Be Happy!

Be Happy! It’s easier said than done, right? The truth is: Happiness is not really all that far off for most folks, if you just know where to look and what steps to take. I have seen people that the world would say: “They have everything going for them!”, and yet in spite of all their good fortune, they were miserable. And I’ve seen others that the world would ask: “How in the world can they keep going on?”, and yet despite their cataclysmic struggles, they seem to be some of the happiest people in the world. While it’s true that circumstances do have the ability to make happiness easier or more difficult to obtain, they are not the determining factor.

Scientist have invested a lot of money and spent a lot of time investigating how to obtain happiness and while they have made a lot of amazing discoveries, there still is no magic pill that can make it your reality. I too, have spent a great deal of my life chasing after happiness. There were times that I thought this or that relationship with just the right person would do the trick, but it doesn’t take you too long to realize that most everyone else is on the same journey as you. I have often fell into the trap that certain possessions, a bigger house, newer car, trendier clothes might be the fix, but they all just ended up leaving me hungry for more. I even thought that degrees, titles and prestige might do the trick, only to find that papers stack up, trophies and plaques get old, memories fade and still leave you empty and searching.

We spend most of our lives having our ego fed by the lie of all lies: The lie that says I am what I possess, what I do or what I think other people think of me. This lie causes us to chase after an elusive foe that will never be caught, but that will often get us caught up in messes that take us away from, rather than closer to the happiness we are searching for.

Now, let me state for the record that I am not an authority on happiness. I am simply one individual on a journey that has discovered a lot of what will not work and a handful of things that seem to be taking me in a more positive direction. I want to share just a few of those thoughts as we get ready to dive into 2020:

1.) To Find Happiness, Stop Looking Outside And Start Looking Inside! Most of us fill our schedules with so much activity that we have very little time for solitude, stillness and quiet time, which allows us to go within and do the “thought” work necessary to truly figure out what happiness is for us. If we don’t fill our schedules, then many of us, simply don’t take the time to pray, meditate and contemplate what is really important in life. This inability to make time for “INWARD WORK” robs us of the opportunity to take on and take out the negative thoughts that this world is continually bombarding us with. If we are not intentional about taking time to think, pray, journal and do inward work, then we will most likely never experience the happiness that we were created for and that was created for us.

2.) Take Time To Take A Breath! This may sound a little crazy, but breath is a very important part of life. The fact that we breathe in and breathe out without even thinking about it, is an amazing reality of our lives. Breath matters. Take time to think about your breathing. Acknowledge the miracle of breath coming into and out of your body. This reminds you that there is more to this life than just you. You have a Creator, Who created you as an amazing spiritual being that gets to experience this human life. When this thought really begins to take root in your life and thinking, you can’t help but to live life at a higher level and this contributes to helping you get into just the right place to experience the happiness you were created for.

3.) Practice Gratitude All Day, Everyday In Anyway You Can! I have found that an attitude of gratitude is the single quickest way to get myself adjusted and headed in the right direction. While there are many things that are not working the way I want them to, there are many things that are working better than I could dream or imagine. Often in my life I have focused on what I didn’t like, giving it all the power to call the shots in my life and missed out on all that I had to like, love and appreciate that I should have been empowering to take me in the positive direction I so desperately needed. To help me stay on the right track here are a couple of disciplines I practice on a daily basis: First thing in the morning, I say: “Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!” as my way of acknowledging I am not alone in this universe, that I have been created on purpose for a purpose and that I am grateful to my Maker for blessing me with another day. At some point during the day, I also take time to write down in my journal at least three things I am grateful for. I encouergage you to find ways to meaningfully express your gratitude, it really is a life changer.

Happiness is really not that far off and it is obtainable in your life, just start on the inside and work your way out and you will find happiness, if it doesn’t find you first!

Are You Happy?

I used to have a friend that would ask me a simple, but powerful question on a fairly consistent basis. He would ask: “Are you happy?” I would answer: “I guess?” I mean, I wasn’t sad, so the opposite is happy, so I must be happy, right? Every now I then, I would wonder to myself: “Are you happy?”, but something else would come along and take control of my thoughts and I would drift onto something else.

I see and hear a lot of people in our world today that are not happy. I think if you asked most people, they would say: “I would like to be happy, but I’m not so sure how to get there. I think a lot of folks spend the first half of their lives, just trying to figure out what “happy” is. We think we know, get it rounded up and discover that what we thought it might be, turns out to be a wrong guess. Which is exactly why I think that a lot of us tend to give up and become satisfied if “happy” just kinda crosses over our tracks every now and then.

But the truth is, we were created for so much more than that. I think one of the problems with the idea of “happy” is that we think it’s a place to be, a destination to arrive at, but it is so much more than that. One of my favorite teachers, Wayne Dyer, puts it this way: “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” I really do like that:  “HAPPINESS IS THE WAY!”  We just have to get our definition and understanding of happiness right and then the rest tends to fall into place.

So what is happiness? Happiness is a lot of different things and it really depends on who you are talking to. Happiness is a choice, a decision of direction that we choose for ourselves, regardless of the situation or projected outcome. Some are happy going and some are happy sitting at home. Some are happy in a noisy crowd and some are happy enjoying quiet time alone. Some are happy with abundance, while some are happy with very little. This actually gives us a clue as to what happiness really is…

HAPPINESS IS  A CHOICE!  Abraham Lincoln said: “We are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be!” That is why you can see two people go through identical situations and one will be happy and up on cloud nine and the other will be down in the dumps and ready to die. So, the one most important thing we can learn about happiness is that happiness is a choice that we get to make for ourselves.

There it is, YOU GET TO DECIDE FOR YOU! You cannot decide for anyone else, but you can decide for yourself and you, yourself can make a difference in helping others to get there for themselves. If you are going through something hard, difficult or challenging, you can be happy knowing that it is making you stronger, revealing wisdom to you and showing you a side of yourself that you never knew existed. If you are going through good times, blessings and success, you can be happy knowing that what you’ve dreamed of and worked for is a reality that makes life better, sweeter and easier.

Choose to by happy, regardless, you will be glad you did!

Feeling Your Feelings!

I hear from people on a regular basis that are looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right. They always end up saying something like: “I am just so tired of feeling all alone!” On the other hand I hear from people who have found Mr. or Mrs. Right and they often complain by saying the same thing: “I’m just so tired of feeling all alone!” As I think of my own life, I have been alone and lonely, as well as connected and lonely.

The key word in the phrase ”I am just so tired of feeling all alone.” is “FEELING“! When we truly begin to understand the power of feeling and how it has the potential to play with our emotions on levels we cannot even hardly begin to comprehend, then we may be able to start a process of healing and growth that will allow us to live life at new levels, which are actually old levels that we were created for.

We don’t like feeling feelings, because sometimes they hurt. Feelings can make you cry at the most unexpected times and for reasons that do not give you a clue as to why??? Feelings can make you feel like this whole human experience thing is overrated and quiet possibly a big ole waste of time. Most of us try to ignore our feelings by pushing them back into whatever open recesses of our phyche we can find, only to have those pesky little feelings find their way back to the main stage of our life and living.

The problem for most of us and the reason we find ourselves feeling all alone is because while we have learned to feel our feelings, we have not learned to allow them to reveal what they are really present for. Feelings do have a purpose and it’s not to get you down. The purpose is to help you take an honest look at yourself from the inside out and from the outside in. Feelings are about introspection that manifests the growth and success you were created for.

Here are a few things I am learning from feeling my feelings:

1. Every Feeling Has A Purpose! Your goal in feeling your feelings is to figure out the purpose of the feeling. Sometimes the purpose is to alert you by getting your attention and focusing it in a certain direction. Sometimes the purpose is to grow you and this growth takes place on many different levels. Sometimes the purpose is to take you to a place you are not willing to take yourself. Whenever you find yourself all up in your feelings, there is a reason. Figure out your reason and you are headed to a better place.

2. What You Feel You Feel! There is no right or wrong feelings, you feel what you feel. The trick is to open yourself spiritually, mentally and physically to allow your feeling to do whatever work it has come in your life to do. Stop looking for validation or excuse from others, do your work and experience your growth. When we start to really feel our feelings, they produce growth and blessing. There may be some pain, frustration or disappointment to work through, but once you’re through it, you see yourself at a much better place.

3. We Are So Much More Than Our Feelings! Feelings can come from many different places, represent a plethora of emotions and can be a big challenge to try and understand. They can be handy and helpful or toilsome and pesky all at the same time. One of the most amazing and beneficial lessons I am learning from feeling my feelings is that I am not limited to or by them. I am so much more than what I feel and so are you!

Live life long enough and you will discover that feelings come and go. You can be up and happy on the mountaintop one moment and down and out in the valley the next. The most important thing is to feel them, learn whatever they are teaching and grow on…

Change Your Perspective And Change Your Life!

Do you ever get to the place in this human existence where you are just kinda tired of it all? You feel worn out, beat up and like no one really cares. And if truth be told, you are not so sure that you care anymore either? You seem to live under a mountain of stress and under an unrelenting and continual bombardment of negativity. There are so many people living miserable lives and they actually have the power to do something about it, but feel trapped, useless and defeated. That may be you, but I have discovered some good news that helped me to dig out from under all “the stuff” and that I believe can help you as well.

Live life long enough and you will discover that there are some things you can do something about and some things you can’t do anything about. And so, if you paying attention, you eventually come to realize it’s not so much about what you do, but how you see things that really is the point. One of my favorite teachers and mentors Wayne Dwyer used to teach it this way: “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” In other words: ”Perspective Matters!”

What is perspective? Perspective is seeing things from a particular point of view. If you don’t like what you are seeing, then change your point of view and keep changing your point of view until you get to where you need to be. Is it really that simple? Of course it is! We just love complicating things. You are in charge of your perspective. You decide who or what, you will allow to influence your day and the way you see things. Once you realize the incredible power you have at your disposal, your life will begin to change in miraculous and beautiful ways.

Here are a few tips to help you begin changing your perspective in a positive way:

1. Learn From Yesterday! Many times in life, we get stuck in the “could’ve, would’ve, and should’ves of life. We all make mistakes, commit sin and miss the mark. It does not do you or anyone else any good to continue beating up on yourself about your mistakes. I like to say: “If you learn from your mistake, then it was an education, not a waste.” Learn whatever you need to learn from yesterday, let it go and move on. This is one of the reasons that it is important to build quiet times for meditation, reflection and rest. We need time to think about and process what we are facing and dealing with. Carve time into your everyday life to go for a walk in nature, enjoy some time outside on a park bench or enjoy an afternoon nap.

2. Look For The Good In Today! There is something good in everyday, we just have to search until we find it and when it comes to digging out from under the heaviness that weighs us down, this is work that is very worth doing. One of the big things that helps me to find the good is GRATITUDE. Simply taking the time to think about all I have to be thankful for is a game changer. I encourage you to make a list and check it twice, three times if necessary. For me, this is where journaling comes in. It does not have to be complicated or technical. All you need to begin is notebook with a place to write down what you are grateful for, a space to record meaningful quotes that have spoken to you, a safe place to think about and plan the tasks you need to get done. This simple discipline, made a part of your daily ritual will pay off in very big ways.

3. Live Forward To Tomorrow! There is great power in having something to look forward to. And there is always something to look forward to. It may be the sun that is going to come out. It may be the work that is going to be finished. It may be the person we are going to see. It may be the goal that is achieved. The list could go on and on. The important thing is to think about and know “all of God’s children” have things to look forward to. Replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Look for and focus on the positive, the more we practice, the better we get. One of the things I’ve found that helps me move from negative to positive is “helping others”. There is just something about sharing an encouraging word, giving a pat on the back or taking the time to listen that not only blesses others, but makes my day better as well. We should always be on the lookout for how we can make someone else’s day better and then do it.

We can change our perspective and live much more positive and productive lives, if we will simply begin with the choice to change the way we look at and see things. Give it a try, you will be glad you did…

Wasted Battles!

What will make you happy? Do you know? There are brief moments when we think we do, but then ”The Battle” begins and we totally lose the thought, idea, belief, dream or ambition that once brought us the greatest sense of happiness, pleasure and fulfillment, even if it was for just a few moments. How crazy is it, that the thing we look forward to, the thing that puts a smile on our face, the thing that relaxes us, the thing that actually gives us an idea that we have a shot at happiness on a whole different level, becomes the thing that gets caught up in a battle for the ages?

The simple answer is: This is life and this too shall pass! The problem is, we start to think we have to make something happen or we have to make something not happen. In those brief moments when we think we might be beginning to ”know” happiness, we are not striving, battling, toiling or in the midst of struggle. In fact, we are in the totally opposite place of ”allowing” – letting be what will be. We are not making anything happen, it is what it is and it is good, happy, blessed… Until? Until we stop enjoying and start questioning. We trade satisfaction for introspection with some warped sense of expectation that we, them or it knows better. In this little game that we all tend to get caught up in, we cheat ourselves out of blessing and rob ourselves of true happiness. And while we want to blame it on someone else, we are the ones guilty of where we allow the thoughts of our very own mind to take and shape us.

This cheating and robbing ourselves, this removing ourselves from true and genuine fulfillment is something we have been in training for all of our lives. From the very moment of our arrival onto this oxygenated planet we have been training for a battle that we really have no business even being engaged in. It is one battle that we will fight for our entire human existence, made up of many wars, fights and skirmishes, until we decide that enough is enough. Most of the people who do make it to that place of freedom and fulfillment, don’t usually get there, until most of the other cards have been removed from the table, which sad to say is in the moments just before they leave this human experience through death.

While I am not an authority on the subject and I don’t have all the answers, I am a student and I have made a few observations that I am learning from and believe may be worth some consideration. If we could some how just teach, train, grow ourselves to enjoy what is, without the battle of questions, striving, second guessing and being worried about everyone else’s opinion, then I believe we could actually enjoy this amazing thing called life and be amazed by the adventures it will take us on, but we must be willing to get out of it’s way.

Below are three major areas of battle we need to stop engaging:

1. We Battle With Self! I have come to know this as a continual fight with my ego. Ego is driven by a thinking process that it fueled by the idea that I am what I have, what I do or what I think other people think of me. The truth is: We are so much more than any of that and this life is so much more. The problem with living in our head is we miss really living in our life.

2. We Battle With Others! Unfortunately, too many of us get caught up in the idea of what is everybody else is going to think? We are actually willing to sacrifice, let go of and trade our own happiness, fulfillment and blessing for the approval of others, most of whom can’t figure out or maintain their own lives and living. One of my favorite quotes is: “What someone else thinks of you is none of your business!”

3. We Battle With ”It”! There is “the something” we can’t put a name on, that we do battle with and we usually can’t even explain why, we just know that whatever “it” is has destroyed our hopes and left a trail of wasted time and shattered dreams. How can we give power to something or someone that we can’t even name? The answer: Because we choose to and if we choose to give power, then we can choose to take it away and use it for ourselves.

You were created for fulfillment, happiness, pleasure, joy and satisfaction. Don’t you dare settle for anything less than your created best. Fight the battles you need to and let go of the ones that don’t really matter. One of your greatest powers is the power of choice – it is up to you…

Open Your Life To Love!

Love is one of those words that gets tossed around in a rather haphazard way now a days. People are quick to proclaim their love. In fact, you might say you love your significant other, pepperoni pizza, a new pair of shoes and the list could go on and on and on. What do we really mean when we say love?

The reality is that love can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some people spend their entire life time “looking for love in all the wrong places”. I think it’s true that “love makes the world go around”, so why do so many of us seem to miss it? Could it be that we have made love to be something that it’s not and therefore we aren’t even looking in the right direction, because we are looking for something of our own creation, rather than for what love actually is?

Rather than thinking of love as something we are trying to obtain, find, possess or be possessed by; maybe we should try to understand love as something that we are. I believe that we are created by love and since love is our source, then we are love. Love, then is not something I have, it is what I am, if I choose to be. I am what I empower with my thoughts, which contribute to my actions and reactions.

Here are a few tips to help you: Open Your Life To Love…

1. Allow Yourself To Be Loved! You are loved. You don’t have to look for it, work for it or earn it. The fact that you exist is evidence you are loved. The reality that you are growing and developing is proof you are loved. You need to open yourself to this love by receiving it, by believing it, by letting it flow into and through your life!

2. Let The Love Flow! Once you begin to receive love, the way to grow it, is by sharing it with others. I like to say: “An evidence that you truly have something and that it has you, is that you share it with others.” A current of water becomes powerful in it’s flow. Without the flow, it stagnates and produces death. This is why sharing love is so important. Look for others to share love with. Look for different ways to share love. The more you share, the more real it becomes and the more real it becomes to you, is the more pure and powerful it becomes in your life and living.

3. Embrace The Idea That Love Is More! To love and be loved, it’s what you were created for, but maybe it’s not what you expect. To truly understand and appreciate good, we must experience some bad. It’s the rainy gray days that help us to fall in love with the sunshine beach days that never leave our memory. To experience that which can’t be explained with words, we have to open ourselves to risk again and again and again. We have to step out of our comfort zones, expected norms and living life as usual to have the supernatural encounters that leave us speechless and marked for life.

Three Reasons For Gratitude!

”Upon awakening, let the words Thank You flow from your lips, for this will remind you to begin your day with gratitude and compassion.” – Wayne Dyer

The first thing I do in the morning, between the time I wake up and before my feet hit the floor, is to sit up on the edge of my bed and say: “Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!” It is my expression of Gratitude to my God and Creator, the One Who sustains me. It is my way of showing true appreciation for the gift of Jesus, forgiveness and everlasting relationship. It is my acknowledgement that I cannot do this thing called life alone and I am open and very glad for the help of the Spirit, who walks with me through and in between the moments of life.

I am saying thank you for a good night of restful and rejuvinating sleep, thank you for allowing me to wake up and face a fresh new day, thank you for the adventure and learning that is getting ready to unfold before me. I am intentionally beginning my day with gratitude, because I am truly grateful and I believe that gratitude realigns my life with all that really matters.

When I begin my day in this way, I find that gratitude walks with me all throughout the day. It is never far away from me and it helps me to see the unseen, hear the mysterious and experience the magic that so many times we tend to miss in the hustle of life. Below are a three reasons why I think gratitude is so important and worth the effort:

1. Gratitude Rewires Your Brain! There is actually since behind an attitude of gratitude and the difference it makes in your brain. To put it simply: Gratitude helps you to focus on what really matters and empowers the right things in your life and thinking. In a world where we are continually bombarded with negativity, it is both necessary and a blessing to be able to take on and take out the negative with the positive.

2. Gratitude Realigns Your Spirit! When I am grateful, I cannot help but focus on my blessings and more importantly the source of my blessings. The SOURCE is our power, our purpose, our everything. Gratitude helps to remind me that I am a spiritual being (a soul) getting to live a human experience and that almost everything I experience in this life time is teaching me to be true to who and what I really am.

3. Gratitude Rewards Your Life! The temptation of this life experience is to focus on what we don’t have, which often causes us to not appreciate what we do have. When we practice gratitude, we focus on the reality that we are loved and created to love and when we get love right, then the blessings really begin to flow to and through our life.

I encourage you to practice gratitude. Think about starting your day with it, you will be glad you did…