Cultivating Joy

Hi Friends,

Hope all is well so far in the New Year. I love Robert Holden’s words, “Dear Joy, I’m all yours! What would you like me to do with my life today?” Joy is such a beautiful thing, and if we sit and think for a few minutes now about the things that bring us the greatest joy; often they are very simple things and don’t cost much to; and in actual fact, you may be able to include them in your life each day.

So right now, grab a pen and paper. At the top of the page write; “The things that bring me joy” and write the numbers 1-20 down the side of the page (if 20 is too high a number, just write down 10 items) Your list might look something like this…

The things that bring me Joy

1. swimming in the ocean

2. walking on the sand

3. walking in nature

4. playing with my children

5. talking with my best friend

6. playing improvisational Jazz piano

7. watching romantic comedies

8. cooking a healthy meal from scratch

9. jumping on the trampoline (like I did when I was seven!)

10. Listening to Bohemian Rhapsody full blast in the car

Write you list, and commit to doing at least one thing on it this week, no matter how small and have fun doing things that bring you joy!

Claire 🙂

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Choosing Happiness

Hi Friends,

I’ve Had the great honour, over the last few years to see talks by some of the greatest teachers of our times. I also make it a daily practice to listen to TED talks and Hay House Radio- I want to be educated and inspired, not overwhelmed and depressed by commercial television, consumerism and a manipulative media. The other day, when cleaning up a very messy kitchen, I listened to Oprah’s recent and wonderful interview with renowned Buddhist scholar Jack Cornfield and it blew my mind. While you’re doing mundane things you can be inspired by listening to great teachers. It rocks.

Anyway, I digress. Going through my mountain of notebooks, specifically quotes and notes I have scribbled down during lectures, I came across notes from a conference I attended in 2011, hosted by Hay House Australia. Some of the greatest were there, including Marianne Williamson, Robert Holden, the mother of positive thinking; Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, Doreen Virtue and Denise Linn to name but a few. What a weekend! 

I believe Robert Holden and the work that he does to be of the highest relevance in the world today. During his 2011 talk in Sydney, he instantly connected with the audience with his humour, his wonderful energy and extraordinary delivery of life changing information. Dr Holden spoke of the importance of following your joy, saying, “Joy has the power to override the super ego”- he shared a powerful practice of saying in the morning, “Dear Joy, I’m all yours! What would you like me to do with my life today?”

He spoke of happiness as being a choice, and that the first hour of the day is when we make the choices that we do. Do we choose to, “Rise and shine, or rise and whine?” Robert asked the audience.

What sort of a day do we choose to have today? Dr. Holden said, on a scale of one to ten (ten being the happiest), choose how happy you want to be. Today, I’m going for a 9, usually, I realized, when going over my notes I average a 7. Dr. Holden said, “Our happiness is our gift to the world- we pick our numbers and go higher. If you’re feeling 3/10- love yourself there. We are not our self images, that’s just who we think we are. The most important things are peace, love and clarity.”

The importance of forgiveness is essential to your happiness, that and being in the present moment. The present moment is all we have; the past is over and the future hasn’t happened yet. So let’s try and be here fully in the here and now (no matter what the circumstances are) and think about who we need to forgive. Everybody’s dealing with something and every emotion you feel deserves your compassion- so let’s start with ourselves and listen to that emotion, instead of numbing, dismissing or ignoring it. Let’s rise above what we feel in this moment and choose to extend our happiness as far as it can go…even if it’s just a millimetre.

So if we ask ourselves the question each morning; how happy am I going to be today (?) and we feel depressed or anxious, giving ourselves a 1/10; our goal might be to try and “rise above”; and aiming for a 3. If we wake up feeling good at a 7, let’s rise above, and try and make it to a 9 or 10. How happy do you choose to be in this moment? In this day? In this life time? Today I woke up at a 7 and I’m now at a 9 and my goal is to keep it here… fingers crossed!

Much love and Happy Holidays xx