10 Steps to Owning Our Happiness

“No one is in charge of your happiness except you.” – Unknown. One of the quotes which is included in the book "On Becoming a Lemonade Maker" by Tamara Kulish. These gorgeous flowers growing beside the bus stop I waited at in Tucson, Arizona, beckoned to me. I crouched down near the sidewalk to take its portrait, and people looked at me like I was a strange Paparazzi! Sometimes you just have to be willing to look a little strange to capture a great shot!

A while ago I came across a post by on WordPress, entitled “Expectations and Choices”. She ended her blog with:

“And should you really worry about the decision points, because the goal is to reach the end, and then be perfectly happy (the pursuit of happiness)?

Or should you pick happiness at each decision point, live a little and move on… for little doses of peace, passion and content?”

I was so moved that I left a comment for her (see below), but I realized as I wrote that I wanted to write a blog giving my readers some points in how to get to “Happiness”!

“Prash, I really love how you lay it out and at the very end you give a choice which resonates strongly with me, to choose joy and happiness at each decision point. I’m trying to live these words at each point and along the journey in between too.

I’m now doing my best to practice mindful gratefulness, which by itself is difficult, so I had to realize that at each point along my journey, I’ve made the very best decision possible, given the facts and the tools I had on hand at that time.

When I consciously remembered this I could give myself permission to relax into being grateful, rather than scolding myself and feeling guilty about how a situation was playing out. By removing the negative self talk, I removed the negative feelings of depression and anxiety and became more open to seeing opportunities when they came up, instead of allowing the inner martyr to reign and then to force me to pay penance for a poor decision. That was such a negative cycle to have been caught up in!”

So, what are the steps we can follow to get to own our “Happiness”?

  1. Live in the moment by focusing on what is actually going on and not what we fear might happen, how it appears to others, etc.
  2. Realize our lives are constantly evolving and we are constantly learning new ways to approach even old problems.
  3. By absorbing the first two points, we can find some comfort to know that we make the best decisions possible, at a given moment, based on the tools we have on hand.
  4. This is a very important step in the process: When you learn more tools, you’ll be tempted to look back on old decisions, and berate yourself for “not knowing better”. Please don’t come down hard on yourself! Please forgive yourself for not knowing what you know now! Please do give yourself permission to grow as you go!
  5. Please release the inner martyr! The Martyr loves to punish us for “bad” decisions, and for many of us, that has meant “doing penance” as an unhealthy way of trying to make up for choosing something we later regret.
  6. Please realize that even “bad” decisions can lead us to incredible transformations in our inner selves and in the very structure of our lives, so we’re never a lost cause and “all is not lost”!
  7. Now relax! The above steps, when mindfully put into action help to remove the negativity that helps to trap us into that downward spiral of anxiety and depression. It’s very hard to move forward when we keep reliving our past decisions and keep beating ourselves up for it.
  8. The next step: Mindful GratefulnessYes! Within every situation there is a possibility for the Universe to bring us the lesson we need, the opportunity for change and growth, the wisdom to help someone else just behind us on their journey, and a few other possibilities, known only to us and the Universe! We can find much to be grateful for, even in very “common” things in our lives, that if those were removed, our lives just wouldn’t be the same! Please remember to be grateful for the negativity you’ve been able to remove! Good job!
  9. Acceptance: We hear a lot about acceptance, usually in reference to accepting whatever situation we’re currently in. I think it goes deeper: when we accept ourselves and the decisions we’ve made, as being the best possible for who we were at the time, and for the tools we possessed, I think we come to a more peaceful acceptance of our life. Does this kind of acceptance mean we can’t change or evolve? No! Future growth is also part of this acceptance package, for when we accept who we were, we are able to welcome new opportunities for change!
  10. Welcome new opportunities for change! We don’t have to blindly say yes to every single opportunity or choice that comes our way, in the name of being open. When we mull things through our decision making process, whether it is cerebral, instinctual, religious or spirit based, we reach a point of knowing if we will choose to step down that new turn in our road. Sometimes we don’t even need to say yes to a new opportunity, just going through the process with our new tools, allows us to have a victory, knowing that saying no is the best thing for us!

We can’t always follow these points in a consecutive manner, rather, our efforts may be a little scattered when we’re first starting for it’s human nature to resist change, even for the better!

So if you’ve started on your path towards owning your happiness, please be gentle with yourself! Keep practicing and you will get there! 🙂

Click here to go to the Gallery on Fine Art America

Click on any of the images below to go directly to its Fine Art America page!

“Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.” – Unknown. One of the quotes which is included in the book "On Becoming a Lemonade Maker" by Tamara Kulish. A beautiful rainbow made an appearance in the high desert as we were driving up to Taos, New Mexico.

A beautiful rainbow made an appearance in the high desert as we were driving up to Taos, New Mexico.

Always Believe!

“Believe nothing because someone else believes it; but believe only what you yourself judge to be true.” - Buddha. One of the quotes which is included in the book "On Becoming a Lemonade Maker" by Tamara Kulish. Make sure you place your beliefs on what you've come to know is true, and you will find balance. I fell in love with these beautifully arranges rocks in a yard in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Make sure you place your beliefs on what you’ve come to know is true, and you will find balance. I fell in love with these beautifully arranges rocks in a yard in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.” – C.S. Lewis. One of the quotes which is included in the book "On Becoming a Lemonade Maker" by Tamara Kulish. This quote by C.S. Lewis speaks to the transitory things in our lives we can put too much importance on, and which ultimately can give us a false sense of security and happiness. I love the way the pensive mood of this bird in nature contrasts with the quote. On one hand nature is one of the constants which we can let our soul loose in, and on the other hand, the fleeting position of a bird reinforces the thought of temporariness of riches, fame, social position and other things we seek our identity from! This lone bird braved the chilly coastal winds blowing in Northern California on an overcast day.

This quote by C.S. Lewis speaks to the transitory things in our lives we can put too much importance on, and which ultimately can give us a false sense of security and happiness. I love the way the pensive mood of this bird in nature contrasts with the quote. On one hand nature is one of the constants which we can let our soul loose in, and on the other hand, the fleeting position of a bird reinforces the thought of temporariness of riches, fame, social position and other things we seek our identity from! This lone bird braved the chilly coastal winds blowing in Northern California on an overcast day.

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” - Unknown. One of the quotes which is included in the book "On Becoming a Lemonade Maker" by Tamara Kulish. These very unusual paving stones are in a very small section of sidewalk in Historic Bisbee, Arizona. I couldn't tell if they were made of glass or Amethyst, but they were spectacular... to me at least! Everyone else just ignored them and walked right on by!

These very unusual paving stones are in a very small section of sidewalk in Historic Bisbee, Arizona. I couldn’t tell if they were made of glass or Amethyst, but they were spectacular… to me at least! Everyone else just ignored them and walked right on by!

“In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: It goes on.” - Robert Frost. We go on, You will go on. Take heart! One of the quotes which is included in the book "On Becoming a Lemonade Maker" by Tamara Kulish. This old wooden bridge is tucked away in rural Missouri. It was one of the hidden gems I found on one of my many walks.

This old wooden bridge is tucked away in rural Missouri. It was one of the hidden gems I found on one of my many walks.

“Letting go doesn’t mean giving upbut rather accepting that there are things that cannot be.” – Unknown. One of the quotes which is included in the book "On Becoming a Lemonade Maker" by Tamara Kulish. I took this charming shot of a fairy door in front of an old tree in a backyard outside of Tucson, Arizona.

I took this charming shot of a fairy door in front of an old tree in a backyard outside of Tucson, Arizona.

“Life has no remote. You have to get up and change it yourself.” – Unknown. Don't get too comfortable on the bench... you'll need to get up! One of the quotes which is included in the book "On Becoming a Lemonade Maker" by Tamara Kulish. I just loved the shadows this gorgeous bench was casting, the lines of the wooden walkway and the contrast in colors of the bench and the wall. Rather than take a photo of the entire bench, I felt a tight-in shot played up all these elements in a much stronger way.

I just loved the shadows this gorgeous bench was casting, the lines of the wooden walkway and the contrast in colors of the bench and the wall. Rather than take a photo of the entire bench, I felt a tight-in shot played up all these elements in a much stronger way.

“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.” – Unknown. One of the quotes which is included in the book "On Becoming a Lemonade Maker" by Tamara Kulish. This old rusting vintage sign is still eye-catching even though it's no longer in service!

This old rusting vintage sign is still eye-catching even though it’s no longer in service!

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Rooselvelt. One of the quotes which is included in the book "On Becoming a Lemonade Maker" by Tamara Kulish. How many times do you come across a yellow lego sitting on a yellow metal crosswalk grid? I never did before... so I was sure to snap a picture? Be ready for the unusual I say!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Get my JUICY book now! Amazon

Follow me, and get more JUICINESS on WordPress, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Fine Art America, Twitter, and Goodreads!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s