Happiness- Part 2

Ok, time to continue our discussion of Happiness. Sorry it’s took awhile for part two to come your way- If you haven’t read PART 1, stop right now and go back and read it so you are all caught up!

finding peace and appreciation (vs expectation) in the day to day chaos

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outfit deets: swimsuit (my color is sold out- this is a similar color) | shorts

Let’s start with 3 things:

  1. we have to make the conscious choice to be happy (talked about this in Part 1) and take care of yourself- and grow
  2. we have to live joyfully. Make contributions by helping others.
  3. we must trade our expectations for appreciation

So, on that note:

A book I read cites multiples studies that say what you have in material wealth or any of the items I mentioned have almost no lasting impact on how happy you are as a person. I think we tend to look at people who have been blessed monetarily and automatically think they must be happier than us.  However, multiple studies show that rich people have a much higher suicide rate than poor people which would suggest poor people are generally a lot more happy than the rich.

When we feel like we are in the depths of sorrow, the way out is service.  How can we be depressed when we are helping others?  Have you ever noticed that the happiest people  are the ones who are always saying “I will”?  These people have families, they work, they have busy homes, and they have almost no free time, but they find a way to serve.  That’s their secret.  The secret to real happiness is not to dwell on ourselves and our own problems. To be fulfilled in the now.

I heard a story on a podcast once- if you know my husband, you know he loves a good podcast- but this one made such sense to me. On an airplane, you are told – incase of an emergency to put your mask on first, and then your child’s. Seems selfish, right? However, you wont have anything for that child if you don’t put yours on and then can’t help them. In the same way- putting yourself in a beautiful state- putting that living oxygen inside of you and then you have things to give other people. Suffering begets more suffering. (sounds like something Tony Robbins would say, right? Well… he’s the one who did 🙂 )

When we’re fulfilled, we’re not a taker but a giver because we’re filled up. To be fulfilled:

  • We must keep growing.
  • We must make contribution by helping and serving others.
  • We must trade our expectations for appreciation.

Yet often hard challenges can really take a toll on our personal experience and we end up focusing on our “achievement” alone,

Having said this- you have to go back to part one and remember the first step-The most important decision you can make, is to be happy. It is a conscious choice that we make for ourselves.

Yet often these hard challenges can really take a toll on our personal experience and we end up focusing on “achievement” alone. Robbins reminds us that achievement without fulfillment is the worst type of failure.

Suffering, which removes us from a beautiful state and happiness, comes from 3 thought patterns :

Loss. Less. Never.

  1. Loss. If you are in a situation where you believe someone, the govt, a friend, a family member, did something and because they did that you lost love, opportunity, respect- the illusion of loss is the place we suffer. It is unconsciously because we are obsessing about ourselves. Life as we expect it to be is not there and our expectations is what is keeping us from having happiness.
  2. Less. If you did something, I did something, you failed to do something and as a result, either of us have less respect, less joy, less opportunity, less love, or less something- you are going to suffer. You will have those negative emotions.
  3. Never. Because you did this, I didn’t do that and because of that we will never have something again. This causes people to get crazy inside.

Let me give you an example (that Robbins *can you see a pattern- this guy has changed my thinking with all of these thought nuggets!* gave that has resonated with me almost daily since I first heard it) that I’m sure we have all witnessed. You are headed on vacation, or a work trip- you get on the airplane and realize for the next several hours you won’t have internet- you will be away from your emails, something could happen! They might need you. Or, let’s not forget about being away from social media for a few hours- this could cause a person to stress. When honestly, what is stressful about sitting in a seat for a few hours. Then, they come on the overhead and say they have wifi on the plane- you get excited, people around you get excited. 20 minutes into the flight… the wifi goes down. And people go nuts. They get angry. They need wifi! 20 minutes earlier it was a miracle you had wifi – now its an expectation.

The antidote to this? Appreciation. Trade your expectations for appreciation and everything will change. If you live your life based on expectations your happiness is cheap. Get outside of yourself and find something to appreciate.

If you trade your expectations for appreciations- life can be beautiful.

there is beauty and stuff to appreciate every moment of every day…

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to be continued….

 

 

 

Life is happening FOR us, not TO us.

Ok, I’m going to go a little deep on ya compared to our typical fashion, food, or fitness filled blog post. I promised you at the New Year that I was going to elaborate on finding joy and happiness in posts to come- so this is my first one. I would love to know your thoughts and feelings…..

I would like to ask you a question, Are you happy?  I would assume that if you were able to answer my question, you would probably say, “Sure I’m happy”… although you would probably use some kind of qualifier such as…

But when this project is done at work, I will be happier…  or

When my kids get a little older and more independent, I will be even happier… or

When I own a home, get a better job, have better health, or have more money or when my spouse does this or that, I will definitely be happier than I am now.

The purpose of our existence is to have joy. Why can’t we have joy now and not qualify it when some future situation may or may not happen?

I have struggled with what I call “cheap happiness” – happiness that is based on whether or not something is going my way, or whether or not other people have or have not let me down, or things of that nature. So, that is why a year or so ago I decided to truly figure out what is happiness and make a choice in my life to live in a beautiful state instead of a suffering one- which is one that is any feeling or emotion that removes you from your happy state.

I once read, “The trick is to enjoy life.  Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.”  I think there is so much wisdom in that statement.  Things might now be perfect in our lives at this very moment but we can be joyful despite our trials.

So how do we do this?  Well, we can understand where happiness comes from.  Feeling happiness is a conscious choice we make for ourselves.  We must choose to be happy.

From one of my favorite guys, Tony Robbins, I will paraphrase : There are two states you can live in- a beautiful state or a suffering state. You are either progressing forward in that beautiful place or life, or you are moving backwards. There is no stationary. If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. There’s a survival mechanism in our brains that is always looking for what is wrong. That is what it does. You can fight it or flight it. Our primitive brain was looking for survival- avoiding tigers and making fire- we don’t have that anymore so now it worries about what people think, or do I have enough money. The mind is always looking for what’s wrong; however, there is always right there too.

Happiness has almost nothing to do with our circumstances and everything to do with our attitude.There is an exception here and that is with those living in extreme poverty that do not have shelter or food or a way to fulfill their basic needs.  This group of people tends to benefit and actually become happier when those basic needs are met. How do we choose to be happy when we’re experiencing a trial or we suffer from depression?

I’ve noticed in my own life, when I’m depressed, I seem to turn inward.  I think that my suffering is someone else’s fault and they are the reason why I’m not happy.  I start to think that happiness can be found anywhere but the stage I’m in and I begin to feel sorry for myself.  I begin to be selfish and only think of my own needs and my own sorrow.  This is not a nice way to live.  I have seen members of my family wallow in this thinking their whole lives and shut everyone else out.  This thinking destroys their life and pushes their loved ones away. I’ve learned by watching them, this is not the way I want my life be.

Life is happening for us NOT TO us- it is our job to find out what the benefit is – if we do life can be magnificent.

My dress- sold out- but similar here : ivory coming soon

to be continued….

april bucket list

happiness

I’m a superwoman in need of more happiness!  Because who doesn’t need more happiness?

Last month I attended the Professional Business Women of California Conference (PBWC) where I heard Dr. Jaime Kulaga give a talk titled The SuperWoman’s Guide to Super Fulfillment after her book of the same name.

One of the things Dr. Jaime talked about was proactively adding happiness to your life.  A tool she suggested for adding that happiness is a bucket list.  Not a bucket list with hugely grandiose items for some far off date in the future, but one that lists things that can be done NOW.

With April just kicking off, I decided to make a bucket list for the month and I challenge you to do the same!  Remember, this is not a to-do list of chores or things you’ve been meaning to get done (I had to keep reminding myself that), but a list of fun things that make you happy even just thinking about them.

April’s Bucket List

  1. Get coffee at Java Beach Café and walk along Ocean Beach. I love staring off into the ocean. It’s so relaxing.  I live just a couple miles from the water and yet I rarely go.  Where is a nearby place you love to go but haven’t been in a while?  Make it happen!

  2. See the Oscar de la Renta exhibit at the de Young museum.  If you are a Bank of America cardholder, take advantage of their Museums on Us program. The first weekend of every month you can get free admission by flashing your BofA card.  Find out what exhibits are showing at museums near you and go get some culture!
  3. Open a nice bottle of champagne just because.  I literally just put a bottle of Le Reve in the fridge so it’s at the ready. (“Get a wine fridge” is on my bigger bucket list… those things are expensive!?!)  I’m tired of waiting for a “special occasion” to come along to pop the good bottles.  Cheers to making more occasions special!
  4. Dinner with girlfriends.  Every time I meet up with some girlfriends for brunch, or shopping, or dinner, or just hanging out I feel renewed and happy. Sharing stories and laughs, or even struggles, is simply heart filling.  I can’t wait to research some new restaurants and get something on the calendar!  Make plans with friends to go somewhere new!  Yelp and Goldstar are great for finding new places and nearby things to do.  
  5. Weekend getaway with the hubs.  Road trip!  Or maybe rail trip?!  I love planning trips and traveling far away for weeks at a time, but this year due to time and money constraints it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen… On the way to work this week I heard an ad for Amtrak fares for less than $100 and thought YASSS!!  I’m super excited to start researching budget-friendly weekend trips.  Make plans to take a break and get away!

 

Just making the bucket list has got me all excited for how great April is going to be.  What’s on your bucket list?!

xoxo