Make every day International Happiness Day

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International Happiness Day

[Image credit: digitalart]

This past week I saw some Facebook posts about International Happiness Day. I started thinking if I’m the only one in charge of my happiness like the “experts” say, then why not celebrate happiness every day? When I feel like I’m not happy, maybe what I’m feeling is discontent so I don’t get too comfortable where I’m at. That way I’ll continue striving to better myself and seeking ways to contribute to my little corner of the world. Happiness, I believe, is contagious. The happier we are, the more our joy spills over and affects others. Beginning on April 1st (to coincide with another self-imposed challenge), I’m planning to start each day picking one thing that makes me happy and adding it to my list of tasks—no restrictions. It can include treating myself to a green tea latte to “paying it forward” with a good deed. I’ll call it my 30 days of happiness challenge. Stay tuned for updates.

What is one thing that makes you happy?

Waiting for better days

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Hands tied

[Image credit: Danilo Rizzuti]

As you wait for better days, don’t forget to enjoy today,
in case they’ve already started. ~ Robert Brault

Sometimes, in life, we feel our hands are tied pertaining to certain things — like staying at a job that’s lost its appeal or sacrificing one thing for the good of another.  But I believe, most often, we really do have a choice and we’re simply unwilling to change the status quo.  So if we choose to wait for better days, we must make the decision to be happy where we’re at.  Or be miserable and perhaps miss out on the best thing that may ever happen to us.  Yesterday during the first savasana in Yoga, the teacher instructed the students to mentally validate ourselves with a mantra of sorts to come back to.  Mine was: “I am strong, I am healthy, I am happy.”  Because that is what I choose to be today … while I wait.

How do you remember to enjoy today while waiting for better days?

Preparing for a fabulous new year

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Preparing for a fabulous new year

[Image credit: chanpipat]

You may currently have all your resolutions, goals and “to dos” put in place for the New Year.  However, those lists may just as well be words on paper — rather than an action plan toward fulfilling dreams or simply navigating life’s choppy waters — if you don’t prepare yourself mentally.  It’s your mind that will either talk you out of it, or keep you on track.  Here are five tips to help you plan for a happy, successful and (hopefully) life-changing 2013:

  1. Begin each day with expectation that something wonderful is going to happen.
  2. Plan and prioritize.  If it moves you closer to your highest purpose in life, do it first.
  3. Let go of your results.  Remember, control the things you can.
  4. Turn off background TV or other distractions that pull your mind off track.  Focus on the job at hand.
  5. End each day with gratitude.  Write down at least one wonderful thing that happened.

How are you preparing for a fabulous New Year?

I can’t get no satisfaction

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[Image credit: digitalart]

What does not satisfy when we find it,
was not the thing we were desiring. ~ C.S. Lewis

During one of my recent sessions at the gym, my trainer and I discussed our dissatisfaction with our bodies. Armando commented on the muscle he’d lost, while I lamented the excess skin on my hips (you’re a woman, you will always have that). He went on to say that no matter how much someone weighs, whether 300 pounds or 90 pounds (or somewhere in between), they’re still not happy. I recently wrote an article about body image for In With Skin magazine and touched on the topic of being comfortable in our skin. However, I think it goes even deeper than that. I’ve had friends who say they’ll be happy as soon as they get a) a new dishwasher, b) a different job, c) more money or d) whatever “the” thing may be. But then, like what happens with lost weight — the appliance is in place, they’re working for a new boss doing what they enjoy and they’re making more money — they’re still not happy. Instead, they’re looking for the next “fix” guaranteed to satisfy. Perhaps C.S. Lewis had it right: maybe we just haven’t found what it is we’ve desired all along. But once we do, we will know beyond a doubt.

Are you easily satisfied, or are you always seeking more?

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands

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[Image credit: Sarunyu_foto]

Each day my big sister comes up with four things she’s thankful for.  Last week, she and I must have been on the same wavelength despite the 2,000 odd miles separating us, because I learned we shared equally funky moods — misery loves company, or perhaps it’s one of those “sister things.”  Either way, at the end of her email, she listed the four things she was thankful for that day.  I did the same in my reply to her and, not long afterward, discovered I didn’t really feel so funky.  After all, it’s hard to remain blue when you realize your cup is half full.  And considering I’m the only one who has control over the contents of my cup, I choose to fill it with gratefulness.  The four things I’m thankful for today are: 1) the ability to bridge the distance through technology, 2) a day job I enjoy that supports my writing, 3) the gift of sisters and friendship, and 4) fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

What are four things you’re thankful for today?

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