Tag Archives: lightness

The 52: More on Lesson Nine — You Are As Happy As You Want To Be

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butterflybluesky

People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Abraham Lincoln

That Abraham Lincoln!  With everything else he did, I never knew he made comments on happiness — and profound ones indeed.  So you see, happiness doesn’t just happen.  It has something to do with how you think  and how your mind is responding to your life and world.  You can make up your mind to be happy.  How liberating is that?

One of the yoga classes I teach focuses on being light and happy.  At the beginning of class, everyone takes one of those sticky smiley faces. You know the ones that are usually yellow and they used to be plastered in all kinds of places.  “Have a nice day,”  might go along with them.  They were ubiquitous at one time. I stick my smiley face on the front of my shirt so everyone can see it.  I encourage students to stick them on their bathroom mirror, on the dashboard of their car, on their computer, wherever they will see it.  It’s a reminder to lighten up and be happy.  We need all the help we can get!

Sure, some may think that this idea of happy faces is a little trivial, silly, syrupy, and sentiments like that.  I don’t care because I would rather be reminded to be happy than be politically correct or cynical about it.  I tried that way (the cynical way) for a long time.  All I derived from that was pain and separation. It does not work, especially if you want any happiness in your life.

Many of us say to ourselves, “Well, I will be happy when I find a partner or make enough money or have a new car or buy that special pair of shoes or get my child into the best school.”  Think about it.  You will always have another “as soon as” and then happiness just passes you by.  Happiness is not something that comes from the outside.  It is an inside deal.  Remember Lincoln said, it is in your mind.

I like this quote from one of the great texts on yoga, the Yoga Vasistha:

One who is happy with whatever clothing he is given,

whatever food he is fed, and whatever resting place he is given,

shines like an emperor.

  • Think about times when you were especially grateful or happy.  What triggered that response? Maybe it was something simple like making it on time to your child’s school play or getting the last seat on an airplane or seeing a squirrel scamper across your yard.
  • Go way back in time, to your childhood.  Something very simple might have been the impetus.  I remember being in elementary school and, on the first really warm spring day, how much happiness I felt at going outside to swing on swings and run across the grass.
  • Look around you.  Really look.  I know you will find something around you that can elicit gratitude  and happiness.  Just sitting here in my office, I am happy that the sun is streaming through the window, that my computer is working, that I have my cup of green tea right next to me.  Remember, I said simple.

You can “make up your mind” to be happy, to find something that evokes happiness.  You are not tossed about by the circumstances of the world.  In fact, you are the world you construct.

With happiness, I wish you a wonderful day!

With love and namaste, Deanne

Check out www.deannemincer.com

A Lighter, Happier YOU in 52: Lesson Three – Worrying

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butterflyblueskyAs we open the third week of “the 52,” I have some new information to share with you.

You see the image of the butterfly in the sky, ascending toward the light.  I have chosen this to accompany our course. Here is how I see it: The light is the light of eternal love. The blue is significant to the higher energies within our being.  And the butterfly — not only is it beautiful and a symbol of eternal life, it signifies metamorphosis. 

As  child, I remember my parents put a caterpillar into a jar with lots of leaves.  Soon it formed a cocoon around its body.  In a short time, a beautiful butterfly emerged.   We watched with wonder as it flew off, in all its beauty.  We too are like this. From one form to another, the beauty of our spirits soar into eternity. 

Let me know what YOU think of the image I’ve chosen.

In the first two lessons, we deeply implanted the thought, “I love myself completely NOW,” then we devoted attention to reducing tension and stress signals in the body. Now we turn to a habit and thought pattern that unseats many of us.  We will spend this week learning to find new ways to address that widespread epidemic called worrying!

LESSON THREE

His Holiness, The Dalai Lama XIV said these wise words:

If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry.  If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.

We may know that worrying does nothing good for us, yet we do it anyway. I was expert at it for many years.  I found plenty of opportunities for worry —  about the state of the world, about my health and everyone elses, about my past and future, about money, about family and friends.  I was a “worry wart.”  Worst of all, I thought my worrying was helpful to myself and others.  What a mistake that was.  But it was a habit and habits can be broken.

Just knowing that worrying is not beneficial is not enough.  We must find ways to break the pattern. Here are some ideas to try this week.

  • Let all your worries be placed on a schedule.  For example, when a worrisome thought arises, decide to mark it in your mind to go to the time when you will worry.  Here’s an example: Give yourself worry time, on the hour for three minutes.  During those three minutes you can analyze whether you are wasting your time worrying or, go ahead, worry your head off.  Then STOP.  Worry time is over until the next scheduled worry time.  You can choose your own schedule.
  • Put your worries in the worry box.  Literally, find a box (not too big I hope), and whenever a worry comes up, write it down on a piece of paper and slip it into the box.  Then forget it until you have time to open the worry box.  You are not allowed to think about the same worry again unless you open the box.
  • Sort your worries.  If  they have seemed so important for so long, you might not be able to drop them immediately.  Pick the ones you choose to have disappear.  In time, they might all be gone.

At the same time you are doing these exercises on worrying, don’t WORRY about how you are doing them.  Lighten your body through the stress practice you did last week and continue reminding yourself that you love yourself completely NOW, no matter what is happening.  In the next weeks, we will find new and different ways to break patterns of negative thinking.  But don’t WORRY about it now.

Please feel free to pass these lessons onto to others who might benefit.  My mission is to help and make our lives lighter and happier!  And let me know how you are doing!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, please go to www.deannemincer.com