Posts tagged Happiness

Fresh Air

We slept with the windows open last night.  What a luxury!  Waking up this morning to the fresh air breeze so early in our Spring season is out of the ordinary and something to be grateful for indeed.

Little things like fresh morning air streaming across my face upon waking are what can make my day.  There was a time when it would have taken something big to get my attention – winning a contest, a promotion, a new car.  Twelve Step programs have taught me to see how much more there is to life than the big things.  They still count, but they are such a small part of the big picture.  It’s all of those little things throughout my day that add up, incrementally, to create a perfect day.  For me, having the window open overnight and feeling the breeze across my face this morning already makes this a perfect day!

It’s been five months since we last had the luxury of that experience.  We’re so blessed with our early Spring this year – it was 80 degrees yesterday, unheard of for this northern state!  So, my focus is on the warmth, the day before us, the happy birds again, the progress that I get to make in my life today.  Hmmmm.  Another deep breath.  Little things that add up to make me happy, and grateful to be on the planet today.  God Bless Your Day!

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am grateful for today!”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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What Happy People Have

Recently in school, I learned what happy, successful people have in common.  They have two qualities which make their lives more successful.  In fact, they’ve learned to do two things that the 12 Step programs encourage us to do regularly. 

The first is to focus on Gratitude.  My first sponsor when mentoring me about how to live a life that I can be proud of, or at least satisfied with, required me to write a Gratitude List – every day.  She required me to list 25 things each day for which I was grateful.  Now this was in direct conflict with the philosophy of daily living with which I was raised.  While almost painful to do back then, it has been a part of my daily ritual ever since.  Thank God!  Really – it changed my life to focus on good things and how blessed I am in my life.

The second quality is to practice Forgiveness.  What forgiveness has come to mean to me is freedom.  Yes – freedom from resentment, excuses, blaming, boring conversation, anger, and wasting time.  Since I’m only human and still learning – who am I to be judgemental and intolerant and impatient and harsh.  What forgiveness has given me is compassion, interesting conversation, engaging relationships, fun, and adventure.  I just realized while writing this that I am describing myself as a happy person!  Oh my gosh!  What a blessing!  I never used to be capable of thinking of myself as happy!?!  I’m ecstatic just realizing it!  Isn’t that great!?!  See this is what gratitude has done for me – and it feels wooooooonderful!

I just noticed that I tend to exclaim frequently – with exclamation points.  A sign of life energy.  Something that I never used to have much of in my days.  Anyway, as mentioned above it was comforting to learn that what the 12 Step programs encourage us to do, and what I keep learning to do – practicing gratitude and forgiveness – are rated the two most important strengths that lead to happiness and success.  Hope they work for you too.  If you are still considering whether to use them or not, just give it a shot and keep an open mind.  Do the list for two weeks and see what happens.  You deserve it.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am grateful for today.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  For daily updates, press the orange RSS feed to the right for directions.

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Do What You Love

I’ve been on hiatus for the last 2 1/2 months.  Going back to school  after more than a decade usurped much of my previously available energy.  To those of you who were looking for regular new installments, I’m sorry that I did not give you notice.  My goal was to continue writing while in school, but I ended up writing only for school since October.  It’s been a good opportunity to be gentler with myself – lowering those still too high standards, and accepting my humanness.  Perhaps, with some well planned time management, writing can continue to be part of my morning ritual again and I’ll catch up on my posting goal.  I’ll work on that.

Meanwhile, what is becoming more evident to me as school continues is how imperative it is that I do work that I truly love!  I mean looooooooooove!  Right now in the background the movie “Julie and Julia,” is playing.  It’s the third time for me so I’m really inspired right now.  The movie reminds me repeatedly about filling my life with the solutions – with what I love.  Yesterday, a documentary called “Between The Folds,” reminded me again when an interviewee remarked that he does origami and his other work because it’s fun.  Now this is the umpteenth time that this message is blatantly presenting itself to me this year and I can’t tell you all how well the absence of writing this blog each week has left a huge gap in my life!

Okay, message received.  Emphatically!  One of the solutions is to do what we love.  If we don’t yet know how to do that in our work, we can do it in our leisure time – for fun.  It’s sooooooo simple.  So let’s keep it that way.  List of things to do –  create, keep writing, keep cooking new dishes (I’ve been on a roll since the summer garden), plan some travel, start painting again, look for new work, start sculpting again, smile more, start planning the new garden for next summer and dance dance dance!  I love to dance!  Doesn’t that sound like a great list?  It is.  I strongly suggest that we all make a list of what we love to do and stick to it.  The next step then is to make time in our schedules, in our heads, in our budgets to do what we love.  It’s one of the solutions that makes my life happy, truly and leads me to perfect days – like last summer, and today!

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am enjoying my day.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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Promise

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When we make the decision to quit drinking, that decision brings with it a multitude of feelings and reservations.  I was mad about not being able to have certain drinks ever again, afraid that people wouldn’t want to be friends with me anymore, nervous about how I’d ever be able to feel comfortable socializing, shamed about how unmanageable my life had become.  The day before my husband was going to treatment he called it his ” last day of freedom.”

Walking through the door of sobriety to Step 1, “Admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.” can be very humbling – something many of us aren’t very fond of experiencing.  We may think we are losing our freedom and will be miserable for the rest of our lives – in pain and at the mercy of people and new rules we don’t like or understand.  Nothing feels safe or looks familiar. 

As we listen to people in the 12 Step programs share their experience, strength and hope we recognize ourselves – our lives, our feelings, our mistakes, our fears, our regrets.  As they share about what it was like, what happened and what it’s like now the success they’ve experienced inspires hope in us.  We start to learn that the freedom we thought we were losing, is actually restored to as we see evidence of the changes in others’ lives.  We are no longer chained to the bottle.  As the Promises remind us on page 83 of the Big Book, “If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through,  We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.  Promise.

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Affirmation for the Day – ” I am in the perfect place for me.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson – Let me remember I am one with God.

Practice – Let me remember I am one with God, At one with all my sisters and brothers and my Self, In everlasting holiness and peace.

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Emotions / Feelings

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I’ve learned there are really only two emotions or feelings – Love and Fear.

     Love = Happiness, Joy, Anticipation, Excitement, Contentment, Patience.

     Fear = Anger, Frustration, Impatience, Hurt, Jealousy, Rage, Sadness.

While going to most of the fear emotions initially makes me feel bigger and energized, they actually separate me from others and the energized aspect of the feeling actually leaves me feeling lonely when it diminishes – and it always diminishes.  Fear inspires me to attempt to control things to go my way, to keep something I have or get something I want.  I’ve heard that disease ,”Dis-Ease” comes from the fear emotions, which wreak havoc on the physical body.  My body feels drained if I stay in these emotions.

When I choose loving emotions, I feel more whole and a part of the world.  I feel healthy, and peaceful and my day goes easier.  Everything works out and I don’t need to do anything for life to run smoothly – instead of controlling, I get to allow things to happen and just turn it all over.  Easier said than done at times, so I rely on the tools of the program to help me with this – gratitude list, calling my sponsor, getting into action, doing service work and working the steps.  It’s so simple.  We only need to do it.

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Affirmation for the Day – ” I am happy!”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course in Miracles Lesson – Let me be still and listen to the truth.

Practice – Let me be still and listen to the truth.  What does it mean to give and to receive?

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Gratitude

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It’s a beautiful day!  There’s much to be grateful for in my Gratitude List today which starts with the heading “I am grateful for…”

Then I list 25 things, people, situations to be grateful for in my notebook first thing every morning, before I get out of bed.  Today I’m grateful for the love in my life, the sunshine, the warmth just starting where we live and the plans with friends to share meals and fellowship later today.

Great way to frame my day!

Happiness is a more helpful choice each day.  Despite the fact that it would be easy to focus on the behavior of others and then feel frustration, hurt, impatience or anger, I would so much rather focus on being happy.  Happiness actually takes less energy to feel than the fear emotions.

     – If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am happy.”

I say my affirmations 3 times consecutively.  Louise Hay suggests using a mirror.  It feels funny at first, then it starts feeling more comfortable – and it makes the affirmation more powerful.

Course In Miracles Lesson  – I share God’s Will for happiness for me,  and I accept it as my function now.” 

Happy Easter and  Blessed Passover.

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