“Nobody else knows your reason for being. You do. Your bliss guides you to it. When you follow your bliss, when you follow your path to joy, your conversation is of joy, your feelings are of joy — you're right on the path of that which you intended when you came forth into this physical body" ~ Abraham
We all want to feel happy. Call it bliss. Call it joy. Call it nirvana. We can cultivate happiness by asking ourselves what nourishes us? What brings us joy? What makes us feel alive?
I have recently become enlightened. I am enlightened because I am aware. I aware that I create my own destiny. I am aware that my mind, body, & spirit are deeply connected. I am aware that I can cultivate better relationships in my life by cultivating the one with myself first. I am aware that in order to gain a true sense of self I need to love and accept myself. Love and acceptance is the key to obtaining true enlightenment. Here are some simple steps to get there.
1. Eat and Drink Healthy
By now we all know how important it is to eat our fruits and vegetables, eat whole grains, and drink plenty of water, but what if I told you that the more healthy you eat the happier you become. Vegetables and fruits are filled with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, phytonutrients, and even help protect us against cancer and stroke. Dark leafy vegetables have also been proven to improve our moods and make us feel lighter. When you begin to incorporate these foods into your daily diet, and slowly eliminate any processed toxic chemicals from your system you will begin to develop an inner glow.
2. Move Your Body
We all know the importance of exercise. It helps us lose weight, increases our energy, decreases stress, enhances our immune system, and helps protect us against heart disease and cancer. It also helps improve our mood. The "adrenal rush" one often gets when they workout is from the body's release of endorphins. Not too mention how good you feel from looking better in your body. I know that after I have a really great workout, whether it’s a spin class or yoga class, I always feel "blissed out".
3. Practice Mindfulness
“The Practice of being fully present in each moment is called mindfulness"~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Being mindful means being present. If we practice mindfulness in everything that we do then we can achieve true joy. That means being mindful in the steps we take. Being mindful in our relationship with others. Being mindful in our relationship with nature. Being mindful in the food we eat. Being mindful in the work we practice. Being mindful of all that we have and all that we are.
4. Practice Generosity
The more happiness you want to feel the more generous you should be with others. When we are generous with our time, energy, or even money, the better we feel on the inside. The better you feel on the inside, the happier you will be. Practice generosity with others by doing some volunteer work, help a blind person cross the street, buy a homeless person something to eat. When we see how our generosity impacts others it can be a very powerful and rewarding experience. Start practicing generosity. Begin with yourself.
5. Practice Patience
Practice patience. Start with yourself. Do you rush everywhere you go, never stopping to appreciate your surroundings? Do you get frustrated when things don't go the way you expect them to? Do you take time to enjoy your food? Do you feel you never have enough time in the day to accomplish all that is on your "to do list"? Being patient means being understanding. Being patient means slowing down and appreciating. Appreciating your breath, your heart, your smile, your relationships, your work, and your successes. Being patient means being happy.
6. Focus On The Positive
Daily practices of gratitude are a proven psychology to achieving more happiness. Accessing our mind and consciousness is a powerful tool in cultivating happiness. When we can change our negative thoughts and belief patterns into positive intentions they begin to disappear. Focusing on the positive makes more space for happiness. Start a daily gratitude practice by making a list of all that you are grateful for. Start with at least three things. Increase your list everyday even if you are repeating the same ones. I like to do this at the end of my day and reflect on what I have accomplished.
7. Love and Accept Yourself
This one may seem fairly obvious, but I ask you: how do you love and take care of yourself? Do you practice all of the things I just talked about, or do you never have enough time in the day? If we can’t love and accept ourselves for exactly as we are, then how can we expect others too? Usually the way we think others see us is exactly the way we see ourselves. Do you judge yourself and always assume the worst. How has that been working for you so far? Why not try it the other way around. How do you want others to see you? That is what you need to cultivate for yourself.
I hope you are beginning to sense a pattern here, the more we take care of ourselves and those around us, the happier we become. Accessing our consciousness is a powerful tool in cultivating happiness. Start being mindful. Slow down and appreciate your surroundings. Practice generosity with strangers and loved ones. Be grateful for all that you are and all that you have. Most important remember that it all starts with you. The more you nourish yourself from the inside out, the more happiness you cultivate.