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Birthday Mission

8 May

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On my  birthday I decided to take some time and reflect upon what I wanted for this coming year.

Here’s what I came up with:

May I laugh every day.

May I allow myself to connect to infinite gratitude.

May I have thoughts, words, and actions that support a happy, whole, and healthy me.

May I allow myself to become comfortable with uncertainty.

May I have wisdom and courage to go after what I want, stand up for what I believe in, and let go of old habits that previously held me back.

There comes a time when we become connected to a purpose higher than ourselves, and we no longer have time for things that don’t serve us.

And each time I fall (because I will fall) may I be proud that I have the courage to keep on going (because I will keep going).

Recognizing that success and failure is an endless loop. And it’s healthy to make mistakes. (it means you are working for something!)

May I allow others and myself to feel “I am enough” without attaching it to outside measures- status, wealth, beauty, possessions, perfection.

On this journey may I continue to stay curious, compassionate, and hilarious.

May I have the confidence and faith follow what makes me come alive!

I have found there are two ways to live- either life is hard because you are living a life you don’t want or life is hard because you are working hard to live a life you love.

Love it.

____________________

I am curious to know- what do you want in your life? And after you write them down, how many can you create in the current situation or environment you are in?

How do you balance the pressures of the outside world (bills, work, family, etc.) with what you personally want in your life?

Post in the comments below! Would love to hear!

Keep Shining Super Stars!

Power of Beliefs

21 Apr

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The majority of our lives are based off of the beliefs we have.

I have to thank Ruth Lera who inspired this thought: Our external world is merely a representation of our internal world. The external world impacts our internal world, and our internal world retracts to creates our external world. This dance that is played is one we can take ownership over. How we react, how we think, how we engage in our lives, where we direct our attention, becoming responsible for the imports and exports of our being.

For example, in April I sent in a resume and cover letter to an organization I was interested in working for. As time went by I saw the posting for an Assistant Manger position. Once I read through the position I thought, I can’t do that, I’m not going to apply for that job, I’m going to wait until the next position comes up.

But I emailed the Executive Director anyway to ask if she had received my resume, and if there were any interviews coming up. She said yes and that she wanted to bring me in for an interview. Long story short, I got the job! And it is one of those dream jobs where my passion connects to my work, and I have a good salary!

If I had stuck with my original belief, I would have never applied to the job and the following situation would have happened:

Belief: I can’t do that

Action: I won’t apply or put effort to move in that direction

Outcome: I didn’t get the position, and will continue looking for jobs where I believe I have the skills. Being unsatisfied with the position I get because I didn’t really try.

Can you see how our beliefs create our realities? We will only start to achieve what we believe is possible, and then sometimes life surprises us when the impossible happens. =) 

And of course, this doesn’t mean that once you believe you will achieve, but it does mean that once we start believing in our self worth, in the direction of our desires, we start moving in that direction and doors will open when the time is right. Intention, Intention, Intention. Allow yourself commitment, compassion, patience and joy for your journey. These will be great allies of yours.

Thus, start to notice your beliefs. Start to question them to see if they support the lifestyle you want.

Sometimes it is scary to challenge our beliefs because than we go into the realm of uncertainty, to realm of making possible mistakes. Explore your thoughts and continue to evolve as you find better beliefs to support your emerging realities. What beliefs supported you to getting to this point, might not be helping you to move into your next chapter.

We must thank them for what they have given us, and allow them to move on to create space for better possibilities. Also your belief system has been engrained over years of habits, so they might be difficult to undue, but TRUST you’ll never look back and think, “Man, I wish I stuck with those negative thought patterns, I’m so glad I never put effort into improving myself.” Imagine what freedom feels like, and recognize this is where your energy is directed towards. You can achieve this!

Our beliefs aren’t meant to harm us, often times they are there to keep us safe and secure, thus when challenging them we might feel a sense of lack of safety and security until we find a belief that supports a more whole, happy, and healthy us. We may be wondering– am I doing this right? Is this the right belief I should have? But time will tell.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself. Do I feel better about my situation? Am I proud of the life I am living? Am I moving towards a direction I am pleased with? Do I find myself enjoying life more? Am I able to open up and love more freely, to myself and others?  Am I choosing thoughts, actions, activities, friends, food, that nourish a happy, whole, and healthy me?

Beliefs impact so many different aspects of our lives, thus, get curious and creative with the questions you ask yourself, opening yourself up to a whole world of answers and solutions!  Explore what resonates with you, play in your imagination to see the realm of possibilities.

See if you can find a buddy, a support group, a community (an online community) anything to help you with this process. There are many out there who are feeling these same things, pursuing these same expeditions. You are never alone. Find the others, and connect to the beautiful support that only a community can give you. 

The changing of old unsupportive thoughts for new thoughts always takes effort, but it is one of the most important gifts we can give ourselves.

I relate this process to someone who eats McDonalds everyday. Explaining to this person, if they shifted their eating habits to things that are healthier, the rest of their life would be so much easier. But the person will complain, but that is so hard, it takes so much effort to buy groceries, to plan meals, to learn about healthy foods. That’s too hard for me, I am going to keep with McDonalds, it tastes good, it’s easy, and I know where all of the locations are.

Yes, it might take effort in the beginning to shift beliefs, but if you take baby steps towards a life you find more fulfillment in, it will become easier. It may be hard at the beginning to decide at the grocery store what to buy and what recipes to make, but soon this becomes second nature. It just takes time, commitment, compassion, joy and patience. 

Thus, allow the thought  “it’s too hard” to switch to–> I can do this! What small steps can I take to move in this direction? What direction do I want my habits, thoughts, and words to be? What small things could I do to make my life more enjoyable? If I believed I had thoughts that supported me, what would that look like? What beliefs aren’t serving me right now? What beliefs could I let go of in order to have space for more wholesome thoughts? Over time you will become instantly aware of thoughts that aren’t supportive and can become a master at reframing beliefs. Like a funky recycling center, old used up waste come in, and BEEP BEEP BOOP, you change them into shiny new pieces of art work. 

And by taking care of yourself, by exercising and eating healthy, it’s going to make the other things in your life easier– not harder– in the beginning– yes there will be more effort– but I can’t stress it enough- it will be worth it.

Now get out there, become in tune with yourself (yoga, running, qigong, meditation, journaling, voice memos), become curious about how you can practice supportive beliefs (journaling, mindfulness), find a supportive community, and feel the love and support that is all around us. 

I would love to hear your comments below about how you interact with your beliefs. Any articles or videos you have found helpful? Feel free to share!

Keep shining super stars so that your light may send sparks of joy into the world.

The Affects of Positive Thinking

1 Apr

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I have been thinking some great thoughts, and writing some great journals. But I haven’t been posting because I had this little thing called self-doubt creep in. I listened to a podcast a while back, and they had the best of intentions when they were talking about authenticity but it made me question myself.

On the podcast they were saying how people these days are being to authentic, being too vulnerable, and it comes across more so as a need for attention, rather than a courageous act of sharing. Which got me thinking.

Do I know what I am talking about? Is what I am writing about actually helpful? Am I being honest with myself? Am I doing this for attention or because I feel like what I have to share might help others who are in similar situations. There are so many other articles out there already, do I have any original ideas to contribute?

And after stopping at these thought obstacles for a while– I realized that indeed– these were thoughts. Thoughts are not facts, they are opinions, and can used to help or hinder. And this is exactly where I needed to start to transform my life from living to thriving.

Because of the wonders of meditation, I have allowed my mind to quiet down to a point where I can notice the varying levels of thoughts and question their place in my mind.

I often wake up with an overwhelming wave of anxious thoughts that demand me to answer Who, What, Where, When, and How Life questions. Berating me about what I am currently doing, and how I plan to get to where I want to go.

And I have allowed this to go on for far too long. Thinking that, this criticism is good, it is making me a better person, it is keeping me on track.

When really it is just cutting down my self-esteem, causing me to constantly be future thinking, and filled with anxiety and fear.

Now, I like to greet those critical thoughts with a good dose of self-compassion:

“Hey there thoughts, slow down, I really want to think thoughts that are supportive and encouraging because I love myself and I want to support my wellbeing. I realize how important it is to have positive thoughts because they affect my actions, and my words.

I know you are trying to look out for me, but it’s not working.

Let me be in joy, peace, and presence. Let me be positive light to those around me and myself. Let my thoughts show love and support. Allow me to let go of fear and stress and let in laughter and love. Allow me to show up in creativity, play, and authenticity. Now that we have that covered, let’s focus on these thoughts as they support a happy, whole, and healthy me. One step at a time.”

Sometimes I have to give myself a long speech, sometimes I only need to pause ask a short question like, “Wait, is this thought supporting me?”

And it doesn’t really matter how many times I have to divert my thoughts, just that I keep on going. Kind of like exercising, but you don’t get to the results of a six-pack. (But who really gets six packs anyways. People who know how to Photoshop, that’s who.)

Gandhi says it best:

Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.

But I want to know about you!

What pep talk helps you to divert your critical thoughts when they get the best of you?

What thoughts do you want to guide your life?

What thoughts have become obstacles to stepping into a fuller life of joy, peace, and presence?

On my bathroom mirror I posted this quote:

I ground myself in that which resides in all things and in me. I put faith in the unfolding of the path, with each step I am given an opportunity to learn how I can listen, how I can love, how I can be in my authentic self, how I can open my heart to joy, peace, and presence.

Allow me space for light and laughter, so I may allow others to do the same. Grant me courage and wisdom to see experiences as opportunities to expand my capacity for love and gratitude for all that is.

Breath In Being

Breath Out Being

Stay calm so you may listen to your heart that leads you.

Hope this helps! Comment below to let me know what other things you do to keep your thoughts positive and supportive.

Keep on shining on!

 

Memories that Make me Smile

30 Aug

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October 10, 2006

Yesterday I fell asleep smiling. I thought about all the good things in Guatemala, all the people I met and the experience I had. The kiss from Josephine, the kind eyes of Hilme, hiking to the church with Fernando, the walk to the pick-up truck that takes me to the city, running through the coffee fields, playing soccer with the boys, swimming in the pool while it was raining.

 

The day that I watched the football game, and then went to a friend’s house, sat on the dirt floor and watched a Latin soap opera on a small T.V. It was that day that I truly felt a part of the community. Writing and reading by candle light while watching the windy rain. The huge lighting storm that happened on the 4th of July, and late night talks about life and love with Josephine and Hilme. Going to Carolina’s garden, and Rene’s humour and smile. 

 

I am so lucky to have all of these memories as Polaroid’s in my mind.

 

I hope they are well.

 

Truth is what I speak, love is where it comes from. 

Slow Dance

11 Jul

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Have you ever watched kids

on a merry-go-round?

Or listened to the rain

slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?

Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down

Don’t dance so fast

Time is short

The music won’t last

Do you run through each day

On the fly

When you ask “How are you?”

Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done,

do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores

running through your head?

You’d better slow down

Don’t dance so fast

Time is short

The music won’t last

Ever told your child,

We’ll do it tomorrow?

And in your haste,

not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,

Let a good friendship die

‘Cause you never had time

To call and say “Hi”?

You’d better slow down

Don’t dance so fast

Time is short

The music won’t last

When you run so fast to get somewhere

You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift….Thrown away…

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower

Hear the music.

Before the song is over.

 

 

On Love and Happiness

8 Jul

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November 2008

Interesting that the pursuit of happiness- the end result is that he made a lot of money in a successful career. Is that Happiness? Is that what our society teaches us to strive for? Maybe that’s why we are so depressed, antidepressant drugs in our water because we are striving for this thing called happiness in things that won’t make us happy.

When I think of the North American vie of happiness, I think of someone that is smiling all of the time, cheerful, doesn’t say negative things, always positive, staying on this single minded emotion of cheerfulness. And that if a person did not emulate this persona then they were some how wrong, to feel another emotion than cheerfulness. Thus, rejecting other emotions with in themselves so that they would not be looked down upon. Why is our culture not able to handle different ranges of emotions? Why is it that our culture strives towards this one state of cheerfulness?

What if our society thought that happiness was the person who was the most beautiful, than we would strive and strive to be skinny and dye our hair and put on makeup, doing everything we can on the outside to make people think the inside is fine. But when you open up the dragon fruit, you find it is devoid of taste and nutrition.

What if our society thought that happiness was in working, that the more work we did, the more money we had, the more recognition we got, the more things we purchased, the happier we would be.

What if our society thought that happiness was the amount of places that we travelled to, that we would travel the whole entire world, searching for experiences and knowledge and culture. The more we explored, the more knowledge we gained, the closer we would be to finding happiness.

What if our society thought that happiness came from a spiritual state. People would strive to become the most spiritual person, the most humble and giving and peaceful person possible, devoid of desires and wants, living calmly through mediation and peaceful surroundings, finding peace through avoiding life.

What if happiness was marriage or a career or a family or a house, or any other outside item that we could obtain. Than we could just obtain those things and be happy.

However, it is not the objects themselves that make us happy, but how we view these items that results in our happiness. The question we must ask ourselves is if these things satisfy our desires.

In the movie The Hours a character states, I woke up one morning feeling happy and I thought this is it, I have gotten to this state and from here on out I will be happy. But than I realized that it was just a moment, a piece, that in that time I felt the emotion of happiness, but it was just in that moment.

What if happiness was in moments of instances, of variety, that it could be found in all of the emotions. What if we stopped striving for this future emotional state and just accepted and loved the different emotions that came.

What if society thought that happiness came form love. That people would strive to love each other and themselves and find love in the things around them. I believe that this is the best state of mind. That is my mission to cultivate compassion.