What is the secret to happiness? It's not really that complicated.
Step into gratitude.
I just heard the quote, "If you're grateful for everything, you're grateful for nothing," and that means get detailed with your gratitude. I just took a workshop that taught us to be very detailed with gratitude. How detailed? Well, think of something you're grateful for. Do you love to paint? How about the hairs of smallest brush you have or the color carmine red? Are you grateful for summer? Well, how about gratitude for the leaves of your favorite shade tree, or the pulp in lemons?
Are you starting to get the idea? So here's the thing: You have to practice gratitude every day; really do it. Personally I usually start each morning with a very short prayer of gratitude for coming back into the world. I like to go to sleep listing things I'm grateful for as I fall asleep. When I'm really feeling down, I like to play what I call "The Gratitude Game" with my husband or a friend. Take turns listing things you're grateful for.
If you find it hard to think about what you might be grateful for, then this is really the right exercise for you. Think about the sparkle on the greeting card you got. Think about the knobs on the drawers that make them easy to open. Think about the filter on your faucet so you don't get sand in your water.
Still not sure? Experiment with this daily for a month and I guarantee your life and attitude will change for the better. You will feel better and happier. Start now.
Want to be happy? You have to choose it. There are abundant opportunities to be sad, angry, bummed, disappointed. But happiness? You have to grab it with both hands and cling to the idea and feelings like a pit bull with a bone! This is no small thing.
Now, just because you decide that you want to be happy is not a guarantee. But it has to start with the decision and commitment.
Let's say you want to clean your bathroom. You can want a clean bathroom all day long but eventually you'll have to pick up a sponge or a rag or a toilet brush and start scrubbing. Right? If you only have time to spray and wipe down the mirror, that's ok, now your mirror is clean and that's a great start. Get the idea? Decide you want happiness and then take action to create the habits and mindset of happiness.
A happy life does not happen all at once. You work for it. You commit to it. You take action to clean away the muck and mire. Little by little your choices add up. The kind of music you listen to, the people you spend time with, the entertainment you choose, the way you talk to yourself and others, etc.
If you want to be fit, you don't work out all in one day, you have to change your food and activity. Make sense? So for happiness, dig in and plan your emotional, physical, and mental environments to clear out what isn't working and implement what does bring you joy, true joy. Step by step. And Providence will step in as your partner in joy.
How about starting out by generously sharing your smile? Experiment with greeting someone new warmly, as if he or she is an old friend. Let me know what happens.
Thanks to Scott Liddlle (hotblack) and Morguefile.com for the great photo!
Are you ready to shake yourself up for a better life with one of the best tools ever?
Simply say, “thank you,” plain and simple. A lot. Really. Powerful.
Understanding this will never get old. Knowing how to use this tool will remedy some of the hardest times in life.
If you find yourself anxious, or worried, feeling down, or especially lacking, take a step back from your troubles and say “thank you.”
Thank the mailman.
Thank the street cleaner.
Thank the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
Thank someone in your family who has done or said something kind.
Thank your pharmacist, builder, web designer, jeweler, inspirational speaker, virtual assistant, friend, client, teacher, or student for showing up in your life.
(This list is inspired by some of the people who get this ezine—you know who you are!)
Heck, go ahead and thank God or thank goodness too, what the heck.
Try saying thank you for what’s missing in your life, because it’s what’s missing that makes you strive and grow to become more.
Gratitude will open channels for you to receive more.
Be creative! Draw a “thank you” picture. Do a “thank you” dance. Sing a “thank you” song. Eat a Thanksgiving meal—with an all original menu (or not)—in June. Have a “thank you” party.
My mom (who is nearly 89 years young) learned from a friend of hers to say, “What would I do without you?” when someone has helped her with something. It gets a smile. When you’ve given someone else the gift of appreciation, you’ve lifted someone’s spirits. You can’t help but find yourself lifted up too.
Last month I found myself focusing in a pretty negative space. I asked my husband (who is a very good sport) to go back and forth with me sharing gratitude. Sounds corny but we took turns saying something we were grateful for. The results were brilliant and peaceful.
You’re allowed to be grateful for anything big or small, in fact, nothing is too big or too small to feel gratitude about.
I hope your results are brilliant too.
“I find that the more willing I am to be grateful for the small things in life, the bigger stuff just seems to show up from unexpected sources, and I am constantly looking forward to each day with all the surprises that keep coming my way!” ~Louise L. Hay
Thank you for sticking with me as I blunder my way though ezine experiments.
Thanks to mouguefile.com and lukeok for the great photo.
Live the extraordinary life you deserve.
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Aunt Laya inspires and encourages you to live the life you want for yourself!