Oh my, mornings in our house are crazy. Big isn’t great at transitions. Or moving quickly. Or focusing. Or following
orders directions. You know, all the talents one needs to get to the bus stop at 7:30am — an entire hour and a half after waking up. Today was no exception. Frustrated, I sent him running out the door with his paperwork signed, lunch packed, ugly shoes tied, and not so much as a hug.
I’ve been regretting that all day. Hoping it didn’t start off his day on the wrong foot. I know that my happiness (or unhappiness, as the case may be) trickles down, and I’m trying to be mindful of that.
I’m in the process of reading a great new book, Nuturing the Soul of Your Family. This passage* really stood out to me and I’m trying, trying to keep it at the front of my mind — and actions:
Three of my immediate family members died unexpectedly between my twenty-sixth and thirty-fourth birthdays. For years I let those losses dictate how much and how often, I could experience joy. Anytime I started to feel light, free, or happy, the old feeling of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” would creep in.
Can you only be happy if things are going your way and all the stars are aligned in your favor?
I believe we’re born with the innate capacity to experience emotional well-being and joy; it’s our birthright to feel good. Happiness comes from within; we’re wired for it. We just have to remember to choose this moment to moment.
It’s easy to forget who we really are. To lose sight of what really matters. To fall asleep and not remember how interconnected we all are and that we’re fully human and, at the same time, divine.
A regular spiritual practice — whether that’s daily prayer or meditation, being in a spiritual community, or singing— serves to anchor us. It grounds us and helps us navigate the challenges we face from just being human. It helps us stay awake.
So ultimately, we can begin to let go, trust the rhythm and flow of life and relax into the beauty of our true nature.
I’m trying to breathe. To trust the rhythm of life (even if it is playing at triple time these days). And I’m trying to choose happiness. I know it’s mine to enjoy, I just have to remember to give myself, and my family, that daily gift.
Do you believe happiness is a choice? What do you do to support your family’s happiness?
*Excerpt from the new book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family ©2013 Renée Peterson Trudeau. Published with permission of New World Library http://www.newworldlibrary.com.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Nurturing the Soul of Your Family as inspiration for this post. Life balance coach/speaker Renée Peterson Trudeau, author of the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal, released Nurturing the Soul of Your Family this week. Visit her online at www.ReneeTrudeau.com.
The morning was probably not as bad as you are thinking it was for Big. I think one of the greatest gifts kids have is an innate sense to roll on with the day. Don’t get me wrong, of course they do remember things.. but I think they cheer up more easily than adults. For us, a bad morning lingers on well into the afternoon..
Also, it’s okay if you were a little frustrated and Big sensed it.. it is a way of letting him know he needs to finish things in time to board the bus on time…. It’s totally ok.. I think he will do better the next time once he realizes you dont like it if he does not get ready on time…I think each and every day won’t be a happy colorful day in paradise, although we should certainly aspire and strive to make it so..
And I bet there will be more hugs than usual this afternoon when Big gets home 🙂
You make a lot of great points, Vrushali. Thanks for the support and words of encouragement!
Elizabeth Kane says
I think happiness – to a point – is a state of mind. There are always different situations in our life that could be better or worse. Sometimes we can change the situations and sometimes we can’t. But it is true that we can choose how to handle them and I think that’s where “happiness is a state of mind” comes into play.
One thing I’m trying to do more is live by the phrase, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” I’m a recovering perfectionist and it’s been getting in the way of truly living in the moment! My mind tends to wander on what I could have done better, or how I could have made a situation better. All things that just don’t matter that much at the end of the day.
I like that, Elizabeth. I, too, am a recovering (I hope) perfectionist.
Mai Bateson says
Yes, I did. Actually, I’m so happy right now! Super blessed to have a husband that supports me 110% of the time! 😀 I just love being a happy wife!
Amy, Using Our Words says
Amy, thanks so much for sharing the wisdom from Nurturing the Soul of Your Family with your readers. Families are really seeking fresh perspectives and tools right now. So many of us are ready to drop old habits and patterns that no longer work and explore new ways of being. It’s good to know we’re not alone and are all in this journey together! P.S. Every week we’re sharing excerpts, giveaways and articles from the book at http://www.facebook.com/nurturingthesoul if you’d like to check that out.
Amy, Using Our Words says
Thanks, Kat! Great to know.