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Posts Tagged ‘Happiness Project’

What Brings You Happiness?

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

For the past five months I have been tending to my Happiness Project. I have created a road map for opening up to more happiness by paying attention to three areas of my life: Self-Care, Connections, & Sabbaticals. I have created Life Mantras that provide intentional happiness within such as: Do It Afraid, Show Up, Be Still, Show Gratitude, Trust My Heart, Forgive More, Voice My Truth & Be Vulnerable.

What I have learned over the past five months is that where I put my energy, who I hang out with, and what practices I engage in have been where the lessons have shown up. My biggest learning has been less about being happier and more about being more aware and connected.

In the book The Fifth Agreement, Miguel Ruiz speaks about awareness. “Self-mastery is all about awareness. First to be aware of what is real, and then to be aware of what is virtual, which means what we believe about what is real.” What do you believe about happiness? First, ask yourself some questions and discover what is real for you. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Awareness Questions:
What’s really, really important in your life?
Who is really, really important in your life?
What are some areas in your life that you want to grow?
What connects you deeper to your heart?
What would a happier, joy-filled heart look like?

Experiencing Happiness:
Spend time with people who bring you joy.
Make at least five people smile every day.
Give stuff away. Be generous.
Talk less about others (gossip).
Start early and “Eat the Frog”.
Go to your growing edge and ask for help.
Have a gratitude practice.

My journey the last five months has included paying attention to how I treat myself. I often tell my clients to treat themselves as the most important person in the world – because they are. That is easy to tell others. I have had to examine my practices of self care, connections & sabbaticals. Here is what I have discovered:

Self Care is all about self love.
Connections are about letting love in, trusting friends, asking for help & being with people who want to grow.
Sabbaticals are about taking time off “to be.”

To continue to honor all of the above, I am taking time off from giving workshops or classes this summer (July 1 – September 12). I will still continue to see shamanic and coaching clients.

I am also planning a 14 -16 day sabbatical to India with a few friends in November.

What are you aware of that brings you happiness? What do you want more of in your life and how do you want to invite that in?

If you would like to work with me as your coach in developing your own Happiness Project, please feel free to email me at toningtheom@yahoo.com or call 917-238-9726.

Keep sending me all your updates about your Happiness Projects and Happy Ideas!
Mary Anne

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Relax! The Importance of Down Time

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

As someone who works full time and also runs a healing arts business, I fully understand the importance of down time. I work full time overseeing a city-wide mentoring program. My evenings and weekends include seeing clients for life coaching  or shamanic healing sessions and I am also taking classes at NYU. I actually schedule down time!

I made the decision this past weekend not to work, make plans, or go anywhere – my goal was “to relax.” After enjoying a cup of coffee and reading the New York Times on Saturday, I found myself doing things around the house – cleaning shelves, changing curtains, organizing clothes, throwing away papers, and going to the dry cleaners. I then sat down and wrote a newsletter and some meditations for an upcoming course. I couldn’t sit still or slow my mind down. I couldn’t relax. I even text my close friend to tell her to text me back and tell me to stop working and to rest.

Every time I sat down to be quiet, read an article, or take a slow walk, I was convinced I was being lazy. Yet, it is this down time that is so important for self care (part of my Happiness Project). Slowing down allows the body, mind, and spirit to regenerate. It allows for harmony of energy and stimulates creative flow. Without down time, it is so easy to burn out.

Give yourself a break and take some down time. Some ideas:
Do Nothing – clear your schedule for a whole day. Ignore your to-do list and live the day from a to-be place.

Rest – take a nap. I am not sure why we had to stop napping after kindergarten, but napping, laying in the grass or in a hammock just feels good.

Play – what amuses you? Schedule time to go and do something playful – something that makes you laugh.

Indulge – surrender to a mindless activity. Give yourself permission to read a magazine, go to the movies, or treat yourself to something. Treat yourself as if you are the most important person in the world – because you are.

Schedule down time – block off time in your calendar as “you” time and choose how you want to relax and pause. This is all about self-care. Don’t wait until your body forces you to rest because you are burnt out or sick. By taking down time, you will be refreshed and energized.

Here is to slowing down ~
Mary Anne

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Do You Stumble Into Happiness?

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Stumbling into happinessAfter posting a blog about my Happiness Project, I received many responses from folks who wanted to join in on creating their own project. People wrote about doing art, taking walks, committing to their health, journaling, and creating a vision board. The buzz was on for ‘happiness’. I realized this is more than just a flavor of the month—it is an all out commitment to creating meaningful happiness.

If people are asking me to listen to their Happiness Projects, I had to be sure I was keeping up with paying attention to my own project. I had already committed to my three themes: self-care, connections, and taking sabbaticals. I have paid attention to my sleep habits, taking care of my body with yoga classes, and my spiritual practices with meditating everyday for a minimum of 10 minutes. I also have taken time with friends to share experiences and deeper conversations. Finally, I have practiced stillness and silence. Am I happier? I am definitely more peaceful and calm. Perhaps, I am stumbling into happiness.

Taking the Happiness Project to a new level, I am declaring my ‘Mantras’. It’s not random acts to create happiness, but rather intentional living to be happy. Here are examples of some mantras I have drafted:
Do It Anyway/Do It Afraid
Express Myself
Show Up
Be Still
Honor my Healing Journey
Follow the Compass of My Heart
Rest in Forgiveness
Show Gratitude

Samuel Johnson wrote, “It’s by studying the little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery, and as much happiness as possible.” By paying attention to our happiness, perhaps we can ignite it in others. We can awaken to what creates more joy.

Are you aware of what makes you happy or are you stumbling into happiness?

To creating your happiness mantras,
Mary Anne

Special thanks to all those who sent in their Happiness Project ideas—keep them coming.

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Monthly OM Meditations – January

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

OMIn my last post, I shared about my Happiness Project and offered some ideas on how to start your own. One of my happiness project themes included “self-care” and that meant setting aside time daily to meditate, even if it is for 10 minutes. These meditations have been so powerful and sweet that I have decided that every month I will post some of the questions and thoughts that have flowed from these contemplations.

As an invitation, feel free to close your eyes, sit with your spine straight, and take a few soft breaths. Then inhale a little deeper through your nose, and on the exhale, repeat the mantra OM (AUM).  Do this three times. Allow yourself to really feel everything and become the observer of your thoughts. Feel free to focus on one question or statement below and just allow your experience to unfold.

What is your love poem to God/Spirit? Speak it, share it, sing it.

What is the spring from which everything flows?

Supplies of the heart are abundant.

Be love. The rest is just details.

I will wait for you – always. In your time, I am here.

Go with what is and the rest will take care of itself.

I am aware of what my breath is teaching me in this moment.
I am present to my breath.

There is a sunburst of light waiting to glow in the sky of each heart.

Each person will have their own experience so the invitation is to be open for whatever thoughts flow through you. Allow your mind and body to expand into the meditation (without judgment).  Feel free to start with a mantra that calls to you. 

My experience of the mantra OM is beyond language–it’s a powerful vibration–the sound before sound.

See what makes you feel happy and follow that rhythm. I would love to hear about your meditation experiences – drop me a line anytime!

OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,
Mary Anne

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