Happiness is a Decision

“Happiness is a choice”, a man announced with a big phoney smile at a round-table discussion during a

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

seminar.  “You just have to decide you want to be happy.”  Who was this arrogant know-it-all…this boring “polished suit” who represented the epitome of an insensitive heart full of soul- attacking platitudes?

What about a mother dealing with a child facing the end of its life.  What about people held prisoner in a foreign country with no sign of another soul knowing they were missing?  Or people facing their own death or grieving the death of their beloved?

‘I’ll make a decision,” I thought. “I’ll steer clear of you for the rest of this conference!”

That was over thirty years ago. Soon after the conference, my life included an unwelcome turn.  I felt flushed into a quagmire of misery.  The happiness claim haunted me like a case of silent reflux   I laughed at it.  I wrestled it.  I tried it, only to end up pooh-poohing its ability to offer any comfort.

There were even times, in a state of frustration, when I actually suggested others try it.

Thankfully my soul had known there was a nub of truth resting in his claim.  I wasn’t able to ignore it.  I learned that happiness really is a decision.  Perhaps if this profound insight had come in different packaging or tones, it may have been more acceptable at that time.  However, in spite of my desire to judge the man and ignore the gem, his bold claim had hooked me.

Over time, I’ve learned to observe myself with a view to catch my self-talk.  Discovering the amount of negativity hidden in the folds of my inner prattle has been daunting.  With patience that could only come from some Divine Form, I’ve been able to realize the layers and depth of negativity.  My “aha” moments have come in manageable downloads.  Divine Source has loved me into seeing the teachers who appear with perfectly customized teachings and impeccable timing.

And it continues.  When the dark strikes now, I know it will pass.  Thanks to life, different teachings and patient people, I’ve discovered – even in the darkest moments – I will not be consumed by negativity.   It will not last.  How did I get there?

Here’s what I do outside of meditation – whenever needed: 

Observe my thoughts and words.  With each discovery of negativity (there’s many!), I stop the thought or comment.  When I have time alone, I recall or do something that gives, or has given, great joy.  I hang on to those joyful feelings for 17 seconds which gives Source a chance to download positive energy into my being.  Why 17 seconds?  I don’t know.  But I hold it and I can feel a shift.  I scan my list of joyful stuff in my life and FEEL those joyous feelings for 68 seconds.  Why 68 seconds?  I don’t know.  I just follow the instructions given by a teacher – in this case, Esther Hicks.   Then I watch.  Amazing things happen – a transformation from negativity.

I experience less negativity all the time in my life though I hold no delusions of being cured!

In addition to immediate weeding of negativity, I meditate routinely.  My technique continuously changes.  It began with a busy brain that revisited every unwanted issue in my life and, after time, has matured into a quiet, silent, breathing time – frequently with my Beloveds.  I chose my technique according to my feelings and surroundings – sitting, walking, puttering, etc.  One teacher would not give me a lesson with my cat present.  Today, he frequently joins me.  He folds himself into my yogic lap, purrs as he blinks sleepy, adoring and contented golden eyes, then falls into a deep sleep that continues for 6 or 7 hours.

We both receive healing energy into every cell of our bodies.

I recently learned an amazing statistic:  Only 1% of our population knows about this simple technique.  It’s NOT a secret.  It’s simply too simple to be believed.  Some of the 1% were born doing this – without ever being taught.  They have always manifested whatever they want.  Simple as that.  They know about Love and call Source, the Universe, God by a name that removes barriers.  They quietly bypass religious tenants that serve to control the masses instead of passing on a legacy taught by many great Masters that was meant for each of us.

I live to emulate this default of happiness.  It’s a forever job.  It’s funny though.  A happy person can really bug a lot of people.  So I will warn you:  If you practice this and see an amazing number of your dreams come into fruition, people will notice.  You may be attacked – boldly and subtly.  You may be called ‘unauthentic’ or phoney.  You might be seen as unrealistic.  You may be envied and put down.  In other words, negative people will be repelled.  Sometimes their reaction stings until you remember that life’s purpose can only be fulfilled within a state of positive frequency.  A positive state can only expand – so you’ll be given many reasons to remember its value.

There’s no need to justify, explain or defend.  Let your life be the evidence.

You’ll also find yourself walking away from gossip.  You’ll want to build, develop, support, and perpetuate positive efforts instead of criticise, condemn, reduce, denigrate or reject them.  You’ll find yourself with a new desire for goodness that carries great impact.  You’ll find goodness happens, words come, clarity appears without effort.  You’ll learn how effort is a sign of negativity being present.

In summation, this means the man at the conference is actually one of my best teachers.  His seemingly crass attitude and brash words kick-started a significant journey.  I apologize now for laughing at his polished suit.  I simply didn’t know how much my own patina needed tending.  Thank goodness my soul did!

Happiness - with a focus on being AND becoming.

Happiness – accepting ‘being’ AND knowing there’s more ‘becoming’.

23 thoughts on “Happiness is a Decision

  1. I can identify with so much of this. I find myself doing similar things. I literally tell myself (out loud!) to stop thinking negative thoughts when I catch myself in that spiral. And I focus on things I am grateful for. I’ve learned that gratitude erases bitterness, and resets me like nothing else. Yes, always a process to stop the negative and choose happiness. And I consider myself to be a positive and optimistic person! How much more difficult it must be for people who naturally tilt to the dark side to learn these skills…I am always amazed at the emotional ups and downs of life…seemingly random and unpredictable so often! Thanks for a thought-provoking read! ~ Sheila

    • Gratitude is a powerful way to get back into one’s positive zone. It’s not surprising people keep coming up with more and more techniques to be grateful. The trick is to be grateful without having that undertow of negativity. For example, the new program I offer, Operation Blind Spot, is doing phenomenal things for participants. I just knew it would and am thrilled over having it available. It helps people in so many unique ways: opens their doors, plants courage in their lives, gives an understanding of what’s stopped them from “going for it”, restores relationships, enables weight loss, etc. etc. So, I will be exuding all this gratitude so it can take off and become better known and suddenly realize I’m actually carrying the anchor of negativity: “It’s not taking off like I want it to. I don’t know how to market well enough.” Etc. etc. So I go back to the baseline. I make a list of all the good feelings I’ll have when the Program is out there. Then I just go ahead and feel those feelings NOW. That’s what lets it all come to us. And that’s what it means to accept what is, but feel the “becoming”.

      Hope grandma is gifted with a little heart today!

  2. As always, Amy, such awakenings when I click over here!
    Once I started giving thanks and practicing gratitude again…I mean, really experiencing the warmth of sun upon my skin (After Kay) is when my healing started.

    xxx kiss from MN.

    • Since you write about abuse and the negativity it conjures, you may be interested in what I learned, Kim. Since our thoughts attract like-natured scenarios, I needed to know what we do, and bring, to ourselves when we write about topics that put our focus so heavily on such negativity. I wanted to know how to safeguard myself and keep readers from bogging into attracting horrible stuff into their lives. I learned it’s necessary to end up with the picture of something positive – e.g. a before & after scenario. Or, how to get through (or how I got through) to the positive.

      This same source explained how Jesus healed a woman and told her to not talk about it. (Was it the woman who touched his robe?) The reason? If she talked about it, people would pooh pooh the results and she’d be dragged into doubting the healing. Her condition would therefore return. Apparently Jesus healed by only seeing the wholeness of the person…projecting such positive energy, the negative energy of the disease was overpowered.

      So when healers today tell us to think of ourselves whole, complete and vital, I wonder if it began with Jesus – a man whose message was so often brought from Divinity to feet of clay.

  3. These words are exactly what I am meant to read this morning Amy! I have always been adept at turning negatives into positives, whatever challenges life has thrown in my path. And I’m often dismissed as a ‘cock~eyed optimist’ ~ but I know that I’m not unrealistic or in denial. My way works for me but I’ve been struggling with family issues for a while now and nothing I do can heal the rift between myself and my adult children. I haven’t seen any of my three grandchildren for over a year and, although I can find plenty to be grateful about, this hurts like hell ~ espescially first thing on a Monday morning when the redoncilliation I dream of hasn’t come about over (yet another) weekend. So thank you for passing on your technique ~ I shall start consciously timing my practice of downloading happy vibes from now on! 🙂

    • Jacqueline, hope this isn’t too directive, but negativity sneaks into our minds so profoundly. It’s often hard to see: When you’re hit with sadness, instead of thinking about NOT having them in your life, spend time with memories and FEELINGS you had when you had them with you. When you sit in those wonderful feelings of joy, completeness, contentment, unconditional love, freedom etc, etc, – MILK IT. Wallow in those feelings and throughout it all and simply feel the feelings as though they are with you again. Wallow in those feelings for at least 68 seconds. I don’t know why, but something shifts. When you catch yourself thinking of their absence again, go over that list of feelings – for at least 17 seconds. Who knows when or how, but all that positive power will attract the positive aspects of them.

      The positive things we can use to rev up our frequencies – back into a powerful and positive vibration – don’t have to be related to the contrasting lack. We can think of a beloved, a kitten, an exquisite scene or piece of art…

      • No, not too directive at all, Amy ~ over the last year I’ve been going through the process, dealing with my feelings/reactions as they arise and evolve. There have been many ‘aha’ moments and I’ve learned so much. Recently I’ve felt ‘blocked’ and didn’t know how to shift it; have been searching for a way through my frustrations. This technique is perfect for me and I’ve been practising it since I read your article. And d’you know what? More and more negative responses keep presenting themselves ~ by last evening I was beginning to wonder if I’ve ever had a truly happy experience with any members of my family! But I guess searching for those moments to wallow in is the only way to uncover them and shows me how much subtle negativity I’ve been unconsciously feeding. This hugely complex situation is the biggest learning curve yet and, despite the pain, I am grateful for it. Thank you so much for your advice and support, dear friend, I truly appreciate the love! ❤ 🙂

  4. Great post, Amy. I agree with you 100%. I wasn’t always filled with joy and happiness as I am now. I actually remember contemplating suicide as a young child. I never acted on my thoughts because I was sure I’d fail to carry it off properly and then I’d just give everyone one more thing to scorn me for.
    But somewhere in young adulthood, I emerged as a whole person. I realized that I could pass through life’s difficulties with barely a scratch. Then I wondered if I was abnormal. I call myself a flat liner because I never feel especially sad and I don’t fall wildly, deeply in love. (Is that a protective instinct? Perhaps.) But I am truly happy…since retiring, almost giddily happy. I suspect others think I’m faking. I still wonder if I’m normal.
    The conclusion I’ve come to is that I’ve not had any of the REAL hurdles in life that could derail me. I’ve been so blessed by good luck and good health. I fear that when the inevitable day comes, “the diagnosis” or whatever it will be, I will fall apart and become a mass of self pity and lashing anger. I surely hope not. But that is my fear.
    Meanwhile, let happiness reign!

    • You’re amazing, Linda. I don’t believe in luck…I believe you’ve had this great happiness by being happy, open and receptive – you’ve received positive stuff. The fact that you pass through difficulties with ease speaks to your ability to be tuned in, turned on and tapped in to the goodness that is always available. Negativity is the plug to the good downloads so I hope you can change that fear stuff! Whatever you’ll have to face, you’ve proven you know how to get through it. So stop the fear, dear woman, and stop attracting some huge challenge you don’t need.

      I’ve also been happy throughout my life and if I stacked my life up against many others, it would look quite ordinary, in my opinion. But it’s what I find in every experience that thrills me to bits. At times I have to cool my jets because joy just comes bubbling forth abundantly. But that joy and happiness attracts and brings more so it’s self perpetuating.

      I’ve watched people who gloomily say, “Trouble always comes in threes.” Sure enough, they always have the opportunity to count to three. BUT! They stop counting at three! The count could go on endlessly because their attitudes feed the negative flow. In fact, when I’m presented with a “contrast to goodness”, I know there’s purpose to it. It fits into the scheme of things to bring goodness. Often it’s the reminder to me that I have a hidden negative somewhere and I have to replace it. I don’t ignore it, but I don’t dwell on it.

      A while back I wrote about family. I was observing people around me sacrificing so much for f-a-m-i-l-y and putting the whole scene on such a pedestal – to their own detriment – physically and emotionally. I had a negative underbelly going on as I wrote and that was the ONLY time I’ve received a negative comment on my blog. I considered it negative because the person made a whole whack of assumptions about me and my family relationships. The experience really brought home the truth about the down side of trying to camouflage a negative motive. Guess what it attracts!

      And just last night I was reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Committed” and she’s expressing my feelings about this family thing so very well. I was amazed to read some of her interesting research about family and how it’s morphed into something that better-be-sacred-or-else. Good grief, I love my family. Tons. But they don’t need me to sacrifice myself to know I love them.

      Gosh, Linda, we could have been on a hike with this response! You bring out so many interesting thoughts when I’m around you!

      • Yeah, we shoulda been on a hike! Ok. No more fears…much. I just acknowledge that I may not have yet climbed my mountain, whatever that may be.
        And the family thing? I think I remember that post. And I couldn’t agree more. Really that may be part of a larger thing going on at least in North America, where every holiday must supersede the one before it, every new house be more perfect than the one before, everyone’s kids must have more than their parents had…(but what if the parents already had all the essentials?) every vacation must trump the last, etc. People get so caught up in overblown expectations that they forget to live in this beautiful moment. And in this beautiful moment, I must walk away from my computer, walk out the door and into town to meet my friend for a movie and an evening of dining and gabbing. Life is utterly wonderful I’m glad to have someone I can say that to without feeling guilty or nuts. 😉

  5. 4-6″ of the white stuff coming our way. Himself was trying to grumble but lost it when I stood at the door, “Mr. Snowman in a bucket” in hand, looking out expectantly, asking “is it here yet, is it here yet?”.
    There’s opportunities in everything, so many I can’t keep up and I laugh as they whiz past–I know they’ll be back. My Creator gifts ’em to me every day….or curses me with ’em. LOL. But ain’t it cool we get to choose!

    17 and 68 seconds, eh? Those are the magic numbers, the difference between joy and misery?
    I guess I’ve never timed it…..but NOW I’ll just haffta! LOL…That’s if I can hold the thought that long! I seem to be easily distracted as of late. I’m pretty sure that was prearranged, just so I wouldn’t have the capacity TO choose miserableness (cuz sometimes I’m dorky like that.).

    I love my daily JOY list, hung for the world to see, daring others to join, or at least make the list by making me laugh…I love my CHOOSE JOY banner that covers my wall at work, and I love being in control of goodness and light. I’m a control freak. What can I say! 😉

    • Mel, you’re the poster child of joy, positive living, happiness and contagion! I love your attitude – have for years now as an e-friend. Your husband, and others around you must have an awful time ever being miserable! 😀

      Heard an interesting explanation about people who are so happy that some “others” cannot enjoy being around them. Ever notice people seemingly moving back into the shadows when joy is just a-bubbling inside you? It’s about frequency. People who live in happiness and feel lots of joy simply vibrate at a higher frequency. Yes, it can make those at lower frequencies uncomfortable without even understanding. They just want to avoid that powerbolt!

      Now, if I had my way, I’d ally-oop down to your place with my camera and we’d head out on that prairie, laughing our way through all the beauty and me marveling at being with such an extraordinary human being.

  6. Happiness isn’t something that just comes to us, I think it is based on our actions, so I guess I agree with you that it is a decision.

  7. Dear Amy,

    What a lovely post! And the great message it embodies about the simple practices that could shift us out of negativity and into happiness.

    I loved that closing line under the picture, ‘Happiness – accepting ‘being’ AND knowing there’s more ‘becoming’. ” Being’ – how many of us truly understand what this word signifies. To me, it means several things and I can almost visualise these in layers. Authenticity, which really comes down to ‘Being who you hold yourself out for others, but immeasurably more important, being who hold yourself for yourself.’ Beyond Authenticity is Integrity in terms of honouring one’s word. And beyond these to is the
    “Being” of being Out-here with the world.



    • If I understand you correctly, Shakti, you’ve come to the same conclusion Shakespeare shared, “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

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