Are We HAPPY Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life by Lisa Cypers Kamen (Book Excerpt & Giveaway)
Be your own best friend. The trick is learning to embrace “In-Joyment”. Your joy is already inside you. True happiness comes from within. When you treat yourself with the respect you deserve, you will attract the happiness you desire. The only way to cultivate the light that is within you is to treat yourself with honor, with grace, with kindness, with integrity, and with self-love. Then you cannot help but glow.
“If you contemplate the Golden Rule, it turns out to be an injunction to live by grace rather than by what you think other people deserve.”
~ Deepak Chopra, M.D. ~
The funny thing about happiness is that it is not about control. It is about consciously turning on your own internal lights and shining them out into the world to illuminate what is positive and right within your immediate universe.
Happiness begins when you admit to yourself that you deserve happiness in whatever form makes the most sense to you. While you might think you understand happiness right now, it’s your commitment to the H-Factor that adds up to sustainable happiness and well-being. When we are mindful of the H-Factor, which we covered before Key #1, we are reminded of this: that which brings us happiness, increases our joy, helps us find our smiles, and makes our hearts sing is not fleeting/temporal happiness. We embody the H-Factor when we find ourselves enraptured by the moment we are in without regard to time, space, or external circumstances. It exists when we are in flow with our lives and are aware of how good it feels.
Many moons ago, I traveled around the world with my daughter, Kayla, to explore my hypothesis that every person, regardless of socioeconomic level, age, ethnicity, career, health, or life circumstances, possesses happiness or the means to feel happy. Together, we interviewed people from all walks of life—from religious leaders, politicians, inmates, and actors to street vendors and the homeless—in an ef- fort to discover the universal keys to happiness. The tangible result was my film, H-Factor: Where Is Your Heart? The most precious gifts from my filmmaking journey included watching the shifts in my daughter, soulfully connecting with the people we interviewed and witnessing my own metamorphosis as a seeker of the fountain of authentic, sustainable, and intentional happiness.
Even though you now understand what the H-factor is, it doesn’t reside where you may think.
Can you discover the secret to the H-Factor in the latest self-help guide or by going to a therapist?
No, the H-Factor is not contained in any self-help book. Not even this one. It’s explained in here, but only you can create it. It’s not about processing negative emotions or past traumas; it’s not about what your parents did or did not do.
Will you discover the H-Factor if you cleanse all the toxins out of your body?
No. You may feel better physically after a cleanse, but the H-Factor has nothing to do with a high colonic or juice fast.
Can a guru or teacher provide you with the keys to the big H-Factor secret by unlocking the mysticism and magic of the universe?
No. That would be moving in the wrong direction. The H-Factor isn’t in the far reaches of the universe; it is in you.
You are the light and epicenter of your own joy. The secret to happiness resides within you. It is already there—just flip the switch and turn up the brilliance. Feelings of depression, oppression, and suppression are all a manifestation of repressing the light of joy within you. We came into the world happy and then the light within us was diminished by experience. In order to rekindle the light within, we must reawaken our inherent nature of joy.
Repression is part of the compression and con- traction that limits our brilliance. When we live in a contracted state, we are coiled up and closed off to the greater life that is available to us. Conversely, when we live in an open state of mind and being, our consciousness expands. Our happiness already exists. We just have to find new ways to let it shine.
How do you do this?
- Make promises to yourself that you can keep.
- Do things that you actually want to do and that serve your growth.
- Be kind to your body and your spirit.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- Remember your happiness first.
- Consider the feelings of others.
- Align your actions with your needs. When you move through each day, you will move differently if you’re happy. The moment you realize that you are the one who is responsible for your happiness, that you deserve happiness, and that happiness is your natural state, you’ll treat yourself better and authentically feel more joyful. You will experience, in a word, “In-Joyment”.
Starting right now, right here, accept nothing less than the best for yourself. How you define this is up to you. For example, if you’re asked to go to a certain event and you really do not want to go, say “no” in- stead of “yes” (as you might have done in the past).
When you listen to yourself and treat yourself with respect, you will notice that you are better able to care for yourself and meet your own needs. You may already do this for everyone around you. Why not for yourself? Besides, the better you care of yourself, the more you will have to give to your friends, family, and the world at large.
Take the H-Factor challenge and treat yourself the way you know you deserve to be treated as a child of the Universe. It’s the only way to tap into your inner light.
As we think about life’s situations and scenarios, it is hard to imagine any of them being easier to manage or more joyful to be present in than those we take on with a sense of happiness and well-being in our hearts. Our minds are nourished and more creative when we embrace our humanness rather than condemn it. Strangely enough, many of us are more loving and for- giving to others than ourselves. Why? We all deserve to be treated with kindness. And in turn, our gift to the world is to extend that kindness outward.
Are you ready to commit to happiness by treating yourself well? Be an example of compassion, love, and self-acceptance for those around you. They will notice, they will be inspired, and they will learn! Let’s start a kindness revolution, starting with how we treat ourselves!
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
~ Buddha ~
Lisa Cypers Kamen, MA, is an internationally recognized applied positive psychology coach, author, speaker, documentary filmmaker, and host of the popular radio show Harvesting Happiness, where she has helped millions of people around the world generate more joy and fulfillment in their life. Her new book, Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life releases on March 20, 2017. For more information, visit www.arewehappyyet.com.