Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happiness Happens in my world

Happiness doesn't just happen . . . or does it? I've recently been on a journey to answer that question. If you'd like to save time reading this entire blog, I'll answer the question for you right now. Yes, yes it does just happen. I could stop right there, but you know I won't.

A few months ago, I was in a very sad and dark place. I didn't really understand why I couldn't get happy. I didn't like how I was feeling, yet I didn't know how to get out of it. Sometimes we all fall into ruts. I'm so fortunate to have two friends that recently pushed me and made me understand that I get what I put out into the world. In my darkness, I was putting out darkness. One day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and ran across a post calling for people to sign up to be Happiness Happens Ambassadors for the Secret Society of Happy People for the month of August. Ooooh, that sounded fun. I immediately went to the website and signed up, not thinking about the responsibilities that might ensue. Within a few days, I had committed to hosting a Happiness Happens Celebration at Holiday Lanes. I didn't even know what that looked like, but I set out to make it happen.
After only a week I was pushing happiness. Every thought, every action, every breath was happiness and take a guess  . .. happiness happened in my world. Instantly happy things started happening in my life. Just the shear energy that I was pushing was filling my mind and soul with joy and enthusiasm.  The celebration ended up being a success and far exceeded anything that I imagined.

Happiness is happening more in my world now that I've embraced the power of how I think and do. The words that I say and think really do have power. Power to create darkness or power to create happiness. As a Secret Society of Happy People Happiness Happens Ambassador I have committed to follow this simple way of thinking:
  • Recognize my happy moments with the same enthusiasm as I recognize my unhappy moments.
  • Encourage others to talk about their happy moments too.
  • Don’t unnecessarily rain on other people’s parades.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I live in this dream world where I am happy everyday. I'm saying that I choose to see the positive side of things and that in-turn creates the ability for my world to be happy. My new friend Pamela says it best, "Sometimes, we need to feel our unhappiness, which ironically makes room for us to feel happiness too." There are a few things in my life that I have found to help me create happy personal moments.

For me, Happiness Happens when:
  1. I smile - Smiling is a fun thing to do. I'm not sure why but walking around with a smile makes me feel happy. It makes people smile back. Wow! Have you tried that? It really works. I often wonder if they smile back because it makes them happy or if they are trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with me.
  2. I wave at people - My daughter and I like to wave at random people. Her step-mom shared a game called "Sweet or Sour". When you wave at someone and they wave back they are "sweet", no wave - "sour". It's great for a laugh. It's also fun to see the looks on faces. Often you can see the look of "do I know that person?". 
  3. I write handwritten notes - In this electronic age, handwritten notes are almost a thing of the past. I try to write several notes every month. Just random notes to let people know that I'm thinking of them. Thank you notes are a must in my household. My grandmother is a stickler for this and I hope to continue that tradition in my kids. Writing the note creates happiness for me and my hope is that the person receiving the note gains a bit of happiness too.
  4. I give help, but allow help - I'm a giver by nature. I love to help people, groups and organization by giving of my time and sometimes resources.  Many times, I will give when I have nothing to give. (Not usually a good thing to do). In times of my own need, I rarely will let anyone help me or even know I need help. I would much rather suffer. Those two friends I was talking about earlier have helped me GET that allowing people to help me gives them the gift of happiness. Pride gets in our way. I have learned that helping is good, but allowing someone to help me can sometimes be even better. I'm still working on this one because I have a hard time letting go.

Ok, so there is this one thing. With this happiness came a realization that I had some responsibility. I'm an over-sharer on social media. I know it, everyone knows it. Within a few days of posting about happiness, I came to understand that in the past I may have unnecessarily rained on people's parade. I am hoping to be more conscious when I post. Don't judge me too harshly if I occasionally fail.

So at the end of this rant, I just want you to know that happiness happens in my world and it is possible to have happiness in yours. Share happiness. Celebrate happiness. Be happiness.