Yesterday I said I’d share some skills for how to be happy. But first, I want to share something really personal with you.
A few years back, I realized that I needed to really get focused on what I’m supposed to do with the rest of my life.
I’m older than you and want to make the most of the years I have left, which I hope will be a bunch.
So I did a meditation where I asked my ‘Inner Wise Self’ to help me figure it out. Well, the strangest thing happened. Instead of my usual ‘goddessy’ image, four of my favorite guys showed up. There was Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Galileo, and Michaelangelo. Weird, I know.
Well, as always with my meditations, I trusted it and just went with it. I asked them, “What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life?” They went into a huddle, like they do on the football field with their arms over each other’s shoulders. Then they turned around and Thomas Paine said, “You’re supposed to inspire people to do the ‘work required’ to be happy.”
I was completely surprised. I might have come up with teaching people how to be happy, but I would never have thought of the ‘work required’ part. So, having shared that, I hope to ‘inspire’ you to want incorporate these ‘happy skills’ into your every-day way of living, meaning, turn them into part of your habitual way of being.
Skill Number One: Practice Gratitude
Yes, I know you already know this. I’m not the only one who says to do this and this is not the first time. It’s actually one of the assignments in the first class of the Feminine Grace workshop I offer here.
But there’s a difference between ‘knowing’ it’s a good idea, and once in a while remembering to do it, and having the feeling of gratitude permeate throughout your body, so it literally becomes a part of who you are.
The reason this one is first, both here and in the Feminine Grace workshop, is because it’s the quickest way I know to ‘get yourself happy.’ The way to make it work for you is you have to literally ‘feel’ grateful. It won’t work to just say the words, or even think about what you’re grateful for.
Just try it. What comes to mind first when you ask yourself, “What am I grateful for?” When you get an answer, notice if you can feel it, or if it’s just an ‘idea.’ If you really are grateful for this ‘thing’ (can be anything), ponder your sense of gratitude until you notice some real, honest-to-goodness emotion around it. Don’t stop until you get the feeling of being grateful.
If you aren’t able to get there, it could be that you’re not really and truly grateful. So pick something else. Once you finally get to that place where you are really and truly ‘feeling’ grateful, then add to your list.
Now that you have your list…you do have your list, don’t you…make a daily practice of feeling grateful at least once a day. Preferably, you’ll look at your list before you go to sleep, allowing yourself to ‘feel’ your gratitude, then do the same thing before you get up in the morning.
If you really are willing to do ‘whatever it takes to be happy,’ you’ll do this simple thing every day until it become a part of you. When that happens, you will feel like a different person.
And why does this make you feel happy? I’m glad you asked…you did ask, didn’t you? It’s because you can’t be unhappy and feel grateful at the same time. Sorry, not possible. Actually, I’m not sorry at all. That’s because I don’t want you to be unhappy. I really do want you to be happy. And like my ‘guys’ said, my ‘work’ is to inspire you to want to do the work required to be happy.
Okay, go do this exercise and see what happens. Don’t just think about it, actually do it. You’ll never realize the power of gratitude until you apply it to your life.
As usual, I got long winded again, so I’ll add the next ‘Happy Skill’ tomorrow.
Inspiring you to do ‘whatever it takes’ to be happy,