Dare to be Happier

abundant-joy-2

On the day I tweeted this #sixword phrase:

amplifying abundance with kindness and joy 

referring to the experience of creating “Celebrating with Joy” with the intention of sharing a gift a day (with those who choose to join) for two weeks leading up to my birthday…

I received a retweet from someone named *Dare to Be Happier*.

I replied saying I love the energy and feel of this name and I would love to receive a dare from you.

I received the following response:

“It’s more about a way of living..decisions to do what makes you happy and your heart sing….changing how you think…

feeling the fear and doing it anyway…setting boundaries..removing negative people to leave space for positive….

it may be how you live your life already from your profile and tweets…

but since we are happier when we are kind, I dare you to carry out 3 random acts of kindness today. I will dare me too!”

Well you know my heart smile brightened…because I love random acts that amplify abundance.

So, three things:

1. I reached out to connect with Caroline to share a bit of her message with you

2.  I took the dare and I invite you to do the same.  If you may simply say “I accept” in the comments, then please come back to the comment section and share your experience (or email me).

3.  This video by Evita Ochel speaks to the idea of Honoring Our Journeys; affirming the idea of listening to your heart whispers and living them (what I did here with the experience of connecting with Caroline).

Dare to Be Happier

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Caroline – @DaretobeHappier

Joy: I love the name “Dare to be Happier”.  May you share, what prompted you to choose this name? And what is your intention for sharing material on social media with this name?  

Caroline: I chose Dare to be Happier because I want to encourage people to move from sadness to happiness.

Depression often happens because there are things in our lives we believe we are stuck with and cannot accept, and that conflict makes us unhappy in ourselves.  The reality is that only rarely are there things we cannot change; we nearly always have choices, but too often we don’t make them because we feel we “must” do something, “need to do something” or are limited by our beliefs about a situation.

Daring to be positive isn’t just about positive psychology though; it’s about the choices we make, even after our life turns upside down with significant life changes such as the loss of a loved one, the loss of our job, or the diagnosis of a life shortening or chronic illness, for instance.  Victor Frankl inspired me that even with such events in our lives, we can choose to be happier.   It’s now how I now live my life.

J: When you share this thought,“It’s more about a way of living..decisions to do what makes you happy and your heart sing….changing how you think…may you share with us an example of a decision that could potentially inspire heart-song? And what makes your heart sing? 

C: Any decision where we choose to follow our heart will inspire heart song.  Our hearts are always singing to us; we just drown them out with noise, busyness and other people’s voices.

When you have a choice to do something, sit quietly and ask yourself, “which choice makes my heart sing?” Which choice sits with my own values and beliefs? What do I need to do here that means I am living authentically, that will bring me or others joy?

My heart sings when I am encouraging others, when I visit ancient places, when I see beauty in the world around me, when I hear of the kindness of others, when I read a great book, when I eat a perfectly ripe melon, when I am touched by grace.

J: When you share this thought, “feeling the fear and doing it anyway…setting boundaries..removing negative people to leave space for positive…” it resonates strongly with me, because when fear arises I invite it to inspire me as I create and connect and to motivate me to stretch and the one lesson I ignored much of my life was to *remove negative people*…

C: I love that you invite the fear to inspire you to create, connect and to motivate you to stretch!  We forget that all we have to do is keep stretching our comfort zones and soon they will be naturally bigger and we will forget that initial fear, and find a new comfort zone.

I made a conscious decision to stay positive, and focus on kindness where I could do so – it meant that not everyone who was in my life at that time was happy with my choice, though some changed to grow with me.

But I’ve found that when I removed the negative people, or cut down on the time I spent with them then it left room for positive people to come into my life, so that I’m now blessed with a group of dear soul friends – anam caras, as they are called in Ireland, where I grew up.

J: Is there a practice that you use that you may share with us that involves feeling the fear and doing it anyway?

C: I ask myself questions, like “how will I feel if I don’t do this, or at least try it?”  “what is the worst that could happen?” “if I don’t do this, will I be happier or sadder?” “what can I do that will mean I have the least regrets?”

But to back that up, I do two other things.  The first is journaling.  I run courses called The Magic of Journaling, because there are so many tools you can use to change situations, to get what is “inside” out and on to paper, where it loses so much of its power to create fear.When I lose touch with my centre, or feel exhausted, then I always realise I haven’t been journaling of late.

The second is gratitude, and I use my journal to record things I am grateful for – in 2006, when I started doing that (and when I was quite depressed and off work with stress), it took me one hour to find one thing to be grateful for.  Now, I could fill a book in an hour.

J: Do you have an experience you might share of when you chose to remove a negative person from your life?

C: There are different ways to remove negative people from your life.  Some are to just let it die naturally (as if you look at this type of situation, often you are the person who always organises that meeting or coffee).

With one person, I made myself less available.  I kept a strict eye on the clock if there was a phone call, and said I needed to finish the call.  I try to leave these situations with love, and bless the person who has gone, asking that they will come to see a different way to live.  Sometimes though, it just has to be a difficult conversation, or a radical move like leaving a job or a relationship.  I’ve done all of these, not all successfully (or with gentleness) – but in the long term, it’s been worth it.

J: I loved your dare to do three random acts of kindness!  Thank you for choosing to respond and play along!  May you share with us, what three random acts of kindness did you do?  And how did it feel?

C: In my work, I picked up something that someone else should have done and just did it.  I sponsored someone I hardly knew to raise money for ex soldiers, and I left some chocolates in my local café for the hard working staff there with a note that just said “thanks for serving me with a smile.”  They always make me feel good – sometimes they even move me to tears when I see how such a little gesture means so much to people.

J: Thank you for taking the time to connect!  Is there anything you would like to share about your message/purpose/voice…something you wish us to know/feel?

C: I want people to know there is a better way to live, that is in our control.  That what we think is crucial to how we live, and we can choose a different way to live.  Above all, I want people to remember that life is not a dress rehearsal – so they should dare to be happier.

J: And, my last question is one I am asking in all interviews of 2013. Please answer this question: If someone “really knew me”, they would know these two things about me:

C: They would know that I am too hard on myself but am learning to nurture myself, and that I am a Phoenix.

Thank you for asking me these questions, really thought provoking…and I don’t call it resonance or serendipity, I call it grace… <3

Thank you Caroline!

Celebrating with Joy

Last call for Celebrating with Joy: The fun of Celebrating with Joy is that in order to give gifts daily, I need to reach out to ask my friends to donate them.  Which means I have to be open to receive them in.  And, if you browse the gift list, the value of gifts far exceeds the dollar amount of the course…so now it has become an extraordinary experience of infinite possibility. registration is open through July 3, 2013 if you would like to join in (simply click the title link).

And, our July energetic intention circle is now open.  If you would like to submit your intention, please do so here.

Random Acts of Kindness Dare

So, to you, dear reader, I ask you to share this: What is one way in which you might “dare to be happier” today–a thought, affirmation, practice, expression or action step?  (When you share you affirm and inspire!)

And, if you would like to take Caroline’s dare: I dare you to commit three random acts of kindness today, simply say I accept in the comments, then come back to share your experience in the comments  (or email me).  How fun!

Thank you for your presence!

Much peace and abundant love,

Joy

Reminder: Unravel. Unfurl. Unfold.

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Comments on: "Dare to be Happier" (10)

  1. I love this & I accept the dare too! I love doing random acts of kindness. I brings me so much joy, it’s always a win/win! :)

  2. Catriona said:

    I accept! :-)

  3. What a great message! I’d accept a modified dare to be mindful of being kind, not just to perform 3 random acts of kindness. I find that it’ll just make me too task-focused on performing those acts and then losing the greater feeling and purpose of the dare. Otherwise, I loved the interview with Caroline, not the least of which is journaling, which is a sacred part of my own daily spiritual routine. Same for gratitude, which is part of my journaling – to express gratitude for the people and late developments in my life. Overall, thank you very much, Joy, for this beautiful piece! Let’s all dare more people to be happier!

    • Hi Alice, Thank you for the affirmation and reflection!

      I understand your modification. I loved the dare to apply the kindness because it showed me how “easy it is” to share from that which is abundant in my life to meet another’s needs. For example, I don’t have extra money–but I do have a way with words and a surplus of notecards, so I decorated a few cards and added personal messages and mailed them. I wouldn’t have chosen to do so had I not been “dared to think outside of my kindness comfort zone”.

      I love that you journal, and that you add gratitude to that. I also love the placement of this reminder, because I know that when I tend to get busy the practice of journaling is sometimes temporarily placed aside (which is a state I was almost entering into).

      Yes, let’s all dare more people to be happier! Let’s amplify the energy of joy!

  4. Catriona said:

    Random act of kindness 1: asked flatmate’s dumped friend to stay for a week, with option to stay permanently (if I move out of my office)!

    • Thank you for sharing, Catriona! How generous of you…and I bet your gesture is an answer to that friends prayer!

  5. jean sampson said:

    I helped a friend today—-took her out to another mutual friend’s house for the afternoon, where we did some deep personal work. She said it was an answer to prayer! I had no idea at all. I really didn’t even want to go because today was so busy. But once I “got” that this trip was about her and for her, I was really happy! I love when things like that happen and I am one of the means to really help someone. I even signed up to do it again in a couple of weeks—–happily!!
    Will be on the look-out for more things like that tomorrow! :) It makes you feel really good! :)

    • Thank you for joining in, Jean, and for sharing your experience! I love this “will be on the look-out for more things like that tomorrow!”…a reminder that we can extend the dare indefinitely!

      You and Catriona both have reflected how an act of kindness can be an answer to another’s prayer–even when we don’t know that is the “purpose”. An invitation to listen to our heart whispers. Thank you!

      I also love that you signed up to do it again…Thank you for all that you reflected here!

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