Joy Ignites Success

Break the habit of looking for happiness

By - Wednesday, July 06, 2016

What do I really want? (and how can I get it?)

 

“I need, I want” are mantras for most living in this century. Almost nobody would say they don’t want more of something and less of something else. But most of our wants are at the surface level. It’s rare that we stop and ask questions such as, “If I had more money, what would that give me?”  “If my boss were nicer, how would that affect me?”
Most of the time, when we drill down far enough, the answer to all the questions is the same. If I had more money, I would be happier. If my boss were kind, I’d feel safe and have more peace. If my husband would bring me a present, I would feel joyful.  We all ultimately want peace, joy, love, happiness.

But waiting for the world to give us peace, joy, love or happiness is a foolish pursuit. The best case scenario when looking outside ourselves is a temporary fix. I know, it sucks. On the other hand, the really good news is the peace, love, joy and happiness that live within are always accessible to you and you are ultimately the one in charge of your peace of mind.
(Yes, there will be times when crappy things happen and peace feels very far away. In those moments it’s important to use the tools and resources we have available. Call a friend, pick up an inspirational book, meditate or release; whatever works for you. )
My guess is that it’s not the first time you’ve heard someone say “stop looking outside yourself for happiness”. But talk about your hard habits to break. If you’re ready and willing, here are the steps to breaking a habit. Any habit.
1.    Recognize the behavior for what it is. A bad habit.
2.    Start paying attention to when and where it shows up. This might mean leaving yourself reminder notes as this particular habit is sneaky and insidious.
3.    Don’t judge yourself for the behavior. Just notice. (Oh look, there I go again thinking this will be the answer to my prayers. Ha.)
4.    As you’re cultivating awareness of the habit, you might have memories from the past or unexpected feelings.  Again, just notice. Be interested without trying to figure it out.
5.    Allow yourself to appreciate how you learned this habit and how adept you are at it. (in other words, be kind and gentle with yourself)
6.    Choose a different path. If you’re looking for approval from a boss or spouse, instead remind yourself how amazing you are. If you are lusting after a job, or money, simply remind yourself that it is not necessary to have that for peace of mind.
7.    Repeat.
8.    Repeat.

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About MSI

Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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