That Deeper Feeling

Okay. I’m going to go ahead and share this. 

This is a judgement-free zone, right? 

Ugh! I’m just going to go ahead and tell the story. 

It’s challenging. But I know it will help others… I think… I hope. 

Okay. Here goes…

There was this girl, many, many years ago, whom I fell in love with, before she even ever uttered one word to me. 

Yes. In. Love. 

Nope. No. Words. 

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She had a captivating energy that spoke loud and clear, inspiring a delicious combination of excitement and hope to swirl through my body. She was beyond words… she was a FEELING

For decades (Yes! I said decades!) she playfully danced her way into and out of my world, each time surprising me with a sweet gift that fed my spirit, causing me to smile from ear-to-ear and laugh from my soul. And just like that, she would be gone, leaving me to face FEELINGS of sadness and disappointment (among others) alone.

Now, because I believe in transparency, I will admit she sometimes popped up and I ignored her, just too caught up in an argument with a friend, thinking about a disappointing meeting or scrolling social media feeds to notice.

I will also admit that I knew I wasn’t the only one she shared time with. I knew many, many others who spent countless hours, days and weeks chasing her, praying for her to grace them with her presence. Countless philosophers, dignitaries and witty characters spoke of how to find her, to hold onto her, but maybe it was Nathaniel Hawthorne that spoke most accurately about my, no OUR beloved girl, Happiness…

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“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

And so it was, one day I decided to stop pursuing my beloved Happiness. I decided to allow myself to see more than the beauty of our short moments together and instead look deeper into each experience, allowing it to fill every part of my being. 

And it was then that I CONNECTED to Joy… 

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Although happiness may look different for each of us, one might say the search for Happiness  is a venture equally shared among the masses. I mean, who hasn’t found themselves saying, at least once, something like, “I’ll be happy when _____” or “If _____ happens, I’ll be happy.”

We fill in the blanks with a plethora of plans and ideas, turning Happiness into this life-long scavenger hunt, complete with a myriad of twists and turns, ups and downs. We collect one object, person or experience after another, along the way picking up the clues to the next step in reaching the elusive Happiness finish line. 

But, Happiness goes deeper than this FEELING we have come to believe can come and go based on how many items we have checked off on our scavenger hunt list. The happiness encountered along our path CONNECTS us to Joy on a deeper level, providing a Divine opportunity to feed, to nourish Joy.

You see, when that FEELING of Happiness arrives to nourish the truth in our heart, the Joy that lives within us, the Joy that is our birthright, expands beyond our wildest dreams. 

When that FEELING of Happiness fades, Joy abides, waiting to remind us that there is still fullness and life within us, even when we feel as though it has gone. Joy is a part of our heart, our soul. 

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Are you ready to deepen your connection to Joy? 

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Try Something New - In today’s society, it is easy to be consumed by our day-to-day habits and plans — work, school, family, etc. Sometimes it feels like those obligations never stop. But, when we step outside of the comfort zone of all we know and get curious about trying something new, we open the door to endless opportunities to get to know ourselves on a deeper level. And, when we are more in touch with our inner self/being our Joy has the opportunity to expand.

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Unplug and Reconnect - On any given day we could easily lose count of the number of women, children and men we see with their head down, staring at one device or another. We are more connected to our devices than we are to our people, keeping us from being present to hear that great joke at dinner or feel the intimacy of our partner’s touch as we watch TV. Allowing ourselves to be fully present for each moment allows us to create positive memories that we can turn to when faced with difficult emotional spaces. 

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Yes. Thank you! - We are often more-inclined to focus on what went wrong than on what went right. Doing this reinforces old stories or messages that suggest unhappiness is easier to find than happiness. Choosing to express gratitude for even the smallest things invites in those feelings of Happiness that then feed Joy. And when we are nurturing Joy regularly, we are better able to pull ourselves out of those unhappy ruts/moments with greater ease, less effort. 

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A Few Sweet Nothings Go A Long way - Sometimes we forget who we are. It is often easier to speak life into those around us than ourselves. Committing a few minutes of our daily “mirror time” to look ourselves square in the eyes and speak “sweet nothings” to ourselves, shifts our energy from average to awesome!

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Self-Care For the Win! - We can focus on what those around us want and need, but how often do we, without guilt, focus on what WE need for ourselves AND THEN make time for that. Self-care can be as simple as a bubble bath or nature walk. Focus on what speaks to your needs as an individual.