Have you ever had one of those moments where you flop down completely exhausted at the end of a long, exhausting day and wondered: “WTF?!? How did I get here?”
This certainly wasn’t the kind of life that you dreamed about when you were younger and when it seemed like all things were possible, is it?
I get it.
For me, it all started with when I was in my 20’s and my mom got diagnosed with breast cancer.
Wait a sec! Breast cancer?
I know, I know. You’re here for secrets on how to be happier in no time and with zero effort and here I whip out the downer topic like breast cancer.
I’ll show you exactly how to be happier in just a sec and I pinky promise all this cancer talk will make sense.
My mom wasn’t able to manage all the stuff regarding cancer— doctors, surgeries, appointments, meds, chemo side-effects, not to mention taking care of my then five-year-old sister and nine-year-old brother.
So I did.
My life became entirely about responsibilities, logistics, and routines. School drop offs and pickups. Laundry. Meals. Dishes. Working. Paying bills.
For more than five years.
I wanted to take care of my family and was grateful that I was able to.
And yet, I was…spent and worn out.
When I did something for myself (like get a haircut or go to spinning class), I felt hella guilty and worried about what everyone else would think.
I mean, I “should” be home with my mom, brother, and sister.
And I “should” be spending money on them, not me.
They “should” be getting 100% of my energy and attention.
I know you get the heeby-jeebies when you think about your own happiness.
It’s kind of like when a spider drops on you and you flail your hands, shimmy your body and scream “ahhhhhh fuuuuuuuuuck.”
Like this guy 🙂
It feels awkward. Uncomfortable. Scary.
On one hand, you’re like, “Hell yeah I want to feel happier. The routine and all these responsibilities are grinding me down.”
On the other hand, your brain spews thoughts like, “But my kids would go without. That doesn’t feel right. People will think I’m a bitch. Who am I to be happy?”
You don’t want to be selfish.
You don’t want anyone to think you’re self-indulgent.
You don’t want to neglect your family or your work.
You don’t want to take anything away from your kids.
You don’t want anyone to think that you’re a bad person.
I was there, too, when I was in the thick of life with my mom, bro, and sis.
I tortured myself with my own special brand of shit talk in my head (I know you have your own special brand, too).
The “shoulds,” expectations and worry were constantly running through my brain.
I felt like nothing I was doing was right, like I was fucking something (or someone) up all the time.
And yet, what I learned much later, is that these thoughts were just not true and my brain was blocking my happiness by creating its own alternative facts.
You’re doing that, too, without even realizing it.
After years of reading, studying, traveling to workshops, going to therapy and truly tapping into my intuition, I discovered the 4 Truths I know to be true about both you and me:
1. We’re neither self-indulgent nor selfish
2. We deserve to be happy; it’s our divine birthright
3. Our happiness can co-exist with us taking care of the people we love (because love and happiness are infinite)
4. It’s not our business what other people think (or say) about us
Those are BOLD, AUDACIOUS TRUTHS and not at all congruent with what our brain is telling us.
They’re simple in concept, but not necessarily easy to fully receive and believe.
I want you to re-read them below and really take your time.
Swirl them around.
Feel them in your body.
Run them through your heart.
Filter them through your soul.
Feel like you can accept those bold and audacious truths?
OUR BRAINS ARE LIARS, LIARS, PANTS ON FIRE
The above truths are in conflict with what your brain is telling you right now.
Hell, there is probably a struggle happening between your brain and every other part of your body right at this moment on whether these are true or not.
It’s because our brains are primitive and primal. They operate in survival mode to protect us.
We can’t trust our brain and the thought that it puts out all of the time.
In this book Positive Intelligence, Shirzad Chamine writes: “Your saboteurs manifested themselves when you were a child and shaped your outlook on the world. They were survival tools that you developed to protect and cope with physical and emotional forces and they remain into adulthood — even though you no longer need them. Your saboteurs are so ingrained in your mind that they shape all of the behaviors and thought patterns that work against you.”
That’s why your brain is constantly filling your thoughts with fear-based chatter.
You don’t have to listen to it though.
Believing in the above four truths, even though your brain wants to reject them, is the start of allowing yourself to be happy.
It’s the start of letting your guard down and being open to happiness arriving with ease and grace.
HAPPINESS DOESN’T HAPPEN ON ACCIDENT
Life will always be messy. That’s a given.
There will never be a time when it’s 100% sunshine, rainbows and zero-calorie donuts loaded with sprinkles.
That’s ok though because when you take back control of your thinking and your happiness, you can feel happy even when life is mundane or there is a shit show swirling around you.
You can’t just hope for the best and wing it when it comes to your happiness. Sure, a little may show up here, but it will be fleeting and you won’t feel satisfied.
But you, my friend, can CREATE more happiness.
For a list of really simple and quick daily happiness ideas, click here.
Think of your happiness like a thermostat.
Either YOU control the thermostat or you let that nasty voice inside of your head control it (and know what she’s gonna do).
When you control it, you can turn it up when you need more and keep it at the same “temperature” when you’re already feeling good.
It would feel really good to not rely on anyone else or anything else to make you happy, right?
It would feel really good to stop worrying about what others are thinking and to get rid of the guilt, wouldn’t it?
There’s a very simple way to do this.
TEENY HAPPINESS HABITS
How many times have you gone to a great workshop or read a great book and had really good intentions to do all that fantastic stuff.
Then you got home. You gave it a good honest effort. You really did.
The demands of life yanked you back to where you were. To what’s become “normal.”
Been there. Done that myself.
Then I figured out that I didn’t actually have to do anything MAJOR like cut off relationships or lose 15 pounds to feel happier. I don’t have to sell everything I own and go live on an ashram in India.
It was little, happy moments purposefully sprinkled throughout my day that added up to feeling good overall for long periods.
Small, yet consistent habits as part of your current routine are the key to your happiness.
Things that you control entirely and are not dependent on anything or anyone for.
Pre-planned, conscious, on-purpose things. Nothing random or by chance.
They don’t have to take a lot of time. In fact, they shouldn’t.
The big miracle is that when you change little things in your-your day is that end up you changing your weeks, your months, your years and, ultimately, your life.
Now how do you start making this happen?
There are 3 Easy Steps to create Happiness Habits:
1. Brainstorm some things that, done daily, would make you feel good.
If you have a hard time coming up with a list or need some inspiration, click here to download the Ultimate List of Simple & Quick Happiness Habits. (they’re probably not what you think and not even one is about going to the spa).
2. Choose two of the items that resonate with you most and that you know you can pull off logistically.
3. Go to your calendar and schedule these two little things with as much detail you need to set yourself up for success.
For example, let’s say that you choose to meditate in the morning as one of your new happiness habits.
Create a recurring calendar event for 15 minutes earlier than you normally wake up. Make sure to set an audible alert and use a sound that you don’t use anywhere else on your phone. Also, include a link for a guided meditation that you love so that it’s right there for you.
YOUR HAPPIEST SELF
You deserve to become your happiest self.
And it can happen in just a few minutes a day when you take back control of your happiness (from your smack-talking brain) and create a couple easy happiness habits.
Remember these truths:
1. You’re neither self-indulgent nor selfish
2. You deserve to be happy; it’s your divine birthright
3. Your happiness can co-exist with you taking care of the people you love
4. It’s not your business what other people think (or say) about you
Know that you have everything inside of you right now to create more happy feelings.
By doing this simple exercise you’ll change how you feel in your days…which then changes your weeks, months, years and, ultimately, your life.
Yes, you can, and I’m right here cheering for you.