Tag Archives: affirmations

H is for ‘Happiness’. Is there a secret to being happy?

Is there a secret to being happy? I used to think that happiness was a property possessed by people, places, things, habits and distractions. I used to think that to be happy, I had to have all of those things in my life. Imagine my shock and surprise when, the more I tried to cram ‘happiness things’ into my life, the less happy I felt.

Now that I am a little older and wiser, I have learned that happiness isn’t a property of anything outside of myself. Happiness is a property of me- if I choose it to be so. And happiness is a property of you- if you choose it to be so.

Happiness is a lens that you click over the camera of your consciousness. It is a way in which you choose to see the world. Happiness is a repetitive choice- if you wanna be happy, you gotta keep choosing to be happy, and here’s something that was a real revelation to me:

You can be happy, and still give yourself permission to feel other emotions. Happiness is NOT the repression of other feelings: it is the loving acceptance of all your feelings (and your beautiful self, more generally!)

Image

Happiness is being so so comfy in bed. Photograph used with kind permission from Jassy Earl @ http://www.jassyearlphotography.co.uk/

 

The thoughts you choose to think influence the way you understand the world: fact. If you wake up in the morning and immediately think, ‘I’m tired.’; ‘I’m miserable.’; ‘ I’m stressed.’;  ‘I have too much to do today.’; ‘I don’t want to go to this meeting.’; ‘I don’t like my job.
‘I’m dreading getting stuck in traffic.’; ‘ I’m always running late.’; ‘I look bloated today.’, etc. etc., then you are creating your world within a framework of negativity. A good technique to encourage happiness into your life is to bring positivity into your morning routine. Consider ‘deliberate positive thinking’ as important to your daily routine as brushing your teeth! Deliberately think about something positive right now. ‘Today is going to be a great day!’; ‘I look beautiful today.’; ‘I am a walking success!’; there’s a few to get you started! My personal favourite right now is simply:

I deserve happiness.

Go ahead and try that one on for size. Thinking positive is like going to the gym- it might take some time for you to get into the habit of it, but keep practicing.  Every time you choose to think positively, it’s a win for ‘happiness’. Think of it as those one or two extra reps at the gym – they are a worthwhile effort.

So what about when you don’t feel happy? Well here’s a thought: Worry, for example, is a state of mind that can only be achieved when thinking about the past or the future (as is fear, disappointment or anger). We worry about what has been, how we’ve been treated, how we’ve reacted.  We worry about past events, people in our past and past decisions we have made.

Or we worry about the future.  We worry about the rest of the day, the rest of the week, month, year- we worry about the rest of our lives that haven’t happened yet!

If you are worrying- or experiencing any fear-based emotion- then you are either living in the past that cannot be changed, no matter how much you worry about it, or, living in the future, and worrying about something that has not happened yet, and may never happen!  Fortunately, there is a place where worry does not exist.  You’re in it right now.  Right here, right now, in this present moment.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath, feel your whole body relax: everything is at peace.

When you catch yourself worrying or getting stessed out, bring your mind back to the present moment.  Take a few deep and natural breaths, and focus on your body, your breathing, your heartbeat. In the here and now, there is nothing to worry about. When you begin to worry, focus your mind on something beautiful in the present moment; look out the window at nature, think about something that makes you laugh, think about someone that you love. Happiness and contentment come very easily when we give ourselves permission to exist in the present moment.

What does your inner critic say about you? In order to be happy, you must have a good relationship with your inner ‘self’, perhaps you call that ‘self’ your ego. Be aware of what you think about yourself.  When you criticize yourself, you bring your energy way out of alignment with happiness.  If you think negative things about yourself, then you are thinking in a way that suggests that you don’t feel you deserve happiness.  Don’t be an enemy to yourself, instead, be your own best friend.  Think, speak, and act towards yourself, the way that you would act towards someone you love very much. Look in the mirror. The person looking back is a person with feelings, who is vulnerable, who will flourish like a flower when watered by love. You must count yourself amongst the people in your life that you love.  Speak to yourself in the way that you would speak to your best friend. You wouldn’t criticize them, speak badly of them and be unsupportive of them, would you?  Of course not! So why do those things to yourself?

Every day, look in the mirror and say, ‘I love you.’ And really mean it.

Choose to focus on your good qualities and the things you like about yourself. Think about those instead of criticizing yourself. If you catch yourself thinking something critical about you, then you have to think three positive and genuine things that you love about yourself to balance up the scales of happiness (hey, I don’t make the rules!). To make the most of the happiness that the world has to offer you, you must also think happy about yourself.

It is scientifically proven that being kind to others, receiving kindness from others, and even watching people be kind to each other, is good for your health! To be happy, you must be kind. Perform an act of kindness every day. It need not be a massive gesture, kindness comes in many forms, and as little effort as it takes to smile at someone in the street can help them remember their own inner happiness. Take a moment to reflect on the kindnesses that you have performed, because, guess what?, even thinking about being kind is good for you! As you consciously make kindness a part of your life, happiness will follow. Kindness and happiness are siblings who do everything together.

A great way to make room in your heart for happiness is to practise forgiveness. Believe it or not, making mistakes in life is allowed! It may also surprise you to know that when you make a mistake, you are not obliged to replay it over and over in your mind and hang on to it for the rest of your life!

Forgive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about things. It wastes your energy and does not help you to feel better. Unforgiveness actually prevents you from experiencing happiness! For more on this, see my post on forgiveness. Forgiving yourself allows you to move forward into a place of increased happiness as you let go of some emotional baggage.

If you feel yourself getting stressed, worked up, unhappy or angry about something in your life, that is ok.  Accept the emotion, forgive the emotion, and just breathe!  There are many mental, emotional and physical benefits achieved just from taking a nice, deep breath.  Breathing helps you to become calm, it allows more oxygen to your brain and brings you back into the present moment.  For a quick fix of happiness, no matter what is going on around you, just take a nice, deep breath, in through your nose, expanding your ribcage and your tummy as you do, and out through your mouth, visualizing all your stresses being expelled by your breath.  Repeat a few times, and feel calmness and happiness return.

The best way to bring happiness into your life is to be grateful for what you have that already makes you happy! When you get snuggled into your pyjamas and get warm under the duvet, take a few minutes to list the things in your life that you are grateful for. For more on this, see my post about gratitude. What are you grateful for today?

Until next week: Do one thing every day that makes you happy. Do it with gusto. Savour it. Enjoy it. Appreciate it.

Next Week: H is for Healing.

Come and gimme some love over at:

www.angellauren.com

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G is for ‘Gratitude’. Define Gratitude…

Parrot, kiss, love, gratitude, laguna beach

Gratitude is love and trust from a feathered friend.

 

In a slight change to the advertised program, this weeks post is about the amazing, magical, and seemingly life-changing properties of gratitude. (Next week G is definitely for ‘Ghosts’, I know you’re all desperate to find out who my special guest is!)

Gratitude is munching my absolute favourite chocolate in the shape of an egg. Gratitude is the gentleness in the face of a child or animal who loves you. Gratitude is being aware of your breath. Gratitude is choosing to make yourself knowledgable. Gratitude is feeling good about making someone else feel good. Gratitude is accepting a painful lesson. Gratitude is savouring your success. Gratitude is realizing when you have realized a dream. Gratitude is being conscious of the world around you. Gratitude is accepting yourself exactly the way you are. Gratitude is focusing on the good health that you do have. Gratitude is creating positive thoughts. Gratitude is using positive words. Gratitude is inspiration. Gratitude is the force that continues to bring good things towards you. Gratitude is trusting that you are on the right path. Gratitude is loving your partner even when they’ve pissed you off. Gratitude is letting someone else stand in the limelight and celebrating with them – safe in the knowledge that your time is coming around. Gratitude is extracting wisdom from suffering. Gratitude is extracting love from loss. Gratitude is extracting comfort from being alone. Gratitude is taking the time to sort out your re-cycling. Gratitude is a call to action. Gratitude is being, not just grateful, but thankful. Gratitude is taking a little less so that someone else can have a little more. Gratitude is giving a little more and realizing that in giving more you are getting more. Gratitude is experiencing incovenience willingly, to help someone who needs you. Gratitude is a choice. Gratitude is a repetitive choice. Gratitude is a journey, not a destination. Gratitude is a way that you can always make someone feel good about herself. Gratitude is a way that you can always make someone feel good about himself. Gratitude is a way that you can always feel good about yourself. Gratitude is an expression of love. Gratitude is an expression of love in the face of adversity. Gratitude is an expression of trust. Gratitude is your acknowledgement of the value of your life. Gratitude is showing the Universe that you know that you are blessed. Gratitude is giving thanks. Gratitude is giving respect. Gratitude is giving meaning and purpose. Gratitude is giving value. Gratitude is writing it down, saying it out loud, or singing it out. Gratitude is in your heart, quietly. Gratitude is the sister of forgiveness and the child of love. Gratitude is the power to change. Gratitude is the power to stay the same amidst all the change. Gratitude is claiming your place amongst the Universe. Gratitude is understanding the Universe’s place in you.

I am so grateful for you. I am so grateful for your attention, your kindness, your thoughts and your inquisitive mind. I am grateful for your support, your good wishes, your interaction and your admiration. I am so grateful for your disagreement, the challenges you bring, your doubt and your disbelief. I am grateful for the unique and beautiful contribution that you make to this world, and I am grateful for everything I have learned, am learning, and will learn from you.

I love you, thank you for just being you.

What are you grateful for? Share your gratitude in a comment!

Until Next Week: Get a notepad and pen. Sit it next to your bed. Every night, just before sleep, write down everything that you are grateful for, no matter how small. As you write, take a moment to savour the feeling of gratitude and enjoy how good that makes you feel. When you start to notice all the wonderful things that you have in your life, life can only bring you more wonderful things for you to be grateful for.

Next Week: G is for ‘Ghosts’.

Come and gimme some love over at:

www.angellauren.com

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Get your daily love and happiness tweets @angellassie

B is for ‘Belief’: A Quick Guide to Vanquishing Your Limiting Beliefs.

We have all experienced the debilitating force of limiting beliefs, the most damaging of all being: ‘I can’t…’.

I hold an uncommon view about how the relationship between belief and knowledge comes to shape reality.  According to what I know spiritually, the belief/knowledge interaction is co-creative and co-dependent. Our beliefs are just as important as conceptual knowledge, and each informs the other.  Our reality is constructed from a dense and complicated web of beliefs and knowledge. Beliefs are powerful because they inform our words and actions, this is particularly so of the beliefs we hold about ourselves. We can harness the power of belief to create wonderful opportunities in our lives, but in order to do so, we have to learn to vanquish the beliefs that we hold that limit us. The following points are some things to consider when choosing what to believe…

Belief and knowledge are not separate things:

Without belief, knowledge would not exist. Everything that we know began somewhere, sometime, as a belief, a hunch, an abstract idea floating on the ether. Belief is the acorn from which the Oak of knowledge grows. oak tree

Albert Einstein famously said, ‘There is no logical way to the discovery of elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling of the order lying behind the appearance.’- Thank you Albie, they don’t call you Einstein for nothing! In order for a scientist to discover knowledge, the direction of study must be influenced by something.  The scientist must believe that their study is heading off in the right direction, so his/her intuitive belief is the foundation for whatever knowledge is discovered. See what else I have to say about scientists in this post.

‘I believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun.’  This belief fuelled study, expermentation and, importantly, determination, to find what can be known about the Sun and the Earth.  Without belief, without the sense that something will be proved, there is no direction or momentum towards knowledge. Considering this, it seems to me that the power of belief should get a little more respect than it does.  Einstein knew that beliefs are what propel us towards knowledge.  Without belief, we could prove or demonstrate no knowledge- we wouldn’t know where to start.  Think about it.  Most of the information that we consider to be true knowledge started off as a hunch, a belief, an intuition in the mind of a scientist, philosopher or mathematician.

Belief is as ‘real’ as knowledge:

Allegedly, the thing that makes knowledge better than belief is it’s relationship to truth.  When we have knowledge about something, when it is ‘known’ then it has to be true.  I disagree with this on most, but not all, distinctions between belief and knowledge- and my beef is with truth.

What is truth? Say, you and I are both looking at a colour. I say it’s green, you say it’s blue. Who is telling the truth? The colour cannot be both green and blue, but surely it is either green or blue.  Someone has to be wrong- or the concept of truth is wrong. If I see green from my subjective perspective then that is 100% true to me. If you see blue, that is 100% true to you, based on a lifetime of empirical information gathered from seeing that colour and others.  So with the exception of a priori truths (check me out, getting my philosophy lingo on!) it seems like the concept of truth necessary to engender knowledge actually looks suspiciously like a belief. I am not suggesting that knowledge is not true. I am suggesting that under some circumstances, beliefs deserve as much of a truth-bearing status as knowledge.

What can we really say is 'true' about this image?

What can we really say is ‘true’ about this image?

Belief and knowledge are equally real in that they both shape our reality. What we believe informs our conversations, actions, reactions, passions, emotions etc. What we believe shapes every part of how we act in our lives and that action occurs in reality. Belief and knowledge are synergetic- what we believe becomes what we do becomes what we know becomes what we believe and so on.  Albert Einstein said that, ‘The only source of knowledge is experience.’…and the experiences we have are caused by our beliefs.

We ought to monitor our beliefs and ask ‘why do I believe this?’:

Your beliefs hold the key to your actions, interactions and transactions. Making the effort to understand, edit, reflect upon and choose what to believe will change your life.  This is especially true with regards to your beliefs about yourself. The insignificance currently attributed to beliefs (especially in the realms of science and philosophy) allows them to sneak in the back door of our consciousness without us noticing. Beliefs take hold in our consciousness and begin to colour the way we understand ourselves and our life experience, often without us realizing that it’s going on!

Who gave you the beliefs you hold? Have you questioned them and thought them through? When you really consider it, how much do your beliefs about yourself shape the way you act in the world? Are you happy with that? Could you believe something different about yourself that would influence and cause a better life experience for you? For more on ‘what you believe is what you receive’ see this post.

I am very interested to read your thoughts about beliefs. Have you ever believed something and then radically changed

Your beliefs shape your reality.

Your beliefs shape your reality.

your mind? Do you feel like your beliefs are fluid or fixed? What do you believe about yourself right now? Do you notice any difference between what you believe and what you know, when it comes to the shaping and formation of your life?

Until next time, I want you to stand toe-to-toe with a limiting belief that you hold about yourself. See it in your mind and visualize it vaporizing. For one week (and forever!) replace that belief with a positive, loving and empowering belief about yourself and see what happens to your life. Then try and tell me that belief is less true and less important than knowledge!

Have a great week, and keep knowing what you believe and believing what you know!

I welcome your comments and questions!

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Next Week: B is for Books.

Come and gimme some love over at:

www.angellauren.com

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