of fox etc? Being in the moment with whatever you are doing or whomever you are with creates a sacred sense of joy. Tap into your inner child or better yet go on a walk with one and you will see the world from fresh new eyes. There is magic everywhere if you choose to look.
4. Appreciation- I recently heard someone talk about how they wrote one letter to someone every day in 2018 and it changed their life. Showing appreciation towards others for simply who they are as well as their acts of kindness fills up your happiness bucket. Amp up the gratitude practice by first listing 5 things each day you are grateful for and then follow up with a letter to someone. Receiving a handwritten note is rarity these days and such a gift.
5. Connection- how often do you race through your day without connecting to your soul/spirit? Meditation is the doorway into doing so but if it’s not your thing, simply try sitting for 10 breaths each morning paying attention to your breathing, your heart, and your lungs.
What about your connection to others? Call up an old friend, have family over for dinner, or begin volunteering. When we open our hearts, homes, and time to others we feel more grounded and connected to one another.
Finally, never underestimate the power you have of connecting to those beyond “the veil.” Your guardian angels, your guides, and loved ones I believe are simply waiting to be asked how they may help us navigate this sometimes amazingly beautiful and something heartbreaking and painful life. What do you have to lose by simply trying? A good friend would laugh when I insisted he repeat the mantra “angels above me, angel below me, angels all around me... help me find a good parking spot”.... but he doesn’t anymore because somehow he always seems to secure rock star parking :)
My wish for you is to approach each day, as it is... a gift. This moment right now as you are reading these words, the next hour, the rest of the day has never happened before and it never will again. Cherish this delicious life through acceptance, appreciation, connection, wonder, and celebration...and see what happens.