Posts tagged with ‘personal happiness’

07 jun

Choices

MonicaGomezI once heard Ingrid Bergman say, “if I had my life to live over again and I had the memory of what I had passed, then I would avoid certain mistakes. But if I didn’t have the memory I would do exacty the same because I’m happy with my life and I see no reason why I shouldn’t live it over again.”

I guess not many people can say that. What’s the secret of being happy with our lives? I think it lies in choosing, in being aware of what choices we make. Many times, when facing a decision, we let ourselves be influenced by outside voices: The musts and shoulds, what is socially correct, what our parent/partners/children are expecting form us. We don’t realize that we’re leaving ourselves behind. We’re not being honest with ourselves. It’s as if we don’t trust our internal knowledge.

How many times have you acted upon a feeling that came from your gut? Unfortunately, we’re not taught to look inside. On the contrary, we are encouraged to focus outside, on other people’s thoughts and considerations. And that’s how we make our own choices, based on opinions and preferences that do not belong to us. In fact, we barely know ourselves, so we can hardly see what we really want. Then we feel disappointed, injured, lost and, of course, we blame everybody else. In a way, we’re right because it was their opinions which led us astray. However, we forget that the choice was made by us. Nobody is pointing a gun at us. We have free choice. Maybe you’re thinking that in some cases you are not free to choose. Let me give you an example from my own life experience.

My Down Syndrome baby was four months old. I had a lot of family problems and I was really feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for the baby on my own. I missed my job, my friends, my freedom. I felt like a victim. One day, a friend of mine told me, “well, it’s only a matter of choosing.” I defended myself. “No,” I said. “I have a disabled kid and I can’t choose. I can’t send him back, right?” He retorted, “You’re right. All I’m saying is that perhaps you can choose to put him in an institution and work hard in order to pay for all his needs.” I was speechless. He was right! I had a choice, nobody was forcing me to do anything. I was obviously choosing to be close to my baby, but I became aware that I was not a victim. I was choosing.

It is my experience that if I choose carefully and consciously, I never regret what I have done. Precisely because I chose it, I thought about it, I dealt with it and I chose what I considered was the best. It’s true that maybe later I found out I had made a mistake. But that’s fine. It was just that: I made a mistake because I didn’t know, of course. No guilt, no blame, no resentment. Just human nature!

If we can acknowledge the choices we make, we can get closer to Bergman’s statement. Choose consciously, from your heart, and be responsible for that. It’ll help you build self confidence and peace of mind.

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Posted by Monica Gomez on June 7th, 2010 in Health, Personal Stories, Spirituality | 1 comment Read related posts in ,

23 feb

Life Lessons from Charlie Chaplin

A friend of mine, Kerstin, sent this to me. It’s the speech that Charlie Chaplin gave on his 70th birthday. I found it beautiful and ever so true.

As I Began to Love Myself

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY.”
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person,
even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it,
and even though this person was me.
Today I call it “RESPECT.”
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “Maturity,”
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time,
and everything happens at the exactly right moment.
So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE.”
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm.
Today I call it “SIMPLICITY.”
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health—
food, people, things, situations, and everything the drew me down and away from myself.
At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF,”
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right,
and ever since I was wrong less of the time.
Today I discovered that is “MODESTY.”
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future.
Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening.
Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT,”
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick.
But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally.
Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART.”
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others.
Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born.
Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!

Please pass this onto your friends and family. This is a special reminder of what life is trying to teach us, what it’s really about, what we eventually all come to learn. Be gentle on yourself and light on life. No more disapproval of self. It’s the biggest obstacle to your dreams. Doing so, you’ll be able to access all that happiness and joy that is just below that inner critical voice.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on February 23rd, 2010 in Ariane, Global/Social Change, Health, Personal Stories, Spirituality | 3 comments Read related posts in ,

29 oct

Ten Tips for Staying Up When the World Is Down

Marci-Shimoff“How can I be happy when the economy is tanking?”

It’s a question I hear a lot lately. It seems that as the financial picture becomes more depressed, so do we. That’s why now, more than ever, it’s important to be happy from the inside out, or what I call Happy for No Reason.

Doing the research for my book, Happy for No Reason, I interviewed scores of scientists, as well as one hundred unconditionally happy people, and discovered 21 core happiness habits that anyone can use to become happier and stay that way.

Here are 10 simple and effective tips to get you started:

1. Incline Your Mind Toward Joy. Have you noticed that your mind tends to register the negative events in your life more than the positive? Reverse this by consciously savoring the positive experiences you have as they happen: the sun on your skin, the taste of a favorite food, a smile or kind word from a co-worker or friend. Let the good feelings sink in!

2. Lighten Your Load. To make a habit of letting go of worries and negative thoughts, start by letting go on the physical level. Cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien recommends giving or throwing away 27 items a day for nine days. This deceptively simple practice will help you break attachments that no longer serve you.

3. Get Your “Happiness Rest.” One sure-fire way to boost your happiness level is to go to bed by 10 p.m. for three consecutive nights. You’ll find that the world is a different place when you’re rested and fresh.

4. Become an Inverse Paranoid. Choose to believe that this is a friendly universe—one that’s out to support you, rather than out to get you. When you find yourself facing a challenging situation, ask yourself, “if this were happening for a higher purpose, what would it be?”

5. Hang with the Happy. Study after study indicates that happiness is contagious! Spend as much time as possible with people who are supportive and upbeat to amplify those qualities in your own life.

6. Don’t Believe Everything You Think. Interrupt the downward spiral of worry and anxiety by questioning your negative thoughts. Just because you think something doesn’t make it true.

7. Seek Out Silence. Prayer, meditation, and being in Nature have long been recognized as ways to access a deep place of peace and strength inside.

8. Move Your Body. All the experts agree that some form of exercise is essential for maintaining optimal well-being. The next time you start to feel glum, get your blood moving faster—even if it’s just by standing up and moving around while you talk on the phone, or parking farther away from your destination and “going the distance.”

9. Ground Yourself in Gratitude. Research shows that thinking of the things that you’re grateful for in life definitely raises your happiness level. Writing them down is even more powerful. So start a Gratitude Journal today.

10. Wish Others Well. Try “beaming love” to people—your friends and family, as well as strangers you pass on the street. It fills your own heart in the process.

Join the ranks of the resilient by becoming Happy for No Reason. Though you may not be able to control the markets, these ten tips will help you make regular deposits into your own “happiness account.”

By Marci Shimoff. Based on The New York Times best-seller Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out, which offers a revolutionary approach to experiencing deep and lasting happiness. The woman’s face of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a featured teacher in The Secret, Marci is an authority on success, happiness, and the law of attraction. To order Happy for No Reason, newly released in paperback, and receive free bonus gifts, go to www.happyfornoreason.com/mybook.

Posted by Marci Shimoff on October 29th, 2009 in Health | No comments Read related posts in

08 apr

Asking for what we need? What a concept!

I heard Dr. Laura Trice speak at TED a month ago and she brought up a question that I can’t get out of my mind: Why don’t we ask for praise?

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Posted by First 30 Days on April 8th, 2008 in Career, Family | No comments Read related posts in