Daring To Be Happier

I’ve just changed my Twitter handle to Dare To Be Happier, as I know that is the one message I want to share with people that would make a difference in the world.  Over the past few weeks, as I looked forward to the next stage in my life, I realised that this anger and hurt is something that I can no longer hold on to if I am personally to Dare To Be Happier.  And since I’m commited to teaching this, I must learn it fully myself..!

The adventure begins..and I’m calling it an adventure, because I know it’s really important to frame things in a positive way.   Dealing with anger is something we all have to face, so we need to find ways to feel our emotions and express these appropriately, knowing when it may be appropriate to feel anger (against injustice for instance), and to feel our emotions instead of avoiding them.  The Project Me 101/Nurturing was something I anticipated as being less than totally easy, as I knew it would involve a lot of change – now, on the other side of that, I see the blessings.  So while part of me fears the work I have committed to do in at last dealing with anger, another part of me knows that it really IS time to let go of what no longer serves me – and I also now know that all will be well, because anger is simply stored somewhere if it’s not dealt with.  That can be our mind and our bodies, and when that happens, it harms us when we probably thought it was protecting us.

Because under anger is fear – and when we are afraid, we want protection, from being ignored, hurt, silenced, being mute, rejection, of not being loved, perfect or good enough.  On the other side of this is love, love for myself first, always.  Last week, my friend Jane spoke about finding out she was her OWN rock, and I thought, wow! Imagine how you’d live if you thought you were own rock?  And then I thought about how you’d live if you believed you were love and loved, because if you lived from such a place, there wouldn’t be that much room for anger, really… and you would dare to be happier.

And so I turned to my journal this morning, in my beautiful new office, with Wayne Dyer’s new I AM meditation CD in the background playing.  Having listened to it yesterday for the first time, he said to decide what “I am” you wanted to focus on, and he gave some examples, one of which was perfect for me – “I am in possession of my perfect job.”   I started with that, but towards the end, it just changed totally, and  became  I AM Love and forgiveness, which in itself seemed to appear out of nowhere, but then I know differently.  If I start to meditate thinking that, I can’t help but being changed.

Love is the antidote for fear, and therefore of anger. Somehow I know this will be important on me to focus on, and I park that.  I then start to read A Course in Miracles, but in the move to the office, I’ve lost my bookmarked space, so have to go back to the start of the chapter to find where I am again.  Oh the lessons in the words we choose; to find where I am again?! I hadn’t noticed it was called “Lessons in Love,” and I think, wow – there’s that perfect timing thing again.  And then I read the first few sentences – in a chapter called lessons in love, and this is what it says:

The relationship of anger to attack is obvious, but the relationship of anger to fear is not always apparent.  Anger always involves projection of separation, which must ultimately be accepted as one’s own responsibility, rather than being blamed on others.  Anger cannot occur unless you believe that you have been attacked, that your attack is justified in return, and that you are in no way responsible for it.”

Wow again.  Anger and fear, anger and fear and separation, our willingness to take responsibility and not blame – and the idea of attack being justified (even if the attack is on ourselves).  Prolonged anger harms us physiologically, with hormones and adrenalin activated, and it harms us pyschologically, as the fear behind it stops us living the life we want to live, in case “it” happens again – or doesn’t happen again, against our ego’s fears that we are not good enough, or that we will not be safe, or be strong.  The sooner we let it go, the sooner we let the past go, the sooner we are living the life we want.  This really IS Daring To Be Happier.. and yes, I dare.

2012, A Course in Miracles and Healing My Life

11 years ago, I made some choices that led to significant personal changes for me and many others. Although I couldn’t see it at the time, while the choices I made would not be the ones I made now (and I won’t beat myself up because I have the benefit of hindsight), I know that those choices were actually about me starting to own my own power, to stand up for my life, to speak up and speak out. I did this at a time when I’d say I was entirely emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. As someone who then became very independent, I understood what “self help” really was – and knew I needed it, and since that time, I’ve grown immensely as a human being. I’ve lost or significantly reduced the hardness, the judgemental black or white side of me, and the narrow mindedness that once defined me. I’ve learned some hard lessons along the way, and I’ve equally known love and kindness and grace.

At this time of the year, I normally spend time looking through my journals to find clues for my theme for next year. I don’t “do” New Year’s Resolutions for a number of reasons, mainly because I find they don’t work for me, and since 2005, I’ve had a general theme for the year. That’s really important for me as I am highly curious and get bored very easily, which is a less than totally helpful combination when it comes to focus. I find the theme helps me filter out things. Does what is presented fit with the theme? Then go for it! Otherwise, I can decide whether or not it takes my energy up or not.

So 2011 was to the year of balance and outrageous joy. I’ve already written about why I’m so thankful I chose that theme, as the year unfolded in most unexpected ways and proved to be the busiest and most challenging of my life. Without it, I’d have collapsed, exhausted. Although I know I didn’t reach this year of balance and outrageous joy, I know I kept heading in the right direction at least. I don’t need to review my journals as I did that in September on our two week retreat at our various havens, and I know that there are themes that are already appearing. Did you note that? Themes, plural…and that’s got me frustrated, because if I don’t focus on one thing, I’m not likely to hit it… but there are so many things to focus on, how do I choose. So out came my journal.

I know that above all, this theme must be MY theme. I know already that:

– it is a year I will learn to love, inspire, nurture and encourage myself
– that self care and health will be a vital priority (and on this one, I’ve bought a cheap calendar and I’m going to cross off with a big red cross every day I do 30-45 minutes exercise and eat in a way that nurtures me (with the idea that I don’t break the chain of crosses; this is the “one significant change” that will make the most difference in my life as Steven Covey suggests). I’ve also found a local yoga class (the only other time I did yoga I ended up hurting myself as I pushed myself too far) and I’m intending to limit my time on Facebook and Twitter significantly – and even more importantly, I’m going to limit the amount of new books I buy and read, and the amount of internet reading I do too….
– that it could be a year of adventures in grace and gratitude, but then I’ve already had those years (2007/2006)
– that Louise Hay’s and Heal Your Life will feature large in it
– that A Course in Miracles will feature large in it, and that as I heal others, I heal myself, and it’s time for me to accept Perfect Love..
– if I am to be authentic, then I need to update my status and my journey so if I say I’m going to the gym and then don’t go (because the car park was full, yes Geoff), I put that in too, to give the fully honest account…

I know all this because of various events and “synchronicities” that have happened since September; what’s been bugging me is the overarching theme. And today I realised why – it’s because I’m wanting it to be perfect. (Yes, Brene Brown, I’m still working on the Gifts of Imperfection and may just read your book again!) It’s that duality of wanting to grow emotionally, spiritually as a human being at the same time as knowing that I need to slow my life down and just be. Which at this point I would say is an impossible task, even though I’m very tired and continually fighting bugs of some sort. And I can be pretty confident it IS, given that every year I’ve told everyone “next year, I’m going to slow down,” or “next year, I’m going to live a quieter life.” Now, my friends just shake their heads and say, “no, Caroline, you’re not going to do that, don’t be silly!”

Then – in the way of synchroniticies- I “chance” upon a video by the Spirit Junkie who talks about the Course in Miracles and speaking your truth, and learning to be a miracle worker. And laughingly, I think, ” I could make this the year of Lessons in Miracle Working,” as this concept of how we are all here to know miracles and work miracles is something I’ve just started learning about. Then my ego steps in; this is too grand a theme, too “out there.” But I’m learning to move my ego out of the way and ask the question, “what if.” What IF this was to be my theme? And having moved ego out of the way, the inner critic steps up to the mark, and reminds me that actually, my health, and learning to love and nurture myself is actually more important than this, and really, it’s more important that I just slow myself down and BE. And then my head kicks in and I see how it may be important to slow myself down, but given the various projects I’m involved in, my long commute and busy days in my job, the meetings I attend, the time I spend on social media and emails, connecting with people and catching up with people. All of which is important to me, and none of which I can see any good reason for eliminating, so I can see no way in which I CAN slow down, even with my “48 hour days” and “time tardis” that I know enables me to do so much more than many people (which is not in any way a compliment to me but is instead evidence of me wanting to do it all, push myself to the limit, keep busy, keep moving towards perfection). I laugh and think “flip sake, it would take a miracle to get you to slow down, woman, AND it will take a miracle to keep you focussed on any health and fitness goals.”

And then I really laugh. If it would take a miracle, when why on earth would I NOT call this a year of Lessons in Miracle Working? There will be no greater miracle than this. In the process, I expect that I will learn to love and nurture myself and I will make my health and fitness a priority: these too will be miracles.

I’ve already enlisted one friend who will keep me accountable, and remind me when I’m getting off track. We’ve arranged to meet once a month to review honestly how we are doing. I have three other friends who will do the same once I ask them, my guardian angel-friends. I’m going to need their input; and I’m going to need a lot of miracles. And then I pick up my new “I can do it 2012 calendar” to get it ready for Sunday… and read the introduction, which says…

Last year had many restrictions, and it took hard work and diligence to build the foundations you desired. This year you will find much more freedom. Welcoming change will allow your boundaries to expand. Let the old ideas go, and do something different or unusual. Always remember that Life loves you and will support you in all your endeavours.” Louise Hay

Time to let the old ideas go.