By Wannabe Happy
We are entering into Week 4 of the 8 weeks to happiness. We are half way through the program. Last couple of weeks we had a focus on yoga, meditation, your attitude and eating better. This week will be more focused on showing compassion and kindness to ourselves and others.
Do not forget the principles we have learned in the last three weeks. The idea is for you to slowly change your lifestyle, so make sure to continue with the yoga poses, breathing exercises, meditation techniques, showing gratitude, and just overall beginning to appreciate life.
One of the most important things is to embrace your emotions, observing the ups and downs and not let neither the ups nor the downs throw you off track. Understand that wisdom comes from both happiness and pain. In our pain, we can find peace and in our joy, we can experience disturbance. That is where we are going with the 8 weeks to happiness. Yes, meditation, yoga, opening up to life, understanding the complexities of being and all that comes with it are challenging topics. Sometimes we may feel as though trying to be happy just isn’t working. So I challenge you this week to just be. Don’t try.
Have you ever looked through your house searching for your keys, a piece of jewelry and then as soon as you stop searching and just let it go, out of nowhere they appear. So let’s begin to adopt that concept in our quest for happiness. As you do the yoga poses, don’t think so hard about the breathing. When you are trying to meditate, stop trying, just be. When you are performing acts of gratitude, compassion or kindness, try to let it be effortless.
We will only have one exercise of writing this week because we are trying to begin to focus on letting life flow and us flowing with life.
If you missed the previous weeks, no worries, go at your own pace.
Day 1: Do something good for someone.
Do it effortlessly but consciously knowing that you will not receive anything in return. Trust that you have put energy back into the Universe. Kind of like the concept of “pay it forward”. You may be thinking, “I do something good all the time”, but your intentions may be in a different place. Really try to reach down in your heart and put the intention in a place of compassion. Maybe doing something good for a complete stranger will help you to set the intention on truly just “paying it forward”.
Day 2: Do something good for yourself.
Do something good for yourself that is in your financial means. For example, I always enjoy the feel of a nice new pair of socks. I never shop for socks, but one day I purchased a pair of nice warm socks during the winter and it made my day with every wear. They were so nice and soft… ok, enough about the socks, you get the point. For yourself, choose something small, something that is personal to you, just as if you were picking out a small little gift for yourself.
Day 3: Meditation on kindness and compassion.
“Begin by visualizing a person who is acutely suffering, someone who is in pain or is in a very unfortunate situation. For the first three minutes of the meditation, reflect on that individual’s suffering in a more analytic way – think about their intense suffering and the unfortunate state of that person’s existence. After thinking about that person’s suffering for a few minutes, next, try to relate that to yourself, thinking, ‘that individual has the same capacity for experiencing pain, joy, happiness and suffering that I do’. Then try to allow your natural response to arise – a natural feeling of compassion towards that person. Try to arrive at a conclusion: thinking how strongly you wish for that person to be free from that suffering. And resolve that you will help that person to be relieved from their suffering. Finally, place your mind single-pointedly on that kind of conclusion or resolution, and for the last few minutes of the meditation try to simply generate your mind in a compassionate or loving state.” – Meditation from the Dalai Lama.
Day 4: Introduce yourself.
Introduce yourself to someone that you say hello to on a regular basis but do not know their name. Ask them their name and try to make an effort to remember their name. Acknowledge their presence. You never know what’s going on in that person’s life and just asking their name or how they are doing could change their day. Start connecting with the world around you.
Day 5: Move forward with your plans
We will begin with watering the seed planted from Day 5, week 1 where we talked about making plans. Whatever you decided that you wanted to do or experience, start to find out ways to materialize it, to bring it to life. For example, if you always wanted to travel to Paris, get online and check out what’s the best time of the year to visit, find out the ticket price for the airline flight, start thinking about ways you can make this work, how you can make this happen without harming yourself or others around you. Just begin to explore. The key is to bring you closer to that goal. Try to picture yourself accomplishing it. Begin to visualize how you would feel in that space or accomplishing that goal.
Days 6 & 7: “Weekend”.
These two days we will consider our weekend. Like all weekends, we either rest from our week or catch up on what we missed out on during the week. Take the same approach here. Either revisit a concept from Days 1-5 of this week or from the previous weeks that you enjoyed or didn’t quite grasp totally. Whether it be practicing the 6 easy yoga poses, trying another vegan, vegetarian or healthy restaurant or doing the meditation on kindness and compassion. Think about the week and continue to practice the principles learned. Continue trying to make them a habit in your life.
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Tag: 8 weeks to happiness