Creating Authentic Happiness
Trading in the cape for a more effective superpower
What makes you happy? Is it the accumulation of material things, financial prosperity, the smile of a baby, time spent with your family? Think about this deeply, beyond your physical presence, down into your heart. What is happiness for you? In my book, Kryptonite Killed Superwoman: Trading in the Cape for an Authentic, Purpose-Driven Life, I featured an article called “Happiness Is a State of Mind, But So Is Unhappiness.” What I have come to realize is that the idea – the manifestation of happiness – is connected to one’s ability to surrender. Surrender. What does that mean, you ask? Stay with me, please.
Many of us are unhappy – physically, spiritually and emotionally – because we refuse to resist the need to control the situation, our attitudes and reactions to events or persons. We want to win the argument so that no one will think we are weak; we stand our ground in the face of truth because we simply cannot be wrong. We nag our spouses/partners because without us, they’d be lost – they’d never get anything right. We resist the voice that tells us to “let it go.” Why? Because we are deeply afraid, and we – our ego – thrives on drama. “Resistance is weakness and fear masquerading as strength,” stated Eckhart Tolle in Practicing the Power of Now.
I offer these three suggestions for accessing authentic happiness:
- If you want authentic happiness – deep, soul-stirring joy – if you want physical well-being, then surrender to the resistance, the fear. Decide today to create your happiness by understanding that to react to the drama – to feed off of negativity – binds you to pain, to the perpetual cycle of emotional and physical illness. Nothing bad will happen to you if you surrender to love and joy. You will not die, crumble or even break. If your spouse does leave, truthfully, what have you truly lost? This is the chance to practice your faith and convictions. Let’s try today to surrender. Let go of your need to win, to control, to overthink. Just be … today.
- Build a personal, spiritual network of three to five people that you feel comfortable calling upon in those dark hours when you are not sure you are going to make it. Let’s not play games here. We all have those kinds of days; it’s what makes us human. Women, in particular, need one another – we are nurturing and community-centered, and in understanding and acknowledging this, we are better able to heal and grow if we have a core group of trustworthy, like-minded people whom we can go to not only for advice, but to put us back on the straight and narrow path when we have so clearly strayed. And they will do this because they have been there, and they know that sometimes, we don’t have the strength to act for ourselves, either through prayer or positive actions.
- Create a sacred, quiet space for yourself. Sometimes we have to shut out the noise of the world in order to hear even our own selves speak. Establish a small amount of time in the morning before anyone else gets up and go into that space – for me, it’s my walk-in closet – and sit in silence for a few minutes. Focus on breathing, letting go of all thoughts and ideas. Quietness in our minds and bodies reconnects us to our core, and in doing so, we are better able to tackle the day with a better attitude and sense of purpose.
Happiness is not a material thing, but a daily spiritual practice. They say it takes 30 days to start a habit – good or bad. I challenge you, therefore, to try these three tips to accessing authentic happiness. You have absolutely nothing to lose, but much to gain.
Rebekah L. Pierce is an author, inspirational speaker and playwright residing in Richmond. Visit RebekahLPierce.com to read more about her work and upcoming speaking events.