“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Have recent upheavals changed the way you live? As you reflect on what’s most meaningful for you, have you created new personal or family traditions and rituals that bring you peace and joy? Or do you find yourself longing for what’s missing in your life? It’s not surprising if you feel disconnected and disoriented when you consider the year we’ve just experienced. When you tack on the darker winter days, many are struggling to find happiness.
To be honest, we have to stop asking how to find happiness, because happiness is not something we “find”. You experience happiness when YOU give life to it and nurture it from within. It’s a spark within you (no matter how faint, it is there) that you must fan until it becomes a flame. You create your own happiness, but it hasn’t always been that way, and that may be the source of the problem.
When we’re young, our parents, teachers and others keep us entertained, engaged, motivated and validated. As we grow, their control should lessen, until we stand on our own two feet as self-sufficient individuals. Yet this natural process can be hampered because those in control don’t relinquish power properly, or we develop an unhealthy dependency on it. As a result, you unknowingly continue in the pattern of relying on others (your spouse, your business partner, your client, your child) to provide you with a good day.
To reclaim your power, get back on track, combat the winter blues and the holiday letdown, we’d like to invite you to dedicate January to REFRESHING YOUR JOY intentionally, each day.
Why is it important to intentionally create your own happiness?
Without developing mindfulness and choosing to live intentionally, you will stay stuck in the routine that has created discontent and unhappiness within you. If you’re not clearly seeing your way ahead yet, there’s something still to be discovered and dealt with within your thoughts, beliefs, motivations, mindset and actions.
Please use the following questions to diagnose where you are right now in the Create Your Own Happiness process. Look for what’s blocking you and, more importantly, what energizes you, so you can do more of that!
What is a source of joy for you?
Most people will say family, good health and energy, time to pursue things they love, feeling secure. Yet if those things are so important, why are you chasing money or every bright shy object that’s taking you away from your source of joy? When you heal the disconnect between what you’re doing presently and what you’re meant to be doing, you’ll experience peace and joy.
What gets in the way of feeling joyful?
Some things may be glaringly obvious; other things not so much. This self-assessment requires that you create a quiet space and adequate time for honest introspection. We suggest this be an ongoing process, because, in our experience, it’s like peeling back the layers of an onion. You have to get past the outer layers to find out what’s at the core.
Can you recall a truly joyful moment in your life?
Memory is a powerful tool, if you make the effort to engage it. This is where a practice of gratitude is essential. It slows you down, heightens your powers of observation and deepens your appreciation for the little things in life that we take for granted.
For EACH happy thing that happens (what others do for you or what you accomplish yourself) follow this formula:
- Notice — keenly observe.
- Feel the feeling deeply.
- Hold onto the experience.
- Talk about it (say thank you or praise that individual to others).
- Record in your journal and view at the end of the month, so it’s embedded in your memory.
To be joyful, we can’t live on the surface and quickly move onto the next thing. We must deepen each experience, be in the moment, and make it part of us.
How do you know you’re feeling joy?
Become attuned to your body sensations. When you’re stressed, don’t you feel tight, bowed down, pulled in, and heavy? How do you feel when you experience happiness and joy? You feel lighter, expansive, open, upward looking. Learn to listen to your body.
You can create your own happiness by tapping into positive emotions on purpose, no matter where you are or what is happening around you. If you’re a professional woman who has a big idea, passion, something to say or share with the world, but so far you haven’t found a way to express it, please join Great Circle Community! We’re here to help you take the next purpose-filled step.