“You can’t hate yourself happy, you can’t criticize yourself thin, you can’t shame yourself wealthy. Real change begins with self-love and self-care.” ~~Jessica Ortner
“Happiness is an inside job.” ~~William Arthur Ward
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” ~~Jim Rohn
Happiness is a habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.
Statement #3 can feel difficult to practice at times, such as when feeling overwhelmed, angry or depressed. In our WFS Program booklet Jean writes, “For many years, I was convinced that some people were just naturally happy and others were not. And most of the time, I was not happy. I was too deep into my feeling sorry for myself, waiting for the time when everything in my life would miraculously change and then instant happiness would follow. Happiness never came to me until I learned the secret of making it for myself, of finding an inner glow that somehow made all other things right.” Jean discovered that happiness was an inside job.
One of the things which helped me to create happiness and put action into Statement #3 was do the opposite of what I wanted to do. If I wanted to leave a shopping cart in the parking lot, I put it into a cart corral. If I wanted to hide in isolation, I sought out other people, even for brief conversations. Doing the opposite helped me to establish a path towards creating happiness, even if I didn’t feel it right away.
Overtime, this practice allowed me to question long held, unhealthy beliefs and change whatever wasn’t working. Self-care and self-love became a new normal instead of something to fear or invalidate. Happiness began to settle in while cause and effect became clearer. Statement #3 is a brilliant and constructive element to the WFS New Life Program.
How do you practice Statement #3?
Hi 4C Women,
Happiness, for me, comes in moments of awareness. Years ago, I visited a woman in the hospital for over a year. She was bedridden and I remember how grateful I was to have all of my six senses, especially the ability to walk out of the hospital, drive to the grocery store, pick out what I wanted for dinner or snacks, cook if I wanted to, make a phone call and if I fell asleep on the sofa, I could walk upstairs to my bedroom. Even something as simple as making a phone call or switching tv stations was on my grateful list. This dear woman had to press her cheek against a round disk and ask the operator to make calls for her and had to wait until someone came in the room to change the tv channel. Yet she still had hope and she taught me an invaluable lesson – that joy can still be found in the most challenging of circumstances. I learned what was most important to me was to understand I needed to be grounded in a foundation of peace and contentment in order to have joyful awareness. It could be a favorite song on the radio that switched me into high levels of happiness. I could dance around the room or, if in my car, do my shoulder dance! It all goes back to awareness and acceptance of feeling and deserving happy moments when they arrive.
I have been experiencing sadness and frustration due to family circumstances and recently, physical pain. All of these feelings make it challenging to keep awareness of joy within me. Yet, my experiences have taught me that it is ok because ups and downs are a part of life. As I said, it is the foundation that reminds me there are plenty of happy, joyful moments waiting for me. I just need to be aware. In fact, last night as I was going to the mailbox, I looked up and saw the most beautiful blue sky and the puffiest white clouds. I stood and watched for a couple of minutes. I felt the joy!
What are you grateful for today? What brings a smile to your face when you think of it? Most importantly, are you making time to do what you love?
Bonded in developing and being aware of happy moments,
a 4C Sister