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Articles about Joyful Living
How to conquer your fear and make your own happiness
by Gail Woodard
When fears get in the way of happiness, it’s often due to our own belief systems which are creating the fears. In order to make your own happiness, you have to figure out what beliefs underly those fears.
Let’s say you are worried about money and your fears and frustrations about your financial situation have poisoned your life to the point that you can’t enjoy anything. Trust me, I know this happens because it’s how I lived for many, many years.
Fact is, no amount of worry is going to change your financial situation. Worry, frustration and fear – while they all feel quite real – are emotions that you can talk yourself out of. They are just thoughts. Thoughts that you have been thinking so long they feel like they are real. But they don’t have to be.
Try this. Try using the ‘wouldn’t it be nice if’ technique for changing your thoughts that bring you to fear which gets in the way of making your own happiness. Next time you catch yourself thinking a worrisome, or fearful or frustrating thought about your financial situation – stop. Take a breath, and then gently say to yourself: “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could worry a bit less about money today – or even right now? Wouldn’t it be nice if I could spend the next few minutes finding something that’s good in my life, or in my surroundings? Wouldn’t it be nice if I my rent were paid easily this month? Wouldn’t it be nice if….
Spend 5 minutes sincerely looking for things that would make you happy if they happened – and watch your attitude! No sarcasm allowed! Use “wouldn’t it be nice if…?” with sincerity. Yes, it WOULD be nice if…and maybe something will shift. Just allow for new possibilities. Let go of being so sure that everything is going to hell in a handbasket. Be open to possibilities.
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7 Steps for Finding Joy
by Gail Woodard
The key to making your own happiness is to allow for the possiblity of happiness in all kinds of situations. When you start to understand that every moment is a moment of infinite possibilities, you’ll be on the path to creating happiness for yourself.
Finding joy is best thought of as a game to play – every day of your life. Some days it will take just one or two steps. Other days, you’ll have to walk a bit further, maybe over rougher terrain. So what are the seven steps to finding joy? Here they are:
1st step – Pay Attention
It’s as simple – and as difficult – as being right here, right now. Because joy exists in the now. Living joyfully right now will provide you with memories of joy in the future, which isn’t a bad thing. Anticipating joy in the future can sometimes be treacherous because expectations can so easily be shattered. And, of course, re-living non-joyful memories of the past holds present joy at bay. Being right here, right now and looking for the joy in this very moment – that’s the first step to finding joy.
2nd Step – Say Thank You
Gratitude, truly felt gratitude is a magical emotion. It seems to work on body, mind and spirit when you call it in. Find things to be grateful for and purposefully say thank you – this is the second step to joy. Don’t wait to find out why it works. If you want to be more joyful, find more opportunities to truly express gratitude and joy will find you.
3rd Step – Be Quiet
For a little while each day, leave behind the noises and distractions of your outer world. Find a few minutes of silence when you can be with yourself. If the thought of being with yourself scares you – give yourself a hug and commit to finding out why. Stillness is where the divine flows and when you are able to meet its comfort and richness and magic, joy spreads to every cell of your body.
These are the first three steps to finding joy and each is very simple. Practiced together, regularly, tones you for the next four steps, each of which is a little more complicated.
The remaining four steps are these: Letting Go of Fear, Owning Your Feelings, Changing Your Beliefs, and – the most fun of all – Living Love.
I’ll take you further into each of these steps in future posts. For now, start on the seven steps to finding joy by simply paying attention a bit more, being grateful as often as you can, and finding moments of stillness just to be and to breathe. Joy will start to find you.
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