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“Live your life, sing your song. Not full of expectations. Not for the ovations. But for the joy of it.” ~~Rasheed Ogunlaru
“You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.’ ~~Lisa Kleypas
“Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.” ~~Marilu Henner
#3 Happiness is a habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.
It was not until sobriety and recovery that I became aware of how expectations altered life experiences. As a child, they created a sense of routine and security. Yet growing into adulthood, many expectations felt overwhelming and created a deepening wedge of shame and guilt. Alcohol had become an escape route but the WFS New Life Program provides healthy direction and empowering tools.
Statement #3 encourages development. “
In our WFS Reflections for Growth booklet, our founder Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD wrote “Happiness is a state of mind first. Then it becomes a state of being.” This week, examine your thoughts and identify where you are actively developing a foundation for happiness. Release what no longer serves you or brings balance or joy. Adjust your beliefs, assumptions and/or expectations to meet your goals and aspirations. How can you increase your feelings of happiness?
Hi 4C Women,
Happiness contentment, joy, appreciation are all positive words leading us to developing awareness of what creates those feelings. I have this great book, “Field Guide to Happiness” by Barbara Ann Kipfer. Her book is full of ideas, questions, and activities that I have used in the past to uncover what is my happy path in creating moments to treasure. I am a list maker so some of the activities spoke my language. Her philosophy about lists is keeping track of wishes and things one is happy or grateful for and discussing the importance of the little things in life, the details. Lists can be soothing, funny, a balm to the cluttered, ever-moving mind. Lists make us think and sharpen our minds
The first question helped me to take a look at my environment which I had never considered. I was asked to list things I am happy about in my home environment. Examples: favorite books in the bookcase, comforting sounds of a wind chime, clear view of seasonally changing nature, caller id, even garbage pick-up day. For me, it’s decorating my artificial tree for each season. As I unwrap each treasure, I feel myself smiling and grateful for the memories these items evoke and awareness of the changing of the seasons. I also love hearing the birds chirp in my backyard or sitting on the porch chatting with my neighbor. It reminds me of growing up, living in a row house, and sitting on the porch conversing with neighbors next to me or waving hello to the neighbors across the street.
Then she asked for a list of things you were happy about yesterday! Wow, this year has made that list challenging but doable. Example: Making it through the green light, rerun of your favorite show, the luxury of a shower.
It’s a big book so I will share just a few more questions to guide you in creating your awareness.
Happiest Moments/Situations List. This list is to acknowledge we survived tough times but also that we have experienced good times. A reminder of appreciating those moments, remembering the positive, joyful feelings we experienced and how we are continuing to develop and create awareness of happiness that has special meaning to us.
Make a list of what you value most – your quality core values and elaborate on what you can do to strengthen them in your life. Think about how you spend your time. Is it in correlation with your core values?
Make a list of what makes you happy in your life roles. I am a single woman, mother, friend, volunteer and making a list of how each role makes me happy was quite eye-opening. Because WFS is not a program of judgment, it was refreshing to be totally honest with each role and see how I can increase the happiness factor or lessen the less positive factors.
Make a list of all your achievements – big and small. We need to be our own cheerleader. Looking at the list of achievements, can you feel the happiness that acknowledging these moments brings to your life?
Before you go to bed, make a list of 10 things that made you feel happy during the day. That will be very helpful in answering the question about what made you happy yesterday!
Make a list of things you can do to add beauty to your life that cost little or no money. Sitting on my porch costs nothing yet it brings back happy memories while I am creating new ones.
And finally, with all this awareness and creation of happy moments, think of ways to share joy with others.
Bonded in creating awareness, moments of joy, appreciation for what we have and sharing it with others, Dee
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