“You can only have bliss if you don’t chase it.” ~~Henepola Gunaratana
“The thing everyone should realize is that the key to happiness is being happy by yourself and for yourself.” ~~Ellen DeGeneres
“Seek it outside and you’ll be exhausted. Seek it inside, you’ll find a path.” ~~Maxime Lagace’
#3 Happiness is a habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.
We are living in complicated and uncertain times. This can be a distraction from feelings of balance, happiness and even understanding. Life can feel overwhelming even without a global pandemic at our heels, yet Statement #3 in action is key to maintaining sobriety and recovery while unleashing and expanding inner contentment.
Pre-sobriety, happiness was an ever-elusive thing that I was trying to catch and cage. Once felt, desperation to keep it and never let it go resulted in missing it while I had it. Most often it had come from outside of myself. This created a continuing cycle of seeking, skipping over and then seeking happiness again which included alcohol. It was almost impossible to see the forest through the trees. Gratefully, sobriety and Statement #3 in action foster feelings of balance, contentment and happiness.
Feelings of happiness were released from within in early sobriety by just staying alcohol free hour by hour and day by day. Having joy come from within shifted the previous cycle; unleashing happiness came from my own thoughts and actions. WFS and practicing Statement #3 taught this new concept which continues to shift and evolve.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
· Are you aware of your sources of happiness?
· What is your routine to create happiness?
· What other words describe happiness?
Hi 4C Women,
Jean shared that she created this Statement because she had so many problems with happiness. It got to the point in her recovery where she realized she could no longer go on saying, “I’d be happy if…” It took her a long time to realize that she was listening to, and reacting to, that helpless child in her and that this automatic reaction/response could be changed by her! She realized that happiness was not the acquisition of “things” but rather having a positive view of herself.
It is amazing what a positive attitude can do to build a strong foundation of contentment, peace, joy – whatever word you choose. This foundation, I have found, has kept me grounded for the most part in these uncertain times. I say for the most part because as I have mentioned often in my messages, I feel it is of utmost importance to identify, acknowledge and express all of our emotions. They help us process what is happening and how to work through it as best we can. I also understood that people can “add” to our happiness just as we can add to theirs.
There are ways to create happiness in our environment and I have shared this in the past as well. I’d like to share them again as I really found them to be easy and doable in developing those happy moments.
· Describe your favorite songs and how they make you feel. Music stirs powerful emotions.
· Read something that you “want” to read.
· Create a spiritual or cheerful place on your desk or your nightstand. (I created this on my nightstand and change it often with a special photo, card, book, or other special memento. It’s the first thing I see in the morning and when I go to sleep).
· Approach new experiences as opportunities to learn rater than occasions to succeed or fail. Doing so opens you up to possibilities and can increase your sense of happiness. (I did this when presenting the workshop at our first WFS virtual conference. It made a difference).
· Seek out personal quiet time – resisting the idea that it’s a waste of time or it’s not working for you.
· Open up your options for using simple means to raise your spirits. Whatever you choose should replenish you, add to your fulfillment, nurture calmness or patience or general happiness.
· Give – in any way you can – time, help, money, stuff. By being fully present and cultivating gratitude, generosity and kindness, we can find the renewable source of happiness in ourselves in each moment.
· Drift – Let your mind drift for a few minutes. Watch the clouds floating by or the fish swimming in an aquarium; observe the wind in the trees, a fire in the fireplace, stars in the night sky. Let go and let be. Observe without judgment.
· Create something you can tend to. We often tend to the little rips, tears and loose buttons of life. But how about tending something where you are actually nurturing growth?
· Add dance. Dance when the spirit moves you. Disappear in the dance. Dance as if you are expressing your gratitude for living. In general, let life be more of a dance and less of a battle. Dance a little bit each day.
I hope you will consider doing some of these ideas to create your personal happiness. You might even write about it in a journal, a scrap of paper or notebook. Refer to it when you wonder how in the world can you develop happiness in these uncertain times. You might be happily surprised!
Bonded in developing happiness, Dee