Cultivate Happiness

September 25, 2018
Reading time: 3 minutes
Appreciation, Happiness, Spiritual Tools

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What if I told you that happiness was a key ingredient in manifesting a fulfilling life?

Wait, aren’t I putting the cart before the horse; you probably think it’s the other way around, right? That happiness is the effect of something external. While that is true in some cases – landing your dream job and meeting the love of your life are bound to elicit joy – the happiness we cultivate prior to these milestones is actually an integral part of what helps us get there.

But so often, we are laser-focused on everything we don’t have; on what’s wrong that needs fixing, or a lack we feel. It’s only human to ruminate on thoughts such as I’ll be happy when:

I have my degree

I meet my soulmate

I land my dream job

I publish my first book

And on and on…

Does this sound familiar? If only that happened I’d be really happy. We are all prone to “if only” thinking. But the secret to happiness is to be happy now. Love the process of life, because the process is 99% of life, achieving our goals and realizing outcomes after much hard work is such a small part of our life experience. Are we really ok with only being happy 1% of the time? I hope not!

This week we are celebrating Sukkot, a beautiful cosmic window of time when the energy of protection, mercy, kindness, and joy is available to us in abundance. It is an opening of what kabbalist call Or haMakif, surrounding Light. It represents our potential for greatness, all of the amazing things we have to achieve and give but are not quite yet manifest in our reality. This seven-day portal of positive energy comes on the heels of the deep work of T’shuva done throughout the month of Virgo, the celebration of a New Year, and the connection to our perfect self that Rosh Hashanah brings. At Sukkot, we can connect to the cosmic support to manifest our goal and also to reconnect to a consciousness of love for humanity.

Positive energy, in all of its forms — whether it’s love, hope, peace, or joy — releases us from our perceived limitations. It creates openings where once we saw closed doors. It shows us possibilities, opportunities, and blessings that are otherwise hidden. During this week, we are able to draw down this positivity for the rest of the year, but we can nurture it anytime.

A consciousness of positivity creates openings. And science backs this up.

At the University of North Carolina, positive psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson has found through her study of positive thinking that people experiencing positive emotion are more flexible, take action more readily, and see and create more possibility around them. Fredrickson coined this the “broaden and build” theory which states that because positive emotion broadens your sense of possibilities, you also become open to building new skills and finding resources that will serve to further improve your life. Happiness, not necessarily success, makes so many more things both possible and achievable. So, the cart really does come before the horse, proverbially speaking.

Use this week to connect to deep positivity, and create it in your life for no reason at all. Be overcome with gratitude for the many blessings, gifts, and miracles that you have already experienced even if it is simply the miracle of your being alive reading this. When we have an appreciation for everything that is right now, we tap into this wellspring of positive emotion. From this space, our potential can unfold uninhibited by limiting thoughts of “if only”.

We came into this life to grow and transform, but also to living brilliant, fulfilling lives. We want to create radical joy and prosperity in our lives so that we can use these gifts to give back to the world. Our potential isn’t only for us, it is for everyone. When we are joyful, we create joy for others. When we are kind, we create kindness. When we are open, we inspire openness in others. What we receive we give, what we give we receive.

This week give yourself the gift of your own positivity through appreciation of what you have and through an unconditional love for yourself and everyone in your life. See the possibilities for your growth and success all around you and act on them. As as you begin to shine, give that gift of that joy and love back every chance you get.

 

THOUGHT INTO ACTION

What do you appreciate about your life? Where have you been hard on yourself or needlessly negative? Use the energy of this week to bring yourself into alignment with joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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