3 ways to be happier in 2014

Sunrays on face

This is me in a very special moment. Absorbing the sun rays in a Sedona, Arizona vortex.

Yesterday someone said something to me that made me realize in fact how happy I am. She said:  “Wendy, over Christmas I was reading a book by Jack Kornfield about living life with compassion, loving kindness and joy. As I was reading it, I realized I actually know someone who lives like this, and it’s you, Wendy!”

Hearing her say this helped me realize how much I have changed over recent years. I had made a very distinct, conscious decision to stop stressing over daily life and instead experience life in a state of joy and creation. This blog is an outlet for me to share what I do and how I do it, with the hope that even if it helps a few people in the world to achieve more joy as I have, then I’ve done something good.

If I sum up 3 simple life practices that I do that truly create joy in my life, here they are:

  1. Live in a state of gratitude.  Yes, this means counting your blessings, not your troubles. But I go even further than that. I take moments every day to feel the gratitude in my body. Whenever I remember, several times a day, I think about what I am grateful for in my life, and pay attention to how my body physically feels this gratitude. Living in gratitude invites good things into your life.
  2. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy where you are right in this moment.  People are always longing, striving and frustrated that they don’t have what they want.  They live in an ‘if only’ state – “If only could have my pension and leave my job….”.   “If only my partner would be ready to get married like I am…”  etc.  Realize that life is a journey, and if you choose to be mindfully present right here, right now, you can enjoy the ride rather than be hurting for something you do not yet have.  Let me ask you a question:  Have you noticed that once you obtain something you want, you just move on to stress about something else you don’t yet have? (be honest!)  That’s why if you focus on your journey, you can release much of the angst for not yet having.
  3. Meditate. Be mindful.  Meditation and mindfulness life practices have an incredible list of benefits, and in the context of this article, they provide you with a way of being more aware and present, and experience enjoyment of life.  It’s easy to start a meditation and mindfulness practice.  See below for tips on my blog.

Wishing you a Happy 2014.  Create a great year for yourself!

~Wendy

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9 thoughts on “3 ways to be happier in 2014

  1. Wendy. Your story really moved me. I too have just started on this journey of being more mindful and more aware of my present, of my life.

    I find this experience beautiful. The minimalism. The simplicity. And the feeling of kindness and compassionate that grips my whole body.

    Thank you for making such a beautiful read!

    I just started blogging, will love your feedback and comment 🙂

    • Hardik, what a lovely comment to wake up to this morning, thank you 🙂

      Your journey will be fascinating and will open you up even more to experience life in wakefulness. I love what you said about minimalism and simplicity. I find that once I focused less on materialism and status, the happier I have become. It’s not about wandering through life all light-headed and happy, it’s about living life with awareness and finding true joy in so many things in life. It is also about being compassionate to those around you, and making a positive difference in their lives.

      I applaud your journey and please stay in touch. Please send me your blog when you are ready to open it to the world. My email is meaningfulwesternlife@gmail.com.

      Thank you Hardik, blessings to you,
      ~Wendy

      • Glad Wendy. But really you do make an inspiring person to connect with.

        My blog is already there- I have done 3-4 posts. Do leave me a feedback.

        Stay in touch, I have been searching for souls like you to connect to and get inspired and then be inspired.

        Blog link: http://thatindianminimalist.wordpress.com

      • Hi Hardik, thank you. I have started to follow your blog. When I get more time I will read your posts and leave you feedback.
        So nice to meet you! I live in British Columbia, Canada. I believe you are in India? How fun to make your acquaintance!
        Have a wonderful day.
        ~Wendy

      • Thanks for the follow, Wendy!

        Will be waiting for the feedback.

        Yes, yes. I reside in India.

        Touche to that. I am really glad to have you as an acquaintance! 😀

        Keep in touch.

        Cheers!

  2. Feeling so Gratefull every day for a healthy body and mind. I love my life and it is just that much sweeter with you in it. Happy New Year my friend.

    • Aw, thank you Grasshopper!
      You are a great example of someone living with love and intention every day. Keep doing it and inspiring others. Blessings to you and all those you love. Happy new year!

      ~Wendy

  3. I couldn’t agree more! Your three points are true for me too. I have also been through a cancer diagnosis and a recent divorce after nearly 30 years of marriage. I recently moved to Vancouver and live alone. I was walking the sea wall yesterday, and by all accounts one might think I would most certainly feel sad, alone and even angry…. I actually had quite the opposite experience. As I walked alone, I felt the overwhelming feeling of wholeness, love and joy deep down inside! I felt such love and tenderness for everyone I met along the way. It’s a feeling that money can’t buy. I believe I’ve cultivated this feeling of gratitude for life through my practise of meditation and mindfulness. Best Wishes to you, Wendy, for a very happy and healthy New Year!!
    Kim

    • Hi Kim, you are an inspiring example of how people can create their experience in life. You have been through some very serious life challenges, and look how you have come through all of that and flourished. I’m sure you would agree with me that you learned a great deal through your challenges and that they have made you who you are today.

      The feeling of wholeness is incredible. Previously, I had heard the word but did not really know what it was, or in fact, did not really care to know. When you are whole, you feel the joy and it radiates from you to others, and they see that in you.

      Thank you for sharing your experience. Your description of how a simple walk along the sea wall and interacting with strangers shows how cultivating and creating your life through meditation and mindfulness is what life is all about. It is the moment-by-moment experiences like what you described that makes life beautiful.

      I appreciate that you share your thoughts so others can benefit from them.
      All the best to you in 2014, Kim,
      ~Wendy

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