Happiness doesn't come from things you accumulate...it shows up when you begin to appreciate what you already have.
I saw this on Twitter and it piqued my interest. The Tweet encouraged followers to create their own Happiness Jar for 2015, and the instructions seemed simple enough. Apparently, this idea comes from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love.
1. Find a jar...any jar...and decorate it any way you like. For me, it will probably be a note taped to the front of a washed out pickle jar with the words, Happiness Jar, printed as neatly as I can print them. Maybe I'll add a nice bow around the neck of the jar if I can find some scraps of ribbon.
2. Beginning January 1st, and daily thereafter, write one good thing that happened to you during that day. This doesn't need to be earth-shattering. In fact, something as small as "hot cocoa with marshmallows", "snuggling with my dog" or "I was kind to a stranger" will do very nicely. NOTE: if you miss a day every so often, don't beat yourself up. Just pick up where you left off.
3. Put the note in the jar. You can write your notes on paper you've designated especially for your jar if you like. I will probably put my notes on any scrap of paper I can find because I'm just not that organized.
4. Whenever you're feeling a little down, reach into your jar and pick out a random note to remind yourself of how blessed you are.
Some variations of this project might be to have a jar with each of your children's names on it and add a daily note sharing one thing you love and appreciate about them. You can also do this for your spouse or other special person in your life. After one year, you can present the jar to your child/spouse/friend to show you thought about them every day. If you're the crafty type, you could also make the notes into a collage before giving it to the person.
One thing I know is we find what we're looking for. This project will cause you to look for some small piece of goodness each day. Who knows...looking for the good might even become a habit that you can't break.
As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December's bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.
Three days until Christmas. Remember with joy the people you love and those who love you. It makes it all worthwhile.
This post first appeared in It's All In Your Head on December 16, 2013
As I look around my house, I see the Christmas tree which still needs to be decorated, gifts to be wrapped, other decorations to be hung, groceries to be bought, a house to be cleaned, goodies to be baked...
With the holidays looming large, stress is a timely topic. With that in mind, I'd like to share a post from a colleague, Phillip Rosenbaum of The Self Esteem Academy. Phil is a Psychologist and a Licensed Professional Counselor who uses his training in hypnosis to bring about rapid results with
Have you ever wondered why people find it so difficult to change? You try to stop smoking and the cigarettes lure you back like an old friend. When your clothes are a little snug, you know your eating patterns need to change, yet you quickly slip back to the same old routines. And you promise yourself you'll start going to the gym, and maybe you start off with a bang, but it's not long before the gym becomes a chore. It's easier to return to our comfort zone...to the patterns that are so ingrained that we don't even have to think about them.
The reason for this is that emotions exert a stronger pull on our actions than our thoughts. Think about your feelings when you're passionate about something and how easy it seems to plunge into action. Now think about something you know you should do, but there's little emotional pull, so it's pretty easy to just not start.
When you want or need to change something in your life, you must find a way to ignite passion about it inside of you. You must link the change to something you find irresistible. That's how lasting change happens in your life. That's how lasting change continues in your life.
This is the final and most important Key of all. Without loving yourself, you can never truly have emotional freedom. If I asked you “Do you love yourself?” your answer would probably be “Of course I do”. In fact, you may wonder why I’d even consider asking the question – doesn’t everyone love herself or himself? Yet while you say you love yourself, how do you show it? Are you kind to yourself? Do you take time for yourself – sacred time that’s only for you? Do you have a sacred space for yourself that’s decorated the way you want it decorated where you can go to find comfort and relaxation? Do you set boundaries for your life that let other people know how you expect to be treated? If someone crosses your boundaries, do you ignore it or do you confront them and, with love and grace, tell them how you expect to be treated?
When things go wrong, do you wallow in self-pity -- or do you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and continue on because you know life will get better. When you make a mistake, do you berate yourself and tell yourself that you never get it right – or do you shower yourself with forgiveness because you know you’ll do better the next time?
How’s your health? Are you a junk food junkie--Do you eat a diet high in sugar and starch or do you eat healthy foods to fuel your body? Are your meals eaten mindlessly, in a rush – or are they eaten leisurely, in a calm, pleasant atmosphere where you can be conscious of your food and what it tastes like? Do you spend your leisure time slouched in front of the television watching the latest reality show or do you spend quality time interacting with family and friends? Do you get 8 hours of sleep at night, or do you short-change yourself hoping to make up for lost sleep during the weekend?
You might think that self-love is automatic, but it’s not. Step back for a moment and take stock of your life. Be conscious of how you spend your time and how you treat yourself and others. Be aware of yourself and your life. And, above all, Love Yourself.
We are all perfect in our imperfections...perfectly imperfect.
You are unique. There will never be another person exactly like you. Each of us, including you, is born with the seeds of greatness planted inside just waiting to blossom. But those seeds must be nurtured. They need kind words, faith in God, and a belief that they can grow.
What often happens is that as your seeds of greatness start to grow, the weeds move in and begin to strangle them. Weeds come in the form of self-doubt – you doubt your ability, your strength, your courage and your wisdom. Weeds come in the form of fear – fear that you’ll fail, you’ll be laughed at, and that others will learn that you are a phony. And weeds come in the form of loss of power – you give up your power to others when you accept their philosophy that risk-taking is bad, that you should play it safe and never try to do anything on a grand scale. Don’t step outside of your comfort zone -- there’s danger out there.
You’ll return to wholeness when you erase your limiting beliefs. You feel stuck because you’ve bought into the belief that you’re inadequate. So you look for ways to overcome your feeling of unworthiness. You carry around what you learned in childhood – that if you were lovable enough, if you were good enough, if you were worthy enough, you wouldn’t be hurt, abused or abandoned by your parents and others in your life – people you trusted and who should have loved you. You believe that you’ll never measure up. When you try something and fall short of your goal, it reaffirms this belief – “See I was right. I’m not good enough. I’ll never make it.”
You are exactly where you’re supposed to be in your life – and it’s neither good nor bad. It just is. Les Brown said to “consider it pure joy when you’re going thru some stuff—it’s how you learn”. Every person who enters your life is a teacher. You must realize that there are gifts and lessons in all of your experiences. Even when the worst thing you could imagine happens to you, there is a gift and a lesson in there somewhere – you just need to step back, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and figure out what it is you’re supposed to learn from your experience. And then act on it. Knowing what you’re supposed to learn and doing nothing about it is meaningless. Erase your limiting beliefs and you will be able to celebrate your wholeness!
There can be no emotional freedom without a calm spirit. So what does that mean? Your spirit is calm when you believe in yourself – when you love yourself and know that you are following your path. A calm spirit means that you’re at peace with yourself – and you’re at peace with those around you.
There are many ways to calm your spirit, like meditation, yoga, journaling, taking a walk by yourself or finding a quiet place to pray. The thing is, they all require you to set aside some sacred time for yourself. I know what you’re about to say – “I don’t have time. My days are full already and I can’t possibly squeeze in another activity”. I hear this over and over from the people I work with, and my response is that you can’t possibly NOT squeeze in time for this. The truth of the matter is that we all have the same 24 hours every day – no more and no less. So it’s not really about how much time you have – it’s about how you set your priorities.
You need to make your life a priority. Make time now to care for yourself – or take time later to care for yourself when the stress of your neglect takes its toll in the form of depression, high blood pressure, heart disease and all the other stress-related things that can happen to your body. Calm your spirit and find peace within yourself.