Letter from Publisher: Choose Happiness
“Happiness is a choice,” is what I had been told all of my life. Growing up, I didn’t understand this perspective, and for the longest time believed that my happiness sprang from outside circumstances and from other people; that it was something that happened to me with no control on my part. Yet as life has continued to happen, I’ve learned that happiness is absolutely a choice. We often don’t realize our own innate power; each of us really is always free to choose how we initiate and respond to situations and circumstances. Some choices are clear, while others take contemplation and research. Either way, a choice exists. I believe that how we cultivate opportunities ultimately boils down to simply changing our interior environment, one thought at a time. Thoughts produce ideas and ideas generate action that can change anything; it begins with changing our perspective.
That’s not to say it’s always easy. At times feeling good is downright difficult, even to the point that sadness feels like no choice at all. My breast cancer diagnosis in 2007 initially left me feeling emotionally devastated and afraid. This seems to be an instinctual reaction for most of us. But as I prayed and meditated, God sent a stream of positive, supportive people into my life around whom I could not help but be happy!
Have you ever noticed how happy people attract others? We all desire happiness in our lives and are naturally drawn to it. Plus, truly happy people don’t need you or I to make them happy. Figuring out how to be happy from the inside out isn’t easy, and I’m no expert, but I am learning a few practices that have helped me more consistently dwell in a happy state.
Take time each morning to “get your head on straight”. Meditate, pray and journal about what you want to create and experience in your life. Ask the Creator to connect you with the people and experiences that will enable you to make the most effective difference.
Abandon negative thoughts. The moment we recognize a negative thought, we can replace it with a better one. Sometimes we will need to do this over and over again for the same negative thought—until it sticks. It’s not necessary to hash out every hurtful thought or emotion in order to release it, we get to choose when such analysis will empower future decision-making.
In every situation seek to be compassionate. When we let others be who they are without the weight of our personal expectations, life becomes easier, and as we understand others and see things from their point of view, we see and understand ourselves better—and we can say, “There but by the grace of God go I.”
Look for and find the blessing in everything. Realize that the world is symbiotic; that everything works together, there is a ying for every yang and everything that happens to you is to teach you or teach someone else something. When you look for the blessing, you will see it clearly.
This month you’ll find more doable tips in Judith Fertig’s feature article, “Happy All Day: Simple Practices for a Happier Life. We also explore the theme of Balanced Man, scheduled to coincide with Father’s Day, in celebration of good men everywhere. We are proud to bring you information and tips from some of the leading male Wellness professionals in North Texas on what they do to be happy and balanced.
As always, we hope you are encouraged and inspired by this month’s offerings to make each day, your greenest, happiest and best ever.
Have a Blessed summer,
Bernice Butler, Publisher