Choose Your Happy Place

What a sad face! I just want to wrap my arms around her and squeeze her till she giggles. I don’t know the circumstances, but it appears that she has just recently experienced disappointment. Maybe someone took away a toy she was playing with, maybe all the playground equipment is full where she wants to play, maybe everyone is playing a game and she wasn't included.

Perhaps she was expressing her independence and something or someone put a stop to that. Or perhaps she feels completely overwhelmed and just plain tired. Who knows! Whatever it is, she is clearly not in her happy place.

This photo could actually be me today. I am writing it on a Monday, and I just returned from a week-long vacation at the beach, to a full time job I no longer love. I want to feel passionate about what I do and know that I am living with purpose. I am often challenged to feel passionate and purposeful about something that doesn’t make my heart sing. Blaming my feelings on my job, however, puts the power in outside events instead of in me and my heart. And that makes for some really rough days!

For me, it’s easy to get caught up in blaming other people or events for the way I feel; that something outside of me is causing pain or anxiety or anger. But deep down, I know that I get to choose my emotions. I may be in a job that I don’t love, but I do have the option to choose my attitude toward the job, toward the day, and ultimately toward all of life. When I notice a downward emotional spiral, I can acknowledge and observe what is happening, but it’s not necessary to seek sympathy from all my friends for how horrible my day is! Sharing all my woes only serves to increase the frustration or anger or disappointment. It may not always be effortless, but I CAN choose how to respond each moment. I can choose my happy place.

Today’s practice:

Choose your happy place! Each day during the next week, choose to do something you love first thing in the morning and start your day off happy. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time; just a few minutes will do. And/or take 5 minutes in the middle of your day to do something that makes your heart sing. At the end of a week, review what has improved in your life. Feel free to report back and share your experience!

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