Friday, October 26, 2012

My Happiness Depends On Me

"Tell everyone you know: "My happiness depends on me, so you're off the hook." And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they're doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel-and then, you'll love them all. Because the only reason you don't love them, is because you're using them as your excuse to not feel good."
- Esther Abraham-Hicks

This seems like such a simple principle, yet it is so difficult to actually live by. Don’t we often think that our happiness depends on someone else? If I only had that loving partner, a reliable best friend, more compassionate parents etc., then I could be happy! Or we think the situation we are in causes our unhappiness. If only I had my dream job, won the lottery, got that promotion etc., then I would be truly happy! It’s so much easier to blame others or the situation!

The truth is that we have to love ourselves and we have to make ourselves happy. If you took full responsibility for your own happiness, what would you do today?

Monday, October 22, 2012

In Unity Lies The World's True Strength

So often we feel like we are the only one suffering or the only one who is in pain. We may feel like we are different, strange, or even crazy for thinking or feeling a certain way.

But I have worked with enough people to realize that everyone suffers and everyone goes through pain.

So why do we feel so alone in the experience? Why do we feel so isolated?

Because we are afraid - of not being accepted, or being judged, or being criticized. Isn't it time to stop judging and criticizing, and starting to accept - beginning with ourselves?

This quote resonated with me today:

"In separateness lies the world's
great suffering.
In unity lies the world's
true strength."


I want to feel and act more like I am part of the whole, that I am in union with others in this world. Will you join me? 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Feeling Sad, Angry or Stressed? Don’t Let It Overwhelm You!

It happens to all of us. We wake up one morning and just feel miserable. Or we look at the cloudy or rainy sky as we head outside and feel sad. Or we read or hear a comment from someone during the day that makes us feel angry. 

We want to be happy, but instead we just feel sad, angry, anxious, or stressed. Sometimes our thoughts trigger feelings that may seem out of proportion to the event that triggered it. Suddenly we feel pessimistic or see everything as bad or useless. 

I was sick with the flu last week, and I noticed that there were several times I was feeling angry: “I hate being sick!” or sad “I feel miserable. When will I finally get better?” Of course I did get better, but oftentimes, when we are in the middle of it, we get wrapped up in our feelings and feel like it won’t change.

What can we do in those moments of sadness, anger or anxiety? 

First, we have to accept our feelings, as unpleasant as they may seem. Resisting them only reinforces them. Secondly, we have to remember that everything, including our feelings, is impermanent – everything changes all the time. So whatever we are going through and what we are feeling is temporary. I found a few phrases that help remind me of this:

 “This too shall pass.” It’s a proverb that originated with medieval Sufi poets.

“Tomorrow is another day.” Made famous as the last line in “Gone with the Wind.”

“It is what it is, while it is.” I recently came across this one in an article by Dr. Elisha Goldstein:

I like the last one, because it combines accepting our situation and our feelings “It is what it is” with the realization that it is temporary “while it is.”

Saying these words to yourself can make you more mindful and aware, so you don’t fall into your usual pattern or feel overwhelmed. Try it out next time you get into a funk or feel negative thoughts and feelings coming on. 

What happens when you try one of these phrases? Have you found any other expressions that have helped you?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ignite Your Fire

"Your life spark fires from within your innermost temple
no one can reach there but you
it is your inner sacred sanctum...
you are your own master there
only you can reach and ignite your fire!"

Friday, October 5, 2012

If You Want To Be Happy, Be.

"To be is to do" ~Socrates

"To do is to be" ~Sartre 

"If you want to be happy, be." ~Leo Tolstoy

I am a big believer in taking action toward what you want (even if it is just a small step), creating new healthy habits, and practicing them until they become second nature.

But I know it is equally important to regularly get in touch with yourself and the world around you, to just be, and connect with the universe. 

Because it’s so easy to get busy doing, we often forget why we are doing what we are doing. Is it really important to us? Is it meaningful? Is it fulfilling?

I had a whole list of tasks laid out for this week to get into action. And then I caught a cold. So I am taking the opportunity to just be.

If you would like to join me in being, just take a deep breath, look out the window or at the picture below, and for the moment, just be...