Friday, February 18, 2005

What to do with your "What I need to be happy" list

Throw it out! (Well, okay, you can keep it for reference, but put it in a drawer somewhere where you won't look at it.)

Now, here's what to do to start being happy:

THINK OF A TIME WHEN YOU WERE REALLY, REALLY HAPPY. Where were you? What was going on? What were you doing? Who was with you, if anyone?

Now, STEP INTO THE SITUATION. Put your body in the position it was in. In your mind's eye, look around the place and see it in great detail. Look down and notice what you were wearing. what do you hear? smell?


Let me repeat that:

NOTICE WHAT YOU FEEL IN YOUR BODY. You are looking only for words that describe bodily feelings, like hot, cold, tense, relaxed, tingly, smooth, rough. Be very specific, not only about the feelings, but also about where you feel them. You may feel warmth in your hands, say, and relaxed in your chest. Or unsettled (butterflies) in your stomach and/or like your head has grown larger. Or whatever. Words like "excited" or "loving" don't count, as they are not body words.

Whatever you feel is what you feel. It's okay, don't judge it. Your happiness will be unique to you.

Again, this should take less than 10 minutes.

Now your homework is to CATCH YOURSELF BEING HAPPY. Just notice when you feel those bodily sensations that you have identified as "happy". That's it!

A President's Day Thought

Presidents' Day reminds me of Washington's Birthday, which reminds me of the Declaration of Independence. This august document reads, in part:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm tired of the pursuit of happiness. I just want to be happy! And if you think about it, just the phrase "pursuit of happiness" implies that you are NOT happy.

Happiness is a choice. It's a choice each of us makes -- or not -- every moment of every day.

So for the next blog or two, I'm ging to concentrate on happiness: how to have it, and more importantly, how to be it.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WOULD TAKE FOR YOU TO BE HAPPY? A great relationship? A new car? A lovely home? A job you love? Living your purpose?

Make a complete list -- this should take less than 10 minutes -- and in my next blog, I'll talk about what to do with the list.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I love. Do you?

Many years ago, too many to think about really, I was in love with a guy who wasn't there. Literally. He lived 2,000 miles away, more or less. Now this was in the days before email and ubiquitous cell phones, so we had to content ourselves with letters (remember them?) and the occasional expensive phone call. I was so in love that I would often find myself feeling something warm in my heart, and saying to myself, "I love him."

Then one day, it dawned on me that he wasn't actually present. Whom, exactly, was I in love with? And yet, there I was feeling those feelings. So it wasn't him, or anything he said, or anything he did, that was generating the feelings, but me. It was a thought I had that triggered those delicious feelings. So what I was enjoying was the feeling of loving, which didn't actually require him, or anyone, to be there. And it occurred to me that

"I love" is a complete statement. "I love", period. I love.

No object is necessary. I walked around for a couple of years doing "I love" as a sort of affirmation, though I'm not sure I'd even heard the term at the time. Just saying "I love" to myself, over and over at all times of the day in all circumstances -- walking, showering, standing in the line at the bank.

I began to notice that, at least for me, there is a feeling of being loved, completely separate from the feeling of loving. For me, loving feels like warmth, radiating strongly from my heart, while being loved feels like a (generally weak) warmth in my aura. You'd be surprised where you can feel love returned from when you're putting it out all the time! Animals, plants, rocks, the earth itself, discarnate beings, and oh, yeah, people, too.

Let Valentine's Day be a reminder to you to just love. Loving is truly its own reward.