Today was one of those days that I just didn’t feel like high-intensity exercise. I wanted to sweat and do something good for my body, but a workout at the gym sounded less than appealing.
After I typed up my morning blog post, I changed and headed out to a local yoga studio to take a hot power yoga class. Stretching and flowing seemed like the perfect way to kick off the week and I’m so glad I went.
Today’s class was one of the more challenging yoga classes I’ve experienced, but not because we did anything out of the box. My shoulders felt weaker than usual and my quads started shaking during the first warrior pose we did. I don’t think the class was more difficult than usual, but my body wasn’t responding to the class the way it usually does and I struggled through the 60 minute class. But I left dripping in sweat and feeling happy!
During the class, I thought about the message Ryan and I took away from yesterday’s church service. Our pastor spoke about happiness and how our happiness doesn’t come from our happenings. He reiterated this point time and time again throughout the service. “Don’t allow your happenings to determine your happiness.” (If you would like to watch the service, click this link. The message begins at 12:15 in the video Brave – Part 8.)
Of course what happens in our life can impact the way we feel, but challenging and unfortunate events will happen every single day and they don’t have to turn us into someone mean and bitter. We can still be kind, friendly and happy even if things in our life are challenging us. We can still uplift others and exercise compassion. Happiness comes from within us. It’s something we can choose to be and it’s up to us to feel happy.
He encouraged us not to play the “If only… then…” game when it comes to feeling happy. “If only I got that promotion, then I’d be happy.” “If only my spouse did x, y and z… then I’d be happy.” “If only I made more money, then I’d be happy.” “If only my kids wouldn’t x, y and z… then I’d be happy.” I think that’s a game we’ve all played a time or two!
By playing the “If only… then…” game, we’re postponing our happiness and waiting for something to happen to make us feel happy that may actually never happen. Why not feel happy today and let that feeling come from within? Then it’s in our control. (This reminds me a lot of the Changing “Yes But” to “Yes And” post I previously shared.)
Our pastor joked that when your boss or spouse says something that irks you, it’s okay to feel annoyed and think to yourself, “This does not bless me, but I am blessed,” or, “This does not make me happy, but I am happy.” That statement made everyone laugh and Ryan and I pulled it out several times yesterday when little things came up that bothered us or didn’t go our way. I think it’s a great statement to fall-back on – sort of like an affirmation I can use to remind myself that even though upsetting things occur in my life, I am happy and I am blessed.
Fab Giveaway Winner
- Alex: “Definitely the bento box since I BYO lunch all the time.”
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Questions of the Afternoon
- Do you consider yourself a happy person? Is your happiness something you have to put effort into maintaining?
- What are some of the ways you lift yourself up when you’re feeling unhappy?
I feel like I am a happy person by nature, but I have to put effort into letting go of negative events that occur in my life. I have a hard time brushing things off and not dwelling on challenging events. When I’m feeling unhappy, my go-to unhappiness killers are Ryan and Sadie. Ryan has a way of talking to me that makes me feel instantly at ease and Sadie’s cuddles and puppy kisses never fail to make me smile.