On December 5, 2015, my friend, Kate Muker (founder of Conscious Divas) is hosting an event called Fuel Happiness with New York Times bestselling author, Gabrielle Bernstein.
The timing of this event is perfect. The Holiday Season may come with a lot of good times—but for many, the anxiety of all the gifts, dinners and obligations tends to crash the party. If you’d like to have a peaceful holiday season, join me at the Fuel Happiness event. (You can find all the event details at the end of this post.)
As a pre-event warmup, here are a few questions that Kate asked me so that I could share a bit about my own pursuit of happiness.
Q. Happiness is __________.
… A choice. A choice that only you can make for yourself. I truly believe that if we want to ‘be happy’, we have to ‘choose happiness’. It’s so easy to choose to be anything but happy somedays, but what good would that do us (and everyone around us for that matter!).
Q. Has your definition of happiness changed over your lifetime? If so, how and what inspired the change?
I think I used to believe that circumstances were the catalyst to happiness. I used to react to situations in the way that I thought was the ‘right way’. I don’t know what happened when I hit 30, but since then, the last few years have taught me that the only thing my happiness depends on is how I respond to those situations. There are times I could certainly hold onto anger or sadness, but I’d rather be happy. Very simply put- I like being happy and I would much prefer feeling happiness over any other emotion.
Q. What is your go-to practice that brings you peace when life gets intense?
I actually recently wrote a post on how I inject happiness into my life on a daily basis. I wrote it as a reminder to myself about the little things I can do to lift my spirits when I feel lifting is needed!
Q. Which area of your life calls for you to show up with more authenticity? Friendships, work life, social media, initial interactions with people, family?
Being a mother, and being part of a community of other mothers, has redefined authenticity for me. Being true to who we are can be challenged by opposing thoughts and beliefs. The fact that we are parenting in a time where our lives are out there on display for everyone on Instagram and Facebook to see can be a dangerous thing. Something that is so important to me is to show real-life moments mixed into these highlight reels. I want to capture and remember all the nice and pretty moments, but I also do not, for one minute, want others to assume that my life is “white and bright and styled and perfect”. That’s not me at all and so I make sure I’m conveying that in both my relationships and in my online persona as well.
Q. What are you thoughts on meditation? Tell us why (and how) you practice or why you don’t.
It’s funny, because I never considered myself to be one to meditate. It took me years to figure out that meditation comes in many forms. One day I noticed that when things feel crazy around me, I often stare straight ahead and kind of block out the ‘noise’ around me for a moment. And I do this more often than I was even aware. When I did become aware of my own little way of tuning out and taking a moment for myself, it was such an a-ha moment for me that I do meditate (just often amidst the chaos instead of in serene surroundings with candles lit and soft music playing in the background).
Q. Share three tendencies of yours that sometimes get in the way of your happiness.
I am a worrier. I worry about my kids. I worry about my business. I worry that I maybe forgot to thank someone properly after they’ve invited me over for tea. Worry is absolutely something that I sometimes allow to get in the way of my happiness. I read a great quote the other day that resonated so deeply with me: “Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.” TRUTH!
Something else that gets in the way of my happiness is when I take too much on. I’m working on saying ‘no’ more often and not feeling the need to explain WHY I am unable to commit to ‘such and such event’ or WHY I can’t volunteer for a great cause even though I’d love to, or or or… We can only do so much and I find that over-committing (often to appease others!) robs me of the ability to be spontaneous with my children or relax with a glass of red wine when it’s been a long day.
And then there’s self-care. I know all the things that make me super happy like attending a yoga class, discovering new music, spending time with friends… and making those things happen is a real feat some weeks. I know I need to commit more to self-care because… happiness. 😉
Q. What is your favourite quote on happiness?
“You have to want to be happy”.
Fuel Happiness with Gabrielle Bernstein
Before the stress hijacks your holidays, give yourself and those around you, the gift of your truly present self.
Click here to purchase a ticket.