Sunday, December 30, 2012

12/31/12—Manifesting Happiness

Today's Draw: Ace of Staves from the Nigel Jackson. What do you want the New Year to bring you? What does that mean in terms of what you have to do to get it? What are you willing to give up in order to experience more happiness?

Since this is the last post of 2012, I asked for a card to indicate what we should consider as we move forward into 2013. Although the Ace of Staves might normally mean new thoughts and ideas or communication, this one screams to me, "higher thought". Lifting ourselves up higher. 

Many will wish for more peace, joy and happiness as we enter the New Year. And those are fabulous things to hope for. But I think the real secret to getting those things is to first understand where they come from. They come from detaching ourselves from our egos...that part of us that seeks fulfillment and approval from things outside of ourselves. Happiness and peace come from letting go of the petty things that run through our minds and manifest in our actions. And they come from living in the moment, instead of obsessing over something that happened five minutes or five years ago. 

In other words, peace, joy and happiness do not just descend upon us as a divine gift from God, they're gifts we give ourselves through honest assessment and conscious choice. They come from being willing to let go of behaviors that ultimately leave us feeling empty, ashamed, angry, frustrated, etc. 

An example for me would be disengaging from drama. I've put a lot of effort into that in recent years. That sometimes means setting aside the need for being right in order to fulfill the need for peace. It sometimes means resisting the habit to take everything personally in order to create a new habit that leads to happiness. Sometimes it means looking away when you see some sort of juicy train wreck of a meltdown happening online. And it sometimes means clearing out friendships and affiliations that still support your old drama-loving ways. In short, it takes hard choices and work. 

That is the reality of finding things like happiness and peace. They don't come from the outside and swaddle you in their warm arms, making everything right. They come slowly, in phases, over the years as you lift your thoughts, words and deeds ever higher. 

Lately I've found that my lack of motivation and discipline have been fueling unhappiness. So that's what I've put out into the universe this year...a desire to build my motivation and discipline day by day so I can make more positive changes in my life. Discipline sounds like such an unappealing thing, but I find that it makes me feel grounded and good about myself. Doing this blog daily is a discipline, for example. Making your bed each morning is a discipline. Personally, I know that the happier times of my life were times where I had discipline, motivation and vision. A lack of vision has never been my problem, but the other two have. 

So, while trying to manifest more self-discipline may not sound as exciting as manifesting happiness, they're really the same, as far as I'm concerned. The person who asks for more happiness will be faced with countless opportunities this year to move away from ego and move toward their higher self. So it's six of one, half dozen of the other. But I think a key part of greeting those opportunities successfully is having the self knowledge and self honesty to even know what they look like. 

Had I focused on happiness, instead releasing drama, the past couple of years, I might have misinterpreted why all the juicy drama opportunities presented themselves to me. And I might have indulged more often, deciding that a bit of drama here and there makes me happy. And I'll admit, it's fun. I'm sure heroin is fun, too...haha. But ultimately, neither of them fuel long-term happiness.

So that's just something to consider as you think about how you want 2012 to be different from 2013. We all want to be happier, of course. But what is it that really blocks you feeling that way? Sometimes it's a behavior or habit that's hard to see. In actuality, it's probably a number of things. So it may serve you to look inside and really be straight with yourself about how you get in your own way. That way when the opportunities come along to choose happiness or the same-old, same-old, you'll know what those opportunities look like. 

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