I recently took a look at the big picture of my life. The main thing I noticed? There’s a lot to be happy about. I zoomed out from looking at the minutiae of everyday life + those details that weigh me down from seeing the big picture–it was such a good lesson to recognize the amazing treasures that exist in my world.
I would love to say that recognizing the parts of my life that I am happy about, makes me feel accomplished and whole: but ah, the contrary, my friend. There is so much more I want to do. Taking inventory reminds me that life is short and my list is long! But this sort of checking in is a necessary exercise in declaring small victories along the way.
Celebrating what is rather than what’s not, builds momentum.
Recognizing the joy as it happens makes it easier for me to acknowledge those wonderful moments of joy when they happen again.
Here are some of the things I’m happy about (maybe you can relate these happy spots to your life, too):
I have some amazing family and friends in my life. My connections are strong and that’s a vital and necessary component for me; it is where my happiness stems from. My mom was a positive thinker and she passed that along to me (thank god!) So when the chips are down, I lean in to my tribe and they gracefully hold me until I’m ready to give it another go.
I am a healthy, able-bodied woman. I workout about 5 times a week. I went through a spell of some tough luck with my health–one of the rough times was when I had to have surgery half way around the world. After returning home, I was bedridden for a couple of months. Yes, months. It was a big fat wake up call to appreciate the power of my body and to always nurture it in some way. I have never taken my health for granted since.
I have all of my basic needs met. I don’t struggle with feeding or clothing myself; I lead a simple lifestyle, but one that affords me fun and relaxation. I learned long ago that experiences and people make me happy, not things. Because of this, I am able to focus on moments rather than chasing after a car or designer bag or whatever.
I have deep stirring desires + goals I want to accomplish. I am motivated by my art and the people I share it with; I am head over heels in love and look forward to creating a family of my own; I find writing on this blog to be such a freeing process; I am inspired by the process of life and all of the changes we go through along the way. All of these things get me out of bed, make me keep trying and learning in my everyday life.
Inspiration is an amazing motivator.
After my stroll down appreciation lane, I realized this: I am happy by choice. My life is far from perfect–I have gone through some disastrous times in my life just like everyone else. I lost my mother at a fairly young age, I had a brush with death in India and I’ve endured some heartaches and all around crappy times. But you know what? Through it all, I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel because nothing lasts forever. Knowing that the good stuff was right around the corner was enough to get me through.
As a result, I give myself the permission to be happy. I am committed to seeing the bright side in any situation. There is no more self-deprication to make others feel better (that doesn’t work anyway) or looking for the ‘catch’ when it seems too good (sometimes it’s just a good thing!) Part of being happy is accepting those magical moments of life when they happen and enjoying them to the fullest. I choose to look at life through rose colored glasses and it’s made all the difference.
What are you happy about these days? Make a list of 5 things and stick them on your bathroom mirror for the next week so you see them as you start and end your day. You are sure to view your life in a different light when you focus on what is working.