Choose Your Own Adventure
In our modern, American culture, we carry a belief that to have the ultimate experience requires some degree of physical perfection, fame or fortune. In mass media and within many of our communities, there is a sense that the answer to happiness exists outside of our self; it is somewhere else, experienced by someone else. The subliminal message is that although we should endlessly reach for what we want, the odds are against us in ever receiving it. This belief system deconstructs our ability to fully love and enjoy our own unique realities and renders us powerless in getting to where we feel we should be. If in the back of our minds, we’re convinced that we’re not living the ultimate experience, it can seem pointless to fully celebrate how fabulous our lives are in their current state and who we are in them. This sense that an “other” life or reality exists that is better than what you have and that you can’t be a part of, separates you from your true power.
To take back that power, you must choose to feel empowered in the life you have right now, in this very moment. Although we may never become billionaires, entertain millions of fans, have a supermodel figure or be on TV, we can certainly learn to FEEL happy, successful, beautiful and wealthy. And, feeling this way may just attract more money, notoriety and health. Almost all the successful people I know, including supermodels and millionaires, CHOOSE to feel happy about themselves, their community and their experiences.
If each of us can find, manage and sustain the feelings and the experience of wholeness we are seeking, in the lives we already exist in, we can feel a greater sense of self. And by this I mean we can feel more powerful, loved and loving in the face of all the parts of our experience; including the things we cannot control. Essentially, life can become a whole lot easier for us and for those around us.
By shifting our attitudes and embracing our own unique story, rather than looking outside of our self and our story for answers, acceptance, reward or inspiration, we slowly begin to shift our collective archetype and a change toward greater happiness can occur on a broader scale.
If enough of us believe we are powerful and complete in our amazing, love-filled little worlds, we can change our cultural identity together.
Choose to celebrate yourself.
Change your thinking thought by thought. Next time you feel not pretty or skinny enough, not talented enough, not loved enough and not wealthy enough, STOP. Stand tall and gently command your thoughts to hush. Choose to celebrate something small about yourself right now in this moment. It can be anything that brings you even an ounce of joy. Are you walking your dog? Are you having a pleasant text or phone conversation with a friend? Can you pause on your way to your car, train, bus or bike to enjoy a juice or coffee? Do you notice something cool or beautiful about the landscape? Look up and around and pick a color or shape you like. Close your eyes and pick out a single pleasant sound. Think of someone you love and whom loves you.
Feel deep gratitude for this single thing exactly as it exists in space and time. Open up your heart and allow this gratitude and feeling of fullness to fill up your entire body. Live in that feeling as long as you can.
Choose to celebrate your friends and family.
Plan a picnic at a local park, host a dinner party, BBQ or crafting event. If it’s an intimate get together, celebrate your attendees by choosing a profound, specific and unique compliment or gift to offer each guest. Find and promote joy and love within your immediate circle.
Choose to celebrate your community.
Shop locally. Visit the farmer’s market. Attend a concert. Talk to your neighbors. Join a book club or support group. Try a new dance, yoga or workout class. Really listen to those around you. Participate in a discussion you wouldn’t ordinarily have.
Get involved in something you are passionate about that is close to home. Love is all around you, all the time. Choose it. Share it. Empower it.
Celebrate your experiences and ideas in the comments!
Books of inspiration for this post:
Hendricks, Gay. The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the next Level. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2009. Print.
Kopp, Sheldon. If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him. New York.: Bantam (Mm), 1988. Print.