Many of us chase happiness, hoping to eventually catch it, without really knowing how to go about it. In fact, we are trained from a young age that we can buy it, only to later be disappointed.
I have come to realize that the key to happiness lies in giving freely with an open heart, and true heart-centered giving is based upon love, abundance, and connection.
However, we can only give to others unconditionally when our own tanks are filled to the point of overflowing. This means we must be able to make ourselves happy and allow others to contribute to our happiness.
This is not to say that you should hole yourself up until you have amassed your fortune. It simply means that we should make every effort to be generous to ourselves.
For example, to me, ‘filling my tank’ means that I get enough sleep, eat healthy food, exercise, enjoy ‘me’ time, spend quality time with my husband, VJ and our dog, as well as being productive in my work. Essentially, I focus on giving myself all the things that I need in order to operate well and then I can reach out and offer help to others.
I give because I want to, not because I want others to like me or get something in return.
Generosity, or giving therefore, should not just be focused outwards. You need to be generous to yourself first, so that you can go out there protected, yet vulnerable, and help from a true giving spirit.
The irony is that when we give freely we get so much in return.
Fill Your Own Tank Of Happiness
Reflect on how much you are doing for yourself. Are you devoting enough time to your physical and mental well being? Do you give yourself enough me time? Are you able to invest enough time and energy into nurturing your relationships? The idea is to identify the areas in your life where you need to be more generous with yourself. We all can use help in this department!
Relationships are a high contact sport! After years of research and experimentation, our incredible marriage uses lots of hacks.
Some of the highlights are:
- In an emotionally heightened moment, I ask myself “Would I rather be right or happy?” Generally the answer is “Happy” but even when the urge to be right overpowers me, at least it isn’t a pure knee jerk response! I know what I am getting myself into and that the result won’t feel nearly as good.
- For couples who are going through a huge change or challenge, especially a new baby, it is really important to increase appreciation for one another. In those times, it is so easy to gather evidence against your loved one and collect data on all the extra sacrifices you are making. A two minute appreciation shower is a great way to reunite at the end of your busy day. Take turns: one minute Person A lauds appreciation onto Person B and then switch. This helps keep the focus on seeing the good in your partner. It also feels good to know your partner notices your efforts.
- For any couple: COMMIT to the relationship. If you commit to a harmonious relationship, that decision guides every interaction. You cannot go too far off the path if you put the health of the relationship above ego demands. It isn’t easy but it is worth it. When you decide to stay, no matter what, you can get through the tough spots with more confidence and support.
- When one of us needs to unload something, we generally ask, “Do you simply need a listening ear or would you like help problem solving?” That way, neither of us feels like the other wants to “fix” us if we simply need to express. Also, we feel supported if we actually want help solving something.
- Make yourself happy and then allow your partner to increase that happiness. I see too many people who don’t know how to be happy (or think that they are “happy” because everything looks right from the outside). A person who doesn’t know how to be happy sucks the vitality out of a room. And a person who refuses to allow her partner to contribute to her happiness is equally damaging.
These aren’t necessarily easy, but they are worth it! Getting through the tough stuff allows for connection deeper than I ever imagined possible. I wish the same for you.
Integrate one of the above tips for the week. See how it works in all of your relationships. It requires some suspension of disbelief! The ego will try to convince you that it is hogwash, but it works!
I have found that anytime I am upset with my husband (or anyone else for that matter), I assume the position of TAKER instead of GIVER.
Here’s what this looks like: if I am upset with Vj, it is because I feel like I am not getting my way or what my ego thinks I “deserve.”
It doesn’t matter how out of bounds someone is acting! If I can be in my integrity, knowing that I am complete and whole regardless of the outcome, I can approach any situation from a higher and neutral plane.
When I am upset, it is an indicator that something is out of alignment.
When I get really upset, it means that I am CONTINUING to not get what I want and that just fuels the fire. When I can come from a place of service – an attitude of: “What can I bring to this situation?” or “What lesson is here for us?”, my upset magically goes away.
Two great ways to keep centered no-matter-what:
1. Give your mate the DIGNITY OF THEIR EXPERIENCE. Allow them to make a mess if necessary. You don’t know the big picture and the lessons that they need to learn.
2. Know that you may be on the “business end” of someone else’s mistake. That means that you may be a bit of collateral damage as they are ungraceful. Give yourself permission to remove yourself from harm’s way.
Can you allow someone the dignity of their experience and let them be messy? In every area of your life including: traffic, children, boss, soul mate? Can you do it without getting involved or hurt?
Sarah Anand Anma is a transformational leader of the coaching industry. She has helped to radically transform and elevate the consciousness and income of coaches, healers and business owners from all over the world. By helping coaches, speakers, trainers, and authors overcome their fears of going big, she gets them into a state of grace, ease, flow, and joyful expression. As a result she has a track record of taking companies from 6 figures into multi millions. Her specialties include helping inspirational leaders create, fill, and nurture high level masterminds.