choose happiness

Here’s the news. I’m focusing on being happy, and I think it’s working!

For some time one of my main goals has been to find a life partner, but to no avail. Regardless of the amount of energy I put into making a relationship work, I had absolutely no control over the other person’s emotional availability or capacity for intimacy.

So I have simply shifted my main goal to being happy –something I can control and succeed at. Duh!

As you might have heard, researchers believe that we can actually CHOOSE HAPPINESS. By implementing certain behaviors and habits, we can raise our happiness baseline (our genetic disposition for happiness) by 40%.

My shift towards happiness began at Thanksgiving while I was working on Negative Space. Experiencing FLOW, being fully engaged in creativity, work or play, is one of the habits that increases happiness.

Since then I’ve also developed a new enthusiasm for exercise. Exercise actually gives me a happiness high, so I’m not procrastinating about going to the gym anymore. In fact I haven’t been procrastinating much at all these days.

I’m meditating every day and being mindful in my life as much as possible. Whenever I notice my thoughts obsessing about the past or future, I choose to stop and I bring myself back to my body and my breath.

I’m changing my routines, driving different routes, exploring my neighborhood more, going to a cafe to write instead of staying isolated in my studio.

I’m balancing my creative work, time on the computer, and time alone with going out, socializing with friends, and meeting new people.

I don’t feel the need to please people as much as I used to, because my first priority is pleasing myself!

I’m dating for fun, and keeping things simple. I’m not focusing on any one person, or striving to make relationships happen, but am enjoying whatever the other person is able to bring to the table. I’m interacting with a new sense of integrity and it feels great.

Finally I’m practicing gratitude and recognizing that I am a blessing to the people in my life, as much as I am blessed.

Here are two happiness mantras for the holidays. Play them both simultaneously for a mesmerizing double dose of well being.

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11 Responses to choose happiness

  1. Heather says:

    Thank you for a lovely inspiring and life-affirming post! “Mysterious grace”, as you define it in your response to a comment by Victor, is what we all seek. I am happy for you!

  2. blandina says:

    Sherri, I agree with everything you said. I made the same choices some time ago. People say I am selfish but what the hell, it is MY life!
    One day at a time, acceptance and stay in the now is all I need today.

  3. Deb says:

    On making yourself happy.
    I was reminded that I once asked my husband what attracted him to me in the first place. He said that I seemed to be a happy person, not all dripping drama like many girls he had dated. I had given up on finding a partner for life, coming off a rotten relationship, and had made my own happiness my number one goal. It was it’s own best reward.

    It’s an important turning point for you, and if more people had this
    revelation, there would be a lot fewer lonely seekers out there.

    This looked to friends and family like an unlikely match back in ’77.

    We remain, through the best and the worst of times, together – but we started out and found one another through our independently earned happiness with our selves, our life and our choices in life to date and going forward together.

  4. Rossie says:

    I’ve never seen the sense in trying to make a bad relationship work. If I had been trying to make a bad relationship work, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet my guy, who’s a really kind, genuine, nerdy, perfect dude. I wish you the best!

  5. Nancy L says:

    well. i will tell you one thing… you look beautiful.. shining from within.. so it’s working.. you look happy and peaceful.. you inspire me..

  6. Sherri what a great post…and a timely one. I believe happiness is a choice. We can choose to see the glass half full and we can’t change anyone but ourselves. Love seeing the mantra trailer too. I also agree that exercise helps with happiness as do inverted poses in yoga…Have a happy day.

  7. Victor says:

    Sherri, As always, I love your wisdom. Sometimes I have to force feed myself happiness (Mt. Tam helps a lot!). I have a sibling who, for years, has become so focused on finding a ‘soulmate’ that she has forgotten to be happy. I wish I could give her your perspective for Xmas. Happiest of Holidays to you.

    • I wish you could give your sister that insight too. I know how miserable she must feel at times. I’ve so been there. I don’t know how we are released from the desires that drive us. There are so many factors. The shift I’m feeling now is deeper than anything I’ve felt before. Some of it’s choice but a lot of it is mysterious grace.

  8. Cindy says:

    This is ooohh so good! I hear and understand everything you are saying.

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