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Practicing Being Happy

Create daily practices so you can remember to celebrate the richness of your life. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Wake up to happiness.

When you awaken each morning, you can shut out the negative chatter of the mind by playing a recording of affirmations that helps you focus on the highest part, instead of the lowest part, of who you are. Starting each day with thoughts of power and love is a guaranteed way of helping break the Lower Self habit of focusing on lack and create the Higher Self habit of focusing on beauty and love.

  2. Collect quotations that make you feel good.

Many times throughout the day, we read or hear thoughts that trigger a shift in our consciousness. It's wonderful to collect them in a book to place on our desks or by our bedside so we can read them often. We get so much from an inspirational, insightful, or humorous quote. Quotes have helped me transcend the petty by reminding me of the grandness and/or humor of it all. Have a look at the quote page on the website

  3. How many people do you take for granted but are helping you.

Using the simple practice of writing down each day one or more people whose shoulders we are standing upon, we will find how blessed we are! We will never run out of items for our list. Not only can we include significant others, but also the "invisible" people who work hard to make our lives better whom we somehow take for granted. Be as specific as you can... "The waitress who served me breakfast, the farmer who grew that wonderful tomato, my son who sent me a thank you note," and so on.

As we acknowledge the contribution that others make to our lives, we not only feel richer in spirit, we feel part of a larger whole, a network of caring people standing on each other's shoulders

  4. Renew the age-old tradition of giving thanks at dinner time.

Simply saying, "I am thankful for the food I am about to eat," gives you a pause before gulping down your food mindlessly and without appreciation. In the beginning, until this practice becomes habit, put a sign on your table as a reminder to do some form of thanksgiving before each meal.

  5. Find a "gratitude buddy".

In the "busy-ness" of your daily life, it helps to have a friend who is your wake-up call. How many people call each other every day to talk about the misery in their lives! All it takes is a change in focus. Commit to calling regularly to talk about your blessings. In the beginning, when you stop complaining, you may have long silences in your conversations! You will notice how much of your time is spent complaining about all that is wrong with your life. But soon, your weak habit of complaining will be replaced by the powerful habit of gratitude. Every time you hang up the phone you will feel energized and positive!

  6. Create a "gratitude group".

A gratitude group should help us realize that we aren't victims and that we are powerful enough to change anything that isn't working in our lives. You can structure the format of your group any way you please. The primary focus is simply talking about the beauty around us, pointing out to one another how much there really is to celebrate. If anyone gets the urge to complain, other members can show how the negatives can be turned into positives. They do this in the spirit of caring - not righteousness or judgment. Everyone gets to go home enriched and up-beat, knowing there is much to celebrate in their lives.

  7. Create a book of abundance.

This is a wonderful tool for reminding us of our blessings. the Book of Abundance is simply a notebook to be placed at your bedside. Each night before you go to bed, jot down between 20-50 wonderful things which happened that day. In the beginning this exercise may take a LONG time! Soon, however, the blessings will pour easily into your mind and onto the paper. That is because you will find yourself spending a lot of the day LOOKING FOR the blessings in your life so you will have new items to include in your Book of Abundance each night. As you start looking for the good, your focus automatically is taken off the bad. If you make looking for the abundance a habit, just think how your life will be transformed!

  8. Create a good night reminder.

Each night before you go to sleep, find a word or two that embodies a sense of appreciation for all that has been given you during the day. As you close your eyes to sleep, keep repeating the word or words you have selected for the evening. Very often, I fall asleep to the words, "thank you". This simple ritual keeps me from dwelling on annoying and petty daily events that would ordinarily keep me awake. Any of the following words might work... embrace, breathe, trust, open, heal, lighten, enjoy, delight, appreciate... Affirmations work as well, such as... I am at peace, I trust, I am blessed, I am loved, I love. Blessed sleep will come more quickly with such nourishing, healing, loving thoughts.

  9. Cultivate the habit of saying "thank you".

The next practice follows naturally from the last... to cultivate the habit of verbalizing our thanks. When we look mindfully and deeply at the beauty in our lives, and begin to list the multitude of people and things that have supported us in the past and the present, there can be only two words that come from our heart to our lips...and these words are... THANK YOU!

Begin the practice now. At least ten times a day say thank you to someone in your life. You can't imagine how much these little words will contribute to your sense of gratitude and well-being...and the well-being of others.

  10. Find ways to give in return.

Make it a daily habit to include one "pay-back" item on your daily "to do" list. Whether it's picking up paper that's cluttering the street, or contributing time or money to one of your favorite charities, writing a letter of thanks, or buying a gift for someone. As you pay back, you begin to feel better about yourself. Nothing creates a stronger sense of self than recognizing you are a truly meaningful part of your family, your community, your country, and this planet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm sure you can think of many ways to create practices for noticing the abundance in your life and giving thanks. Your goal is to make gratitude your normal way of approaching life, and this takes a lot of practice.

From my heart to yours. Debs x

Adapted from an article by Susan Jeffers