Have you ever noticed how easily we feel happiness when we are around a puppy?
Research has also shown that owning a dog is good for your overall wellbeing—a dog never judges and is always there to listen.
A dog does not have requirements to give you love. It simply does. Who else becomes wildly excited to see you because you have been missed for the mere minute you left the room?
Each of my dogs (and sometimes cats… yes, it’s a bit of a zoo in here at times) greets me with soulful, loving eyes every time I look at them. My dogs don’t care that I lost it 5 minutes ago, that I made multiple mistakes, or that I have put on a few extra pounds.
Their response to us is void of blame or needing approval.
Dogs are mirrors into our very soul.
Because dogs remind us, on a soul level, that which brings us to a state of utter happy-happy-joy-joy is loving ourselves wholeheartedly—no shoulda’s, coulda’s, woulda’s, or need for any approval or justification outside ourselves to feel happy.
Happiness: An inside job
Happiness is a state of being. When we divert too far away from it, we will go through great effort to feel it again.
It feels good to feel happy. We feel light, carefree, and it feels so darn yummy to laugh! Our endorphins and other feel-good hormones fire off and life feel so sweet in the happy-filled moments.
And, happiness many times is a shared event. We are often in company of others having heart-felt connecting moments with them. Even if life is not marching how we desire, when we experience happiness, it all feels good right there and then.
What we forget is that these moments open us to the state of happiness already inside ourselves. We forget that it is always there waiting for us (just like my beloved dogs). It’s not the person or the circumstance that provided our happy, it was us giving ourselves the permission to crack open and let it out.
When we practice happiness from the inside out, we open to knowing that we can access and tap into it at any time. The key to this opening being Self-Love.
Self-Love being the practice of seeing ourselves through eyes of acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness. We don’t judge ourselves for not knowing any better or making choices out of our ego’s need for approval or being liked.
We then derive happiness from accepting all our parts—the good, the bad, and the not so pretty. From here, we also nurture integrity with ourselves—when what we say, do and even think, are in harmony despite what the ego mind demands.
“Happiness is when what you think,
what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Our choices and actions are then based on love, not fear. No worry about others accepting us or loving us more or less, because of who we are.
And, as a reminder happiness begets more happiness… love begets more love. When we love and feel happy, we attract more of this from the world around us.
How to create more Happiness and Self-Love?
- Don’t believe everything you think. Just because you think it, it doesn’t make it real. The brain is the great creator and it will create stories that are not true.
- Forgive YOU. You know that thing you did one time (or maybe a few times) that made you feel bad, embarrassed, or ashamed? It’s time to let that go for reals. And, as a reminder, you did the best you knew how back then. No Monday morning quarterbacking! Everything is a learning experience.
- Release the need for approval. Now this doesn’t mean you don’t consider the consequences of your behavior or choices have on others. What it does mean is that you can be the sweetest, juiciest summer peach, and someone will just not like peaches.
- Let yourself feel it all. It’s healthy and normal to feel unwanted and have negative feelings. It’s all part of being human and all ways to practice acceptance and self-love.
- Reach out to family, friends, healers, therapists, coaches—whoever you need to help you through the tough times. You are not expected to go through them alone. To ask for help is a huge act of love.
- Shake and move your miraculous body. Moving our body helps the body relax, release toxins, and fire up the feel-good hormones.
Make sure it happens to you and that it happens often.
Love… and Happiness,
Here’s how I usually start my daily pursuit of happiness.
Want to dive in deeper and get a little help making happiness happen?
See ya there!