January 8, 2011

Resolve to be happy in 2011

Posted in Between Us column, Health, Spirituality, Women at 9:43 pm by dinaheng

My eight-year-old niece Emily and I were working on a jigsaw puzzle when she asked, “Do you like your work?”

I said yes, and she asked, “Would you rather be a full-time aunt, or keep working part-time and be a part-time aunt?”

I could try to explain that I work full-time, and am always her aunt, even if she only sees me several times a year. But in her mind, since I don’t live in the same city as she does and am not always available to play with her, I’m not a full-time aunt.

Life is a series of compromises, choosing one thing over another every day. The question is, are we happy with the choices we make?

Most of us think we’ll be happier if we lose that 10 lbs., get married/get divorced, get a new job, make more money. The list could go on and on. But real happiness doesn’t come with just changing our physical selves or surroundings.

True happiness comes with loving ourselves more, something that isn’t always easy to do.

When we make mistakes, how often do we mentally beat ourselves up over them? When we imagine the future, do we see a rosy picture, or a drab one? When we look at ourselves in the mirror, is the first thought a positive or negative one?

Here are a few suggestions for creating a happier 2011:

1. Spend more time with people you love, and who love you. Connecting with others strengthens the heart and gives life meaning.

2. Share your gifts and talents with the world. The more you give to others, the more good  will come back to you.

3. Treat yourself to a healthier body. If you hate exercise, and love shopping, park the car and walk to every store you love. If you hate dieting, eat whatever you want in small portions and drink three times as much water with each meal.

4. Find time to completely de-stress every day.  Try yoga, tai chi, meditation, massage, or whatever gives you a sense of peace.

5. Get enough sleep. Your body needs the rest, and others will thank you for being less grouchy.

6. Forgive yourself… and others. Holding grudges hurts no one more than yourself.

7. Play more. Do something that makes you laugh and lightens your spirit.

8. Let go of your opinions, and hold on to love. It would be a boring world if everyone thought alike, and getting along with others is easier than arguing, unless arguments are what you really want.

9. Imagine your greatest good coming to you every day. You’ll be amazed at how powerful thoughts really are.

10. Deepen your faith. No matter how you define Divine Wisdom, listen to your heart, and you will hear God speak.

Life may seem like a jigsaw puzzle at times, missing pieces that would make it truly complete. But the happier we choose to be, the more we’ll discover that the pieces were there all along.



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