The Three Grand Essentials To Happiness

essentials to happiness

Happiness is a state of mind; a state which can shift from pure contentment to complete dissatisfaction in any given moment. This change in perspective can be triggered by a number of outside circumstances seemingly out of our control; unexpected news, the loss of something dear, an ill-mannered interaction with a stranger…

At times our discomfort is prolonged and happiness can feel like a distant memory. I remember the overwhelming feeling of complete sorrow in the long months that followed my Dad’s death. I was a sinking ship. Afraid of marring others with my grief, I’d hide my devastation beneath a brave face, but on the inside I was an empty vessel lost at sea. If I knew then what I know now, I would advise my nineteen-year-old self to honour her feelings; to be unafraid of reaching out and asking for help.

If you are feeling bereft, try not to stuff down your emotions. Be kind to yourself and trust that this feeling will pass. It may not go away entirely, but as sure as the tides ebb and flow, so will your state of happiness. Nothing in life is constant. As rocky as the oceans may seem, the tides will settle in time. So don’t lose heart. It’s not your job to control the weather – life is unpredictable. But we can learn to navigate the storms, we can learn to stay afloat instead of drowning.

We can begin with the three essentials to happiness.

Something to do:

This could be as simple as petting your dog; making a start on a long neglected project or planting some vegetables to harvest in winter. Participating in life brings us back to the only moment we have – NOW. It is now that we are free from the binds of the past and worries about the future. For me, writing, walking in nature, and belly laughing with loved ones always brings me back to a state of gratitude for the moment I’m in.

Something to love:

At our core, we are pure, unbounded love. Therefore, not to love is a slow death to the soul. Yet many of us forget that we cannot give away what we don’t have. Love begins first with oneself. Not in a conceited self-righteous way, but in a way that is non-judgemental and self-accepting. When we truly love ourselves, we are able love others unconditionally. Make a promise each day to look in the mirror and say with deep compassion: “I love you.” Watch how that love flows outward to others.

Something to hope for:

Studies have shown that those who practice optimism and gratitude live longer, healthier lives. Hopeful individuals repeatedly show reduced levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Hope instills a sense of faith that everything will work out for our highest good. You don’t have to be religious to have faith in a higher power. You can have faith in yourself; faith in a loving Universe, faith in others, faith in a non-denominational Divine guidance. In short, faith and hope free us from the shackles of limiting beliefs, bringing a sense of peace to even the darkest of days.

Today, take the time to do something you love. Reflect and give thanks for this moment. Trust that everything is precisely as it is meant to be, and keep the faith.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Breathe.

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Today, I noticed a six year old boy distressed and crying. He’d gotten into a fight with his friend and was quite shaken by the event. I sat beside him and reminded him to breathe. I’d taught him yoga and mindfulness last year and together, we pretended we had balloons in our tummies. We filled them with air as we breathed in, and then let go a little more each time we breathed out. As we sat breathing together, I felt my own worries subside a little. Within seconds, he’d stopped crying. We smiled at each other. Little did he know, that I needed to breathe just as much as he did…

Later, I noticed he was alone. He was making something using card and sticky tape. I asked what it was. ‘It has special powers,’ he replied. ‘This button, when pressed, creates a protective shield around you.’ He pointed out a little scribble he’d marked on the card. ‘But this button here is the most powerful…’
‘What does it do?’ I asked.
‘It helps you to stay calm,’ he said.

Even at the age of six, this young wee soul understood the power of remaining calm.

We are each faced with adversities. There are things that happen to us in life that are beyond our control – events that we can’t stop or change. This can be difficult to accept. At times, we’re not even aware of why we feel sad or anxious. We just do. But it’s ok to not feel ok all of the time, so long as we don’t get stuck there for too long.

Today, be gentle on yourself. Sometimes it’s ok if the only thing you did today was breathe. Take it day by day, and trust that everything will be ok.

In love & light,
Hayley xx

Soulful Sundays #19: Cease Control

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Welcome to my nineteenth instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’. A weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my hopes and dreams for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

Worry stems from the feeling of not being in control. There are plenty of times in life when we are called upon to take charge, but worrying about external circumstances that are out of our control is not one of them.

Countless triggers can send our anxiety levels into overdrive; sudden change, overwhelm and stress, a comment or remark, unexpected adversity, an upcoming event, the health and well-being of a loved one, the results of something dear to us…the list is endless. However, we cannot control what others might or might not think of us, or what may or may never happen, nor need we try. We will only exhaust ourselves in our efforts. But we can control the way we respond to life’s setbacks and uncertainties.

At best, we can breathe and remain calm. I find the best place to go whenever I am feeling at a loss or overwhelmed, is within. Whether through meditation, yoga, prayer, time spent in nature, or through simple moments of solitude – in stillness we discover the peace and answers we seek.

Today, be still. Take a step back and allow things to unfold as nature planned. Refrain from the need to resist or control outcomes. Instead, listen to that quiet voice of intuition within. It is there to guide you, so keep the faith and trust that everything will be ok. Because ‘that the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.’ Know that the universe has your back and will never throw anything your way that you cannot handle. You’ve got this.

Soul Strolls 

As I headed out for my walk this evening I spotted these beauties in my front garden. So blessed to be surrounded by such beauty.

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Soul Food

This week I made this tasty Scrambled Veggie & Tofu Spaghetti. It tasted amazing and was ready in just ten minutes! My kind of meal!

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Soul Music

Today I am sharing this version of Make You Feel My Love by Sleeping At Last. We are each of us loved by a loving universe. God is always there for us every step of the way. Keep the faith.


Soul Sisters

I am sharing On Your Knees by Michelle over at Two Are Better Than One. Her beautiful words are in perfect keeping with today’s theme of keeping the faith even when life brings us to our knees. Head on over and have a read.

Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday free from the birds of worry,

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Deep Holes In The Sidewalks

 

dear-dad-there's-a-hole-in-my-sidewalk-portia-nelson

Dear Dad,

Today I received a parking fine for $150. I hesitated when parking in that area, the sign was new to me and I was unclear of its meaning. I ignored the feeling of hesitancy I felt when exiting my vehicle. I was gone from my car for less than 10 minutes, and returned to find the parking ticket waving at me from my windscreen. My heart sank. It was the most expensive avocado and banana I’d ever bought. Normally in this situation, I would feel the anger rising. Thoughts of ‘Why me?’ surfacing. …but not this time. For I have been here before. The victim. The blamer. I know why I received this ticket.

Just the night before I had found myself in a familiar hole. Money worries, feelings of lack when I discovered that my work hours had been reduced from four days a week to just two. We haven’t had as many schools book our programs next term and I’d felt a worry over the drop in income. Scarcity thoughts crept in and I reacted from a place of low vibration, arguing with my partner and succumbing to the ego in me. My parking ticket was a confirmation of my scarcity thinking, mirroring back to me my false feelings of ‘lack.’

Looking down at my ticket, I sighed and resolved to step out of my familiar hole. Crying over it would only exasperate my situation, bring about more of the same circumstances.

Father, thank you for the sign. For the reminder to walk a different path. I am grateful for the extra time to myself next term, for the extra days you have provided so that I may attend to a project dear to my heart. The freedom from lesson planning is something to be thankful for as I throw myself into other avenues with great passion. And of course, two days of work are always better than none.

Love  always,

Hayley xx

***

Dear Child,

Sometimes situations will arrive at your door in unforeseen and distressing ways. You may feel as though the world is against you, that life is unfair and this shouldn’t be happening. In each heartache there lies an opportunity for spiritual growth. Are you prolonging unhealthy habits that are holding you back on your path to freedom? How about stagnant thought patterns that are creating equally stagnant circumstances? Is there an element of your own undoing that you have been refusing to see? Blame, excuses, feeling angry and victimised…we’ve all been there. But those feelings no longer serve us.  Nor does the outward search for refuge and answers. The answers lie here within. Be still.

Let us open our eyes and our hearts so that we may hear the answers to our prayers – for the solution to all sorrow lies in communion with the soul, with God. Instead of proclaiming ‘This isn’t fair!’ – may we have the strength to ask, ‘How may I grow from this? How may I serve?’

There are no accidents in this world. The world is ever changing, ever evolving, all knowing and divinely timed. When you accept that this is so, when you trust in life and trust that life is preparing you for your purpose – you can smile in the face of life’s hurdles, for they are your greatest teachers. Be safe in the knowledge, that in time – all will be well.

In love and light,

Your Father.

If you too have found yourself stuck in a hole, may Portia Nelson’s Poem – There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk, bring comfort as she reminds us that it is we who hold the key to end all suffering.

There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk

Chapter One
I walk down the street,
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk,
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless,
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find my way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the street,
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk,
I pretend that I don’t see it.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street,
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit …but,
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

by Portia Nelson.

Let us be kind to ourselves as we navigate life’s sidewalks, may we pick ourselves up out of those deep holes, and choose another path.