This Is It

I had an epiphany this weekend.  Relax_rock_stones_264940_l

I just love me an epiphany, especially when it makes me feel happy and in love with the world again.  Not that I had fallen out of love with it.  Well, maybe a little.  Given a few little ups and downs and my anger at the idiots people who are running the country. (Note: I'm not pointing fingers at either side here, I'm fed up with the whole lot of them.)

So, anyway, the epiphany.  It came, actually, thanks to my ego.  That wondrous entity that really loves to point out to me that I am not thin enough, rich enough, successful enough, perfect enough, enough enough.  My friend the ego especially likes to point these things out when I am feeling most out-of-love-with-the-worldish. 

This weekend, when I was in the middle of journal writing, my ego whispered, "what if this is it?"

But the intent behind that whisper was: "what if this is it, if this is all you get, you stupid idiot.  What if this is it and you'll never achieve the success you desire, never get your novel published, never accomplish the things on your intention list that you read every morning…."  Like that.

And that was when the miracle happened.  Because sometimes epiphanies, when they are accompanied by that wonderful sense of letting go, feel like miracles.  The miracle was this:  I realized, that indeed, this is it.

And that this is it is wonderful.  And all I need. 

Because this is it is amazing and perfect and miraculous.  My this is it features a huge loving family, a charming little house with a yard full of flowers, a career I love with clients I adore, travel, a life devoted to writing and sharing it, a crusty, stinky old pug and two fat cats, sunshine and rain and the chance to live in one of the greatest small cities in the world.

And more, so much more:

Clean water that comes out of a tap, two strong legs to carry me on a walk every morning, an active brain and interesting things to focus it on, hands to engage in writing and making things, friends and colleagues and a whole other family at my church.

My this is it is nothing short of a flippin' full-on miracle.

And anything else that I get is icing on the cake.

What does your this is it look like?


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Photo by Gastonmag.

But I Can’t Be Happy

Does this ever happen to you? Flower_flowers_stuffed_250188_l

Suddenly and wonderfully, for no known reason, you feel a flash of happiness, or a rush of sudden joy.  Ah, glory.  You stop to revel in it.  And then…

Up pops that voice.

The one that whispers:

 Yes, but…

Yes, but, remember?  I can't be happy!

Why? I can't be happy because:

  • I still haven't lost the extra weight I'm carrying
  • I'm still not published
  • I'm not making enough money
  • I don't have a perfect love relationship
  • I don't have children and I really, really want some
  • I don't have my ideal job

All of which translates to:

  • I'm not thin enough
  • I'm not rich enough
  • I'm not published enough
  • I don't have enough
  • I'm not enough

To which I say: Enough, already!  You are enough, you have enough, you do enough.  I know, I know.  That's scant comfort when your buoyant joy is brought down to earth by that insistent voice.  So what's the antidote?

So glad you asked.  Here are my best strategies:

Recognize that its your ego talking.  Joy and happiness come from connection, from the divine, from being at one with the wonderful world.  The ego comes from a lifetime of misperceptions, imagined and real hurts, and crazy ideas that get lodged in our brain.  Just remembering this and recognizing that it is the ego squelching your joy is the first step.

Tell it to shut the f*%# up.   Geneen Roth talks about screaming back at the ego in her work.  Tell it to shut up, tell it that its not welcome, tell it that it is interrupting.   You may be a kinder, gentler soul than I, and want to ask it nicely to be quiet.  Do whatever works.

Know that all you really need (and have) is the present moment.  In every moment, you can choose love or you can choose fear.  It is pretty obvious that choosing to listen to the ego is choosing fear whereas choosing love is letting joy overtake you.  This takes practice, but gets easier.

That's all I've got for you at the moment.  Silencing the ego is a lifelong practice.  But it is a worthwhile one, becasue in the end we are here to love and experience joy. Anybody else have any suggestions?

Photo by hagit.

Guest Post: Erica Nelson and Happiness Quotations

I'm pleased to offer you this guest post from Erica Nelson, author of Happiness Quotations: Gentle Reminders of Your Preciousness.  Read about her book and enjoy an excerpted passage below.  Be sure to visit Erica's site at www.happinessquotations.com.

“Most people pursue pleasure in money, sex and power but are still unfulfilled. Why? Because they are non-sustainable energy sources whereas happiness is the purest, most sustainable and reusable form of fuel for the human spirit. Thank you Erica for writing such a meaningful and important book. I love it and it makes me happy.”

– Michael Port, NY Times Best Selling Author of The Think Big Manifesto HQ FB2

When Michael Port sent this recommendation for Happiness Quotations, it lit a fire for me to finish the manuscript and get it ready for the publisher. Glowing recommendations kept pouring in during the book creation process with this book. Michael actually recommended the book when it was nearing completion. The concept was born right after my last birthday in September 2010. I was ready for the next book, the first book was published in 2008. Two manuscripts are sitting on my hard drive, neither worthy for me to take the time to get them into print and before people.

Initially, Happiness Quotations: Gentle Reminders of Your Preciousness was part of a trilogy on happiness. I considered having a journal created, for people to write down wins and happiness experiences; writing a book on the how-to of happiness; and writing quotations to practically apply the happiness way of life I was born knowing.

When I began to post Happiness Quotations, smaller quotations I wrote to encourage people to feel good about life, to forgive old wounds, to recognize ego and connect to source energy – the response was so great. The light of these quotations quickly left the other projects in the dust. I began to concentrate fully on Happiness Quotations, and developed each smaller daily post into a longer passage with more insight, and more information on how to live and integrate the concepts into our lives.

Here’s what came up when I opened the book “Happiness Quotations: Gentle Reminders of Your Preciousness” to a passage for you this morning:

Experience Everything More Fully

Ask more of yourself. Ask yourself to feel joy more fully. Lift your heart higher. Believe in yourself more deeply. Follow your intuition more truly. Be bigger than you thought you could be. Experience love with more depth. Just ask yourself to be more than you thought you could be, and feel more than you thought you could feel.

As you ask, so it shall be. As you step more deeply into the joy that is your birthright, more joy becomes available to you.

So often we forget to ask ourselves to become more than we are. The set-points that become our normal waking consciousness grow engraved and rooted into our behaviors. Yet, you can change a set-point. You can change how deeply you feel. You can experience more of all that you came onto the planet to experience. Just ask.

The next step on my journey will be to write what I’m calling HQ2, or the second in the series of Happiness Quotations. I’m also in creation on a happiness e-class people can take to deepen the experience of living in happiness each day. To find out more about Happiness Quotations, go to www.HappinessQuotations.com, where you can read quotations and get into inspiration to embrace your day.

Erica Nelson Here is a little bit more about me:

I believe that happiness takes time each day. To step into happiness means to let go of judgment, fear, and programmed beliefs that hold you back. I started writing about happiness professionally in 2006. I coach others to let go of negative binds and free up joy and delight, awe and gratitude in living each day. A former Sacramento Bee and Santa Barbara News-Press news reporter, I wrote for California newspapers for years covering education, schools, cities, entertainment and water. She presently writes a weekly advice column in seven San Francisco Bay Area major metropolitan papers including the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times. I worked for about a decade in philanthropy, before I became a coach and independent author. I’m married with three beautiful children and a fabulous Tennessee Walking Horse. We live in California.

More: www.HappinessQuotations.com.


As in yoo-di-mo-nee-uh.Carrie's Graduation and Images of Word Book 045

I was ostensibly cleaning up my office just now when I came across my word book, (pictured, left), and decided that pondering words is infinitely more important than a clean office.  After all, what is the use of a word book if one isn't constantly leafing through it to see what one has?

Apparently one has words one has totally forgotten about.

Like eudemonia.

It means the following:

1.  A state of happiness and well-being

2.  In Aristotelian philosophy, happiness in a life of activity governed by reason.

(Ah, those ancient Greeks, all about reason)

I am in a state of eudemonia this morning because I finally sent out my first newsletter last night.  If laboring for hours to learn new software is not a state of activity governed by reason, I don't know what is.