be happy


A friend recently asked me what I ultimately wanted out of my life.  She was probing at my goals, hopes and dreams, and aspirations.  I could have gone into detail after detail about how I wanted to be this and that and oh that other thing too.  How I’ve dreamed of creating and healing and traveling.  Spending time with my children and my family, taking vacations, and building a beautiful home.  How I wanted it all!  But my answer turned out to be one simple word – happiness.  Of all the things in the entire world, happiness to me is the number one thing I want out of  life.

I don’t mean the materialistic “more, more, more” happiness.  The kind that is pushed upon us daily.  This sort of pop culture, money-mongering, consumer-obsessed world that I can never keep up with, nor would I want to.  I mean the mind and gut wrenching, dig deep inside myself, pure happiness.  The kind that flows through our bodies and hearts, and transcends blissfully onto others.  A happiness that centers upon connecting and giving.

Maintaining a happy life means different things to different people.  I try to maintain happiness in my own life by being consciously aware of my presence, actions, and impacts.

Below are six tips I’ve compiled to help create happiness in my life:

1. Understand that you can be happy, you deserve to be happy, and you should be happy.  It’s so much easier to appreciate the world around you with a smile on your face.  (Your kids will certainly appreciate it too.)

2. Actively set and pursue your goals. If something goes awry (and it will), don’t give up.  Use that energy to push forward and not to wallow in self-pity.  Nothing worth fighting for is ever easy.

3. Surround yourself with positive people and positive influences.  Your circle of friends, co-workers, and fellow moms have an exceedingly great influence in your life.  Leave the negativity behind.

4. Take the time to turn inward and learn more about yourself as a woman, a mother, a friend.  Recognize and focus on what fulfills and inspires you.

5. Mainstream your health.  Actively participate in supporting your body’s health and your family’s health through proper nutrition, exercise, and meditation.

6. Be thankful for all you have been given.  Blessings come in all different shapes and sizes.  (This includes over-flowing laundry baskets, work deadlines, and messy bedrooms.)

Happiness may not be easy to define into words, but it’s easy to find.  It surrounds us every single day.  It is the bright yellow sun in a big blue sky.  It is a thunderstorm in a sea of clouds.  It is counting your newborn’s ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes.  It is kissing boo-boos and playing hide and seek.  It is making jelly sandwiches and doing cartwheels on the front lawn.  It is holding hands and counting to ten.  It is taking a deep breath and jumping in.

Happiness is giving others around you the gifts you have found within yourself.

Happiness is being a mother, a wife, a friend.

Happiness is me.

The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith

“The Paradoxical Commandments” were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders.  They had hung on the wall of Mother Teresa’s children’s home in Calcutta, India.  More info here.

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

any direction you choose

I’m not a fan of negativity, pessimism, glass half empty rhetoric, or anything of the sort. I used to think that most others felt the same way. Then I delved a little deeper and I was kinda surprised at what I found. The mommy world certainly has its fill of Debbie Downers, controversy seekers, and complainers.

As a mom, I try my hardest to do the right things for my family. I read empowering books, set goals for success, and have a positive attitude with myself and others. As you already know, it’s extremely hard to keep this outlook all of the time. In fact, I’m quite sure that it’s probably impossible. Especially when I’m Owning it and OMing it all freaking day long! That being said, I do what I can to keep myself from going over to the dark side. Motherhood is certainly not always easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

Some moms often wonder how to stay positive in their thoughts and actions, especially when times are tough or when they’re unhappy or unsatisfied. Some moms even find it hard to be positive when things are well. This is when we start comparing our lives to others, judging and criticizing others (often to make ourselves feel better), and thriving on being negative: Whoa is me, the sky is falling! You’re an overachiever! blah blah blah. Sometimes we start to sound like kindergarteners!

Okay mommies, real change comes from within:

1. Recognize where you are and focus on where you want to be.

2. Make your decisions with positive intent and purpose.

3. Choose to surround yourself with positive, successful (work, mommyhood, friendship) and inspiring people.

4. Offer the best you have to others.

5. Blaze your own trail.

The road to negativity and mediocrity is easy.

dr. lisa