I had a revelation today. I can’t quite take credit for coming to this epiphany all on my own; I was in the midst of a life coaching session when the “aha” moment came. I was explaining to my life coach Tracy that I just started a Deepak Chopra 8-week Happiness Series (intentions, meditation, consciousness in motion), and that one of the things that Deepak mentions is being happy in the here-and-now, and not for any external reasons. Most of us as human beings tap into happiness as a secondary goal: When I get the promotion at work, I’ll be happy. When I go on vacation, I’ll be happy. When I buy that new car, I’ll be happy. His point is that if we make happiness our primary goal, instead of our secondary goal, it’s actually a lot easier to fulfill. So I began thinking about how rooted my happiness is in those secondary goals, and how to focus more on the happiness that already exists inside of me, perhaps for no reason at all. Does this seem like a hard concept to grasp? I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it, after living for almost 37 years thinking that my happiness is automatically tied to those other external factors.
One of the things that I am working on with Tracy are year-long goals, including health, wellness, creativity, and joy. We’re starting with the goals that I’d like to see come to fruition by the end of 2014, and then working backwards with short-term goals to get there. What I’ve learned about myself in the past few months is that without a concrete action-plan, I feel like I’m floundering at times. I love to travel but without a GPS I could drive around forever in circles! (Think European vacation: Hey kids, there’s Big Ben! Hey kids, there’s Big Ben! Around and around I would go). I need a road-map! So when I think about not just creating joy, but also tapping into the joy that already exists inside of me, I think about how exactly to do that (to be perfectly honest, I felt overwhelmed with the question at first. I know that joy exists inside of me, but where and how else does it exist, without those secondary factors?). When Tracy asked me what I’m joyful about right now, I expressed excitement that the next month is filled with lots of social connections, including time with friends and family; but from that snowballed the idea that in reality, I could conjure up joyfulness at any time (even while at work!) just thinking about and feeling gratitude for all of the love in my life. Aha! A lightbulb went off. “You could even be joyful during a scan,” Tracy commented, and for a second I was taken aback (I could?!?! Let’s not get crazy now). In thinking more about it, I realized that no matter where I am, or what I’m doing, there is always the magic of being able to think about my loved ones, our time together, memories, future memories to come, and how I feel when I’m with all of you. What a concept!
So as I continue to work on my values (at the top of my list, good health) and my road-map (have a draft of a book down by the end of the year), I also am focused on my intention for the Deepak Chopra Happiness Series. I have written down in various places throughout my house (and at work) different intentions that I am setting forth for the next 8 weeks (and always), including following my joy, being happy for no reason at all, living with a light heart and spirit, feeling more free, and being happy in the here-and-now. As I continue to do the best that I can to take care of myself (which some days is harder than others), I hold you all close, knowing that I can tap into my joy at any minute of any day thinking about all of you.