My philosophy is very simple.
When you practice happiness, you will enjoy more of your life.
Have you ever thought to yourself, I will be happy when…I lose 10lbs, change jobs, move, get pregnant…I hate to be the one to break it to you, but sadly happiness is not going to show up at your door when you get any of these things. Because when you get there, you will still be you. And you still won’t be happy. You may be happy for a bit. But you will soon find something else to strive for.
Happiness is not a goal. It is not the natural result of success.
Countless research studies have shown this. Countless celebrities and other “successful people” have proven this again and again with stories of substance abuse and depression.
Happiness is a practice. It’s something you do.
All over the world, authors, thought leaders, speakers, and researchers are all saying the same thing – if you’re not actively practicing happiness, actively trying to take more joy in your life, you are only living half alive.
If you want to enjoy more of your life, feel more alive, it’s time you start practicing happiness.
So how do you practice happiness?
You must first understand that the way you have been thinking of yourSELF is totally off.
YOU are not your body. You have a body. YOU are not your thoughts. You think. You may feel your emotions, but YOU are not your emotions.
You are the merely the operator of a beautiful machine that carries YOU through this life.
But your beautiful “machine” is not a machine at all. It is a complicated animal, born and shaped by the circumstances and influential people present within your life so far.
Your mind, body, and emotions are more like a horse and YOU are the rider. You are in control, but this horse has a clear mind of its own.
I trained and showed Arabian horses while I was growing up. Showing a horse is an interesting sport because of its unpredictability. Golfers don’t show up at a tournament and have their golf club decide it’s having an off day. But equestrians do.
But when you ride into a ring, you can’t change your horse. All you can change is how you control it, how you ride it. You have to adapt. As one of my horse trainers used to say “you have to ride the horse you got.”
Because your subconscious mind has been programmed by your past, you can’t control how you react to life. You can influence your thoughts, but you can’t always control them. You will always struggle with some things that others won’t struggle with. You will always have core wounds, because your parents didn’t get it right. No one’s did.
But it’s not about changing yourself. It’s not about trying to get mad at what happened to you. It’s not even about understanding why you do what you do. You just do.
It’s just about riding the horse ya got. It’s about working with the mind, body, and emotions that are present in any one moment.
How does this work in practice?
So follow me here. Riding the horse ya got is about actually changing your day-to-day experience. You can calm yourself down, boost yourself up.
Here are a few examples:
When your horse gets upset, you must comfort yourself. Self soothe. Tell yourself it will be alright. Offer compassion. Learn how in this podcast: When You’re At the End of Your Rope
When your horse is anxious, you must calm and ground yourself. Learn how to ground yourself in this MP3: How to Ground Yourself – The Emotional Reset Button
When your horse is grumpy, but you want to enjoy the party, you can shift your emotions by physically smiling (this releases endorphins) and thinking of something in your life you are grateful for. Learn more ways to shift your mood here: The Good Mood Generator
As you start to make these shifts, and take the reins, you start to realize that you are the creator of your own experience in life.
You can’t change the circumstances that you were raised in. You can’t always change the circumstances you are in right now. But you can choose how you want to respond to those circumstances. You can choose how you want to respond to your thoughts, body, and emotions.
As your experience starts to shift, you will feel unbelievably powerful.
And you will understand that so much more of life is there for your enjoyment. All you have to do is step up and practice it.
Enjoy more of life.
Want to learn more ways to practice happiness? Join Inspiring Mama’s 10-Day Treat Yourself Challenge and get 10 emails with 10 happiness lesson videos, one every day. Click Here to Join Free!