Preparation 1: Understand that happiness – real happiness – is not a feeling; it’s an attitude that we are free to choose. What most people think of as happiness is largely emotional happiness – that comes and goes with the thoughts, feelings, situations and conditions of life.
Preparation 2: Choose to love and accept all of your thoughts, emotional feelings, situations and conditions just the way they are (“I love everything about me, my world, and everything and everyone in it”). Saying it is enough (remember – happiness is not a feeling).
Then – when you are ready: *********************************************
- Choose the attitude and meta-feeling* of joy (happiness) just to be alive, for no reason whatsoever, because you can. Use your imagination to experience joy almost as if you were emotionally feeling it. Imagine what it feels like to infuse your entire being with amazing joy. You might say on the inside “I choose to be joyful just to be alive,” and imagine that feeling of joy without a reason hugging every cell of your being. If you happen to emotionally feel it, that’s a gift, but not necessary. You are what you are present to in this moment.
2. As you are choosing joy, blend in any or all of the following: *Smiling or chuckling on the inside or outside, * Gratitude for anything in your awareness, * Projecting love for anything or anyone in your awareness, (“I love you”) * Sprinkling positive affirmations that are inspired by your joy (like “I am beautiful”, “The world is some kind of wonderful”, “My life is amazing!”)
3. Remember that, in every moment, you can be open to a complaint or be open to the wonderful in life. Choose to look for and acknowledge the wonderful in everything.
*************Notes on the Journey***********************
Do’s: Remember to bring this joy with you wherever you go and in whatever you do. The biggest hurdle to choosing to be happy is just remembering to choose it. Put it on a wristband, write little notes on the mirror or your car dash, change your home page, whatever it takes to remind yourself to bring joy everywhere. There is nothing else that you really want or need. And this joy will inspire the many amazing dreams and desires that you used to think you needed, and inspire amazing loving kindness that you will feel like freely pouring out to the world.
When emotional feelings or thoughts show up that interfere with joy, just acknowledge, accept, and love them, and realize that they have nothing to do with your happiness. Happiness lives in your attitude, not your emotional feelings. (I say, “It’s just a feeling or thought again – and I am choosing joy just to be alive”)
Realize that nothing is stopping you from “happily ever after” except you. You are free to be happy for the rest of your life!
Don’t try to get happy by doing something that makes you happy, unless you have already chosen your happiness (joy) first. Doing things in order to get happy will falsely teach you that joy is outside you, rather than inside, where your choice takes place.
Don’t try to give loving kindness in order to get happy, for same reason as above. Go back to choosing joy, then follow the inspirations that feel motivated. If the inspiration is loving kindness, it will be driven by joy, not guilt or the desire to make yourself happy.
*Meta-feeling: a feeling created in the imagination, possibly overlaying a concurrent emotional feeling