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Awareness Magazine
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Removing the Obstacles to Happiness

By Rebecca L. Norrington

 

Relax, take a deep breath and think. What is stopping YOU from being happy? What is stopping you from being happy ALL THE TIME? Grab a pen and paper and list your obstacles to happiness. Answer the question from your soul. You are the only person who has the answers and you are the only person powerful enough to create a Life that will allow Happiness to flow your way effortlessly.

First of all, there are ONLY two ways to live... Unconsciously or Consciously.

Admittedly, the majority of my life was spent in an unconscious state. When you live in an unconscious state you are dependent on a variety of events or circumstances including others to “make” you happy. The stock market, your political preferences, a below-average golf game, an inconsiderate driver, the weather, your health, a rude cashier, a forgetful spouse, an anorexic bank account are a few examples of things that, according to you, determine what type of day you are having. I have labeled countless days “bad” or “good” depending on what’s “happened” to me. Sound familiar?

If circumstances or events didn’t match my expectations then my day was shot to hell... every time! Emotions like aggravation, irritation, impatience, anger, sadness, moodiness, to name a few, ruled my life. I was the Queen of discontent!

When I began living consciously, my life changed dramatically. But what does “living consciously” mean and more importantly how do we accomplish living consciously 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is being happy in every waking moment even possible?

I say YES it IS possible! And I am living proof.

First of all, living consciously means thinking and behaving differently than you have in the past. Living consciously is one of the most important elements to maintaining and sustaining Happiness!

Example: You’re driving the freeway and someone hastily and without warning cuts in your lane which causes you to swerve to avoid an accident. Most would react to this situation in an unconscious manner. How would you react in this same situation? Your answer determines whether or not you respond consciously or not. Would you offer them the middle-finger salute and let the expletives fly? If that response sounds familiar or similar to how you would respond, then you are reacting unconsciously. And if you are reacting unconsciously, then you are not choosing your responses. And if you are not choosing your responses, you become a victim of your circumstances. And when you’re a victim of your circumstances... maintaining and sustaining Happiness is impossible.

Think about this. When you respond to anyone or any circumstance in an angry manner does that create more happiness or less happiness in your Life? The answer is LESS.

Whenever you express anger, impatience, intolerance, judgments, sadness or other related emotion, you are subtracting from your happiness. More importantly, you actually begin to attract MORE of the same toxic emotions into your life. You can’t be angry and happy at the same time. You have to choose one. During ANY circumstance, you have the power to choose how you want to feel. It is really that simple.

What are some different emotions you could choose in that same situation? I am glad you asked! Let’s use the same example of a driver cutting us off in traffic but this time let’s imagine an empathetic reason why someone would drive in this way. In other words, under what circumstances would you forgive and excuse a driver for cutting you off? Are you able to come up with a plausible reason? If so, you are beginning to think differently.

If you’re stuck, let me be of some assistance. What if the driver just received a phone call saying that their child, mother, husband, wife, best-friend or grandparent was just admitted to the emergency room in a hospital 55 miles away? Can you imagine how you would drive with that kind of news? Your focus would be to get to your loved one as quickly as possible. Yes or yes?

Would you have reacted to them differently if you KNEW their circumstances? Of course you would! So the next time someone “disrespects” you in traffic; don’t take their behavior personally because it’s not. To be clear, I’m not condoning rude, reckless or inconsiderate drivers. What I am saying is if your PRIORITY is Happiness, then you have an obligation and a responsibility to consciously choose your reactions in a way that doesn’t subtract from your happiness. Get it?

Practice! Practice! Practice!

And, you will be HAPPIER... GUARANTEED!

Rebecca L. Norrington has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, along with decades of education and training on topics from Spirituality to Human Behavior. RealitySpirituality can be heard LIVE every Sunday at 7:00 AM (PST). For more information visit: www.rebeccanorrington.com and www.realityspirituality.com