Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Happiness Snowball

When we dwell on the negative we draw negative experiences, feelings and thoughts into our world.When we emphasize the positive our world fills with good feelings, awesome experiences, and happy thoughts.

I love my son dearly, and I am very proud of his accomplishments, but he is extremely hard on himself. Rather than celebrate his accomplishments and successes, he is quick to point out the areas where he underperformed, or didn't live up to his high expectations. Whenever I try to talk about staying positive, he groans and says, "that's just your yoga talk." Now I can laugh, I know my kids may not appreciate my point of view... yet, but I hope one day they will see that their mom isn't crazy and that whatever we project into the world is exactly what we get. Like attracts like. Positivity begets positivity just as much as negativity breeds negativity.

My son is not interested in changing his story because it's too easy to just say, 'ya whatever Mom' and go back to his negative self-talk, and dissatisfaction. Whether it makes logical and rational sense or not, we may find ourselves addicted to a certain state of being—even if that state of being is miserable. After all, we are comfortable there, it's what we know, and we will continue to tell our stories of unhappiness to those around us because misery loves company. I like to call this behaviour Dancing with the Blues. In a dance there are certain steps and there is a specific way we interact with our partners. When we dance with the blues, or anger, or frustration, or negative self-talk, we follow the same steps—the same behaviours, and those around us react or interact with us in familiar ways, in predictable patterns. I say, "I had a bad day; my job sucks." And my friend pats me on the back and says, "There, there, don't worry about it, your boss is a jerk; it's not your fault." In this scenario I threw out negativity and got validation: I'm right, my boss is wrong.

The dance becomes habitual and keeps us dwelling on the negative. So we keep complaining and stay stuck in our rut, and the good meaning people in our lives keep enabling this behaviour by playing along—they keep dancing with us.

No one can force us to become more positive: think of the saying 'You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.' We have to want to change, we have to want to be happier, we have want to live a passionate, fulfilled life! But when we make that decision, when we genuinely, deep down inside decide that we want more out of life, that we want to be happy, then we have to change the dance. We have to change our steps so that others will have to react to us differently. If negativity was your thing, change your story. Become the most positive person you've ever met!

I loved the movie Yes Man. In it, Jim Carrey played a perpetually negative character, until one day he started changing his dance steps, he consciously changed the way he interacted with life. Low and behold, everyone and everything around him changed and adjusted accordingly, they learned the new steps. He learned to say "yes" to life instead of "no," and by the end of the movie he was genuinely happy. His life changed for the better and he was deliciously positive!

If you desire change, if you are looking for happiness, it starts with a simple baby step. Do something—anything (caveat: as long as it does not hurt another), that makes you feel good! Change your dance steps. Listen to some upbeat, awesome music and burn up the dance floor of life!

A passionate life is about filling our days with the things we enjoy, with the things we love. The things that bring us pleasure and make us happy!

Take one bold step toward a life of happiness and fulfillment every day—get out there and play; have fun, and then tell us all about it! Share your passionate life! Every day I will post something that I did that made me happy. I'd love it if you shared one special part of your day too! Add your comment below! Let's get this happiness snowball rolling!!!

In gratitude,

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