By Michaela Scherr
It's the dream of many to live happy and contented lives. The truth is that life happens and with the good comes the not so good. Some learn how to get into the zone and ride the wave of life, learning from each wave that washes over them. Others live life with a 'que sera sera' (whatever will be, will be) accepting kind of attitude. Then there are those who find themselves in the dark place and need a little guidance to find the light again.
Happiness is a 'now you feel it, now you don't emotion'. I know this from personal experience and from hearing of the experiences of others. Sometimes I'm very happy, other times, sad, joyful, contented, frustrated, and sometimes very neutral.
Several years ago I had no reference point for the word happy. I knew technically the meaning of the word, however the experience eluded me. Joy I could do, happy for some reason, no.
One day during a workshop the word happy was demonstrated to me with much laughter from the audience. Now I not only get 'happy' but remember it also s a fun experience.
There are many small things that can make me happy and contented. I've listed seven simple ways below toward experiencing a happy moment, but first check you have a reference point to the word happy. Find out what happy really means to you?
1. Remember or create a 'happy' moment. When you live the experience of 'happy' your mind and body will remember. Feel the happiness in all parts of you, expand this feeling if need be. Practise this daily.
2. Access the Present moment. Notice what happens to you when you're totally focussed on a comedy show on television, when you listen to light hearted music or when you dance - even if it's on your own. Between you and me I sometimes groove to a tune in my office when no-one's looking - it makes me feel good, cool and gives me a break.
3. Invite friends over for some play time. Organise paper, crayons, paint, and coloured pencils, whatever you can think of and do some drawings or paintings. You could also ask each person to bring along a plate of food.
4. Spend time with nature, go for a walk down the beach or park; observe wildlife in your area or visit a plant nursery. Notice your mood when amongst the spirit of nature.
5. Take something with you that gives you great pleasure such as a book, journal for writing or your MP3 player and sit and 'Be' under the canopies of trees for a few hours.
6. Learn something totally new such as another language; pottery or painting or start your meditation and spiritual development program. You're only ever limited by your own imagination.
7. Join a club or group that you have an interest in. You can then expand your friendship base with other like-minded souls.
With any of the above activities assess what and how you're feeling as well as where you feel the emotion and how much are you laughing, grinning, or smiling? Remember them totally by living the experience and you will then be able to recall this memory when you want to.
Include to memory your experience colours, smells, sounds and tastes - all the better for remembering your happy time with.
To live a happier life it's important to be in the present moment. When you starting thinking of the past or future, you then know you're no longer in the here and now.
Quiet time spent alone can open the door to the possibility of connection to that most amazing and magical part of you that is your true self, the spirit within.
From my experience the key to a happy life begins with remembering who you are, know what gives you enjoyment, be present, and know that regardless of your circumstances no-one can take away your thoughts or dreams, they are yours to keep for as long as you wish.
Michaela is the author of several e-books and publisher of a monthly newsletter called From My Desk.
You can find out what her website offers at Michaela Scherr Transformational Coach