Sunday, February 7, 2010

Habitual Happiness, Part 2

The world is running faster and faster, the pace has to keep up with our constant need to be stimulated. Movies, news and TV programing have gotten outrageously explosive, riveting us to the screens. So what's the solution? How does one go about unplugging from the programing of a lifetime and begin to create an authentic internal life?

I have a few beginning steps that have worked well for me and although they are not original, they are also not popular. However, those who have tried these ideas always have such great results, I must go ahead and list them here for your consideration:

1) Turn off the news. It's been 11 years since I've watched a news program or read a newspaper on purpose and I continue to be one of the happiest people I know. I trust that if something important happens, someone will come along and tell me or I will notice a headline or overhear a conversation. My news comes in manageable ways, I'm never inundated and yet I always find out what I need to know. In my experience, this is the first reliable step toward creating a happier life.

2) Write daily. This is the number one best way to begin accessing the contents of one's own mind. It takes dedication and a sincere desire to find out what's going on inside and a willingness to listen and go ahead and write it down. I started in 1994 by using the writing method called Morning Pages, described in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron'. The Artist's Way is a wonderful creativity recovery method that molds itself to each person's unique personality, experience and style. While not easy, daily writing is by far the most effective tool I've ever seen to promote positive changes.

3) Read books. By following my nose I've stumbled upon some great books and learned about amazing things that I didn't even know I was interested in. Used bookstores are wonderful for browsing and so is the library. I avoid magazines with all the stimulating ads and color meant to tempt or influence me. By reading books, I've become the director of what goes into my mind and that is a powerful feeling.

So there you have it, the three best ways I know of to begin creating the habit of happiness. Welcome to my world! In future posts, I'll be elaborating on each of these methods and several others, my happy bag of tricks is fun to share!

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