Your Spark of inspiration for the week: I get to choose.
You get to choose nearly every aspect of your life – who you are friends with, if you hold a grudge, how you react to your kids, where you work, and your happiness.
This may sounds crazy or simplistic, or impossible. I get it. Though I've known the research on this for a long time, I have continuously fought it.
I'm ashamed to admit this to you, but I've been holding a grudge… I've been resentful of my husband for moving to Philadelphia, and have had temper tantrum about it for a year. I've yelled at him, tried to make him feel guilty, and resisted any possibility of enjoying life here – as if by resisting I was hurting the city. I wasn't. I was only hurting myself and the man I love.
I was choosing unhappiness. Can you relate? What are you resisting? Where are you choosing unhappiness?
This smacked me in the face at the end of last year. I was still recuperating from my miscarriage, healing from losing my dog, dealing with two family crises, and feeling incredibly lonely. That's when I realized that my loneliness was of my own doing. Had I embraced the city and made friends, I may have had an easier time. I may have found comfort and a quicker path to happiness.
When you are unhappy in a situation, you have 3 choices:
1. Change the situation. (In my case, that would mean leave Philadelphia)
2. Change how you think about it. (See this as an opportunity to make new friends, build a community, and create a home.)
3. Choose to stay unhappy. (What I did for the last year.)
Research proves that at least 40% of happiness is in your control. How will you choose to live – fully in joy or making yourself miserable?
I know it may not be easy, and I'm doing it with you. Little by little this year, I've been choosing happiness here. We moved into a beautiful home that I love, I ordered my dream bed, and started decorating with pieces that make me happy. This weekend we pulled weeds, and began planning a garden. And this month, I began reaching out for friends. We joined a synagogue, I sent out an email looking for a book club, and I've been asking people for dinner or coffee dates. Then just yesterday while driving to the grocery store, a smile came to my lips and an overwhelming feeling of peace flooded my body. I realized: I am happy. Here. Now.
So how can you choose happiness now? How can you create joy now? The research is clear about this too – positivity brings more positivity (just like negativity brings more negativity). So, what matters is that you choose what makes you happy now.
Here's a video I taped for you WITH MY 4 MONTH OLD PUPPY about this:
It's all a choice and you get to choose. I'd love to see how you choose happiness! Reply on the blog or send me a note.
With so much love,
PS – If you have friends who are going through challenging times and would these tips, please share this link with them so they can sign up to receive them. I want to be able to help as many people as I can. Thanks for spreading the love.
PPS – We had to postpone the New Hope retreat until April 29 – May 1, so if you wanted to join but couldn't because of the date, you can still join us now. Click here to join us.