This month in the sanctuary we are exploring how to Let Happiness In. I figured I’d include some of the content of the PDF here as well as the art video. Enjoy and let happiness in this month, as much of it as you can stand 🙂
Letting Happiness IN
Why can’t I just be happy? This is a common question I hear women say quite a bit. We all want to be happy, but are we as invested in our happiness as we are in dealing with the things that happened to us? I think what happens is many of us are just trying to survive, many of us are dealing PTSD, nightmares, flashbacks, or just intrusive negative thoughts that leave us feeling depressed and depleted. Some of us experience this less but still might find that happiness for the most part is elusive. Perhaps you feel as if something is always missing for you, or you are unsure of what makes you happy. Some of you may have moments of happiness or periods of happiness but doubts and fears get in the way of your happiness.
For this month I’d like us to do a happiness experiment in which we explore what makes us happy, and put as much effort into letting happiness in as we do on our healing process because the truth is letting happiness in is not separate from healing, it is part of healing. Allowing love and happiness in, is a healing balm to our wounds. It is part of the work we all must do because our belief in happiness and love may have been deeply tainted and fractured as children. We don’t believe it is possible, or that it will last, or that we deserve to have it. Whatever your block to happiness is, it’s important that you know it, so you can catch yourself when you are “blocking”.
If we can learn to balance the inner work we do with plenty of times in which we are just letting ourselves be, in which we are engaging in things that bring us pleasure, we may be able to tip our mood scales toward greater contentment and peace. The issue I see is that many of us are working too hard at our healing or avoiding it altogether, but the middle ground of doing some work and also having time to breathe and enjoy our lives in the now, is missing. Finding the middle ground is important.
What is your block to happiness
(just a short list to get you thinking about what yours may be. See if you see yourself in any of these, then pay attention for when you are blocking your happiness. Work through these limiting beliefs using Byron Katie’s The Work)
I don’t deserve to be happy.
I am not worthy of happiness.
It won’t last.
It is not real.
With happiness comes a consequence or pain afterward. Its not worth it.
I can’t trust it.
Nothing can make me happy (doomsday) because nothing can erase what happened. (you’ve coupled your trauma or pain with the ability to be happy, they do not necessarily go together)
If I am happy they won’t know they hurt me. I must suffer.
Let go of fixing yourself
We are notorious for trying to fix ourselves because many of feel as if something is deeply wrong with us. This belief came from our wounding, from being neglected, mistreated, feeling unloved, lonely as children, we made sense of it, by thinking something must be wrong with us. Even though we have grown up, we still carry the part of us that believes we need fixing.
This is an extremely difficult pattern to break. As soon as you try telling someone, there is nothing wrong with them, they will point out twenty pieces of evidence to the contrary. And yet that is the work, getting to the point of realizing there is nothing wrong with you.
At some level we are invested in believing this and the shadow aspect of this is that we get something out of believing this. For each of us the payoff is different. Perhaps it keeps you from following your dream and risking rejection, perhaps it keeps you safe in other ways such as not being in relationships. Some part of you gets fed by this belief and so it will be important to explore that as well. What do you get out of believing something is wrong with you?
Common phrases by fixers:
Hopefully this time it will work.
I’ve tried everything.
I am hoping this workshop will take away all my pain.
I need to fix myself.
This is my last chance.
These beliefs are the death of the healing process. They strangle and stifle us and block us from true healing because they begin from the premise that something is wrong with us. Instead we need to see ourselves as human beings, with a range of emotions and experiences. We are not defined by our traumas. They happened to us and we can learn to respond in ways that serve us. We can heal. Healing doesn’t mean fixing. Sometimes we may respond in ways we are not happy with but even then it doesn’t mean we are broken or that something is wrong with us. We do the best we can with what we have and often we are missing information and so we act from what we know. As we walk on the healing path, we find better ways of dealing with our pain.
What makes you happy?
What matters to you, what makes you smile, what makes you giggle, what makes you feel content and at peace, what brings happiness into your life.
Look to childhood, what made you happy as a child. If happy is too strong of a word, use content, at peace or safe.
Look to times in your life where you felt happiness, even if they were fleeting moments. Draw a timeline. What was happening at those times?
Try something new. Try things you’ve thought about doing, things that piqued your interest but have never tried.
I would be happy if…complete this as many times as you can then go further and do a couple more. The gems come when you push a little.
How to let it IN
Let go of the fear of being happy and what it may mean. You don’t have to keep suffering to make what happened REAL. It is real.
Challenge the blocks to your happiness. Notice when you are doing that thing you do, that blocks you and change the pattern over and over again until you have created a new pattern.
Trust in something beyond yourself, whatever that looks like for you. Sometimes we can’t trust ourselves or others, but we can trust our higher power to be there help us break through. (if this doesn’t resonate with you, leave it.)
Create experiences that bring in what gives you joy. Make it happen. Plan things, invite people or do it alone. It normally will not come to you.
Be open to new experiences.
Lay in an open position on the floor, arms stretched out like a T, legs flat and open..like the savasana in Yoga. Matching body movements to being open to happiness is powerful.
Stand in a position for a few minutes, that feels like you are letting happiness in…what does that look like body wise?
Find connections..connections are huge part of how humans experience happiness.
Be present to your moments! So often we taint our happy moments with negative thoughts about ourselves and others. Be there, smell everything, see everything, be aware, see the grand scheme of things, the beauty of the moment.
Take time to be alone and just be. Let yourself do what you want to do, and go slow. Feel your own presence; be with yourself in a way that feels different, sacred. Take nice big breaths.