Happiness is a choice. Yes! That’s very true but in our everyday lives why is it we don’t always make that choice?
For me, it is because of old thoughts — let’s call it old data. Like Tony said, “We are not our thoughts.” So where did our thoughts (data) come from? Even though well meaning, they came from our parents, family, churches, schools, entertainment, media, etc. How many of our own thoughts have we really chosen ourselves?
Let’s take a look at the subjects of science, health and technology. Look how much, over the years, that information (data) has changed. A ton! It keeps evolving. Some of the data have been proven to be false and outdated. All of the data, which we have labeled as “good, bad, supported and unsupported,” all served its purpose to bring these subjects to where they are now. The same goes for us.
We choose what thoughts (data) we allow to run us everyday! The problem is… are we even aware that this is an option? The more we are aware of the thoughts, that we allow ourselves to be run by them, the more we can decide if this is the data we want filling our minds. We get to decide to practice being aware, being present moment to moment, choosing how we are going to think, how we are going to react in our lives. This, by the way, is why meditation is an important tool in quieting the mind and stopping the same habitual thoughts from running us all day long.
Then, the ability to accept your thoughts and situations is not so overwhelming. It takes the power away from your old thoughts. This is one of the best habits that I’ve developed. Now, even if I indulge in old thoughts, I usually do it knowingly (and go there anyway). Yet, I can quickly recover and step back out of them. It is not only powerful, it is very freeing.
Here at Happiness Series in the coming season we are going to spend a lot of time on how we talk and think in our everyday lives.
This is a great practice that brings great change!
Tell us what is working for you and what is not, we want to hear from you.
About the Author: Sheila Heylin, the knowledgeable host of Happiness Series, lives in Chicago and Los Angeles. It was in LA where Sheila discovered healthy living. She realized that “what you’re not used to and what you hate are two different things.” She and Tania partnered to create Happiness Series and build an online and offline community that fosters wellness and happiness.