“Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”
Imagine a small child playing outside. She has no toys, but she does have an inspired mind and the raw materials around her. She picks up a stick from the ground and runs toward the nearest tree.
Just before running into it, she stops and gasps in amazement. She looks up, tilting her head ever so slightly to the left. From her vantage point, the tree seems to go on and on forever. And although she can’t quite comprehend how interconnected and vital the tree is to her and the world around her, she knows there is something magical about it.
While waving the stick in her hand, she begins wildly encircling the outer boundaries of the tree. She imagines warding off invaders who are trying to take over her kingdom, her power. But, she manages to protect herself and her tree.
She spends the entire day being happy. Afterall, happiness is her natural state of being. Floating around her everywhere, as obvious as the stars in a clear night’s sky.
But, as she grows into an adult her outlook on life changes. She begins to question everything about her childhood and life and shifts into a state of despair.
“Why is life so unfair?” She wonders.
Happinesses is now nothing more than a mirage existing somewhere in the far off distance — quickly diluting and disappearing as the distance grows shorter.
“Who am I?” She questions unsettlingly.
The little girl who once defended her kingdom with nothing more than a stick had somehow slipped away like her fantasies. She was replaced with an uncertain and fearful woman who is so caught up in the undertow of her day-to-day life that she stopped searching for more.
After all, she has bills, responsibilities and a job. She grew complacent with life—never asking for or seeking more.
But, somewhere deep inside, she longed for the lost child within her and the happiness that was once unquestionably part of who she was.
She is you. She is me. She is all of us.
Somewhere along the way we bury part or even all of the child within us. Perhaps it because of a job. Or a relationship. Or a series of disappointing or traumatic life events. But, whatever the reason, you can still find your inner child and harvest happiness back into fruition.
So where do you begin? Start here:
1.) Recognize What’s Missing
When you acknowledge your happiness is missing, this in itself is the first step toward being happy. Only through recognition will you develop the desire to shift your life into a new direction and take inspired action.
2.) Quiet Your Mind
Happiness is the harvest of a quiet mind, so relax, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. There are so many thoughts racing through your mind relentlessly, all vying for your attention. Quiet those thoughts. Especially the fear based ones and just breathe.
3.) Ritualize Happiness
Happiness is a choice, not a coincidence. So invite happiness in by making it part of your daily routine. Without happiness, there can be no true success because if you do not enjoy and love what you are creating and the life you are living, then you are not living as your true self. An easy way ritualize happiness is to start each day repeating affirmations such as:
“I choose happiness.”
“I choose love.”
“I choose success.”
“I choose right action.”
And then follow those affirmations up with gratitude. List three things you are grateful for every morning when you wake up. After 30 days this will become a regular part of your day, and you will begin to notice a shift in your perspective.
Let your imagination run: If you were still a child imagining your life today, what would it look like? Who would you be? Where would you be? What would you be doing? Allow your inner child to catapult you into another reality, a reality where you are worry free, living without fear and embracing happiness.
Now, grab a journal and write down the answers to your questions. Don’t worry about making sense of your thoughts yet, just focus on writing.
Now, how do you feel? Curious? Inspired? Creative?
4.) Color your life
Make your life beautiful and vibrant. Colors exist to be used and enjoyed, so let go of the black-and-white redundancy and embrace life’s pigmentations. Create something, write something, go somewhere new. And smile because there is nothing more beautiful or vibrant than your smile.
5.) Create Good Energy
You are made up of pure energy. We all are. Energy is what keeps the world as we know it in motion and existence. That’s why it’s so important to create and put out good energy because what you put out is ultimately what comes back to you. So the more love, kindness and happiness you exude, the more love, kindness and happiness you will bring into your life.
6.) Believe in Yourself
As Henry David Thoreau famously said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve always imagined.”
You are powerful. Tremendously so. But, your inner kingdom cannot be ruled without a ruler. Believe in yourself, and believe in your purpose even if you do not yet understand what it is or how it will come to be. Once you start to believe, you will unleash your personal power, and that power is a force to be reckoned with.
Above all remember, this is a moment in time. And, a moment is all it takes to change everything. To charge your thoughts, change yourself, change your world and perhaps even the entire world.
Choose to be the real you and choose happiness.
I wrote this piece originally for Thought Catalog. You can find it here.
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card reader. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.