Unlike kids, who seem to be able to return to a state of uncomplicated joy so easily - being pushed in a swing high and hard (see photo) is pretty much guaranteed to do the job - adults can find it a little harder to get back to their inner happy place. There just seem to be so many more barriers in place. But because I'd been in a bit of a grump about various things on and off for the month, to the extent that I had even bored myself with my attitude (after all, it takes quite a bit of effort to be in a grump for that long, and I don't have that much spare energy), I thought I would try something different.
So despite waking up yesterday with lots of potential reasons to feel irritated - very tired and like I'd eaten too much the night before (not the best start to the day) - I made a conscious decision to be HAPPY.
And knowing that you sometimes have to 'fake it to make it' and that weirdly, your psyche knows no different, I started by telling myself (out loud) that from this moment on, I was choosing to be happy.
My second related action was not to ignore the many positive mantras and cards I have strategically placed around my working area, but instead to incant these every time I lay my eye on them. I began with the "I am amazing and great things are going to happen today" post-it note, which I have slipped inside my laptop so that it's the first thing I see when I open it. I then proclaimed out loud the very complimentary statement that I have set as my actual password, followed by my newest abundance-attracting, pin-board, post-it note: "my actions create constant prosperity".
Needless to say, I started my work day feeling quite pumped.
I continued my efforts by making sure I actually adhered to my daily alarm (set to remind me to take at least 10 minutes out to meditate half way through the day). And because I really didn't feel like I needed it, I let it turn into 10 minutes of just sitting in silence staring out of my bedroom window at the tree on the street. Which also had a positive effect. Not surprisingly really, because a change of scene = energy reboost; silence = mental refresh; and if you can't actually get out INTO nature, staring at it can have the same grounding effect (kind of).
Lastly, I ended my working day by actually implementing my achievement list. This is like a to-do list (of which I have many dotted around the place) but one that is based on the past rather than the future: each day you write down what you have done really well and what you are proud of yourself for. Yesterday afternoon, I focused on what I had done to grow my business (because I have recently been wrestling with the re-emergence of my powerhouse perfectionist and she thinks that I could ALWAYS do more), and last thing at night, I focused (in my head) on my mothering "skills" (another area of my life in which my inner bully could be described as overzealous).
And guess what? It felt really good!
So instead of transitioning back into motherhood mode (ready for school pick-up, homework, supper, bath, bed palaver) feeling frustrated and a little resentful that I hadn't done enough, I was remarkably calm, content and most importantly, present with the kids.
Because having physically written out what I had already achieved, I didn't feel the need to keep popping back onto my iphone or to wander off elsewhere in my thoughts. And because I was feeling content in myself, I wasn't knocked off centre by the three tiredness / hunger tantrums that kicked off throughout the early evening. I even managed to squeeze in some post-homework, pre-supper mama 'funtime' (hide-and-seek) and didn't even get angry when everyone decided to stop playing half way through and leave me hiding (and nearly suffocating) for almost half a hour. Result!
Which all goes to show just how goddamn powerful our minds are. And that if we set an intention, magnify it by saying it out loud, and underpin it by writing positive things down, that intention can carry us through the whole of the day (however many potential anger/sadness booby traps might be lying in wait for us).
How long will my happiness last? Who knows. But I do believe in the Law of Attraction and today I felt I was being rewarded for my say-it-out-loud-for-two-days-in-a-row-mantras by receiving this incredible compliment from a coaching client (who has just finished a 3 month series with me):
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the life coaching series with you. It helped me consider options I thought were impossible. It helped me rebuild my confidence and the self esteem I was gradually losing. It helped me pluck up the courage that I needed to set myself free, to see a clearer picture of where I am and where I want to be. I feel in control. You are such a talented and inspiring life coach and an amazing person."
Well. If those are the kinds of results that I'm going to continue to attract, then Project Happiness is ongoing!