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Happy Is Easier Than We Think

Happiness Is Closer than You ThinkA lovely reader asked how to get happy when the thing that makes her happy isn’t possible to experience.
She understands it’s important to keep the vibe up (“get in the vortex,” as Abe says), but financial obstacles keep her from it.
Sometimes the blocks we see to our happiness aren’t financial, but dependent on another person, or sometimes on more time.
However, it’s easier than we might think to reach a happy state.
In this reader’s case, she says travel makes her happy, but that she can’t afford it.
Which many folks could relate to – desiring something while not having the money for it.
But there are other ways to access that enjoyment.
Start by asking what it is about your desire that you enjoy most about it.  Break down the core elements or aspects that make it desirable to you.
In our reader’s case, she could look at what it is about travel that she loves most.  Maybe it’s …

  • learning about a new place or culture
  • meeting new people
  • experiencing an unfamiliar environment
  • hearing beautiful accents
  • eating new foods
  • feeling a sense of freedom or wonder
When we pinpoint the aspects we love about it, we can get creative about experiencing those essences in other ways.  As in taking a foreign language course or exploring new things in our own area.
Another way might be to access enjoyment by planning the next trip, relishing scrapbooks from prior adventures, hearing stories from others’ trips, immersing in travel shows, etc.
Another approach could be to realize travel isn’t as expensive as we think, with air B&Bs, couch surfing options, home exchange programs, and smart airfare deals.
Or we could just stop believing it’s hard and let Universe put it together for us.  A good intention married up with a bit of allowing goes a long way!
The point being things that make us happy aren’t as far away as they sometimes seem.
I’d love to hear some of your creative ways of surpassing obstacles to your highest happiness.  Please share in the comments!
  • December 14, 2012

Guest Post: Law of Attraction in 3 Words

Pete Hughes’ succinct take on deliberate creation may not appeal to everyone, but his simple style (and pithy humor) may offer inspiration to some:

the law of attraction in three wordsIt is hard to surf the Internet these days without stumbling across something about ‘manifestation’ or ‘The Law of Attraction’. Since the release of the film The Secret, hundreds, if not thousands of would-be gurus have sprung up, most eager to help you part with your money in return for finally providing you with an explanation of this ‘secret’ which will transform your life once and for all.

Well, to save you all the trouble of searching, I will in this article sum up the Law of Attraction, completely for free, in just THREE WORDS, which you have probably heard many times before, since long before the phrases ‘manifestation’ and ‘Law of Attraction’ were widely used.

Before I reveal the three words, I will start with a little summary of manifestation and the Law of Attraction as proposed by many ‘enlightened’ teachers.

  • Decide clearly what it is you want.
  • Write it down or stick pictures on a vision board or tattoo it to the back of your eyelids or something.
  • Clearly visualise having that thing, preferably engaging all the 5 senses, on a daily basis.
  • Continue doing this until you feel right now how you would feel if you already had that thing.
  • Once you get the feeling, then your desire will manifest in your life.

But here is the big Catch 22:-

If you can get yourself to feel right now how you would feel if you had that thing in your life, then you will no longer desire that thing, because the only reason that we desire anything is because we think that it will bring us a feeling that is better than the feeling we currently find ourselves feeling.

So, according to the Law of Attraction, in order to manifest things that will make us feel great, we have to first get ourselves to feel great.

Hmmm, is this not just an incredibly long-winded and elaborate way of saying what many well-meaning but gruff uncles and P.E. teachers have been saying for years?

“Cheer up, Grumpy!”

That’s it! The Law of Attraction summed up in just three words. It is yours absolutely free. I do not want you to send me 9 monthly instalments of $35. I do not want you to spend $350 so that I can tell you these three words during a weekend at an expensive resort.

Here they are again:-

“Cheer up, Grumpy!”

written by Pete Hughes for happycow.org.uk

What do you think?  Is that simple?  Does this three word instruction work for you?  Would you sum it up differently?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

  • February 22, 2012

Your Personal Happiness Recipe

January’s Success Magazine quoted a recent British study that boiled down the recipe to happiness in five elements:

  • 6.5 hours of sleep
  • 20 minute commute
  • 5 home cooked meals a week
  • a night out with friends or loved ones
  • regular exercise

We do love clear cut instructions, don’t we?  😉
It’s worthwhile for deliberate creators to focus on happiness is because it’s the key to getting everything we want.
Abraham’s Get Happy video
(Indeed, happiness IS what we want – but we tend to associate it with lots of other conditions and things.)
Recognizing happiness as a key to all this manifesting stuff made me wonder what my personal happiness recipe is.
I already get plenty of sleep, have a 2 minute commute, prefer nights in with loved ones to nights out, and exercise every day.  So I think my maximum happiness recipe might dial it up a little differently.
Which of course made me curious about everyone else’s personal happiness recipe …
Do you know yours?
I asked around and here’s what I heard (from a coach colleague, an ex, and an in-law – can you guess which was which?)

  • good (and frequent) sex
  • good food
  • participating in competitive sports
  • a successful intimate relationship

then this one:

  • making a positive difference in the world
  • self-care
  • fostering connections and relationships

and finally this one who said for him it boiled down to just one element:

  • being of service (having an outward, selfless focus on life)

(Note: two of these three respondents are parents.  Reminds me of this recent news report explaining why child-rearing is not on their lists.)
WhenI started this post I wasn’t sure what my personal recipe was, but I think it’s starting to take shape: 1 kilo of chocolate every week.  (Thank you, Sophie, for sharing that tidbit from Jeanne Calment’s long life.)
And probably a bunch of wagging dog tails every day, at least one daily lap cat nap, a hearty laugh preferably for an irreverent reason (I would share the link to Sarah’s honey badger find on you tube, but it’s definitely not for everyone) …

ok, here’s the Bad A** Honey Badger video, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!  If you’re sensitive to animals eating each other and very foul language, do not click it!

(The DamnYouAutoCorrect on Becky’s facebook page is pretty hilarious, too.)
And maybe one loud music session every morning.  Preferably P Diddy or Bee Gees or my absolute favorite chant.  (Loud is key.)
What else strikes me about our personal happiness formulas is that no one mentioned financial abundance, despite several studies confirming a link between prosperity and happiness.
So I hope you’re curious enough about your personal happiness recipe to give it some thought, and perhaps to share it here for those of us still formulating ours.
Regardless, let’s all remember that happiness is a big key to successful manifesting, not to mention a fun way to do life, so please make it a priority in yours.

  • March 22, 2011

Pulling the Plug on Fun?

Deliberate creators know two things:

  1. how important it is to be happy, have fun, and enjoy (i.e. get in the vortex) and
  2. how often life presents challenges to do so.

Case in point:
My ex called last night to report one of his cats missing. Turbo escaped through a basement door inadvertently left open, and despite late night hours of searching, calling, and checking with neighbors, the adventurous feline hasn’t been spotted.
Verrall was worried. His anxiety-filled words to me: “Turbo’s gone.”
He recapped all the desperate action he’d taken to try to bring him home.
I told him to relax and let that cat come home after his big adventure is over.
I reminded him Universe can’t deliver “found” while you’re so strongly dialed on “lost.”
“So relax.”
He did one better … and went jet skiing for the day.
When I heard that he was spending the day at the lake, I judgmentally thought, “Well, I might have stayed home to open the door for the guy when he shows up” – but the truth is you can’t deny the power of having fun to get what you want.
Which was interesting because I had just begun writing this post about when we justify pulling the plug on fun.
I’m talking about the situations we resign ourselves to going through despite the fact that it is absolutely no fun.

  • Like taking those phone calls from family and/or friends that don’t feel appropriate to ignore.
  • Or doing the household chores that simply have to be done.
  • Or going to jobs we detest.
  • Or doctor visits we don’t look forward to.
  • Or life events like funerals, protest campaigns, PTA meetings and such.

There are some things in life we have come to expect that simply have to be done or gotten through even though there isn’t an iota of fun or happiness in it for us.
Which is pretty ridiculous when we understand the role that our energy plays in how life unfolds.
Because anything that isn’t a good time isn’t taking us where we want to be.
And yet we still do it sometimes, don’t we?
The last time I did it was when I (believed I) had to phone the tree spray company to find out what they did to make four bushes die in the backyard. I wasn’t looking forward to the call; I didn’t want to argue about who was at fault and how they were going to fix it; and I certainly didn’t enjoy looking at the struggling plants.
I put the call off for several couple weeks, waiting for a more appealing option to reveal itself, but that didn’t happen. So I finally bit the bullet and made the call.

That might be a sign! Any time we feel like we’re biting the bullet, maybe we should skip it altogether – or at least re-think it to get on a better vibe!

Anyway, as expected, it wasn’t the most pleasant phone call of my week. I had to be annoyingly insistent that they send someone out. Which they reluctantly agreed to do at the beginning of the week.
Which gave me time to realize how un-fun I was making this whole experience.
Luckily, by the time the guy showed up I had committed to having fun in this experience.
I intended we have a good conversation and that I felt treated like gold, which is exactly what happened.
Their guy explained how our extremely wet spring allowed for more fungus growth than usual, which two bushes were falling victim to. He explained to me how he knew that, and it made perfect sense. He also explained what was happening to the other two bushes, which had nothing to do with spray treatments.
We joked a little bit about how I had no idea what could have done them in other than his company. He was very sweet about it! He let me pick his brain for thoughts about a couple of other things in the yard (a bare spot in the lawn, an evergreen with spider mites), for which he generously shared resources and tips. It was a fun conversation!  (And for those of you who know about my handsome man vibration – yes, he was cute, too.)
So here I had believed that calling to complain about service wasn’t fun. And I very easily left that element out of this equation, because we KNOW that sort of thing isn’t any fun.
That’s worth questioning.
And if we really can’t find the enjoyment in it, then it’s worth questioning that we do it.
Because the bottom line is that if it’s not fun, or we if we can’t find some enjoyment in it, why do it? Abandoning the enjoyment is an upstream journey and we all know everything we want is downstream!
I also believe it’s possible to find the fun in just about anything once we intend it.
So let’s not be so quick to pull the plug on fun.  Because the truth is skipping the fun, enjoyment and happiness is like taking the long road to our happy ending.
And we know better than that.  😉
UPDATE: Turbo returned home on his own just before midnight on the day my ex went jet-skiing. Yay!

  • August 22, 2010

Fleeting Happiness; Enduring Sadness?

Have you ever noticed that moments of happiness are often short lived, while less enjoyable feelings like sadness or anger can last what might seem a lifetime?
I don’t see too many folks getting hung up on joyful events, whereas it seems more common for someone to dwell on an experience that brings grief, anger, resentment, or other emotional pain.
I’d never given it much thought until browsing the bookstore yesterday I happened across this intriguing title: Working On Yourself Doesn’t Work.
The authors share three principles to transforming your life, including that

  • whatever we resist persists (we know that one well) 
  • you can only be with what is right now (theme of allowing, being present, and no judgment, although I could be remembering this one wrong)
  • and the third one I especially liked: Allowing yourself to be with it will complete it

With that third principle (which clients will recognize from the Tom Stone homework I often assign of feeling your feelings fully), the authors suggest releasing any agenda of getting rid of something, and rather letting yourself be with it fully.  Then whatever it is will complete.
They told a personal story that involved the experience of physical pain, but shared that we also see this with emotions as well.  Like how happiness is often fleeting, while sadness can last for weeks.  Or longer.
What’s gives?
The reason, they say, is that when we don’t let ourselves feel something or be fully present to what is, it will continue.  Conversely, when we do allow ourselves to feel it fully, it completes. 
(Whoa, thinking of the physical examples of orgasms vs. headaches.)
Anyway, since happiness is easy to feel fully, it completes faster than things like sadness or grief or anger which we might not be as willing to fully feel.
Interesting, huh?
Some of you have heard me tell the story about how I accidentally practiced this several yeras ago when my dog Sophie died at home: 

It was the first time one of my animals died at home when it was just the two of us.  Usually I’m either at the vet’s office, trying to keep it together.  Or the vet is at my house, and I’m trying to keep it together.  Or I’m with a (human) friend, trying to keep it together. 
This time there was no reason to keep it together.  After Sophie died at the front door, I walked to the back porch, sat down on the top step in the sun, hugged my knees to my chest, and let myself be sad.
I was REALLY sad.  I was so sad, I remember being in absolute awe of how sad I was.  I actually observed it with the thought, “Man, look how SAD I am!  I didn’t know anyone could BE this sad.  This is really sad!”
I felt it intensely; it was the saddest I’ve ever been. 
For about four minutes.
And then it was gone.
Just that like that.
There was no more sadness.  Instead, just peace.
It was really bizarre – and cool – that the sadness could be that strong, without being overwhelming.  And then be gone, just as fast as it came.

When I ran across Tom Stone’s “feeling fully” work a few years later, I realized that’s what I had accidentally practiced that day on the back porch.  I let myself feel the sadness all the way.
And when we do that, it completes pretty quickly.
I thought it was a useful awareness when it sometimes seems like happiness can be so fleeting while other feelings seem to drag on forever.  This seems like a pretty good key as to why that’s the case, and how we could work with it differently if we wanted to.
Anyone else have experience with this? 
Ha – or does anyone have any experience with resisting happiness to make it last longer?  (I’m not sure I even want to attempt that experiment.)

  • March 6, 2010