“Most days I find happiness right under my feet in the tiny wonders of creation.”
– Shann Vander Leek
For most of my 30’s I chased happiness thinking it was an outside job ties to my career. I would find happiness when I earned my first promotion, closed a big account or landed a 6 figure job. I would be happy when I received accolades from my peers about my performance, or when I published my first Best-selling book. I would be worthy of happiness when…
There was always a catch.
As a woman who used to be super serious, self-critical and overflowing with Catholic guilt, I had no idea how to find happiness in the present moment. I was so busy trying to bury my past and prove myself for the future, that I rarely ever found time to receive the miracles and magic that danced all around me.
The nature of my highly competitive personality, was to set my site and hit my targets. I almost always met or surpassed my goals. Yet by the time I accomplished my goals and realized my intentions, I was on to the next big thing without allowing for celebration. When I published my first book, it didn’t really occur to me that it was a big deal. I created my outline, worked hard and published a book. Done deal. Next!
My inner task master kicked my ass day in and day out, asserting the only way to be truly happy is to work hard and keep achieving more and more. My career in sales was a perfect match for my ‘what have you done for me lately’ ego. I thought I was thriving because of all of my wealth and achievements. In actuality, I was living in the land of too much doing and not enough being. My divinely masculine self had kicked my divinely feminine self to the curb. I had to make some changes and create more balance in my life.
One of my first transformational moments happened while listening to Brian Tracy teach about experiencing peace of mind, self-love and positive thinking in his popular Psychology of Achievement training series. I first listened to Brian while driving to one of the remote offices I used to manage in the late 90’s. The Psychology of Achievement rocked my world and truly changed my life; specifically his training about cultivating peace of mind and ridding ourselves of useless shame and guilt. Brian said, ”No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future.” Until that day, it never occurred to me how guilt trips can damage our self-worth and the self-worth of others. The transformational tides began to shift for me in one road trip! From that day forward, I have been practicing ridding my life of guilt and shame. Self-inflicted guilt trips are not welcome here, nor are the guilt trips often presented by those who have been conditioned to give and received them.
In 1992 I married a man who for the last 26 years has shown me how to be happy without all of the strings attached. My beloved Thomas is one of my greatest teachers on this Earth walk. Since the beginning of our love story, he’s demonstrated loving kindness, patience, compassion, and he wakes up every day happy to be alive. I’m incredibly grateful to be married to this extraordinary man. And guess who thought I might enjoy listening to Brian Tracy back in the day? Yup, you guessed it.
Part of the beauty of being married to a loving and positive partner, along with doing the work of deep healing and personal transformation, is the realization that happiness comes from within. Happiness is an inside job. We simply get to choose how we wish to feel. We get to choose if we want to be happy or pissed off. We get to choose whether we wish to be joyful or moody. We can choose to be trust and surrender or crawl out of our skin annoyed by our circumstances.
When we make a conscious effort to choose happiness, we can tap into our stores of joy at any time through awareness, mindfulness, music, dance, Yoga, painting, gardening and lots of laughter. And when something comes up that makes us feel sad, we can still find peace in the support of a trusted friend and remember that our sadness will eventually pass. Most days I find happiness right under my feet in the tiniest of wonders.
My signature coaching system includes a lesson about how to be more mindful of each moment of happiness you experience each day. I call this simple and powerful exercise Joy Spotting™. Every time I bring Joy Spotting™ to a new audience or private client, they get fired up about how easy it is to practice and habitually infuse more happiness into their lives.
The Art of Joy Spotting™ is cultivating keen awareness of the great and crushing beauty that is all around you. This practice helped me open my eyes to the pleasure of daily life and how to be present for the moments that fill my heart with joy. I cherish experiences like watching the sunset over Lake Michigan, spotting a Bald Eagle flying over northern skies, or the sound of my sweet Mulan kitty purring her face off. I adore listening to my daughter laugh and witnessing my husband create something new with great care. I love adding paint to an empty canvas and love to enjoy a peaceful nap on a weekend afternoon. These are the precious moments of being alive.
Joy Spotting™ has also been a great way to keep my family close. We often share our discoveries at the dinner table. And, even when one of us has faced a difficult day, we can always come up with at least a few joyful experiences that made us pause and smile.
I invite you to create a list of items, experiences and moments which make you feel joyful for one day. Hell, you may even end up with more than ten!
What tiny wonders will make your Joy Spotting™ list?
Give me an hour of your time and I’ll give you the support you need to begin to let go of what no longer serves you, and dance your dreams awake.
Schedule a supportive and powerful Discovery Session with me TODAY for only $57.00 ($147 value)
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