Hi friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.
September is my birthday month, so I always like to write a newsletter that’s more reflective than technical. So no talk this month about stair-stepping your way to the top, or about swimming happy laps!
I had the thought last week that it was very challenging to find something we could do for ourselves with NO NEGATIVE side effects. Even all the good things we do for ourselves, like exercise for instance, can have negative side effects. But I came up with one. In fact, it’s the only one I could think of.
There are no negative side effects to being HAPPY. And I believe being happy will likely help you live longer, too!
Happiness seems to be a hot topic these days. Many books have been written, websites started around happiness topics, and various programs created for achieving a happy state. I’ve taken a look at many of them because with my interests in wellness and peak performance, I want to stay informed as to what’s out there on the happiness topic.
I believe it all boils down to a few key ideas.
2. Letting go to allow for happiness.
3. Practice being happy.
People who meet me often describe me as a happy person. A large majority of you reading this know me personally. I hope happy would be in the top five words you’d use to describe me. Yet I think happiness is something I’ve UNLOCKED over the years. I don’t think the happy state comes naturally or easily to most people. And if I go back and more deeply analyze how I’ve unlocked happiness, I’d have to say I’ve used the three steps mentioned above.
Forgiveness is essential. I’ve written many articles about forgiveness and it really does clear the space for happiness. I think self forgiveness comes first and sets the stage for forgiving others. There are many paths to forgiveness. I encourage you to find one that works for you. For me it started when I entered my 40’s. I took a long close look at what had come before, identified what areas of non-forgiveness were still in my way, and began to clear them out. After that major cleaning, I still required forgiveness maintenance, but you know my feeling on maintenance. Better to maintain than need major repairs!
Letting go is the byproduct of forgiveness. You’ll know you’re letting go when the same challenges don’t come up over and over again. It’s the letting go that clears the way for happiness. Your perceptions change and now you begin to notice all the reasons to be happy instead of unhappy. Gratitude would fit nicely in this part of the paradigm, too.
The other day a friend mentioned that one of the founding principles of the United States was the “pursuit of happiness”. Of course I agreed and thought to myself, he’s going to enjoy this month’s JIM newsletter. It also got me thinking about the difference between pursuing something and practicing something.
I think of pursuing happiness as perhaps the overall journey and practicing being happy as the action steps we take every day in being happy. Maybe it’s keeping a gratitude journal or just asking yourself questions like what made me happy today.
This month being my birthday month, I’ve declared that it’s going to be an extraordinary month! I’m keeping a list day by day of all the things that happen that bring me happiness. I’m betting not a day will go by that doesn’t have me putting numerous items on my list. Will that be because I’m looking for them and making it a daily practice? I don’t know for sure.
I do know that happiness has no negative side effects and so why not embrace all the happiness you can? In fact, if all of you reading this newsletter pursued and practiced more happiness, we’d have so many ripple effects it would be incredible! That would be the best birthday gift of all!
As another year rolls along I continue to be blessed with enormous well being and energy, the love and support of many, and the feeling that LOTS of wonderful years are still ahead of me.
Enjoy September and make it a month to remember and go forth and be happy!