I want to use a personal example to demonstrate the power of asking questions to…
Today I want to share some advice about how I practice being happy that I gave to a client this past week. I often write so much about bulimia recovery because it’s where I came from and what I’m known for helping people with, but I’m also a life and business coach so let’s explore more than just recovery and addiction today!
The path I’m joyously focusing on is in the area of teaching people how to be happy. Truly happy not faking it but miserable inside. Happy now, not someday.
Happy because you want to thrive!
When the majority of your activities, your thoughts, and your focus are on what’s not working guess what you’re likely to get more of in the future…?
You already know how this works. You get more of what you don’t want. It’s not hard to figure that out, but it takes practice to shift. Today we’ll focus on happy in order to bring more of that into your life. Ready?
To Be Happy, Get Happy
I was reflecting this week on my own level of inner happiness (which reached a new high just yesterday!) and noticing my journey these past few years. I read Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project in 2013 and went on to create my own project. (read on my Joy and Authenticity Project post). It was during that period that I listened to Abraham-Hicks video about creating a morning process (read more about how to create a morning process).
I belong to a small yet powerful women’s circle in my community. This group of women get the meaning of “working on yourself” and don’t let you slack off when you’ve got something in the way of being your most radiant self. We each expect the most from ourselves and we support and facilitate one another through our inner journey to release what doesn’t serve us and remember who we truly are inside.
This past week as I was sitting in the circle and remembering how what we focus on we create and bring more of into our lives. I realized I could focus on and bring even more happiness into my life if I chose to put more focus on it. So, I set a stretch goal that I would focus on being the happiest I could be each day for at least the next 30 days. I’m on Day 5 of that stretch and feel so blessed and thankful to be re-visiting being happy in this new way.
What my stretch goal has shined a light upon for me is that when you fill your mind, your energy, your time with a focus on happy the negative doesn’t come up because you’ve got so much good going on all around you. If you read my last post on the momentum of thought this really dovetails nicely into what I’m talking about here.
What I think keeps some of us from being happy is we don’t realize happy takes practice. It takes focus and life energy to guide ourselves in this way. In all actuality, it feels like it takes energy because often we have so much momentum going in the negative direction that it feels like “work” to start the momentum in a positive direction.
There is good news!
The good news is:
- There is more well-being and positive energy in the world than negative energy
- Well being is being showered upon you all day every day – if you stop doing what you’re doing to resist it coming, you will naturally let it in (read more about letting your cork float)
- You can create just as much momentum in the positive direction as you’ve created in the negative with a shift of focus – the better it gets the better it gets
What I’d like to do is teach you a few of the practices I’ve utilized that help me release my focus on what’s not working and allow in the natural well being that wants to come to me. And guess what…being happy is the result!
Oh this is soooo cool. Let’s get started shall we?!
Things You Can Do To Feel Happy
First, I want to insert a quick disclaimer. These are the practices that help remind me to be happy. It’s important as you read to take away the essence of what I’m sharing, not necessarily the specifics. I had a client I shared the Abraham-Hicks videos with and it seemed like everyone I shared them with felt better when they listened to them. Later on she said that Abraham videos didn’t work for her. That’s cool! Find what does work for you and do that!
Here are my practices that bring out my happiness:
- Believe good things are happening – one of my favorite Abraham expressions is “everything is always working out for me”. I must repeat that to myself a half dozen times a day. The power of that statement is that repeating it creates a new belief. It’s a faith-builder. The more I believe things are working out for me, the more I can have faith that when life throws me lemons that I’ll end up with lemonade if I just give it time. In the moment of crappy circumstances, I resist the urge to believe that things are happening to me because life sucks or you have to struggle or suffer to get what you want. Instead, I take the high road when a seeming setback appears and I trust that something will unfold that will teach me something, bring someone or something good into my life. Just repeating the phrase things are always working out for me in the face of setbacks or crappy times can help you stay focused on what you want which is for things to work out.
- Spend time with good things and people – you are the average of the five people you spend time with. Invest in yourself and choose your friends carefully. I also spend my time in the car, in the mornings, in the evenings listening to things that uplift and inspire me. I don’t let negative television, movies, music, news into my life. This is the one I truly believe is where the rubber meets the road. People are so convinced that you’ve got to be tuned in to what’s happening in the world that they forget they create their reality. By focusing on what is and what’s bad about the world, you’re just perpetuating more bad news. I have a very light information diet for what’s happening in the world and it’s not that I put my head in the sand, but I choose to only let in what I want to know about and influence me.
- Music is a vibration just like me – as a vibrational being I really pay a lot of attention to the music I choose. I say choose because some people listen to the radio and just tune into whatever is on the station. Not me. I even use Pandora so I don’t hear commercials because commercials get into our vibration just like the music does and I don’t want someone else’s priority to become mine. I listen to a variety of music and I intentionally choose music that is at or is higher than my vibrational state. Some mornings I wake up to dance/house music, other times it’s peaceful and calming. If I’m listening to a Pandora and a song comes on that feels out of tune with my energy, I change it! (I actually had to do that right as I’m typing this because the song that came on just wasn’t a match for my higher energy).
- Let the chi flow – I read a few books and blogs about Feng Shui several years ago and really like the principles behind this concept. In fact, just last night I spent a few hours cleaning up my place, reorganizing things and paying attention to what I had where so that the chi could flow around my home. I’m a big believer in less is more and as a woman I know that when we have things in our space that distract us it takes away from our energy/life force. Have a look around your house and make sure you feel good when you come home. If not, take a small space and work on it a little at a time. I started with my bedroom first and worked my way around the house room by room when I first learned Feng Shui.
- Thoughtful reminders and rituals – I already shared about my morning process earlier, so check out that post if you want to know more about my morning rituals. You become your rituals. I have an app on my phone that pings me three times a day to remember “spend time outside”, “be grateful for someone or something” and “feel the love”. This way I’m focusing on what is important to me. Whether you have reminders around you home, your office, your purse, in your car, on your phone or computer doesn’t matter. Don’t rely on brain space to remember these things – set up a reminder or a daily ritual (appointment) so that you’re sure to have these things in your life.
- Choose my words carefully and intentionally – your life is as good as you say it is. I choose my words out loud very, very, very carefully. If I say something I don’t want to perpetuate or to bring about I replace it. Sounds a little odd a first when you’re not used to it and this definitely takes a LOT of self-awareness. I’ve practiced and focused on my words so much over the years when I say something I don’t like or want to have come about I’m so present to it that I now can’t help but correct myself. This takes practice and you may want to invite friends to help you here because we’re usually so sloppy with our thoughts and words that having a friend tell us when we speak negative might help us become more aware in the beginning.
- Ask better questions – one of the Abraham questions that I use each and every day is “does this thought make me feel better or worse?” Questions are great for guiding thought, energy and focus. My emotions are a reflection of my thoughts. If I’m focusing on and thinking negative things that don’t feel good, it’s up to me to choose something that feels better. I find that before I started using this I was comfortable being uncomfortable with negative energy. Now days it feels so bad to feel bad that I simply won’t let myself feel bad for long. Usually I can catch a negative feeling and thought when it first comes up so I shift things relatively easily with a few new thoughts, focus or body movement. If I have a stronger momentum on a subject, it might take a bigger shift but I definitely don’t allow myself to sit in a negative place for long. The best thing about all of this is that each day we go to sleep and reset our energy so I know that if I’m having trouble letting something go and focusing on what feels better I trust that I don’t have to pick up that bad energy thought the next day thanks to my morning process.
- Take good care of myself – seems pretty straight forward, but I’m noticing more and more how important it is that I take good care of my body, mind and spirit. When I feel well and honor myself, I am so much better at everything and the world around me lights up. Taking good care of yourself is a gift you give to the people in your life. It’s an act of selfishness and is an act of contribution. When you’re exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated or too busy you are of little use to the world. Say no to busy and say yes to taking care of yourself. Spend time figuring out what you need and give it to yourself. I have friends that thing it’s crazy that I go to bed at 8:30pm but I get up at 4:45am each day due to my morning routine and that gives me enough time to read a little or listen to Abraham before I turn off the lights. Going to bed that early took some practice and rituals and I say no to a lot of things people invite me to, but I do what makes me feel good and it works for me.
- For goodness sake be thankful – there are people in my life who are so thankful and speak their appreciation for life that it inspires me. I really believe the words thank you when said with sincerity have the power to create magic and miracles in our lives. There is no higher vibration than the one we’re in when we’re appreciating an act, a person, a situation or just appreciating being alive. My app helps me remember to say thank you at least once a day, but I also have it built into my daily rituals and I have trained my brain to find things to appreciate. I once coached a client to include the practice of looking for things to appreciate when she went out on her 30 minute walk every day at lunch. If you spend more time looking (actively!) for things to appreciate you will find them.
- Do what I enjoy – the more time I spend doing what I enjoy and makes me feel good the happier I am. Simple recipe, right? I could go on for an entire post about doing only what you love or enjoying what you do. The short story is stop or minimize the things you don’t enjoy. You have the power to chose so choose things that make you feel alive!
- Let that shit go – this applies to people and things. If something doesn’t feel good – get it out of your life. Donate old clothes, sell displeasing or unnecessary furniture, and replace or repair the broken. If there’s someone in your life that just drags you down all the time, spend as little or no time with that person as you can. You’d be surprised if you just try to minimize your exposure to toxic people how much better you feel! Trust me, I have a very close loved one that I’m not talking with right now because she’s toxic to my happiness. It may be a temporary period, but sometimes it just needs to be permanent and you get to choose. Even family is a choice in terms of who gets your time.
These are some of the ways I remember to feel happy in my life. This list is some of what I do now, but it was an evolution. Please don’t try to take on all of these at once. The best rituals are those that replace rituals that don’t serve you and bring more of your radiant self to the surface.
If you could pick one area of your life that you’re spending your energy in a negative way and replace it with one of the ideas above, which would you choose?
What one action can you take and commit to here and now to do?
Nothing changes unless you change. This is your moment!
Pick one thing (or create one on your own) and commit to it below in the comments.
I look forward to reading your comments – or email me a question if there’s something I can help you with.
With love and light,