I love when I notice I’m smiling when I’m alone. The smile isn’t falsely constructed to please anyone else. Rather, it’s naturally powered by my inner bliss, which radiates and beams through my being.
After many years of deep, inner work, I’m at a place in my life where I seem to have found greater peace and more bountiful joy. My mind is free to dream. My heart sings. My spirit dances. My body feels all that is sensual and good.
My parents told me they named me, “Joyce” because they were rejoiced by my birth. I’m grateful for this life and to my parents for choosing my name which means, “Happy." For happiness is most certainly the path I choose.
After 20 years of counseling clients and working on my own psycho-spiritual journey, I recommend the following ways to choose happiness:
1. Don’t attach your happiness to anything external. We run into problems when we make our happiness dependent on our relationships, jobs, finances or bodies or on anticipated outcomes. Recalibrate your expectations to zero. Happiness is an inner experience that is yours to claim. Everything else is impermanent.
2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Identifying with your mind exacerbates stress, anxiety, and pressure. Our egos use anger to preserve and protect themselves, causing disconnection and displeasure. Detach from your ego and get over yourself.
3. Give freely. Give and share what you can, whenever you can. Give compliments, love, affection, help, resources, time, consideration, thoughtfulness, respect, empathy, etc. It feels delightful and karma will bring it back to you, threefold.
4. Receive openly. Accept compliments, help and gifts. Embrace touch and praise. Absorb love and affection. Remember that the act of receiving allows other people the experience of giving.
5. Drink in the love. Hard to explain, but let me try...