How Do I Change My Life?

Are you happy? Please note that I'm not asking if you FEEL happy. I'm asking if you ARE happy. Happiness does not have to be a fleeting emotion that we feel when everything's coming up roses. Instead, it is something you can have, right now, no matter what's going on in your life.

Happiness is a founding value of our culture. Remember that oft-quoted phrase in the Declaration of Independence? Our founding fathers asserted we have the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." However, so often we let life carry us along without examining whether or not we are truly happy, healthy, and ENJOYING the way we are living! We can be so involved in survival that we forget about revival--about recreating our lives in a way that will fulfill us.

It takes courage to look at your life honestly and to (re)evaluate it, making necessary changes for your health and happiness. Four years ago, I nearly died of an anaphylactic reaction and spent a long week in the hospital followed by several months of recovery time; this experience was a huge turning point for me. I felt that I'd been given the opportunity to "hang out" a little longer on this earth to accomplish my mission. As a result, I drastically changed my diet, my attitude, my friends, my family dynamic, and even my marital status. That life-threatening experience forced me to look at what I needed to release and reshape in my life to be truly happy and fulfilled.

Yes, changing your life sometimes feels frightening, sometimes like an adventure. You can feel thrilled about exploring a new planet while also wondering if your oxygen supply will hold out. Yet we can muster up the courage to change. As Martin Luther King, Jr. affirmed, ?Forces that threaten to negate life must be challenged by courage, which is the power of life to affirm itself in spite of life?s ambiguities. This requires the exercise of a creative will that enables us to hew out a stone of hope from a mountain of despair.?

I invite you to try these methods of exercising your creative will with courage:

* Affirm aloud, ?I, (your name!), choose love instead of fear. The Universe supports me in living a happy, blessed life.?? Examine what causes you pain or discomfort in your life and admit how you may be addicted to that pain. What kind of benefit are you getting by your addiction to that pain? For example, if you've pushed yourself until you are sick, what do you get by being sick? Do you get to rest? Do you enjoy more attention from others? How could you get those benefits WITHOUT having to be in pain?

* Make healthier, life-affirming, self-affirming choices today. Could you meditate? Could you exercise and get those feel-good endorphins circulating through your body? Could you have lunch with a dear friend? Could you join a support group for whatever you are going through? Show the Universe and the "scaredy cat" part of yourself that you are choosing courage and love over fear and pain.

* Write a gratitude list and add to it daily, including even little things. A conscious, daily practice of gratitude drowns despair! My favorite time to do this is at night when I take a shower before bed. I simply count my blessings and imagine all the negativity, irritations, and annoyances of the day going down the drain, along with anything I'm holding against someone else. Make your gratitude and forgiveness time a part of your regular hygiene routine and you'll find yourself not only happier, but also joyful. Just like brushing your teeth, washing and combing your hair, and moisturizing your body, this process is your spiritual hygiene/exfoliation process in which you shed that which you don't need and nourish that which makes you radiant. (By the way, enjoy people wondering what you're doing that makes you so radiant! It's good for them!)

Courage isn't something that is given to us overnight. It's a quality we cultivate regularly in the face of problems, hardships, disappointments, and loss. Courage brings us happiness because it creates happiness within ourselves. Instead of running from our problems, we need to EMBRACE them (yes, you heard that right), move through them, and vanquish them. It IS possible and you CAN do it.

When you put a deposit of courage in your integrity bank account, you emerge a happier, healthier person with the strength of character and vision to make our life what you want and deserve it to be. Remember, you are the person in your life who deserves happiness the most. So go on... Enough talk. Now make it happen!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Barnsley Brown is a professional speaker and coach who loves helping busy professionals create balance and prosperity. Want to have 2+ more hours every day for who and what you love? Find out how with Dr. Brown's fun, info-packed report, "How to Overcome Overwhelm in Seven Easy Steps" at http://spirited-solutions.com/freebies/reports/