Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.



Friday, April 10, 2015

Living With Joy...






If you read my newsletter then there's a good chance you read last week's in which I discussed Finding Happiness. I linked you to articles from fellow bloggers that offered you advice that has worked for them, and countless others, to help them live more joyful and positive lives. In that newsletter we learned how to return to the NOW, control our over thinking mind and even give support to our friends who are suffering with depression.  (Be sure to check out this weeks newsletter, as well: Living With Joy. It's a perfect companion to this weeks post.)


This week I want to write a post on how I return to the joy I want to live with, even in the midst of a sometimes very chaotic life. I was (and sometimes still am) a chronic over thinker, worrier, and very prone to depression. It has been a long time commitment to change the way I think and act so that I may live a more peaceful existence--with joy. 

So, what do I do to return to joy when the joy in life seems to be lost? Well, first I own my sorrow/worries/fears. I accept it. I feel it. I look at it. Only then can you move on. As with any relationship or situation, you first need to accept it to change it. Burying your head in the sand doesn't make anything go away. I wrote an article for tinybuddha.com that addresses the difficulties and fears about getting things done when you are feeling overwhelmed. It's often very difficult to get out of the complacent rut that we often allow ourselves to fall into, but, with commitment and dedication, we most certainly can. I am proof. 

Living with joy can mean whatever you want it to. For me, it is living a fulfilling life, filled with situations and people that make me happy. For so long, I have put myself on the back burner because I am compelled to serve others. But, if we constantly put other people before ourselves, we will eventually burn out, and start harboring resentment along the way. The problem with this for a lot of us is the inevitable feelings of guilt, selfishness and even shame, both for doing for ourselves or feelings of resentment when we don't. 

It took me such a long time to start getting over this, and I still have trouble. I am getting better at it, though. You must be willing to work hard on the process of gifting yourself the life you deserve. 

You heard me right. The life you deserve

In order to live fully, joyfully, you must take care of yourself. I have said, time and again, that we must learn to put ourselves first in order to take care of everything and everyone else. I have finally started to do this, but it sure does feel uncomfortable--at first. Here are four examples of changes I've made in my life to start putting myself first and placing myself on that path to joyful living.

  1. I've started opening up more about what is heavy on my heart and in my head. You can't go on bottling everything up inside. This doesn't mean you have to air your dirty laundry all over social media or tell the grocery store clerk all about it, but, telling someone close to you or seeking out professional advice can help wonders to help you "put it all out there" so you can see it and evaluate it with the help of the neutral ear of someone else. You also must respect yourself enough to discuss what your concerns are about the people in your life with the people in your life. If you do so in a loving and tactful way, you can release any resentments you may have and the stress that goes with it.
  2. I've started to remind myself that I am worthy and deserving of my dreams, no matter how "far-fetched" they may seem to me or anyone else. We have the freedom to dream, wonder and hope. No one can take that away from us. Let yourself wonder, daydream and aspire to whatever your heart desires. Does this mean you will get everything you hope for? Maybe not, but by letting yourself get it all out, you may naturally narrow it down, anyway. You may not want everything on your "list" after you give yourself a chance to actually want it and see how it feels.
  3. I've started trusting in doing things that make me happy, and working on not feeling guilty about it. We so often dedicate ourselves to taking care of other people-our kids, family, even our jobs-that we forget to do nice things for ourselves. Then, when we do, we feel guilty for even thinking of putting ourselves first. Don't get me wrong, serving others is a wonderful way to connect with them and your own spirit, for to give to others you also give to yourself. But, you must take care of you, put yourself first, in order to properly care for the people in your life. 
  4. I've started putting aside my fear of risk and putting this all together and taking the plunge. You can think about doing these things, but until you actually overcome your fears and do it, it's not doing you any good. It has been so freeing to stop being afraid of the things I want and actually seeking them out. I have been so happy with life in the last several weeks, that I can't believe it. All it took was believing in myself and setting aside my fear of failure and disappointment. I have stopped worrying about what other people might think and started to just go for it. And, it has been working! The most amazing opportunities have opened up for me, and this is only the beginning. 

Living a life of joy shouldn't be a struggle. It should come naturally, as it is meant to. We are meant to be happy, joyful, loving and kind. We keep ourselves from this because we often don't believe we are worthy or deserving. We are. If you have pure intention for obtaining the things you desire, then those things will find their way to you. We create our reality. No one else is responsible for our happiness and we cannot be solely responsible for anyone else's. Love yourself enough and you will always be surrounded by love. 

Good luck on your journey to living with joy. You will always find encouragement here.

Thanks for reading today.

Peace,

Nanette




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