Last week I talked about how happiness leads to abundance in your life, in your relationships and, of course, in your business. But how do you get happy?
Do you believe that happiness is when everything in your business and at home is copacetic? Clients are happy, business is humming along, no family feuding? It would seem sensible, yes?
But there’s a problem here. How often are you waiting for the other shoe to drop, for someone to throw a monkey wrench into the works, if you know what I mean! And, true to form, a pandemic arrives on our doorstep—the biggest monkey wrench we’ve probably ever seen.
Under the circumstances, you might be feeling like a pedestrian walking down the street who gets side-swiped by a car that jumps the curb; confused, upset, angry or devastated.
Maybe you are fortunate because you haven’t had a major upheaval in your business. Yet is there anybody living who hasn’t had someone they know die from the virus this past year? We have all been greatly impacted emotionally if not financially by isolation from the people and activities we used to take for granted.
To put it mildly, I think it’s safe to say we have all been dislodged from our comfort zones. Is happiness possible in these times?
This year has truly been a test for me. Could I actually put into practice what I teach others about shifting my perception? Could I feel peace and calm in the midst of unprecedented occurrences?
Chaotic times call for creative thinking. In 2010, when my husband died, I experienced my personal crisis. And for me that meant uncovering my internal beliefs about myself, my work in the world, my family relationships, and that’s not so easy. It’s not easy to discover what we really believe because so much is so deeply buried that we’re not even aware of what it is that holds us back, or that keeps us from our happiness.
Yet I knew I had to take a personal inventory to find out what was really going on inside of me so I could deal with being outside my comfort zone. I did what my training has taught me–to ask myself a few deep questions and then sit in quiet, to see what clarity would come out of that.
It is amazing and enlightening to discover things we may have been completely unaware of, if we are willing to spend the time in “meditative contemplation,” the process I teach people so they can tap into their inner wisdom or what I call the Higher Self. It’s a step by step process, not something you can do instantly. But with practice, like riding a bicycle, you get good at it. And the best time to start is right now!
Here are the “deep Questions” I laid at the front door of my consciousness:
- Do I believe I deserve to be successful and happy in the midst of such misery?
Now the answer to the first part of the question seems obvious: of course I believe I deserve success, but the second part is tricky. Part of me feels guilty if I’m successful while others are struggling, or happy when others think I should be sad. As a result, i do things unconsciously that prevent me from moving ahead.
What my Higher Self said: “Let your success and happiness be a beacon for others. Remember you never succeed by yourself so by lifting others, you in turn will be lifted up.”
- Am I a good person who wants the best for everyone?
I say “oh yeah I’m a good person. I would never hurt anybody.” But in deep reflection I know it’s a lie. I am a product of my culture which has accepted institutional racism as the norm. I also confronted my antipathy for those whose ideas are different from mine.
It’s really hard to overcome our upbringing and the beliefs that we’ve accepted into our state of being. They’re so deeply entrenched that to get them out takes a huge amount of willingness and work. Yes, we have to be committed to the work and even then, success comes slowly.
Generally speaking, but, again, on a deeper level, ask yourself, “How could i be a better person? How could i be more compassionate, more understanding, more open to hearing what other people have to say? (And without quickly having to put your two cents in to get your point across.)
What my Higher Self said: “Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself. You don’t have to be perfect to be a good person, you simply have to keep trying! So forgive your errors and move forward, paying attention to what you need to do to correct any errors so you can feel good about yourself.”
- If I have more, does that mean other people must have less?
We have this concept in our mind that if I’m successful, then that means there’s less room for other people to be successful, because there’s just so much of the pie to go around. So if I’ve got a giant piece, then that leaves less for others
It’s just not true. I really needed to examine that belief.
In our society we have every level of poverty on up through the middle class to the super rich, who have billions. As a corollary, does having more money and possessions make one happier?
Of course not. Wealthy, famous people commit suicide, murder and mayhem just as well as the poor. But since there are so many less rich, we don’t hear about it as frequently.
What my Higher Self said: Each of us has our own creative ability within us. You can start with nothing and become enormously successful. There are myriad stories of people who have risen to incredible heights of success and good fortune because they believed they could. Believe in yourself.
- Can I see my mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow?
Well, the first problem was being willing to even admit I made a mistake.
That was so hard for me, many years ago. There was no way I could admit I made a mistake, not me. No, no. I’d be too embarrassed! It took great soul searching –really looking at myself and asking, Can I do that? Can I admit I made a mistake?
I realized that if you’re not able to admit that you made a mistake, how do you fix it? You can’t fix it.
So the quicker i can discern my error and say “Yes, I made this mistake. It’s a good thing that I realized it because now I can learn from this. I can learn what not to do next time. Let me not do this thing again, because it’s not helpful.
My Higher Self said: “Every biography you read of any famous person has said the same thing in one way or another. They got to be successful because they were able to look at their mistakes and correct them. Everybody makes mistakes. There’s not a person alive who hasn’t made mistakes, probably, daily. The wise use them as stepping stones to greater abundance.”
- Do you believe that every problem has a solution?
The reason I ask you this question is because sometimes we get so caught up in our problems that we can’t see straight. We can’t see beyond our nose. We can’t see that “Hey, there’s a solution here. I just haven’t found it yet.”
In my soul-searching, I discerned that, if i keep a positive mindset, even though I’m in the midst of a situation, an answer will come.
If you know that the problem has a solution that you haven’t discovered yet, is very different than going, “Oh my god, I’ve got this problem. I don’t know what I’m going to do. There’s no way out of this!” That kind of mentality is going to keep you from moving forward, getting done what needs to get done, and being more successful, which is your goal, right?!
My Higher Self said: “We live in a world of duality: hot/cold, up/down, yes/no, good/bad, right/wrong. In other words, there is another side to everything! Therefore, problem/solution. Patience and trust are all you need when a problem comes calling.”
All of these questions will help you when you enter the Discomfort Zone! Get still and ask for the answers and you will surely succeed. “Ask, and it shall be given.” Says the good Book.
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It’s a place where we can talk to each other; we can express our feelings and our thoughts about any issue. I hope you can take advantage!
Peace and Love Always,
Everything Begins with a Thought
In my new book, Calm, Creative, Joyful: Lessons in Transforming Your Life, you will acquire abilities you didn’t know you had, to transform the thoughts that hurt so that your life becomes a play of endless opportunities for success and happiness.
Available on Amazon.
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