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!
Live the extraordinary life you deserve.
Aunt Laya inspires and encourages you to live the life you want for yourself! She'll tell you the truth, even when it's not always so easy to hear so that you can learn to handle the hard stuff of life and be your best, happiest self. Always with love and caring.