Happy Monday! I am smiling so big right now over Ms. Jen Saunders being here today! I connected with Jen a few months ago & I am rooting so hard for her! Brilliant artist & writer, her story is incredible. She moved to China from Australia for a job that fired her unfairly a month later. After that, she got really sick & was bedridden for an entire month. During that time she began to contemplate her life, miserable & full of self-pity, she started her blog, My Smiling Heart, to document her journey of choosing to be happy. She’s been smiling since! Every time I see her twitter photo pop up in my stream my heart smiles, her face in the photo embodies joy. Thank you for contributing to the Kind Kindred series Jen, I just love this post & YOU so much! Enjoy all, xox, Amanda
I Am Happiest When… – PDF
Notice When You Are Happy
I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.Kurt VonnegutLife is a great teacher.
It never stops providing us with opportunities to learn, grow, and become the people it knows we can be.
One of the most important lessons I have learned from this one great teacher called Life, is that happiness is not a destination.
Happiness is not something that is out of reach, it isn’t reserved for the rich and famous, and it definitely does not come with dual side airbags, a swimming pool, or a side order of fries. It’s much deeper than any of that, but it’s sometimes harder to see.
Take a moment now to think about what really makes you happy.
What makes you feel whole?
What, or who, brings joy into your life?
What makes your heart smile?
For me, the happiest moments are those filled with laughter, creativity, inspiration and love, and are spent with the people who know me best, and love me most.
I’m happiest when I’m laughing, painting, writing, reading, listening to music, exercising, walking in nature, cooking, or watching my favorite movies with my family.
Those are pretty simple things, and most are always readily available to me no matter where I am or how much money I have in the bank.
All of those things can give me happiness right now, in this moment, and in every moment.
But until recently I hardly ever did any of it. Why? Because I didn’t take the time to notice that those were the things that I needed to do in order to maintain my happiness.
Which brings me to another important lesson Life has taught me, ever so persistently.
Happiness needs to be noticed, chosen, and nurtured, so that it can grow into a way of life.
Think of all the time you spend maintaining your body; showering, washing your hair, brushing your teeth, eating healthy foods and exercising. These are all things that the body needs to stay healthy and energized. We notice what our body needs, choose to fulfill those needs every day, and take care of it so that we may grow into healthy people. Happiness is no different.
Our mental, emotional and spiritual health needs just as much care and maintenance as our physical health. Again, sometimes it’s just harder to see that.
Take the time to notice when you are happy, and figure out what you need to do more of to keep that happiness flowing and growing.
Use the ‘I’m Happiest When…’ PDF to remind yourself of the things that really make your heart smile, and give yourself the gift of doing at least one of those things every day.
Even if you just find ten minutes to enjoy a coffee and read your favorite blogs in the morning (one of my favorite things to do!), or thirty minutes to take a walk in a park, or watch a movie that is guaranteed to make you really laugh out loud…
Anything that makes your soul shine.
|Jen Saunders is an Australian artist and writer, currently living in China. Jen spends her days painting, laughing, attempting to speak Mandarin, and writing her blog, My Smiling Heart. Follow Jen at @smiling_heart, or become a fan on Facebook.|
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