I had just graduated high school and was living up in Edmonton. My Uncle is a photographer and he decided to snap a few photos. I was awkward behind a camera. It didn’t feel natural to have so much focused attention. I never felt beautiful. At the time I wasn’t sure but when he showed me the photos I felt beautiful. I am forever grateful to the beautiful memories and photographs thanks to just trying this experience.
Happiness is a choice.
“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
The Chinese are so smart! Did you notice in almost all scenarios happiness is a choice? So if we know the secret to happiness is found in helping others why is happiness such an elusive thing?
It has been a while now but I am finally learning to be happy in all of lifes lessons. ( aka the daily grind and challenges) It didn’t come easily and I still find old habits creeping back into my life but for the most part… happiness is a choice. I don’t mean that in a trite way. It’s a battle I come prepared to fight every day.
I get up at 5:00 to do basic training. Training begins with prayer, quiet, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading scriptures and gratitude. This is my battle prep. It is necessary. Honestly its a work in progress. But I am tweaking as needed. The more time I spend on “focused dreaming” the more it helps me remember calm and choose to have it again. Honestly, calm equals happiness in my life.
West Virginia University research team lead by Dr. Kim Innes found that practice of a simple meditation 12 minutes per day for 12 weeks showed significant gains in perceived stress, mood psychological well-being, and quality of life.
“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
Winnie the Pooh
Often life is providing me with opportunities that make me feel awkward and uncomfortable. But as I learn to put less judgment on whether these opportunities are good and bad and just accept them as they are… then I can learn. For instance, I was trying to connect like-minded women in the eyeMeve community by hosting a women’s conference. Believe in Love. I knew organization is not my forte so I decided to partner with a girl who is organized and fun. She backed out right before launch date. I was heartbroken. The first thing that came to mind as I dropped to the ground was I wish this wasn’t going to make such a beautiful part of a speech one day. My instinct was to call her back and beg her to stay. But no one wants to dance with the desperate girl. I went for a walk… I sat in the coullee’s behind my house. I thought is this God telling me to stop or just an obstacle to overcome. As I sat quietly contemplating my options, stop the event, find a new partner, postpone… I quieted my mind. I sat on the ground in silence and then the words to the song I had written came floating into my mind.
- eye M eve,
- I will achieve,
- My dreams believe
Even though it scared me I knew I could do it. I left that hillside with a clear vision. I was going to take this lesson and learn. I called my sister and she told me I didn’t need to find anyone else. She was right. Please don’t get me wrong many people assisted but I was able to find new people in different ways than a partner and provide a day full of stories, learning, and fun.
I hope whatever life is throwing at you, you can stop and choose to see it differently. Not as a bad, awful event. But as a teacher giving you new strengths, new skills, and new opportunities for growth. It might just be a new choice for happiness. What will you choose?
“The unhappy derive comfort from the misfortunes of others.”
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”