Imagine what this life could be if we all (consistently) did what we enjoy. Then we would all be happy. Perhaps. What if we had proof that what we hope for will actually happen? Then we’ll be happy. Maybe.
Happiness is so much more than a single event or acquiring possessions. It’s ethereal. We can’t touch it but we feel it deeply and unmistakably in our souls. At one point or another we have all said “I want to be happy”, “I’ll be happy when…”, “If only I was happy” or we say “I’m not happy”. What we really mean is “I’m not satisfied”, “I’m not fulfilled”, or “I don’t feel productive”. We can feel that way because we are not operating in our gift and living our true purpose.
So what is happy and how do we get it? Well, we have to get inspired. None of us were put on this earth to do meaningless work for 10 hours a day, sit in 3 hours of traffic, eat the same boring meals over and over, and cultivate pointless relationships. Yet so many of us spend the majority of our existence doing just that, having lost sight of the dreams from our childhood. Let’s go back in time. What did you want be when you grew up? What did you grow up to be? What happened to your dreams? Were they deferred or discarded?
If you were a fly on the wall of your own life, what would you see? Take a few moments to really think about that and ask yourself whether or not you like what you see. Now pretend you are standing on the inside and look out. What are the possibilities just waiting for you to explore? Now come back to reality- what gets you up in the morning and makes you literally want to jump out of bed? If you can name something, that thing is your muse and we all should have at least one. Your muse is your purpose and your inspiration. The truth is, we will probably never find that place called happy until we are living our muse. But before we can live it, we have to find it. So here is where you start.
1- Connect with your life. You will never be happy living as someone else. Shakespeare said it best “To thine own self be true”. You can’t possibly be happy living someone else’s life or fulfilling their dreams. Striving to please another disconnects you from you. And to all you parents, stop living through your children and “guilting” them into living a life you were too afraid to pursue. Being true to yourself starts with knowing yourself and your motivations. I suggest you make time for "quiet time" and listen for the still, small voice to speak to your spirit. When we are quiet our truths are revealed. We can call it revelation knowledge, however there is a difference between revelation and confirmation. Revelation is when you learn something you didn’t already know. It is personal and will be revealed only to you. Confirmation happens when you receive “justification” for your revelation. Someone else can’t receive our revelation but, they can provide confirmation letting us know we are following the right path.
2- Stop putting your happiness under the authority of someone or something else. Can you imagine waiting for someone to tell you it is okay for you to be happy? People may not say that to you outright but their body language and verbal cues often let you know their intent and how they expect you to feel. But you must remember happiness, for the most part, is a solo project. It does not require the consent or input of another. No one can make you happy but you can allow him, her, or them to impact how happy you choose to be. No other human being can be the source of your happiness. And if you give them that control, then they call the shots. Find your voice and use your words to speak what’s true for you. It’s not worth it to me anymore to protect the feelings of others while discounting my own. Happiness has to come from within or it will be short lived and otherwise unreliable.
3- Surrender to the idea that happiness can exist even when things are not perfect. According to Abraham Lincoln, most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. On the road to happy, unexpected things happen all the time. That is why it is so important to find your muse. It is what will keep you courageously moving forward. Even when we are not satisfied or content, we can still choose to be happy. Satisfaction and contentment can be part of our overall happiness but are not required for happiness to exist. You can hate your job and still be happy. But spending too long unfulfilled will make happy much harder to maintain.
4- Be courageous and do something different. The best thing I ever did for myself was quit my last job. It was a traveling job that I grew to hate and as time went on I dreaded every minute spent doing it. For four years I suffered in (mostly) silence because I did not want to seem ungrateful. I believed in the work I was doing at first but quickly lost any fulfillment I once enjoyed. And I resented letting someone else have control over my happiness. Today, I no longer regret leaving because ultimately that job and its illogical demands took a toll on my health. A few months after quitting I learned I had multiple blood clots in my leg and both my lungs which almost killed me. What I should have considered is the advice I share with you- other than what you have to do, STOP doing the things you don’t want to do. If peace and joy don’t live with you, then it’s time to relocate!
5- If it doesn’t exist, create it! Don’t covet someone else’s success. Diligently seek out your own purpose and create opportunities for yourself. What do you do well? What do you wish you did well? That is an area to explore further. Go back to your childhood fantasies. They just might be the key that unlocks your future. If you never step out on faith, there will never be a need for a miracle. I started Muse Wellness Company to inspire people (including myself) to “live brilliantly from head to soul”. I wanted to combine my love of aesthetics, nutrition, and wellness with what I believe are my unique gifts, to create a lifestyle for myself that I can envision living for years to come. I have found my muse but I too have to remind myself to choose happiness.
If happiness is your life’s project then finding your muse (your inner inspiration) is the most important first step. Funny, when I am writing or working with others on their healing I am at my happiest. When I feel trapped, encumbered or unable to breathe, I’m ready to head to the nearest exit. I try to quickly find the root cause and remove it from my space as quickly as I can because in the end, my sanity and my happiness trump everything else going on. My life matters and so should yours.
©2015 by Tasha D. Manigo-Bizzell