Friday, July 29, 2016

Surround Yourself With Happiness

'Today is such a beautiful day!' -You, right after you woke up.

What was your first thought once you woke up? I hope it was how much you love yourself and where you are at with your life. I forget where I came across this nugget of knowledge, but I once heard that one way to increase your happiness is to surround yourself with happy people and activities. 'Really, it can be that simple?'  Yeah, it can be that simple. It all comes down to what influences you surround yourself with, how present you are in the moment, and how much you appreciate yourself. Let's start off strong:

Positive Surroundings:

"Is this love, is this love, is this love, is this love that I'm feeling?" Thanks for asking Mr. Marley, I hope it is!  However, one thing I do know is that by listening to your music I become a much more appreciative and selfless person.  It is amazing how much more of a positive person I become when I listen to bright, melodic, and happy music.  Wait a minute, this is also happens not just when I am listening to music, but also when I am looking at art, or watching movies, or hanging out with friends!  You start to act and think like what you surround yourself with.  If that is true, then surrounding yourself with activities and people that have a positive energy will start to ignite the happiness within you.  Do not get me wrong, experiencing sadness, anger, and fear are all perfectly healthy to feel every once in a while.  However, it is up to you to surround yourself with positive activities more often than negative ones!

The biggest hug I have ever received.

Embrace The Present:

"When am I hanging out with this friend again?"
"What time am I going to eat next?"
"What makes ninjas so cool?"

These are the kinds of questions that are always distracting me from living in the present moment.  Often times we live in our thoughts instead of the present situation.  Your mind will distract you from the present by telling you that this activity is boring, interesting, or difficult, etc...  But your mind does not get to control you anymore!  This is where you become aware of these thoughts and bring your attention back to what you are currently doing, feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting.  After becoming aware of these sensations we can learn to appreciate them and be happy that we even get the chance to experience them.  When you see a picture of a Buddha, do you ever think that person is unhappy with their life?  They look way too chilled out for their own good, don't they?  They have learned how to be happy by living in the present moment and not letting extraneous thoughts distract them.  It takes years of observing their thoughts to become that chilled out, but if you can spend more and more of your day becoming aware of this concept, you too can someday be floating on a lotus flower petal.

This store sells one thing: big fluffy clouds.

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It:

Wow! We have come so far in our lives and been through so many trials and tribulations which have helped shape and define our awesome character.  But how often do we take precious time out of our day to recognize and appreciate that?  I almost never do!  There is no need to worry though, that can be changed pretty easily.  Let's just take 5 minutes out of our day to meditate and appreciate how lucky we are to be where we are.  It is exciting to be learning new things and coming up with new ambitions in our lives.  Starting to wake up and recognize ourselves for being so bold and adventurous is another great leap we can take in becoming grateful.  We need to learn to love ourselves to the fullest extent, that means in every aspect of our lives, good and bad, ugly and beautiful, funny and awkward.  People do not connect with others who are perfect, they connect with people that they can relate to.  Our imperfections make us relatable!  Let's start to embrace ourselves and accept every part of us for what it is, not what we want it to be.  There is a great book that I would recommend, it is a quick read and we can all learn from it: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.

That was a lot to take in...  How about we all just chill out and listen to this song:

You can also check out this sweet picture of me and a couple of my Chinese friends:

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