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Life's Seven Pillars - Awakening Alchemy

Carrying on from our previous blog on the seven pillars of a purpose-driven and heartfelt life, I want to bring you the final three pillars that I sincerely hope will make as much a difference in your life, as they have in mine.


Happiness is a Choice

HAPPINESS is a choice. Many of us spend so much time feeling miserable or sorry for ourselves that we forget this simple truism that happiness really is a choice – it’s one we make every day. I hear so many people proclaiming they’ll be happy when… the mortgage is paid off, I buy that new house, the kids graduate, we retire, we travel, I get that promotion… on and on, ad infinitum. What a total waste of their time – to feel lousy, miserable, and sad, for the short time that we have on this earth. As I’ve mentioned in the past, we are spiritual beings embarking on a human journey. Surely, surely, we want that journey to be a happy and fulfilling one – I know I do.

Sad or Happy, Choose - Awakening Alchemy In my three recent blogs on happiness, I gave you some simple, yet very effective, practical steps you can take to ensure that you make that choice of happiness every single moment of your day. You can find the first of these blogs here: Be sure to check them out.

There’s a wonderful quote that sums this up and puts it very succinctly and perfectly:

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”                     

Ben Sweetman


Maintain an Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude - Awakening Alchemy Maintain an attitude of GRATITUDE. Most of us think we are grateful people but when we sit down and analyse it, are we really? How quick are you to blame other people when things go wrong? How often do you say, “why me, what did I do to deserve this?” or “damn, nothing good ever happens to me”.

Why is gratitude so critical?

“Gratitude is the rich soil, in which our future grows.”

Lisa Nichols

Clichéd ? Perhaps, but there is a reason why clichés become imbedded in our consciousness – at their core, there is always a kernel of truth, a veritable gem or nugget of wisdom we can hang our hats on. The way we think, speak, and act today, directly impacts on where we will be tomorrow. If living in the present is one of the keys to a successful and happy life (and it is) then gratitude is a massively important part of that process.

We live in a world of duality and in every bad situation, there is always something positive that can be taken from it. Granted, in this sometimes seemingly cruel and violent world it can be difficult to find that kernel of positivity in every bad situation or event, but it is definitely there. We owe it to ourselves and our future happiness to find it and to be grateful for it.

Thank You Prayer - Awakening Alchemy “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is, thank you, it will be enough.”

Meister Eckhart: 13th Century German theologian, philosopher and mystic.


Fear Less

Fear less! So often, in our daily lives, we rob ourselves of experiencing joy and fulfilment for one simple reason, we are afraid! We are afraid of trying something new, or afraid of being ridiculed by our friends, or simply afraid of failure. What an absolute waste!

Walk the Tightrope - Awakening AlchemyNow, don’t get me wrong, there is fear that is good and legitimate. It is what we know as the “fight or flight” response. When we are in potentially lethal situations, we have imprinted into our DNA an automatic fear that is meant to save us from these dangers. I’m not suggesting, for a second, that we get into a cage with a tiger, or try to cross a gorge on a thin tightrope (unless that’s your thing, of course). No, what I am talking about here is psychological fear – the type of fear that stops us from achieving our true potential as human beings.

How often have you seen some new activity, sport, or recreation and immediately thought, “oooh, I’d love to give that a go,” but seconds after that thought, your mind (actually, it’s that insane little character in your head, known as your ego) begins to tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t even consider trying something new. Your ego craves stability, hates change and more than anything else in the world just wants you to plod on through life never trying anything new or exciting.

It’s time to break out of that timid shell and embrace all the excitement and joy that surrounds you. Why shouldn’t you; try ballroom dancing, jump out of an aeroplane, play bridge, write a book, take that trip to Greece… whatever it is that takes your fancy, why shouldn’t you? Almost all the things we were worrying about happening, this time last year, never actually happened, so why did we waste so much time worrying about them? As for what other people might think about what you do – why is that so important to you? At the end of the day we can only control one thing and one thing only – ourselves.

Passion and Excitement - Awakening Alchemy So, forget that wild little ego chatter, forget what people will say (who cares?), and forget your innate sense of failure – failure is and has always been a crucial building block in success. Very few people get it “right” first time – but here’s the rub; if you don’t participate in the race, you sure can’t win it. You want to do all these things; whatever they are. They are the things that give you passion, joy, excitement and achievement – and it is your right to do them; but if you don’t even try because you are paralyzed by memories of past failures, you have condemned yourself to nothing more than mere existing.

Mr Nike's Tick - Awakening Alchemy In the immortal words of Mr. Nike,

“Just Do It!”


I’d like to finish this revisiting of the pillars of life by reminding you of something incredibly important, that we are all prone to forget about in this hectic and busy world that we sometime feel like we are locked into. YOU ARE AWESOME!

A Unique Human Being - Awakening Alchemy You are incredibly special – you are a unique individual who has creative talents and abilities that nobody else that has ever lived or will ever live, has. When we realize that we are limitless in our potential then we actually can change the world. If we live to our own potential and continue to grow – if we become who we really are, instead of a facade or a mask that we put on every morning, we will live a life that is infinitely happier and more joyous than we do now. Imagine the effect of that on your loved ones, your work colleagues, your friends. They will marvel at this free, happy, contented you and as in the famous line from; “When Harry Met Sally”, they also will exclaim:

“I’ll have some of what she’s having”.

Find the essential you and be an inspiration to the world!

So, there we have it, the full seven pillars of our purpose-driven and heart-led life. Remember, I have covered all these topics in many of my previous blogs, along with some simple, practical steps you can take to assist you in changing your way of living. Almost all of us want to be happy, purpose-filled and heart-led – I’ve met very few people in my time who don’t want that. By making these pillars the basis of your life, you can go a long way to achieving that goal.


If we all adopt these simple life “hacks” what an incredible difference we can make in this world – TOGETHER.

Together we stand united - Awakening Alchemy


If you liked what you read here, please do check out our previous blogs. The last four can be found here:

Seven Pillars of a Purpose Driven and Heart-Led Life (Part 1)

Meditation – Why Do it?

Reincarnation – New Thought Movement. 

Reincarnation – Is It For Real? 


You may, also, wish to consider joining our website. You will be sent a notification each time a new blog is published, plus occasionally we will send you special offers and fantastic opportunities to win. We will never spam you, though. You can join up here:


Finally, today, please do pop on over to the section of my website that highlights my Visionary Fiction “whodunit” mystery, Spirit of Prophecy, which incorporates many of the ideas and philosophies discussed in my blog into a fast-paced, fictional, thriller. I know you’ll enjoy it. You can find that here:


Spirit of Prophecy Audio Book - Awakening Alchemy


Till Next Time I’m Sending : Peace and Light

Seven Pillars of Life - Awakening Alchemy

Over the past couple of months I’ve outlined some of the things that make for a happy, purpose-driven, and heart-led life. These have included such topics as attitude, happiness, fear etc. I thought in today’s blog it might be a good opportunity to pull all the threads together and summarise what I believe can give each and every one of us the happiness and fulfilment we all so richly deserve. Let me preface this by saying; “this is not some fantasy that we can stretch for and never achieve. Happiness, fulfilment and love are your BIRTHRIGHT, as human beings; it is not a bonus for only the lucky few, but yours by right.” Today, I’ll cover the first four pillars and in our next blog, the final three.

So, please let me reiterate: The SEVEN pillars of a happy and purpose-filled life.

  1. Life is SUPPOSED to be wonderful
  2. Attitude is EVERYTHING
  3. LOVE is the ultimate power of the Universe
  4. Aspire to learn to live in the PRESENT
  5. Happiness is a CHOICE
  6. Maintain an attitude of GRATITUDE
  7. Fear LESS

Although I’ve covered these topics before it’s handy , in this age of endless distractions, to revisit something so important.


Life Is SUPPOSED to be Wonderful

Jump For Joy - Awakening AlchemyLife is SUPPOSED to be wonderful: This is absolutely true and for many, something that is equally hard to accept. Many of us were brought up in an environment where there was a scarcity of everything, where Mum and Dad (or whoever was responsible for us) worked relentlessly hard every hour in the day, 24/7, just to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. We grew up with the mind-set that life was hard, that nothing came easy, and that we would always struggle to make ends meet in this cruel, unforgiving world. The problem with that type of thinking is this: “Thoughts are things and they create the reality of the world around us “ If we believe life is hard and an eternal struggle, then that is what life will be. Let us aim to adjust our thinking, to believe in abundance and more specifically in abundance for US, personally. There’s a quote from Rhonda Byrne in her seminal work, “The Magic”, that I think describes this paradox perfectly.

“You were not born to struggle. You were not born to live a life where the moments of joy are few and far between. You were not born to toil in your work five days a week, with fleeting moments of happiness at weekends. You were not born to live with limited energy, feeling exhausted at the end of each day. You were not born to worry or be afraid. You were not born to suffer. WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT OF YOUR LIFE?”  

Rhonda Byrne

 

Attitude is EVERYTHING


Thumbs Up Attitude - Awakening Alchemy Attitude is EVERYTHING: Your attitude determines what you think about, your emotional state, and your beliefs. What you think about, your beliefs, and your emotional state absolutely determines what will come into your life in the way of circumstances and people. Positive thoughts, positive emotions and positive actions will lead to an upgrade of positive outcomes. The reverse, is of course, equally true. This is an immutable law of the Universe – this is Newton’s Third Law of Thermodynamics – for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sometimes called Karma, it’s really quite simple; what you put out there into the Universe is what you’ll get back, from the Universe. What goes around, comes around.

Maintaining a positive attitude is not as hard as it seems: Meditation, which I discussed in an earlier blog can be a great tool at maintaining a positive attitude. It is a choice! When you wake up in the morning, just say to yourself; “today, I begin my day with positivity in my heart and good thoughts in my head.” Be the person who gets up in the morning and throws open his curtains, proclaiming; “Good morning, God”. Don’t be the person who pulls those same curtains and grumbles; “Good God, it’s morning.”

LOVE is the Ultimate Power of the Universe


LLove is Powerful - Awakening Alchemy OVE is the ultimate power of the Universe: Almost every single leader, teacher, philosopher, and prophet, throughout history, has had the same basic message for us – LOVE one another. (The Golden Rule). There’s a reason for that – they knew the “secret”, they understood that love is the most powerful force in the Universe and that all positive things in life come from love, whilst all negative things, come from a lack of love. What an incredible shame it is, that we, humanity, have chosen to largely ignore this simple precept in favour of other dogma that suits our EGO, our plans, our ambitions, or our need for dominance over others.

It’s time to get back to basics – it’s time to remember what is important and that is love. We can display love in so many simple ways, every single day. Most importantly, though, is to constantly be thinking of love. Remember what we think about, what we feel – our emotions, create our reality. If we focus on love i.e. falling in love with life, then our life will change but more importantly the lives of those around us will change, in response to us. We have the power – it’s all inside of us, just waiting to be released. Be the one!

Aspire to Learn to Live in the PRESENT


Aspire to learn to live in the PRESENT: How much of our time in this very short human life do we spend (a) ruminating over what happened yesterday, what we should have done differently and how unfair what happened was? Many of us live in a constant yesterday, regretting and feeling sorry for ourselves and (b) stressing about and trying to figure out how to cope with what MIGHT happen tomorrow?

At Peace on the Lake - Awakening Alchemy The PRESENT is absolutely all that really matters to us. We cannot change what happened yesterday – yes we can apologise for our mistakes, perhaps try to atone for them but we cannot change what we did, how we reacted, or what we said. Yesterday is gone. Similarly, why waste our precious time worrying about the future, about what might happen, what potential pitfalls lie ahead? We make our own future by the way we think, act and react today! We are the masters of our own destiny, if only we realise it.

Once we stop concentrating on the past or worrying about the future, we can truly enjoy all the beauty and wonder that surrounds us. We live on a beautiful planet, surrounded by friends and loved ones and yet we so often give them scant attention. So, look up, smell the roses, kiss a loved one, greet your neighbour with a cherry “Good Morning” and revel in the sheer joy of being alive amidst such an amazing world.

There we have the first four pillars of our purpose-driven and heart-led life. Remember, I have covered all these topics in many of my previous blogs, along with simple, practical steps you can take to assist you in changing your way of living. Almost all of us want to be happy, purpose-filled and heart-led – I’ve met very few people in my time who don’t want that. By making these pillars the basis of your life, you can go a long way to achieving that goal. Do check out my previous blogs on these subjects, which you can find here: https://bit.ly/2JxICku

If we all adopt these simple life “hacks” what an incredible difference we can make in this world – TOGETHER.


If you liked what you read here, please do check out our previous blogs. The last four can be found here:

Meditation – Why Do it?

Reincarnation – New Thought Movement. 

Reincarnation – Is It For Real? 

Love is a Beautiful Song. 


You may, also, wish to consider joining our website. You will be sent a notification each time a new blog is published, plus occasionally we will send you special offers and fantastic opportunities to win. We will never spam you, though. You can join up here: 


Finally, today, please do pop on over to the section of my website that highlights my Visionary Fiction “whodunit” mystery, Spirit of Prophecy, which incorporates many of the ideas and philosophies discussed in my blog into a fast-paced, fictional, thriller. I know you’ll enjoy it. You can find that here:

Spirit of Prophecy Audio Book - Awakening Alchemy

 


Till Next Time, I’m Sending: Peace and Light

Unconditional Love - Awakening Alchemy

Today we will talk about the most important word in the English language – LOVE!

Throughout time love has been the most talked about, written about, music inspiring and misunderstood word. When we talk about love we are speaking of so much more than the common perception of love for your partner, your family or your favourite things. Love is an all-pervasive dynamic that impacts on everything we do, think and say, every single day.

Unconditional Love and happiness in life - Awakening Alchemy Blog There is a reason why love has always been at the centre of all great religions and faiths. Simply put, love is the ultimate power in the Universe. Everything good, joyful and wonderful in this world, and in our lives, is brought about by love. Everything negative, sad and destructive in the world and in our lives, is brought about simply; by a lack of love, lack of compassion and compounded by fear. The key to success and happiness is to “FALL IN LOVE WITH LIFE”. Yes, love is an emotion, and probably the most powerful of all emotions, but it is so much more than that – it is a force, a power that drives our very existence. If it were not for love, we would not even exist. It was the poet Robert Browning who said; “Take away love and our earth is a tomb”. If the force of love were to disappear from the earth tomorrow, humanity would dwindle and eventually die out.

If it was not for love…

Everything we as human beings take for granted today was originally thought of, designed and created by people who loved what they were doing. If it were not for the Wright brothers’ love of the idea of flight, we would not have discovered how to take off, fly and soar. If it were not for people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs who had a burning love and passion to create the personal computer, we would not have the wonderful variety of technological gadgets that allow us to communicate and save us time and effort every day. That said I’m way more pro, face-to-face communication that I am about sending emoticon messages! Without exception, everyone who has achieved great success in life has achieved it through love or passion. By doing what they love, what they believe in and what drives them to get up every morning, they have harnessed the power of love to achieve greatness and success.

Happiness in life and achieve your goals - Awakening Alchemy Blog What allows these exceptional achievers to reach the heights that they reach is exactly the same thing that resides in each and every one of us. We are complete – there is nothing missing in us or in our makeup. We all have, inside of us, the tools and abilities to achieve anything we desire and indeed to share our gifts and be of service and assistance to others. The key to success is in understanding and harnessing the greatest power in the Universe – Love!

If, as we have discussed previously, our ultimate goal in life is merely the simple one of being happy, then love plays a vital role in achieving that happiness. None of us actually wants to do the things we do not love – that would be silly, yet there are tasks of course that cannot be avoided, escaped or delegated – let’s just keep these things proportionate though. We all want to spend our lives doing what sets our hearts on fire. We all want to wake every morning bursting to get out of bed and start our day, filled with enthusiasm and excitement for the challenges and rewards that the new day holds. For most of us though this seems just a pipe-dream. We feel locked into lives that we cannot change; we feel we have responsibilities that we just cannot shirk; and we are deathly afraid to take a chance on something new – to take a chance on life.

I can think of nothing sadder, in life, than to be sitting back at the end of our days looking back over our journey and saying; “if only”. The late Dr Wayne W. Dyer said:

“Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice, and don’t get to the end of your life and say; what if my whole life has been wrong?” 

We owe it to ourselves to not allow that to happen. YOU deserve the very best – I know I keep repeating this, but that’s because it’s important. YOU really are the best. Nobody that has ever lived or will ever live has your unique mix of talents, skills, personality, looks and viewpoint. YOU ARE AWESOME! Once you accept and understand just how incredible you, individually, are as a person, you are well on the way to achieving the happiness we all seek.

Fall in love with life - Awakening Alchemy Blog I’m guessing here that there are some people reading this who are thinking; “Hmmm, you’re very good at throwing clichés around, but how exactly am I supposed to ‘fall in love with life’?” Well, that’s what I’m here for; to give practical, simple steps to achieve our ultimate goal of being happy. So, how do you “fall in love with life”? You fall in love with life in the same way you fall in love with another; initially you adore everything about them, you see only good things in that person, then over time you notice the negative things in that person; you may openly point these things out and air things if they are too serious to ignore, but in the main you focus on the positives.

To apply these to your daily life, here are some simple tips on how to approach life from a pro-love perspective, and to “fall in love with life”.

  • When you wake up every morning don’t get out of bed and start your day immediately. Spend just a few minutes being grateful for all the wonderful things in your life, including the fact that you have yet another day to enjoy in this life and all the wonderful things coming your way that are just around the corner.
  • Be optimistic about everything. I often tell the story of the two men who get up in the morning and throw open their windows. One man says; “Good morning God!” whereas the second man says; “Good God! It’s morning!” Be that first man! So often we look at situations and events from a pessimistic outlook. Embrace the positive – we live in a world of duality; in every negative situation or event there is always something positive to be found, if you look for it.
  • Stop wandering around in a state of oblivious unconsciousness. Most of us are totally unaware of our surroundings and the beauty in them. We wander around, either wrapped up inside our own heads planning this or that, or worse still nose down peering at some device or other. Look around you – “smell the flowers!” Even in the most concrete of urban jungles there are beautiful things to be seen. Look for them – put away the electronic devices and see the beauty in nature, in architecture, and in the people that are all around you. Check out The Oracle Walk on my ‘’Inner Voice’’ page:
  • Wherever you go and whatever you do, be constantly on the lookout for things you love, things that lift your mood and make you smile. Say to yourself as you walk along, or drive along; “I love the shape of that building; I love the smell of those flowers; I love the colour of that woman’s hair; oh, I absolutely love that handbag, those shoes, that car, those mountains, that mall etc. etc…”
  • Make a list of the things you love: I’ve mentioned before the power of actually writing (or typing) things down. There is a direct correlation between writing something down and the likelihood of it sticking in your subconscious, so make a list of everything you absolutely love. You’ll be surprised just how long it can be!
  • Love and optimism - Awakening Alchemy Blog Don’t criticize, judge or gossip about others. That is not giving love! There is so much to love about everyone we meet; if we look always for the positive in people. We don’t know their stories and we can only change one person – ourselves; so, “live and let live!”
  • Surround yourself with like-minded people. Be kind and generous – give sincere praise, and thanks = OFTEN. We become the sum of the people and attitudes of the people we are closest to. If we surround ourselves with negative people who constantly criticize and complain; we will find ourselves constantly criticizing and complaining. Raise your game, send thank you notes, messages of support and praise – kind words, thoughtful deeds can and do make such a difference to the quality of someone’s life.

There is so much in this world to love and the more we love, the more goodness and joy will come into our lives. It is important to note that this isn’t just about being more positive and optimistic in life. Yes, that in itself is indeed a great attitude to have and should be the aim, but it is what results from this love and positivity that is actually so incredible.

Law of Attraction’s Role

The Law of Attraction clearly states that what we give; we shall receive. If we give love, optimism and positivity out to the world, then the events, circumstance and people that come into our lives will, by definition, be, loving, positive, and successful. Similarly, if we give out despair, sadness, pessimism and negativity into the world, then the events, circumstance and people that come into our lives will be hurtful, negative, and will drag us down. It becomes a perpetuating spiral – a race to the bottom – or an uplifting state of joy. Think of it as a mirror reflecting back at you. Which do you prefer?

I’d like to finish today with an incredible thought for the future: If everything negative in this world is brought about by a lack of love, ponder for a few moments the immense power of individuals who actually choose to love. If we all agree that the world needs more love, then what are we waiting for? Let us all make the change and “fall in love with life”. If enough of us do so we can actually tip the world from negativity into positivity; then just watch the wonders that will occur when that happens.

Love for our planet, and beyond - Awakening AlchemyWe live on a gorgeous, beautiful, planet with plentiful [but not unlimited] resources. Does an apple tree decide who is worthy of getting to eat its apples? No of course not. When we, as a human race, fully embrace the concept of loving each other, embracing and celebrating our differences rather than fearing or hating them – we will have shifted the Earth, [Gaia] into vibrating at a higher and way more harmonious level. Lower emotions like fear, hatred, judgement, revenge and lack of compassion/empathy make the shadows darker, the light deserves our focus and joyous intentions. Be part of the movement to change and upgrade our world, by changing yourself. You can, do and will make a difference.

 


If you enjoyed this blog and would like to read more of these uplifting blogs, please do join my website and you will be advised every time a new blog is posted. You can join here.

If you would like to check out the last few blogs, you can find them here:

Seven Concepts of Unity:

A Philosophical Colossus – Gautama Buddha: 

Happiness Revisited:

Celebrating International Women’s History Month:

 

You may also wish to take a look at my psychic detective novel: Spirit of Prophecy, which captures many of the themes I discuss in my blogs in a classic “whodunit” mystery based around the sport of 3-Day-Eventing. Just click on the photo beneath and you’ll be there:

 

With two of my recent blogs focused on the idea of happiness and ways to achieve this desirable state, which is a continuous work in progress of course. March 20th, last month, came into focus as it was marked as being “World Happiness Day,” so that got me thinking that it would be good to dig a bit deeper with this topic.

The possibility of lasting happiness has been researched by experimental psychologist Sonia Lyubomirsky. She found that happiness, through materialism, wears off like the new car smell, that soon gets stale. Plus, as soon as you drive that new car out of the show room its value depreciates too! The short- term excitement associated with getting a new car, is a good analogy. Studies of twins and adoptees have shown that about 50% of each person’s happiness is determined from birth, this is called your genetic setpoint and this alone makes the happiness glass look half empty, because any upward swing in happiness seems doomed to fall back to your baseline setpoint. So, if you think of this as a pie: half the pie is the genetic setpoint, the smallest slice of the pie, 10% is circumstances and the remaining 40% – what is that? Well, that’s the stuff that we can control and crucially – change: our thoughts, beliefs, and outlook.

We think that more success, more money, more friends: accumulation and acquisition will lead to more happiness but once we have a lotto win, we won’t always be satisfied, in fact often we simply want it again and again, we want more. Happiness is the result of electrical chemicals and their reactions which help us determine what is good versus what is bad, these electrochemical reactions happen in the brain and then we are wired, so, when we feel happy, we want to repeat the sensation. But a happiness-hit is not everlasting, it’s a continuous pursuit and we have to practise it regularly until it becomes a new habit and more automatic.

Here are some ways to spread happiness:

  1. Say hi to your neighbours, offer to help an elderly person who lives nearby.
  2. Avoid gossiping, give people the benefit of the doubt instead of judging them harshly.
  3. Create a compassion habit and do one kind act today. Pay people authentic and genuine compliments – try to make your compliments specific so they connect better.
  4. Listen well, focus on hearing what people say rather than offering solutions. For more ideas about “listening” go to my website www.moneymagnet.global/listening
  5. Cultivate good manners, open doors, say thank you. Acknowledge other people, be grateful. Smile!

We all want to feel content and we spend a large part of our lives in pursuit of happiness. We look for work that fulfils us, partners we cherish, families that support and nurture us, and friends that make us laugh. Or do we? Perhaps surprisingly, our lifestyles and our actions often suggest that we do not strive for happiness above all but instead sacrifice feeling happy for other goals such as making money, gaining social status and avoiding negatives, such as discomfort or boredom. Today in the developed world at least, there is more potential for individual happiness than ever before. We have more freedom, more money and greater opportunities than our predecessors could even have dreamt of, so in theory we should be happier but for many of us it doesn’t feel like that. The fact is that modern-day living is stressful, we are increasingly connected by technology and yet disconnected from nature. [Check out my website page on “Inner Voice: No 8 – Connect with Nature.” for more on this topic.] Our friendships are becoming more widely stretched and more superficial as we chat online but not in person. Workplaces are increasingly controlled by multinational corporations making it more difficult to see the direct results, and the benefits of our labour in the way that our ancestors did. This has all led to a general sense of disconnection and sadly a decline in our mental health. Apparently more than three quarters of visits to the doctor now seem to be stress related in one way or another.

Happiness A, B, C.

We cannot exert control over all of our life circumstances, but psychologists believe that making small changes to our daily lives, our outlook and attitude can have a significant effect on our emotional well-being. Remember that 40% element that involves our daily activities and other factors that are under our control. So, you can manage that 40% and increase your happiness quota: here are some 10 happier habits you might like to play with:

  1. Surround yourself with other happy people.
  2. Prioritise activities that make you feel good – block out some time in your diary.
  3. Take responsibility for your own happiness and don’t blame others when things go wrong.
  4. Get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly.
  5. Forgive yourself when you slip up. Think self-love and self-compassion.
  6. Take pleasure in the small, simple things.
  7. Don’t compare yourself to other people but welcome the success of others.
  8. Get out into nature regularly.
  9. Be resilient when setbacks hit. Cry – get it out – then get back on track.
  10. Give to others through kindness, compliments and donations.
  11. Connect with some of the activities that you used to enjoy as a child.

Look at a picture of yourself as child and ask, “Okay, let’s do something silly and fun, what do you have in mind?’’

That might be something like colouring or getting creative, having a water fight with friends. Tuning in and dancing to some rousing upbeat music. On a warm evening go outside lie on a blanket and gaze up at the stars. In summer-time buy yourself an ice cream, go feed the ducks on the pond. Bounce on a trampoline – have some tickle time – remember being tickled with a feather as a child – that light playful touch can trigger laughter. Go for skipping through some fields, whist blowing bubbles. Play hide and seek or hop-scotch. Experience awe when viewing some breath-taking spectacle, this gives us an instant lift and shifts your mental perspective: look at a picture of the Northern lights or a picture of dolphins leaping joyously out of the sea. Look for the silver lining in every cloud the sky.

Initial results with positive ‘Be Happy” interventions have been promising but sustaining them is tough, so instilling habits is ideal. Another key is the fit or how well the exercise or practice matches the person because if it feels contrived and you’re forcing it against your grain you’ll be less likely to do it anyway. However, the biggest factor may be getting over the idea that happiness is fixed and realising instead that sustained effort can boost it. One of the things that repeatedly came up in  studies was that it’s not necessarily money that makes you happier, in fact in studies of rich people the levels of happiness were not greater, in fact when psychologists study what makes people happy they find that being kind to others makes people happier and people only need moments of compassion to build upon because there is the positive feedback loop: when you do a kind deed you become happier which makes it more likely that you’ll do another kind act like help your neighbour carry in their groceries or take your mum out for lunch. The central idea now is that practising compassion to be happy replaces the old material and accomplishment driven concept of getting more is better. The old energy and way of doing things was to strive for money and acquire things and take practical steps to get there, to obtain this or that – an endless shopping list, perhaps? Now times are shifting, and we’re about to become less materialistic and more aware of sustainability, giving something back rather than just taking.

Another reason for revisiting happiness is that it is a desirable state, since it raises our vibration, and everything is energy after all. Philosophers, since the very dawn of time have sought the answer to that most fundamental of questions – Why are we here? The answers their deep thinking and varied hypotheses have come up with are as disparate as we, as individuals, are. Having read and studied many of these philosopher’s arguments, it has always seemed to me that there are some over-arching themes – we, as individuals, are meant overall to be happy. If we accept, as I do, that we are spiritual beings merely undertaking this human journey, then we intuitively know that this life is not the be-all and end-all of existence. This human experience is just one small journey on our spiritual travels.

At the onset I mentioned World Happiness Day, which was started in 2011 by philanthropist, activist, statesman and prominent United Nations special adviser Jayme Illien to inspire, mobilise and advance the cause of the “global happiness movement”. In 2011 the United Nations agreed to declare March 20th, each year as a special day designated to mark the importance of happiness to humanity. For this reason, alone, it should signify to us that happiness is a state that is beneficial to embrace, celebrate and ultimately to be sought by every human being.

We are meant to be happy! And yet, so few of us actually are. Just as a matter of interest, I decided to look at the happiness register that categorises countries each year by their level of happiness, just to see if there was a common thread that could tell us why some societies are intrinsically happier than others. The latest happiness register lists the top ten happiest countries in the world in 2018. They are as follows:

  1. Finland
  2. Norway
  3. Denmark
  4. Iceland
  5. Switzerland
  6. Netherlands
  7. Canada
  8. New Zealand
  9. Sweden
  10. Australia

It’s a fascinating list, isn’t it? The first thing, obviously, that jumps out at us is that the top four countries in the world when it comes to happiness, are all Nordic countries, in Scandinavia and with Sweden coming in at number nine, you could conclude that Scandinavia has got to be the place to live if you want to be happy. In fact, it seems that the US is in a period of happiness slippage as America is dropping down the league rankings. I have no doubt there are a hundred and one reasons why these tough, Nordic peoples appear to be the happiest human beings on the planet but with their long, cold, winters and their brief but beautiful summers, one thought does resonate with me. Given the nature of their location, and climate, they, as a people, have by necessity come to rely on themselves and their immediate families for their joy and their happiness. In the Scandi countries they have deep respect for family time, they work productively yet have famously generous paternity leave – fully-paid 9 months off for mothers and 3 months for fathers – compare that with 12 weeks unpaid leave in the US. Plus, they believe that it’s important to take holidays and they use their 25 days off – whereas in the US the average 16 days often get banked and lost. Also, in contrast are the attitudes to health and well-being. Scandinavians to an extent are obsessed with being outdoors and have some incredible scenery on the doorstep, the saying goes there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. The Swedes for instance have a mantra of moderation: LAGOM (Just the right amount), whereas the US is more geared towards extremes than the concept of balance which is central to many Scandinavians.

You could certainly argue, looking at the top ten countries on the list, that wealth and prosperity plays a big part in this happiness – but if that was the case, why isn’t the United States or even the oil-rich Gulf States on the top of that list. The US actually ranks at No. 18, and Saudi Arabia comes in at No. 33. Wealth also doesn’t explain why a relatively poor country like Costa Rica came in at 13th on the list or Mexico and Chile at 24th and 25th respectively. Certainly, the top ten countries on the list are all western, progressive, liberal democracies, which may go some way to telling us that this is the political flavour under which happiness can flourish well. They, in the main, have very generous social programs, and employment is very pro-family.

Arguably, it may have a lot to do with these “Happy Nations” having a high genetic set point, plus how they manage the stuff they can control. They have excellent education, healthcare systems, high average income levels, but they also take personal responsibility for staying in good shape, pulling their weight in society and being appreciative. The Danes have a concept of social bonding and belonging which they call HYGGE (Coziness and comfortable conviviality).

In other words, they CHOOSE to be happy. Or perhaps happiness is a by-product of their contribution to building and maintaining a well-functioning society.

Canada, New Zealand and Australia, as Commonwealth colonies, have always had a reputation for “punching above their weight” in world affairs. I think the same isolationism experienced by the Scandinavians and the need to prove themselves on the world stage, especially to their ex-colonial masters be it in global conflict, in sport, or in technological innovation, is what has propelled these countries both to be self-sufficient and innately happy, as a people. The Netherlands, of course, is a country born of the sea. The Dutch people have had to struggle for survival from the relentless encroachment of their land, by the sea (which is only being exacerbated by climate change) as well as aggression from neighbours. Again, this collective self-sufficiency shines through, whilst relying on themselves but having a sense of community and cohesion at the same time, the “Happy Nations” are plugging into the bio-feedback loop.

If the Americans really want to live the American Dream, they could move to Denmark perhaps?

Just for a moment, stop and imagine (as John Lennon would have said) a world where every individual woke up in the morning and made a conscious decision to be happy, that day. What a change that would make on the global stage. It’s not that difficult to do and I’ve given you some practical ideas on how to achieve that here and in the previous two articles. So, my final advice to you today – you guessed it:

CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY – today, tomorrow and every day from now on.

Make your happiness-fix your new must-have habit. Have fun!

If you would like to check out the previous two blogs on Happiness, or some of our other blogs, they can be found here:

HAPPINESS: Part 1:

HAPPINESS: Part 2:

PRECOGNITION: Part 1:

PRECOGNITION: Part2: 

Do also consider signing up to our website where you will receive notification every time a new blog is posted as well as exciting promotional opportunities and the chance to win prizes from time to time. You can sign up here:

Be sure to check out my novel, Spirit of Prophecy, which delves into many of the topics mentioned in my blogs, through a fictionalized “whodunit” mystery featuring, horses, magic, psychics, karma and even a touch of wicca. It’s incredibly exciting and you can read all about it here: SPIRIT OF PROHECY:

 

 

In our last blog, I introduced you to the notion of happiness and told you it was a choice, so today I’d like to tell you how exactly you can make that choice and make it stick.

First of all start thinking about being happy – what is it that makes you happy? It’s different for everyone, so what works for me to bring me to my “happy place”, won’t necessarily work for you. That’s one of the beauties of our uniqueness; we all have our different perspectives on life and “Viva la différence!” It might be something as simple as sitting in the garden reading a good book, or walking on the beach in the moonlight with your partner, or skydiving or just about anything that puts you at peace; that puts you in that land where nothing can hurt you or upset you. As I intimated, I like to call that “my happy place”. For me personally, it is actually sitting on a beach listening to the sound of the waves lapping against the shore.

This “happy place” is incredibly important, because it is where you need to go when circumstances threaten to overwhelm you and send you spiralling down into the abyss of pity, sadness or misery. Whenever I feel stressed, upset, or about to lose my cool with someone, I mentally walk away – if possible I close my eyes and transport myself to “my happy place”. I swear that a couple of minutes visualizing the scene that never fails to fill me with peace and happiness is almost always enough to avoid the looming confrontation, or the silly arguments that start inside my head. Rather than get upset, I CHOOSE to turn away and refresh myself with happiness. It works… and the great thing is you can build up a bank of these happy experiences that you can call on at any time. You’re only limited by your imagination.         

The second piece of practical advice I can give you on happiness is to stop trying to change the world, or others, all by yourself. Once we accept and fully understand that there is only one person in the world that we have any real control over – OURSELVES – then we can stop allowing other people’s dramas and the sorry state of our society to destroy our happiness. I’ve mentioned in the past that I am a great believer in the “butterfly effect”. In other words what we do to change ourselves individually can collectively, change the world.

It’s a really simple philosophy – if I can’t actually change it myself, I won’t let it influence my mood. If I can change it, then I’ll do something about it. What springs to mind immediately as I write this is the prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr and adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous. It really is the smartest piece of advice you could ever take on board to lead a happy life:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,”

“The courage to change the things I can,”

“And the wisdom to know the difference.”

A very simple rule to live by and one that will grant you peace of mind.

We live in a world of duality. Sadly there is great suffering, pain, torment and sadness on our planet, but equally there is intense joy, happiness, love and beauty all around us. Individually we may feel powerless to change the terrible situations of our fellow human beings, but collectively through our thoughts, words and actions, anything is possible.

Embrace the “can do”, reject the “too hard” and your spirit will soar to the heavens, dragging everyone else, kicking and screaming, along behind you. Be the one that people look at, marvel and say; “Wow, doesn’t he/she have it all! What a together person.”

You really can be that person, you know. All you have to do is to learn to love yourself unconditionally and realize that you are a unique, talented individual whose contribution to this world is valid and valuable. You have everything inside of you that you need to be an awesome, fulfilled and most of all happy human being.       

My next tip is related to the previous one: Surround yourself with people that will uplift you, support you and fill you with pleasure. We all know how hard it is to be positive and happy when we are with someone who grumbles, moans and complains about everything. Very soon we find ourselves dragged down to their level, agreeing with them and sympathizing with their plight. This is a sure way to sabotage your happiness, so beware of such friends or family members. Similarly it is hard to be down, sad and miserable when our friends are full of joy, bubbly and expressive. We get dragged along with them on their exciting journey. I’ve said before; we, as individuals, emotionally are the average of our five closest friends; so chose those five closest friends wisely.

Now, I’m not suggesting you jettison all your dear friends or relatives just because they can be a bit grumpy at times but try and deal with their moods and attitudes differently. When they complain about something, look for the positive in that situation (there always is one – even if it might be hard to find sometimes) and point that out to them. If they need advice – then sure, advise them; if they need a shoulder to cry on – by all means provide that shoulder (that’s what friends do); if they just need to talk, to get their problems off their chest – then absolutely just listen to them. BUT here is what NOT to do; do not take their problems, concerns and anger onto your shoulders. They are not your problems; you don’t have to allow yourself to become emotionally involved in your friend’s issues. You do what you need to do and then move on. Do not dwell on their problems and do not buy into their sadness and their pain. The absolute best thing you can do in that situation is to offer positive solutions – solutions just like these that work for you.    

The final actual tip I want to give you today is a simple and easy step that I use and that takes so little time to implement and yet is so incredibly powerful to set you up for your day ahead.

When you wake up in the morning; don’t immediately jump out of bed, put on the coffee, prepare your things for work or school, or begin planning your day and imagining the difficult things you need to prepare for. When you wake up in the morning – don’t do anything! Just lie there in bed, with your eyes closed, if need be, to stop your partner from kicking you out of bed and telling you to get the coffee brewing. Just lie there and for five, ten, or even fifteen minutes just picture your day the exact way you want it to go. Visualize that important meeting you have with a client. See the client shake hands and accept the deal; picture your teacher congratulating you on that great paper you submitted; see the table where you will sit and enjoy your lunch and coffee during your break; imagine the joy on your kid’s faces when you walk into the house that evening. It doesn’t matter what the day ahead holds for you – even if it is just a routine day, picture the little things; your co-worker complimenting you on your outfit; getting a good parking spot; finishing those letters you’ve been putting off.

The whole point of this exercise is to “create” the day you desire for yourself – the day that will make you happy, content and at peace with everyone. In the last couple of minutes before you do leap into action; just visit your “happy place”, revel in the memories of the moment. By the time you are ready to jump into the shower and begin this day, your mind will already be in the place it needs to be for this day to be successful, happy and purposeful. Do it every day and then every day your creations will occur. It’s that simple.   

I want to finish today with one final thought: You don’t need any other person’s validation to be happy. Nothing anyone can say or think about you should ever make you either happy or unhappy. We are the architects of our own lives – not other people. Stop letting other people’s opinions, words or actions rob you of your happiness! You are you and you stand alone, complete, and unique in yourself. You can be happy regardless of what others think of you. I want to give you a really good example of what I mean here. This blog that I lovingly compile every week is a perfect example. I have no idea how many people actually read it (I do know how many people visit my site, but I don’t know exactly what they read). Now that should upset and worry me, under conventional thinking. I mean, what is the point of writing and sweating my thoughts onto paper, if nobody actually cares enough to want to read them.

 

BUT truly it doesn’t matter to me. I write this blog first and foremost because it is my passion – it’s what makes me happy – It is one of my happy places that I love to visit. I don’t need the validation of others to make this exercise worthwhile for me. Of course, I’m human and I love it when someone takes the time to tell me that I touched them, or I made a difference (and a couple have, which is amazing) but the bottom line is, if the only person that ever read this was me, I’d still be happy. I want to make a difference in my own small way; but my worth and my happiness is not dependent on the validation of other people, or their opinions of what I do. 

Why? 

BECAUSE I CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY! GIVE IT A TRY – IT’S AWESOME!  

Please do consider signing up for our website where you will receive notification of new blogs, great promotional opportunities and the chance to win prizes, from time to time. You can join here:  

Be sure to check out my best-selling novel, Spirit of Prophecy, which is an exciting “whodunit” mystery woven around many of the themes I’ve been covering in these blogs. You can find, Spirit of Prophecy, here: http://bit.ly/2LeRJ84

 

You may wish to check out some of our previous blogs, which can be accessed here:

Happiness – That Elusive Dream (Part 1) 

Precognition – Real? You Be The Judge (Part 2)

Precognition – Real? You Be The Judge (Part 1)

Attitude Upgrade (Part 2)

Attitude Upgrade (Part 1)

 

 

Happy days! And welcome to this week’s blog, where we look at what I would say is an indispensible pillar to a successful, purpose-filled, and most importantly of all – A HAPPY LIFE!

Happiness is such an ethereal word – hard to capture, hard to define and perhaps even harder to practice on a daily basis. I mean to say, how many times have you gotten out of bed in the morning dreading what the day had in store for you? Not at all surprisingly, on those particular days, guess what? The day presented you with all the misgivings that you thought it would. Probably, without even realizing it, you created your own self-fulfilling prophecy – that’s awesome! Why is it awesome to have a shitty day? Well, simply put, if you can create for yourself the exact same shitty day that you thought lay in store for you – well newsflash people – you can turn that around one hundred and eighty degrees and create for yourself, the perfect, happy day.

Now before you start jumping up and down and thinking this woman must be in some sort of drug-heightened nirvana to suggest that happiness is that simple; let me assure you that the only thing I am high on is – LIFE! Anyone and yes, I do mean YOU can embrace happiness if you really want to. 

Absolutely the very first thing we need to get clear in our minds is that happiness IS actually a choice. It is a personal choice that we can make every single day. We weren’t born with a permanent scowl on our faces – we just made the choice to view the world from that perspective.

I’m certain we can all come up with oodles of justifications why we should be unhappy;

  • “Our job sucks”,
  • “Our spouse doesn’t understand us”,
  • “I never have enough money”,
  • “My kids are a pain”, and so on and so on; ad infinitum.

But… what, on our beautiful green earth, is the benefit to us and to everyone around us from choosing to be unhappy? It is the most pointless of decisions that we can make, and yet regularly do make. Many of us continue on, blissfully, every day, making this incredibly odd decision to not be happy.

“That’s just insanity!”

It reminds me of a very famous quotation by one of my favourite thinkers; the original Henry Ford. He said; “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Being unhappy has brought you what exactly? More unhappiness! Right? So isn’t it time you tried something new? Try happiness instead and marvel at the quick turnaround in every aspect of your life. Your state of happiness or otherwise directly impacts on EVERY area of your life.

It seems such a simple thing; choosing to be happy, and yet so many of us just don’t understand what it is we should do to actually make that choice. Really and truly it isn’t that difficult to make some small adjustments to your routine and your outlook to make your life happier and more fulfilled.

Make sure you check back for Part 2 of this Happiness Blog, when I’ll be giving you some very specific and practical steps on how to acquire that most elusive of all emotions: HAPPINESS!

In the meantime, please do check out my best-selling novel, Spirit of Prophecy in which many of the notions and concepts I’ve covered in my blogs are woven into a fantastic, “whodunit” mystery that revolves around Olympic Champion Three-Day Eventing. You can find Spirit of Prophecy, here on my website: http://bit.ly/2LeRJ84

Spirit of Prophecy by J.J Hughes - Book Launch

You may wish to check out some of our previous blogs, which can be accessed here: 

Precognition – Real? You Be The Judge (Part 2) 

Precognition – Real? You Be The Judge (Part 1) 

Attitude Upgrade (Part 2) 

Attitude Upgrade (Part 1) 

Karma – More Than You Thought

Fear! Why? 

An Attitude of Gratitude

Karma – It’s Gonna Get Ya

Three-Day-Eventing: A Horse’s Pentathlon? What’s That All About Then?