Nothing outside you can hurt you. Your entire experience is created inside you, either consciously or unconsciously. It is usually that which you create unconsciously that causes most of your problems. You say, “I would never have done that to myself.’ Consciously, you never would have done that to yourself. So it behooves you to become aware of all the stuff that’s in you, and the very best way to tell what’s inside is to look outside and see what’s going on. You have lots of conflict in your life? There’s conflict inside you… You have lots of peace and love? There’s peace and love inside you.” John McLaughlin from the DVD series, “MIND IS YOUR OWN BUSINESS”.
And if you have lots of joy – it is joy that is inside you. Can we redesign our insides to make our outsides work better? You bet. As long we remember we can’t jump instantly from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other in one easy step. Sadness to joy, for example, has to be accomplished in incremental, consistent steps, starting with baby steps. No matter how sad, mad, resentful, unforgiving, condemning or ill you may be feeling right this minute, there is always one first step you can take toward “happy”.
Maybe that first step is just stopping your activity long enough to remember something or someone who once made you laugh. Maybe it is taking time to remember when you made someone else laugh. You might try listening to music that soothes your soul, or take a walk in the woods, or work with a hobby or an avocation that you love, or eat something delicious. There is always at least one small, simple, cost-free step you can take toward “happy”. And once you’ve taken that one step, from your new tiny shift in consciousness, you will find a next step and a next and a next.
One of my favorite sayings is: “Be Happy, go Lucky.” Notice that no one ever says – “Be Lucky, go Happy.” Happiness comes first. Then lucky, along with a lot of other pleasant conditions that can manifest without obstruction.
Wherever you are awake in consciousness, you can always do one or more things to raise your “happiness” quotient. Here are 7 suggestions – and December is an ideal time to practice at least some of them, because if you can end this year on a high note, you will go a long way toward setting the stage for a happier year to come.
1) Make a list of ten things that make you happy – Ex: walks in the woods, listening to your favorite CD, going to a movie, eating a hot fudge sundae, playing or watching your favorite sport, hanging out with a friend or friends, playing with your pet, etc. And then schedule time to do all 10 of them at least once before December 31st. (I know – you’re busy, but never too busy to be happy.)
2) Make a list of 50 people, places or things for which you are grateful. Consistent gratitude begets consistent joy. Speaker/Author Louise Hay says “You just can’t be grateful and unhappy at the same time.”
3) Do something inexpensive for yourself that spells “luxury” (or expensive if you’re feeling flush). Take a nice long, hot bubble bath or a 20 minute shower, eat a double fudge brownie, take a trip to your favorite art museum, take an afternoon nap, noodle on a musical instrument, watch a favorite Christmas movie, dine in a restaurant that has table cloths, etc. (To tell the Universe that luxury is your first choice, buy at least one lottery ticket and expect to win!)
4) Do something for yourself that you find relaxing. Take a walk on the beach, a trip to a spa, have a massage, enjoy a time of meditation, spend an uninterrupted hour with a really good book.
5) Perform a Random Act of Kindness. Nothing makes you feel more joy than creating a joyful experience for someone else, especially if your gift is totally unexpected.
6) Sing. Whether you sing well or not it just doesn’t matter. Sing in the shower, sing in the car, sing in the woods or sing in the choir, but make a joyful noise and keep making it until you shift into a happier space.
It isn’t anything outside of you that determines whether or not you shift into the Spirit of Christmas. It’s what’s inside of you, fueled by an innate desire to be happy, that works every time if you work it.