Do you feel overwhelmed, anxious, lost, heartbroken or downright depressed? If so, it’s okay. We all feel those emotions, and sometimes they fluctuate on a daily basis. But at our core, the true essence of our beings is joy, pure exultation, ecstasy and bliss. So why aren’t we feeling ecstatic every moment of every day? It all has to do with where we focus our attention.
Life is filled with obstacles, challenges, changes and loss that we are meant to experience in order for our souls to evolve. Every birth/death, new job/job loss, and new relationship/breakup is part of our development. The Universe is balanced between chaos and order, positive and negative, light and dark. So if you’ve been on the earth long enough, you realize that things aren’t always going to be fun, and challenging circumstances will eventually be experienced by all. However, when you learn to accept each struggle as a lesson to learn, or a way to grow and evolve, you can also learn to shift your perspective in how you react to each challenge or change, and not remain stuck in a cycle of negative emotions.
Think of negative emotions as passing clouds. They darken our existence temporarily, but we all know the sun is always shining behind them, even on rainy days. Your soul is like the sun in the center of your being. It is a bright burning light bursting with love and inspiration. Sometimes we forget to let our light shine because we are so focused on the dark clouds that have rolled into our awareness due to an unwelcome experience of some kind, or a reaction to an unresolved issue from our past. We assume these dark clouds, or negative emotions, will linger for eternity. We tend to accept the heaviness, sit with the sadness, and focus on the darkness as if this is now just the way things are going to remain forever due to our limited perspective. We forget that our hearts were designed for heartache and they know how to self heal if we wish to return to the sunny side of the street.
Consider this - we need the rain clouds to nourish the earth, just as we need challenges to teach us to evolve and grow. The tough times in our lives help us to appreciate the good times even more. It’s okay to feel pain and process emotions. It’s natural to grieve losses. Blocking these emotions and ignoring the pain is not what I’m suggesting. It’s better to actually explore emotions to discover their origin because they may even arise from an old wound we have yet to heal. But staying stuck in these emotions is what harms us mentally, emotionally and physically. That’s like choosing to stand outside during a hurricane when there is an option to find shelter and protect ourselves. We learn the most from our greatest heartaches, so meditate on the lesson your soul is nudging you to learn. Recognize the emotions, observe them like passing clouds moving across your energy field, and remember the sun will come out again. You have the power to eventually return to your naturally happy, sunny self.
It is necessary to be proactive by engaging in pleasurable activities to bring the sunshine back into your life. Happiness must be cultivated. Spend time manifesting joy and participating in activities that inspire happiness, especially when you are feeling anxious or down. It is important to nurture yourself during these hard times. Self love is the secret to sunshine.
Start with breathing and focusing on your breath to release anxiety.
Go out for walks in fresh air and nature. The rhythm of your steps changes your thinking patterns. Sometimes solutions can come to you on these refreshing walks which help get you out of a mental rut and see more clearly.
Yoga is also good for getting centered, feeling calm and freeing blocked energy within your body. Or you can try dancing wildly in your living room to energetic music. Just getting moving!
Call a friend or loved one who is a good listener if you need to unload your worries by talking it out. Or journal your feelings privately. Releasing negative thoughts on paper is very therapeutic. You can burn them afterwards if you wish.
Begin a gratitude journal to become aware of all the amazing abundance in your life such as a cozy bed to fall into at night, delicious food in your fridge, and hot showers whenever you want them. These things sound simple because we often take them for granted, but there are people in the world who have none of the above. When you focus on what you have, you aren’t focusing on what you lack.
Treat yourself to something that brings you pleasure, whether it is a bouquet of tulips, a nap in the afternoon, an ice cream sundae, or simply giving yourself time to watch a favorite film in solitude without distractions.
Keep all your thoughts positive, because we attract what we focus on. So if you keep telling yourself, “My life is awful, no one loves me, I’m miserable,” or “I will never get a job, nothing good ever happens to me,” then yes, you will fulfill those intentions you are putting out into the Universe. But if you project positive vibes by telling yourself, “My life is abundant, I am loved, I will find a new job and a purposeful life because the Universe will always provide for me,” then voila! You will attract your desires.
Listen to Nat King Cole sing the powerful lyrics of “Smile,” written in 1954 by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons, based on the dialog and themes from Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 film “Modern Times.” Chaplin composed the music for the famous song. The film portrayed how his character struggled and survived during the Great Depression by focusing on an uncertain but hopeful future through the power of positivity. And the song lyrics relate to my ideas about those temporary clouds… “Smile, though your heart is aching, smile, even though it’s breaking, when there are clouds in the sky you’ll get by. If you smile through your fear and sorrow, smile and maybe tomorrow, you’ll see the sun come shining through for you.”
We make choices every day. Despite the temporary distractions and challenges surrounding us, we have the power to choose how to react, learn, and progress with our lives in a meaningful and joyous fashion. If you want to get happy, begin by engaging in activities that promote happiness. It’s a process, it doesn’t happen overnight. So be patient with your self. But just begin the process and search for the sunshine in your life, because it is waiting for you to become aware that it exists, that it has always been there the entire time.