pursuit . of . H a P P i N e S S !
That's a nice combination of words, isn't it?
Sometimes I forget that this little corner of my world is not JUST about working on "Jane's Addicted," but was also created to journal about my little personal project pursuing 'the happy.'
Last fall, I started gaining some traction on some projects and overhauling some of my old ways of thinking. I'm pretty excited about it so I thought I'd share the highlights.
1) Journal My Happy. (Gratitude Journaling)
|This is the one I use. I love it.|
My "Happiness Project" partner and I are reading Gretchen Rubin's book "The Happiness Project" and working on our individual goals. I have heard that one of the keys to happiness is the ole' "counting your blessings." I have attempted this a few times over the years but this time I have stuck to it pretty consistently and it's paying off. This is a five-year journal with enough room to write a few sentences for each day. I keep it as positive as I can. It definitely helps get your brain moving in a positive direction in the morning.
2) Happify My Newsfeed.
|We are all so fucking miserable!|
Once happier habits start picking up steam, watching "the Real Housewives of XYZ: aren't we all just fucking miserable?" seems really counterproductive. I gave up watching local news when I had my son ten years ago. I figured out there were better, more balanced ways of getting news.
Now I'm trying to be mindful of the same thing in my recreational pursuits. Despite my natural inclinations to complain a lot and be a wise-ass, I try - at least on the facebook - to make the majority of my content uplifting, funny, informative, etc. I am trying to stay away from sharing any links or commentary that is depressing or making fun of people. I scan through my newsfeed and if something sounds really negative, I try to scroll on by. It's not like you have the time to read everything anyway. You might as well start with the stuff that engages you on a positive level and by the time you get through with that, there's no time left for all the crap. Real-world problems still need champions though. It's cool to find examples of people doing good and trying to solve problems in creative ways - and make a point of sharing THOSE stories. I think the power potential in this is amazing.
3) Do Something Dramatic for my HEALTH
During the month of January, we did The Whole 30. It was a great experience and we all learned a lot. The main thing I got out of it was a sense of empowerment - that if I prepped enough and really focused on something I could do it.
4) Happier My Ears.
Here's a good place to start... Happy by Pharrell Williams
"Clap along if you feel like a room without a ROOF!" : )
Now, my musical taste lies more in the 'folky singer-songwriter i'm so depressed i'm gonna shoot myself' genre, but you know? All things in moderation. I stumbled on this video the other day after hearing it a billion times from my son's obsession with watching Despicable Me 2. It was so catchy, I had to look it up and the video is AWESOME! It basically features seemingly random happy people dancing down the streets of Los Angeles. There are moments when I absolutely LOVE my fellow human beings - and I get that magic feeling when I watch this.
5) Learn about the Law of Attraction.
|"The Secret" is about the Law of Attraction.|
OK, I am kind of wincing posting this - and you might notice I snuck it in at #5... but honestly, this is central to why I am experiencing such a huge shift in my life right now. If you've never watched the movie "the Secret" before, give it a try and see what you think. If you can get past the spooky-weird da vinci code style opening sequence, it is jam-packed with inspirational topics and practical suggestions to help draw good things into your life. The general idea is that whatever you're thinking about - or especially "feeling", you will attract more of to your life. When you start focusing on what you're grateful for and the things you want in life (as if you already have them) you actually start attracting more and more of those things. It's pretty cool when you see things start to happen.
- Live in the Magic of Life
- Ask, Believe & Receive
- Expect a check! (Lisa Nichols) : )
- What do I want? The universe will correspond to the nature of your inner feelings.
- What makes me feel good? Feeling these feelings will keep you on track. Feel good feelings like: excitement, passion, satisfaction, gratitude, joyful expectation, love and hope.
- If it feels bad, you're on the wrong track
- Do more of what makes you happy!
6) Vision-Board My Life
I started mine by writing up a wish list of what I wanted more of in my life. You can use any thing from a dollar-store poster board to a piece of foam core to a bulletin board... A really quick way to start though is a pad of post-its and a pen. Have fun brainstorming. If things are kind of sticking in a negative place, try to figure out what the flipside is of what you're complaining about and describe what that would look like. Once you have a few ideas you can try to find photos, colors or graphics that capture your ideas. Or, you can browse through magazines or pinterest and just see what pictures jump out at you and go from there. When you hear a quote you like, or see the perfect tea towel for your kitchen, or have an epiphany about what you want to do when you grow up - capture it on your vision board. Use a glue stick, use a roll of tape, use a scrapbooking glue-roller... whatever floats your boat.
I happen to have several boards going because this is working so well for me. But a good place to start is to do a general board that depicts some of your goals for the year. One of mine is to "spend more time with books" - so I have posted pictures of books I want to read and the dates my book club is meeting, etc. But the sky's the limit - maybe you're looking to move or change careers - this is a great tool to illuminate aspects of those journeys and help get you where you want to be. Try to keep your goals written as specifically and positively as possible. Write your goals in the present tense as if you have already achieved them. An example is: rather than saying "I want to lose weight or x# lbs." you could say "I feel ________ about being healthy enough to _______."
|Pinterest is a great tool to support this.|
This is NOT the time nor the place to unleash your perfectionism. Noooo. This is a process and takes a little while. Accept each stage of development as it comes and let things unfold naturally, organically, m a g i c a l l y even.
A good tip for writing up your goals/affirmations... start with the phrase: "I am so happy and grateful now that: [and then describe what you want]." Do not be shy - just really let yourself feel what you want. Answer the questions: what makes you feel happy? what makes you feel joy? write it up, get it on your board in a way that makes you feel as though you already have it, and watch it gradually start to take shape.
Have you ever heard the expression "Love is a verb?" I think the same is true for gettin' happy. I think the more active you are in chasing happiness, the more success you will have.