Finding Happiness Through Loving the Now

I am sharing something this week that I am guilty of at times, as well as a powerful practice to shift it. Have you ever denied yourself happiness now by either looking backwards or forwards, romanticizing times past or dreaming up happier times in the future?

Let’s be honest: If you’re human, you have probably done this at times! I think all of us sometimes look backwards nostalgically, and/or imagine that we will be happier “someday” once we have (fill in the blanks!) – more money, the “perfect” relationship, our dream house, once we lose those 20 pounds or somehow become more of what we imagine or want ourselves to be.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with looking forward, setting goals and taking action on them regularly – isn’t that why we are all here at 8womendream, to cheer each other on as we live our biggest dreams?

That said, it can be all too easy to get caught up in dreaming and to forget to appreciate where we are right now. The truth is that wherever we are right now, we can find something to do, something to appreciate, someone to love.

Right now I am finding happiness in remembering all the blessings and miracles of this exact moment. This moment, right now, after all, is your beautiful life!

quote being-happy-is-accepting-where-you-are-in-life-and-making-the-most-out-of-everyday-happiness-quote

Easier Said Than Done?

Yet I know we all have moments when circumstances are challenging, maybe when working for a dream to materialize and feeling impatient or thwarted, maybe at moments when it feels like things just aren’t aligning for us. In moments like these, I like to remind myself that Nelson Mandela managed to turn his years in prison into a way to cultivate his future leadership.

“I went for a long holiday for 27 years,” Nelson Mandela once said of his long stint in prison.

If Nelson Mandela could find a way to endure and grow while in prison, surely the rest of us can let anywhere we are be a growing experience that will catapult us to the next level in our lives.

No matter where we are, we can find a way to learn and grow. No matter where we are, we can find a way to be kind.

I believe that no matter where we are, we can find some joy in daily life as well, simply through remembering what a great miracle it is to be alive, what a blessing it is to be healthy and to have our eyesight, to be able to enjoy listening to music, to have the use of all of our faculties and all of our limbs.

Staying In The Miracle!

My rock star business and life coach Susan Hyatt refers to it as “staying in the miracle.” If we are feeling cranky that it’s taking a while to get new technology set up for our business, can we stay in the miracle that we get to build a business, and can afford to set up new technology?

When we are feeling frustrated with someone in our lives, can we stay in the miracle and be thankful that we have a spouse, a child, a parent, a best friend to love? When our pet acts up, can we still be thankful that we have our little furry friend?

I’m not saying it’s always easy. I’m not saying that I practice it perfectly, by any means, which is why I am writing about it this week.

Sometimes in the midst of challenges, we forget that life itself is a miracle. We forget that having all the choices that we have each day is a privilege.

We can easily forget that the basics, like food, clean water, shelter, a paycheck or business opportunities or someone to support us, are not something that everyone has.

Right now, as I work on creating some new dream visions, and get impatient occasionally, wanting things to happen more quickly, I am reminding myself to stay in the miracle.

I have so much more than so many. The time it takes to manifest a dream is also time that is my life!

And life is meant to be enjoyed, right now.

What Can You Do Today To Find More Joy In Your Life?

If you find yourself in one of those junctures in which you “wish you were somewhere else,” remind yourself that you are wishing away your life! Because your life is happening, right now, wherever you are.

That said, I still encourage everyone to dream big, always, and if where you are isn’t where you ultimately want to be then do what it takes to shift it! Take action every day that moves you forward and create the life you dream of.

Because happiness is in part about accepting where we are, and loving ourselves completely, wherever we are – and also partly about doing whatever it takes to shift whatever isn’t working. If things aren’t working for us, and we change nothing, then typically nothing changes!

happiness-flowchartIn the meantime, however, remember that right now is your life. If an opportunity to do something fun arises, and you can do it and still stay on track with your visions, by all means, go for it!

She who has the most fun, wins!

If an opportunity to be kind arises, be kind. People all around us have struggles that we may not see or understand, and everyone can benefit from more loving kindness.

If dancing makes you happy, dance around your living room! If blasting reggae music makes you happy, and it isn’t causing harm to anyone else, by all means, crank up that music!

Everything that raises your joy vibration and makes you a happier person contributes to the happiness of the world, ultimately. I really believe that if everyone were truly happy and at peace in the present moment, we would have no more need for war.

If we each end the wars within and are truly at peace with our lives, as they are, and choose happiness now, as  a way of living on the journey, then there is no need to create external conflict.

What if the biggest gift we can give to this world truly is being happy, no matter what?

Doesn’t it make sense to choose joy as the path, and also when we recognize that something needs to shift for us to feel happier in the future, to take the actions to shift it? It’s a two-part process: 1) choose happiness, no matter what and 2) take actions that bring you even more happiness.

To your happiness in the now, and your long-term happiness as well!

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Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
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