Only say “yes” when… Day 3 of 30 days of Happiness

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Only say yes when you’re whole heart and soul are in to it.

Have you ever done something because you felt obligated to do it but you really didn’t want to do it? Ok, that was a mouthful. But really, think about it for a moment. Have there been times in your life that you’ve said yes when every cell in your body is screaming NO! But a guilty feeling came over you and politeness overtook and – even as you’re thinking no – yes comes out of your mouth.

It happens to the best of us. But it doesn’t have to, not anymore. From this day forward, only say yes when you’re whole heart and soul are in to it.

 I wasn’t being true to myself… I was being incongruent.

I can still remember the day a therapist suggested this to me. It was a completely foreign concept and I believed it would be rude of me to say no and not attend events I was invited to. The more I thought about it and prayed on it I realized how unfair I was being not only to myself but to others as well. Yes, I was being unfair to others by showing up to an event I didn’t want to be at and bringing that negative energy with me. I wasn’t being true to me. In essence, I was being incongruent.

By going places and doing things you don’t really want to do, you’re not helping anyone, in fact you may actually be doing more harm than good, not only to yourself but the people around you. Let’s start with you. You’re going, going, going, doing, doing, doing for everyone but you. Before long you begin to resent not having time to yourself, you may even find you’re exhausted from being “on” all the time and you’re lacking energy and get sick easily. Burn-out is just around the corner baby!

That’s what this world is all about, sharing our light and love with each other.

Now, let’s look at the people you think you’re helping by saying yes. They’re getting the exhausted, stressed-out, unhappy you. People deserve the best you have to offer. Heck, YOU deserve the best you have to offer and when you’re being true to you – being congruent – your energy is positive and happy and your inner light shines bright which floods everyone around you with love and healing light. That’s what this world is all about, sharing our light and love with each other. It’s a win-win for everybody!

By saying no you’re saying yes to you and yes to what’s important to you.

It’s amazing how hard saying no is – especially at first – and at the same time how liberating and self-empowering it is! Trust me, it gets easier with time. I found myself saying no to almost everybody at first. I needed time to re-energize and decide what’s important to me. Now, I’m selective and choose only events that truly resonate with me.

So, do everyone a favour and only say yes when you’re whole heart and soul are in it.

Blessings

~Wanda

P.S.: Here are some no phrases to help you along: no thanks… not this time… thanks for thinking of me but I have to pass. And remember: you don’t have to give excuses, a polite but firm No is all that is needed.

The one thing you can do to bring happiness into your life is this… Day 2 of 30 days of Happiness

Wanda kissing Hutch at Discovery Cove, Orlando, FL
Wanda kissing Hutch at Discovery Cove, Orlando, FL, Nov 2008. © Wanda Quinn

Be grateful.

That’s it. Being grateful and giving thanks for all that you have, all that you are and all that is to come.

Want to start your day off with in a positive direction? Start it off with a gratitude list. Now I know for some of you this is more like a chore and I have to admit there have been days when I felt like I was faking my gratitude list by listing things for the sake of listing them with no emotion attached. Trust me, it makes a difference if you can feel the emotions and feel the gratitude in your heart.

Do whatever resonates with you that puts you in the heart space of gratitude and then do it every day.

One dark, cold and snowy night I was driving home from work. I had put in a thirteen-hour day and was feeling tired, hungry and somewhat miserable. As I drove home in the cumulating snow, feeling sorry for myself because I had to work two jobs and was going home to an empty house (note: these were my days of dark – yes, I used to be a negative, down in the dumps, person) I had the thought of a homeless man sleeping outside with nothing but a cardboard box between him and the ground. Suddenly my house was looking pretty good. It was easy for me to list all the things in my house that I was grateful for such as having a warm roof over my head, a comfortable bed to sleep in with warm blankets and a soft pillow. To this day I thank God for my comfortable mattress, pillow and warm blankets because I know there are people out there that don’t have these basic comforts that many of us often take for granted.

So make a list of the things, people, places etc that you are grateful for having in your life. If making a list isn’t your thing then think about all the things that are going right in your life. Think about the people that have crossed your path and brought enlightenment to you. Do whatever resonates with you that puts you in the heart space of gratitude and then do it every day.

How to create fail-safes for those dark days…Day 1 of 30 days of Happiness

Day 1 – Fail-Safes

Think positive thoughts and positive energy comes to you. It’s a simple as that. When you’re happy and grateful the energy you’re sending out is happy and grateful and this energy attracts like to it.

That’s why it is so important to have fail-safes in place for those times when you’re feeling down. We all experience these times, but what makes us different is how we cope. For some the easiest approach would be to crawl back into bed, and say you’re never coming out; to pull the blinds down on all the windows, pull the blankets up over your head and cocoon yourself; to withdraw inside. It’s only natural, at this stage, to mentally list all the wrongs in your life; all the things that you don’t have but so and so does (keeping up with the Jones’ by comparing yourself to others and believing you’re lacking).

Think positive thoughts and positive energy comes to you. It’s a simple as that.

These mental lists can bring you further down and make you more miserable. You believe the lies you’re telling yourself and you’re sending out negative energy, which attracts negative energy to it. It’s a vicious circle but, thankfully, one that can be broken.

The other approach you can take, takes a little more effort on your part but shows immediate results. Instead of making a “poor me” list, a list of all you lack, all that is wrong or bad in your life make a list of all the things that have gone right with your life, all the positive aspects of your life, your talents and your natural gifts. (Things that come naturally to you, accomplishments you’re proud of.)

I remember one exceptionally hot summer afternoon in July many years ago. I was cooling down in my parents’ swimming pool after a particularly hard day at work. Instead of letting my day go and enjoying the moment of cool water lapping against me, I was reliving the entire day – obsessing on all the unpleasant situation that took place, going over them in my mind, over and over and over. It physically wore me down. My thoughts then turned ugly and I thought about what a loser I was, how I’m fat and ugly and I’ll never amount to anything. This list of negative self-talk grew until I felt very heavy and depressed.

Out of nowhere, a thought popped into my head: mentally list all the things you like about yourself, list your talents. Nothing came to mind. What do people say you’re good at, came a prompt. I’m good with computers; people are always calling me to help them.

Good, what else?

And so began my positive list. Where did that initial positive thought come from? Was it someone guiding and prompting me? At the time I thought it was me – my voice in my head. But now, I know better. It was God, his angels, and my guides – my spirit team. They were lifting me from the darkness I created. Several minutes passed of thinking positive thoughts. I felt lighter, happier, like the storm cloud above me had moved on. Thinking positive thoughts of myself was difficult at first and I needed the guidance from my spirit team, but once I started down that road, and I began to feel the positive effects – lighter, happier – it was so much easier to think positive thoughts.

Fail-safes are objects, intentions and/or people you put in place to ignite the positive energy when you slip into a negative or dark place.

The dark days are not gone for good but they are fewer and farther between. There are still times I’m in the middle of a negative experience and I need a reminder that I don’t need to be there.

If you find yourself in that dark place, don’t beat yourself up. It’s OK. It is what it is. Just accept you’re there for a reason, look to your fail-safes to help lift you up to a lighter more positive place.

Fail-safes are objects, intentions and/or people you put in place to ignite the positive energy when you slip into a negative or dark place. They can be beautiful photographs or images that inspire you; Inspirational quotes or funny sayings that you have posted around your home or office; A beautiful and positive loving letter you’ve written to yourself; Making a list of all your wonderful qualifications, traits, and talents; or a feel-good movie or comedy that’s sure to make you laugh. A fail-safe is anything that can trigger happy, loving, positive thoughts that can lift you out of the darkness.

Here is a sample of a fail-safe I use. I smile every time I see this picture, It never gets old. I remember watching this horse get down and start rolling around, scratching his back. I was delighted my phone was in my pocket so I could capture this moment.

horse rolling on ground

So surround yourself with things, people, places that make you smile, laugh, and oh so happy!

Do you use fail-safes? What are some of your favourites?

~ Wanda

30 days of Happiness starts now

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Can you tell me if I’ll ever be happy?

Of all the questions I’ve been asked this was definitely not one I expected, especially from someone who, on the outside appeared to have everything. Just goes to show you that outward appearances are not always as they appear. Inside she was a troubled young woman who hated her life and was desperate enough to pay a psychic to tell her that she would be happy in her future.

What is so wonderful about this story is that the message that happiness is a choice is a great reminder for people of all ages.

Several years ago I wrote a children’s book about happiness. “Sam Get’s Happy!” is a story about six year old Sam who is going through life with a black cloud following him. He gets so frustrated with all the bad things happening in his life that he calls out for help, which comes flying in on the wings of his guardian angel, Bruno. Bruno teaches young Sam that he has the choice to be happy, to see the flowers, hear the birds sing and feel the warm sun kiss his cheek or he can shut it all out and dwell on the gloom and doom. Sam decided to be happy and with Bruno’s help, learns to be grateful for the little things in life such as his bed, blankets, trees and birds and to “sing his way to happiness!” What is so wonderful about this story is that the message that happiness is a choice is a great reminder for people of all ages.

It’s your – and only your – choice to be happy

Did you know that for every moment, every circumstance, every event that happens in your life, you have the choice to judge it as bad or good, to allow it to bring you down or lift you up. It is your choice – and only your choice – to be happy.

I often hear clients say they will be happy once they loose weight or get that promotion. Have you ever thought that way? That you’ll be happy once all your debt is paid off or that you’ll be happy when you win the lottery or when you retire? Or my all time favourite – I’ll be happy when I get an iPad or an iPhone. Yes! All my troubles will cease and I will live in that bubble of happiness, once, and only once, this happens to me.

Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who figured out after purchasing only one gadget that the expensive toys don’t really bring you happiness, at least not long term. As for that young woman who wanted to know if one day she would be happy, well, it doesn’t work that way. You don’t just wake up one day to find yourself happy, especially if you haven’t changed anything. It takes work. I told her in order for her to be happy in the future, she needs to choose to be happy now.

Choosing to be happy and to see the good in situations can take some getting used to, especially if you’re prone to being a negative nilly. It takes practice and, much like starting a new diet or exercise program, it takes time to adjust to your new way of being and thinking.

They say it takes thirty days for new habits to form so, over the next thirty days I will be offering simple and useful suggestions, tips, and tools to encourage, inspire and nudge you to choose happiness every day.

I hope you join me on this 30-day journey to happiness and share your progress with us in the comments sections below, on Facebook or Twitter.

~Wanda