What makes you happy? For me, I could come up with a hundred different reasons with some being emotional, physical and of course some just being pure natural reasons. However, one that stands out above the rest is my love of cooking. Nothing brings me more joy than to throw a big dutch oven on the stove top, throw together ingredients that I have been thinking would match together well and seeing what I can come up with to please my husband, three boys and grandson. And, once in a while, I like to surprise a girlfriend unexpectedly and bring a great dish over for her and her family to enjoy as well. Cooking makes my heart smile.
Now, I am sure you expected me to say my husband, my children, my job, etc. etc. Of course, my family plays one of the most important roles in my happiness, but I have learned a great lesson over the years and that is by making room for my pleasurable feelings, hobbies and passions, I allow very valuable experiences in my life. I came across my love for cooking through a tragic time in my life when I had suddenly and unexpectedly became widowed. My husband used to do all of the cooking for my boys and I. I couldn’t boil water properly and almost burnt the apartment down a few times. During those times of despair I found that cooking was therapeutic for me and lo and behold, after watching several cooking shows and reading lots of cookbooks, I found one of my true passions. Cooking gave me that release, a reason to think about something other than that pain I was experiencing and it was soothing. That same year, 9 months after starting, I hosted my first Thanksgiving Dinner and I cooked every single item on the menu. It was a huge hit. Some folks love to shop, watch old movies or spend time with a good book. It makes me happy to cook. Now, as I stated above, this isn’t the only thing that makes me personally happy. But as individuals, we have to take time to find little things, just for ourselves, that make us happy and that give us time to focus on being happy. I cannot stress it enough. These experiences will carry us through our lives and it teaches our children to do the same.
Being happy is a decision…just that simple. Making the decision to be happy is all it takes. Celebrity life coach, and one of my favorite people to listen to for inspiration, Anthony Robbins, says it best..“if you don’t have a plan for pleasure, you will have pain.” In other words, if you do not incorporate the things that make you happy into your life, you will have an end result of pain. What makes you happy and your inner peace is one big spinning circle. Finding that inner-peace whether that is through spending time alone with yourself, shopping for a great new pair of shoes, cooking, reading or just watching a movie is a true part of making the decision to be happy. As Mr. Robbins so eloquently states, “Life was never meant to be a struggle.” So, if we choose to be happy, we have unlocked the mystery to finding inner-peace.
Here are a few tips to help you along in your journey:
- Just as you allow yourself to feel sad and depressed, you can allow yourself to be joyful, grateful and happy.
- Take control of your emotions and guide them in the direction toward happiness.
- Choose happiness. Don’t give your choice away to others or frivolous situations. Do not OWN other people’s issues.
- Love yourself first.
- Smile. Smiling is contagious and there is always a reason to do so. Do it everyday.
- Indulge yourself in what you enjoy.
- Listen to music that you love.
- Dance like no one is watching!
- Take time for yourself. Pay attention to your breathing, your posture, etc. It makes a huge difference in how you feel.
- LAUGH A LOT, LAUGH LOUDLY AND LAUGH OFTEN. Laughter is good for the soul.
Right now, a beautiful song comes to mind…..”Don’t Worry..BE HAPPY!”
Peace & Blessings,