“Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you’ll experience in your life.” Tony Robbins
Be happy right now, without attaching to any outcome that could or would make you feel that way. It’s the age-old teaching of most zen gurus. We know it yet we still struggle on such a massive scale to actually do it. Will 2019 be the year you get happy no matter what? Here are some tips, from one of the newest self-development gurus, your Brave Healer.
Eeeew, I just called myself a guru. I’m not. You know what I am? Someone interested in joy. I’m truly interested in the practices, mantras, lifestyles and disciplines that help us live fiercely alive. I’m interested in feeling happy no matter what life throws at me. I’m very interested in having fun with my fear this year.
And just when I thought I really had that all figured out on a whole other level, I had a conversation with a wise soul that smacked me back down again. My ego wanted to feel important, like I had the answers. My response was a game changer: I laughed at myself and got back up to try again.
You’ve heard it before: happiness is an inside job. But has anyone actually told us where to look? This is a practice and a journey, not a destination. Not one location or one answer. When they say “inside” they mean there’s nothing outside of our own thoughts that will truly make us happy. So the answer is you need to observe your happy (or not so happy) thoughts.
Think about a teeter totter for a minute. I love the visual. We think we’re good at positive thinking and we know the benefits; a great, happy life, being able to manifest what we desire, a better mood and attitude, positive vibes, bigger love and gratitude, etc…But are we truly tipping the teeter totter to the positive side more often than not?
In reality your teeter totter is most likely level or slightly tipping to the negative. What ifs, expectations, assumptions and judgements are heavy. It takes a lot to level that board out, let alone tip it to the other side. If you measured how many times the positive, up-lifting, eager, passionate thoughts are present vs. the opposite kind, what would your teeter totter look like most the time?
Take a hard look at that. Pay more attention. Listen to your thoughts. Notice your out loud words. Notice that habitual bugger of an inner critic tending to self-sabotage. Or your scared little girl showing up in fear. With that kind of awareness you now get the choice to switch it up a bit; to grab some of the more aligned thoughts and slide yourself over to the other side of the teeter totter for a bit.
Being happy is a moment by moment choice. Will 2019 be the year your teeter totter tips toward happy more than not? It can be! Here are five awareness secrets to cultivate happiness, no matter what’s going on, who’s doing what obnoxious thing around you, or what your circumstances happen to be:
Practice awareness as a lifestyle
Awareness has to move from a hobby to a lifestyle if you want to feel the benefits of more happiness along the journey. Sometimes is better than no times, but if you’re interested in doing this experiment you’re going to have to go a little badass on the practice. It needs to be daily. And most days, it needs to be multiple times a day.
This will require you stopping to pause in the middle of your thinking to drop down into your sensing body and feel. It will require frequent reminders at first. The more you do this, the more choices you’ll have to flip the switch to happy. And it is your choice when you’re practicing the awareness.
Take responsibility for your happiness
Blaming others for your current state of mind or affairs ends now. And there’s good news; if you’re practicing the awareness you’ll quickly see that you actually get to take responsibility for everything in your life, including your own happiness. Imagine it! Or start to, if you haven’t already and ask yourself how that would look if it were happening in your life right now. Be curious. What would it mean to be moving through the moments of your day in complete responsibility for how you feel, no matter what’s happening?
Notice the thoughts and breathe
Part of the awareness lifestyle is noticing your thinking on a regular basis and anchoring into your body with a deep breath, instead of instantly believing and acting on what you’re thinking. This gives you time for more awareness, options, possibilities and responses. It gives you a moment to notice if the thought aligns with the joy you want. If it’s a no, then you have a choice to pick something better.
Thought awareness is possibly the most powerful tool you have when it comes to your happiness. Because it’s usually not what’s happening, but what you think about what’s happening that’s causing your suffering.
Know your own deepest desires
Part of the struggle to be happy is knowing what makes us happy and aiming ourselves at those things. Although the friend I was having a conversation with from paragraph three up there would say, it shouldn’t matter; that you need to be able to be happy anytime, any moment, no matter what. I agree with that, and I believe that when you’re in touch with your soul’s desires, it’s much easier to flip your switch from dark to light.
And maybe it’s not so much knowing what you want; because that’s so fleeting sometimes. Maybe it’s just knowing when something or someone isn’t good for you, feels unhealthy, or is outright toxic-feeling. Maybe it’s about protecting our own soul and the happiness already inside of us? Maybe it’s about peeling the layers of crap off of your deepest desires and letting them breathe a little.
Make a different choice
This could be the most challenging step — weighing down the teeter totter on the other side with the thoughts, beliefs and actions that align with your happy. The million-dollar question is, what’s it going to take for you to make a better choice when you have the awareness? How will you move through the doubt and fear? I’d love to know the answer to that for you. It’s a little different for everyone, that’s why there’s no how to book on that yet.
When you’re aware of your unhappy thoughts, what will it take for you to choose happy? What will it take for you to keep that teeter totter tipping into the happiness more often than not? My trick is not to dwell very long in that question, but to do the experiment of flipping my switch to something better and then seeing how that feels.
And what is that something better? I choose love, gratitude, fun, joy, ecstasy, wonder, and curiosity. I choose happy, because that aligns with my desires, dreams and goals. I don’t wait for things to happen so I can feel it. I feel it first. I choose when, without the when depending on any circumstance.
Happiness is an awareness game. When you’re practicing, you’ll get better at that game. When you create a lifestyle out of the practice, you’ll not only feel like you’re better at the game, you’ll start to not have to play it as much anymore because you’ll be grounded on the happy side of that teeter totter, unapologetically smiling and leaning into it, and the force of that momentum will help keep it that way most days.
For more tips on awareness, mindset mastery and how to have fun with your fear, come visit me at www.BraveHealer.com And in the meantime, how will you get your happy on in 2019? Join me with a comment here!
Laura Di Franco, MPT won’t let you settle for a mediocre life. Your health, wealth and happiness is one Brave Healing book, poem, workshop, or strategy session away. With almost three decades of expertise in holistic physical therapy, six published books and a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Laura’s energy and method are contagious and unlike anything you’re experienced. She’s the owner of Brave Healer Productions at www.BraveHealer.com