When I was first introduced to this information I used to get a pit in my stomach every time I read or someone told me, “you have to choose your own happiness.” I would feel overwhelmed! Let’s face it, in theory, who wouldn’t want to choose happiness? I would get so frustrated… I AM choosing happiness! In my head, I thought I chose it but it didn’t connect with my heart. So I assumed… this crap sucks and it doesn’t work. Yet, I was determined to keep going because when I would be still and read one of my books or hear someone like Tony speak, something would happen inside me. That pit in my stomach turned warm. There was a feeling. A feeling of knowing. Not that I knew something, just a feeling of knowing something was deeply true.
It moved me enough to take steps to be more proactive throughout my day to see how much happiness I could feel and share. This is when I started treating myself better. I became aware of what I was putting in my body. Fresh, healthy foods made a huge difference, which led to changing my sleep habits. I could now wake up feeling awake and refreshed. Nothing makes you eat worse than bad sleep (not even a hangover). Bad sleep patterns make you crave bad foods, which in turn, make you more tired and sluggish… it’s a vicious cycle.
As Tony suggested, I would schedule things to do like exercise. I would make time to meditate (still, the best gift I’ve given to myself). The big one that Tony talked about is giving of yourself, which like meditation, raises our vibration. You can give of yourself on so many levels. From being in a position to help lots of people through charity work to something as simple as holding the door open for someone or looking someone in the eyes and saying hello. It’s not the scale it’s the intention of getting out of ourselves and acknowledging and being present to another being and their needs. Nothing makes you feel better and makes you forget about your troubles faster than giving of yourself to others.
These are just a few steps that I took that really started to make a difference in my life. We are so programed to think and feel that happiness is a nice fleeting moment that happens here and there. Some of us don’t believe we can actually live with the reverse. That the “not-so-great” times are the fleeting moments that happen here and there.
It’s all in what we pay attention to which helps us design how we want to live.
Tony said something that really touched me, “This doesn’t have to be a doing; it’s a being-ness; it becomes like a breath.” I love that! We don’t decide throughout our day when we’re going to breathe. Thank God because we’d be dead. We get so distracted as a people that we’d all forget to breathe. Our being (who we truly are) is pure, happy and full of love. We might walk the other way from that but there is no denying that this is our true nature. So let’s take these steps together and walk back to our true self, our being.
We can get out of the mind stuff, the old thought patterns keep us stuck.
Like Tony said, “Be bigger than your thoughts, be bigger than your mind.”
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.