Is Happiness Chasing You?

My quote this morning was this:  Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.  Hafiz  cute_little_bluebird_of_happiness_cartoon_bird_0515-1003-1906-0159_SMU

I love that quote because it speaks so well what I learned many, many years ago and that is simply that happiness is completely in our control, our choice.  We decide our attitude everyday, we decide our guiding emotions…Did someone cut you off in traffic, did your coffee you spent $4.00 on taste terrible, was someone rude to you when you got to work?  All of these kinds of things can set you up for “well I guess this is how my day is going to go” syndrome.  We can choose to let those kinds of things dictate our attitude and joy (or lack thereof) the rest of the day or we can choose to realize that our very existence on this big blue ball is a miracle and all those little thing really do not merit wasting time being upset or mad.

I know I have no ‘rewind’ on my life or the precious moments I am given.  I would rather not let the petty moments, the little hiccups decide my day for me, and instead, choose to be that person that finds joy as much as I possibly can throughout my day and have people in my life feel my joy, my peace and thus, find some for themselves…that is my choice.  Happiness is not chasing me, it found me a long time ago.

I’m Fine……………….really.

The average person tells 4 lies a day, that’s 1,460 per year, for a total of 87,600 by the age of 60.  We all, at one time or another have told this little lie.  There are multitude of reasons you say you are fine when you aren’t.  There may be rules of confidentiality that restrict conversation, there may be reasons you don’t let your guard down to certain people, there may be time constraints or you don’t want that level of intimacy with the person asking how you are…maybe your barista asked and at the risk of getting horrible latte’s thi'm finee rest of your life you say you are doing well when you aren’t.

However, there is a monumental problem with saying you are ‘fine’ when you are not.  What is that you ask?  Simply this: when you say, out loud, that you are fine and you are not, you are really trying to convince yourself you are.  It is well known that some women and men who experience child sexual abuse never tell, never speak the words of the abuse out loud.  The reason for this is that if they never say the words out loud they can pretend it never happened… saying “I’m fine” is really the opposite dynamic going on.

The bottom line is, we all have moments, days even, where we are not fine by any definition.  Struggling, sadness, loss, helplessness, aggravation are all part of the human condition.  You have permission to not be ok, to not be fine.   So next time someone asks you how you are, and you don’t feel so fine, find other words to respond with, words that will not betray your heart and soul, words that will be true to your feelings.  The more you are genuine and honest about how you really feel, the more you will experience joy and peace.

The Mechanics of Change

When we talk about creating the life you dream of we always have to talk about change because any growth or creation involves changing. Unless you understand how change happens, you are destined to stay where you are. Change is very difficult and takes a long time. It isn’t something that happens overnight. Human beings are creatures of habit, structure, and things staying the same all the time. We like life to be predictable and to know what is coming down the pike. When we want something different it throws everything in chaos because now things are unpredictable.

What motivates change? Well, fear of dying is not enough motivation. Dr. Dean Ornish, a renown heart Doctor studied what would cause his patients to make fundamental and permanent changes to prolong their lives and fear of dying was not enough motivation! (In fact, 90% of heart patients who have had health crises do not make life saving changes)….Dr. Ornish found that joy rather than fear motivated his patients. Finding joy in life was more likely to cause those life saving changes. He also found that radical changes were more likely to succeed rather than small incremental changes! In fact when he used the above principles a whopping 77% of his patients made changes that positively affected their health.

We know that joy can bring about change. In order to make the changes in your life that are positive you need to be motivated by the joy that will come with the change. You also need to realize that habits take up to eight weeks to form to where the action becomes expected and automatic by your mind and body. If you want to replace an old habit with a new one expect to consciously work on it for about eight weeks. You may need to put reminder notes around your house or work area. Just remember, putting joy first in your life and using that as a motivation is the most successful way you can succeed. Joy feeds your soul and makes life worth living.

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