Write to find out what you know! That’s a famous statement and I, like so many others, have found it useful. What do I know about the secret of happiness? If I knew all the secrets, I’d be a millionaire. I did some thinking, looked up some of my favourite quotes on my laptop and hit a few sites. Guess what? There is a thread and what I’m writing is often common sense.
The first thought that came to my head, was from my Irish mother, Josephine. Time and time again she would say, “Count Your Blessings.” O.K, mom, I’ll start with that one!
1. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS: I personally believe that you should actually count, 1, 2, 3…….10000 As a child, I remember counting things like my sight, hearing, walking, talking…etc. I would challenge myself not to repeat the ones of the morning before. Now, as an adult, when I feel things have gone wrong, I start to count like I did as a child. In 2003, I was in a taxi in New Delhi and it stopped outside of a home. I stared in disbelief. The home consisted of a blue tarp over some type of frame and bricks to stop it from blowing away. A large white bucket of water was the family’s source for washing and cooking. A woman bend down cooking on a gas type stove, while a naked child sat on a rug watching her. Feet away from this ‘home’ was traffic, pedestrians, and wandering cows. When I am really in a state of self-pity, my soul returns to this home, and I am grateful again!
2. STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF ‘THE LINE’
This statement is to reinforce No.1.
Imagine yourself standing in the middle of ‘the line’ this can be any line, for
example, the line of riches:
In your imagination look ahead of you….these are the millionaires and billionaires.
Now, look behind you, the line is longer these are the people who are poorer than you.
Do this with beauty, happiness, comparisons of people, jobs, houses, cars.
3. STOP OR LIMIT WANTING THINGS
What I am thinking about is the constant wanting of gadgets, trinkets, newer this and newer that. We spend a fortune ‘wanting.’ Do we really need it? And in the wanting often is the impatience or the self-pity, others can afford it, but not me! Happiness is a condition of mind; do you really want it or do you feel worthy of it? Happiness is also a decision! I am worthy of happiness;
4. HAVE A GOOD FRIEND OR FRIENDS.
Friendship is a two-way street of listening and talking. Often we want to talk. Friendships are golden (gold). If you want a friend – be a friend! if you friendship is one-sided and you are not being nourished, walk away and find another friend. If you are of the marrying mind, marry your best friend.
5. GIVE THINGS AWAY
If you haven’t worn it in a couple of years, the odds are you won’t wear it again. How many pairs of shoes do you need; how many winter jackets? Someone needs a pair in your neighborhood. How many blankets? Give some to a local shelter.
6. BALANCE YOUR LIFE
The Buddha had a rich life as a young man and was not content. He thought if he fasted and gave everything way, he would be happy. He nearly died from the extreme living. Then, wisdom hit – try the middle way. Too much food and you get fat or damage your body, too little food can work the same way.
-Look at a picture of yourself, and find positive things to say. Look in the mirror and say nice things. When we like ourselves, something seems to happen, others like us. Why? Remember, everyone can improve, but you are perfect the way you are at this time and place.
-Don’t make this an opportunity to indulge, but do something nice for yourself. Take a walk, have a bubble bath, phone a friend. Every Friday, I will have an ice cream. Finding time for YOURSELF is a treat! Get some extra sleep. Sleep in on the weekend.
LET GO OF THE PAST
Stop living in the past! Why? Because you are wasting the NOW! The now is a time to live. And the future? It’s unknown. You can sensibly plan for it, but don’t let it be an obsession, or make plans for what might not happen, or be achievable.
All of us are ‘children’ in adult bodies. Love the child in you. When it is afraid, comfort it. When it is demanding or bossy, tell it to sit in the corner. When the child makes a mistake, remember it/you are learning. No one has all the answers. And I will end with that last statement, I certainly do not have all the answers for happiness. Hope some of this was helpful.