I remember years ago hearing someone say "just choose to be happy, and choose to be grateful." Honestly, I thought they were crazy. How could I possibly choose to be happy or grateful in the midst of everything that was happening in my life at the time?
Luckily for me, becoming older and wiser has served me well. I began to realize that even though choosing to be happy and grateful may not be as easy as flipping a switch, it is possible if you understand some important principles.
First, happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you, but what happens inside of you. I remember reading a version of that sentence in a little book of quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson that someone had given to me as a teenager. The quote stuck with me over the years as I had my occasional meetings with heartache, heartbreak, and disappointment. I began to learn that I had a choice - I could either stay a victim of my pain and disappointments, or I could move on. As I learned over the years to let go and move on, my level of happiness and gratitude has gone way up. I am not so tossed around emotionally by others or by my circumstances.
Second, practicing forgiveness is crucial to your happiness and ability to be grateful. Forgiveness softens the heart and strengthens it at the same time. Allowing yourself to hold on to grudges, anger, and resentment has serious emotional and physical consequences. It will make the kindest person bitter, and cause the healthiest person to feel the physical effects of emotional stress and overwhelm. It is not always easy to forgive, yet it is the most freeing gift you can give yourself. One of my favorite affirmations is: I give myself the gift of forgiving everyone for everything...including myself. Forgiveness is a miracle - just have the intention to forgive, and the Divine will make it possible.
Third, take the time to see what there is to be happy and grateful about. I can't imagine how many times I have totally missed being aware of all the good around me because I was only paying attention to my pain. One late summer when my children were little, we took a family trip to the Oregon coast. My mom came with us, and she and I took the kids for walks on the beach. There weren't shells on this shoreline, but there were beautiful rocks. My mom found heart-shaped rocks on every walk we took. It was fun to see her excitement each time she noticed a heart-shaped rock, picked it up, looked at it, and added it to her pocket. It confirmed for me that we see what we are looking for. I was reminded of this great lesson recently when I walked with a friend in Nashville, Tennessee. I had in my mind that we were going on this power walk to burn fat and get exercise off the list. She stopped at a beautiful bridge and began sharing sweet, tender, heartfelt thoughts and feelings. The course of that walk totally changed pace. It slowed down. I began to feel the gift of her friendship, and that she was placed in my path for a divine purpose. After spending a few minutes at the bridge, we started back on the path, at a much slower pace. Less than a minute later, I happened to look down at the perfect moment and there was a beautiful sign that I was in the right place at the right time...a heart-shaped leaf! Taking the time to see what is around you, who is around you, and what opportunities are there for you is crucial to your happiness and being grateful.
Do you need some extra support in healing your heart? It truly is the key to being and feeling grateful. I would like to share an amazing essential oil blend called Mend the Heart. This blend, and many other wonderful blends come from the book I am Fabulous, written by my friend and mentor, Desiree Mangandog. You can order her book here.
Mend the Heart:
8 Ylang Ylang
5 Juniper Berry
4 Wild Orange
2 Douglas Fir
Place drops in a 5 ml roller bottle. Fill the rest with fractionated coconut oil. Apply on the inside of the wrists and over the heart area. Use up to 3 time per day for 1 month. *Read explanation of oils in her book*
Give yourself the gift of achieving radical gratitude and happiness by working on your inner self, practicing forgiveness every day, and taking time to "see." I promise you that your life will begin to transform in a really wonderful, powerful way.
If you need additional support while trying to consciously choose happiness and gratitude, my team can help. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how Energy Coaching can break down the walls around your heart and open you up to deeper, more meaningful life experiences.
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