We wanted to share this powerful article by Amanda Collins from our Winter 2017/18 issue, in which she urges us to stop looking to unknown future events for our happiness, and to live for today instead. She says, “You can choose and claim happiness by living, breathing, and doing everything, every day, from a place of self-love.” The time for us to step into our power and choose our birthright of happiness is NOW.
You are love, pure and simple. Happiness is your birthright. All you have to do is choose it and claim it. “How?” you may wonder. You can choose and claim happiness by living, breathing, and doing everything, every day, from a place of self-love. If that sounds impossible to you, it’s time to begin listening to your self-talk, to look for signs and symptoms of denying the love and self-love that resides at the core of your being.
Do you say things to yourself such as “I’ll be happy when…” and then add an event in the future? When I lose more weight, when I find a boyfriend, when I make more money, when I quit my job: all of these thoughts deny you the happiness you might be feeling in the here and now. You are postponing your happiness when you could be inhaling joy and self-love with every breath instead.
Do you say other things to yourself such as “I wish I were as successful in my love life as I am at my job,” or “If only I were as good a parent as I am a friend”? Such thoughts again deny your ability to bring happiness into every area of your life. Instead of wishing, reframe your thoughts with the belief that you can bring the same ease, flow, and energy to your “weak” areas as to your “strong” ones.
Do you say things to yourself such as “Oh, it’s just my usual bad luck!” or “This kind of thing always happens to me”? Such statements deny your freedom of choice. They make you subject to some past negative idea of fate or destiny controlling your life. Be aware of the ways you criticise yourself or expect the worst. These are strong signs that you do not love yourself unconditionally. At some level you may feel (or have been told) that you do not deserve happiness. If so, you can begin the process of rooting out such self-denying attitudes.
Once you have developed the capacity to hear the negative messages in your self-talk, begin affirming the positive in yourself. Meditate to quiet the chatter so you can hear the deeper voice that knows you are love and that feeling self-love is the first step on the path to feeling deserving of happiness. Then you may choose to be happy. NOW.
Affirmations are a key method of reprogramming your mind— which has the quality of neuroplasticity—by replacing negative thoughts, doubts, fears and expectations with positive ones. State positively, as if it has already happened, your intentions and gratitude for whatever will bring greater positive energy and happiness into your life. Repeat each with full conviction five times in the morning and five in the evening. Here are a few examples to help you create your own:
- I give thanks for my lovely children who bring joy and pleasure to my life.
- I deserve to be respected, valued, loved and honoured.
- I am a magnet of success, grateful that limitless opportunities open for me now.
- I give thanks for my busy career and the clarity to use my time wisely.
- Radiant, vibrant good health is mine in every cell and atom of my being.
- I love myself unconditionally and shine that love into the world.
Examine your morning ritual. When you wake up in the morning, do you immediately reach for your phone or computer? Do you look for distraction or affirmation in the outside world? Change that habit. Tap in first. Tap into your heart and higher self. Ask yourself what you are grateful for. Breathe in and fill yourself with gratitude and the possibilities of abundance that each new day brings. From that place of strength, listen to the gremlins of negative self talk and banish them. Go for a run in nature. Stand in the sun or let the rain bathe you so you can connect yourself with the earth.
Find practices that are really nurturing and nourishing to you: whether it’s reading inspiring books, joining webinars and classes, or perhaps getting the therapy you may need for greater support and healing. If you notice you are depressed or low on energy a lot of the time, that’s a good sign you may need some expert help to heal and grow. I believe that getting expert help is a way of loving ourselves. Know that you deserve that time and that support. Give yourself permission to do what is self-loving by practicing self care each and every day.
Listening to yourself, affirming your strengths, examining your habits, practicing self care: these observances will help you cultivate self-love. Stop looking for happiness outside of yourself. Happiness is an inside job. Self-love is an inside job. Choose happiness, claim it as your birthright. Now!
For more information on Amanda’s work, go to www.AmandaCollins.com or www.InternationalFengShuiSchool.com