If you were to ask anyone what they would like in their life, one of the most common responses would be happiness. As sentient human beings, we naturally seek happiness in our lives whether it be in relationships with family and friends, or in a career or calling, and yet happiness often eludes us. Instead we often find ourselves mired in responsibility, duty, tradition and myriad other energies that weigh us down.
In truth, the first step to having happiness in your life is not to look outside of yourself to friends, loved ones, family members, jobs or activities, but rather to look inward and ask yourself what makes YOU happy!
You may believe that having job fulfillment, healthy relationships or sufficient income to support your hobbies, etc. are the keys to happiness, but those are all sources that exist outside of your personal space and are not always within your control – in other words they can be temporary or transient.
Creating happiness within your personal universe is the foundation for living a conscious and fulfilling lifetime. However, it does require some time and a commitment to yourself, and possibly some guidance initially in order to find that happiness within.
Assistance can be found in the form of meditation groups or classes, yoga or pilates practices, massage or energy healing treatments – any practice that teaches you how to look inwards and become more fully acquainted with yourself.
The journey to finding what makes you happy, like all journeys, can be challenging at times. You may come across roadblocks. These roadblocks are the result of energy in your space from other people who would prefer you continue to give to them first, or follow the path they believe will make you happy.
For instance, you may find yourself in a career that your mother or father guided or led you to in the belief that it would bring you success and happiness and yet you are unhappy, unfulfilled and struggling in that job.
Similarly, perhaps you are in a relationship that your best friend thought would be perfect for you and would make you happy. Only you find that, although your partner seems very happy, you are not!
Turning the tide or changing course midstream can be difficult. It may even seem impossible. That is how debilitating foreign energy can be. By foreign energy I mean other people’s concepts, wishes, demands, dreams, judgments, etc. These energies can weigh heavily on you – you may even experience them in physical terms as pressure in your head, a tension or heaviness in your shoulders, pain or discomfort in your gut.
One way to change course is to engage in a simple exercise which might kick-start your ability to find happiness. No one even has to know about it because it can be done privately, on your own time.
Write a list of all the things you can think of that give you happiness – physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. For example: hiking in the woods, swimming in the ocean, feeling the warmth of the sun on your body, dancing in the moonlight, singing in the shower, curling up with a good book, watching a sunrise or sunset, listening to the wind and rain. You might find this list evolves and grows over a period of time as you focus on your own happiness.
As you write your list, be aware of activities that come to mind that involve someone else’s happiness more than yours. For instance, making your partner their favorite meal. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but does not represent something that is solely for you. Take this off the list for now. Also, be aware of items you might want to add to the list but feel embarrassed, selfish or even guilty about. This is the result of someone’s energy of judgment or invalidation in your space about what you want to do. Make sure to add these to the list.
Continue to fine-tune this list until you are sure that it is all truly about you.
Then comes the next step which involves putting into practice your “happiness” list. It is one thing to write it down, but can be more challenging to put it into action. This is where seeking some assistance can be helpful. Sometimes it can be as simple as clearing some space for yourself – practice your meditation tools, step up your yoga practice, join that meditation class you have had on your “to do” list, make an appointment for a healing or massage.
As you create more time and space for you, it will naturally follow that you feel and are more happy.
With a little commitment to and attention on yourself, you can create the happiness within which will sustain you in times of hardship, challenges and pain. Stoke your internal fire and keep that fire burning!
This is not selfish! On the contrary, taking care of and creating happiness for yourself allows you to be a more productive, caring and contributing member of the human race!