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Happiness: It’s what we make of it.

In this country’s political and social climate, we are cultivating fear, anger, cruelty and revenge.  Today, I want to talk about happiness.  Choosing to be happy, living with integrity and not giving into hate or rage is hard work, but it is work worth doing.  Below is an article that I submitted to the Edge Magazine for September.   I feel that it is in my heart to share it today.  The eclipse allows us to take stock of what is in our hearts.  Let our hearts be happy.

**One of the best ways to find happiness is to choose to be happy.  There is so much power in choice! There is so much power in choosing to look at life from a different perspective.

I am a firm believer in empowering ourselves with choice.

I hear a lot of people talking about a dissatisfaction with life because of feeling trapped.  Trapped in a job, trapped in a marriage, even trapped in a family or friend relationship that is dissatisfying or damaging.  Most of the time, we forget about the empowerment of our choices.  We choose to stay in an unsatisfactory position because ultimately it serves us for the time being.  I have done this myself.  As I was building my practice, I worked a day job to help pay the bills.  My day job was not the best for me; I wasn’t particularly happy there and I changed positions a lot to try to make the job more palatable.  I could have left the company, but I would have had to start all over again with my vacation time, my seniority, and probably wouldn’t have been paid as much.  I chose to stay because the bigger picture was growing my practice and getting my spouse through school. As the weeks wore me down, I would remind myself that I chose to be there.  I wanted to see the good things about the job and what it offered me until it no longer suited me to work there.  When I would remind myself of that fact, my daily life got better, and that job eventually allowed me to open my own business.

Shifting my perspective allowed me to see my position more positively.  I chose to shift my perspective from “I’m stuck here and this sucks” to “keep your eye on the prize and make your dreams come true. This is a means to an end.”  This allowed me to find happiness in my everyday life at work and away from it.

In August and into September, Mercury will be in retrograde again.  As we know, this is a time when things in life tend to go awry, but instead of choosing to see this time as a nightmare waiting to happen, what would it look like to take this time to reflect inwardly and embrace the possibility of change? All is not what it appears; what if it could be better than you imagine? Choosing to be happy opens up a way of life that not only affects you, but also effects those around you.  His Holiness the Dalai Lama writes that happiness comes from inner peace. Even though tragic events have happened to you in your life, happiness is the goal and can be achieved.

There is magic in choosing happiness.  Choosing to see the rainy day as a delicious drink for the earth instead of ruining a day at the beach that was planned.  Magically, you have just chosen to have one less “ruined” day.  Now we can play in the puddles and splash around like children that are happy and carefree. Test this for yourself- choose to see the positive and see how it can affect your sense of happiness.

Just Breathe

Just breathe: two simple words that carry the weight of your day on them.
Breathing is a physical function that we take for granted every day. Of course we breathe, we have to breathe to live, but breathing can also be a simple act of meditation that can relieve stress in your day.

Think about a time when you’ve really been busy, frantically trying to get everything done; in that moment, you are moving quickly, thinking about the next ten items on your list. You’re feeling stressed, your breath becomes shallow, your heart rate increases and your blood pressure rises. Maybe you’re even holding your breath while accomplishing your tasks. Continue reading “Just Breathe”