Happiness May Be a Choice – Wh-a-a-a-t?!?

by | Apr 5, 2016 | Adventures in Awareness

Adventures in Awareness  Issue #5 - 2016

Be happy with what you have. Be excited about what you want.” - Alan Cohen, American author of inspirational books, including The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Any More (5 Oct 1954-  )

What I’m noticing is that many of my clients and friends are grappling with being unsettled with ‘happiness’ in some way or another: seeking it, or missing it, or experiencing new levels of it. While I’ve certainly ‘been there, done that’ across the span of my life, I’m having a different experience these days. Where in the past I would have been unhappy about something or someone for hours or even days, now I more often find the humor, the compassion and the letting go happens for me in seconds or minutes instead. My happiness restored, I then move ahead on the adventure that is life, with its ups, downs, and everything in between.

Within the circle of my closest ‘peeps’ who are in various stages of exploring ‘happiness’, I’m finding my thoughts are meandering purposely to identify what I want to create next in my life. Rather than going about it as I have in the past, I’m intentionally drifting, following my whims to see where it takes me, and what feels right. As I do so, I’m experiencing a deeper sense of peace than ever before and my work and play intersects seamlessly throughout my days. It appears that I’m choosing happiness as my usual state of being, and I’m loving the feeling!

As we enter New Moon and Mars Retrograde [coming up in June - see sidebar of Ongoing Energy Soup], and in service to your exploration of the concept that happiness may be a choice, I include an article and a brief video that have added to my reflections. I offer these with the intention to stimulate your thinking, your heart, and your imagination; please remember to take from them only that which resonates with you and let go of the rest.

Since my return from Sedona I’ve been in a silent space, taking advantage of this ‘down time’ for further reflection. I find it so apropos that as our upcoming New Moon reflective time quickly approaches, The Power Path’s Lena & Jose identify this month’s energies as UNSETTLED [see Energy Soup report]. I’ve also been paying attention to what’s showing up on my ‘radar screen’ in this space of quiet unsettlement [am I coining a new word here?].

ARTICLE: The Science of Happiness: Why complaining is literally killing you by Steven Parton, from CuriousApes.com

Basic tenets:

Synapses that fire together wire together.
Shortest path wins the race.
Acceptance vs. Regret, Drift vs. Desire, Love vs. Fear
Mirror Neurons
Stress will kill you.

VIDEO: The Happy Secret to Better Work by Shawn Achor at TEDx Bloomington in May 2011
This guy not only makes salient points, but he also does so with humor, adept storytelling, and a delivery style similar to that of one of my favorite comedians, Ellen Degeneres - I loved this 12 1/2 minutes!

What thoughts and reactions does the idea that happiness as a choice bring up within me? How might I consistently practice happiness as a choice?

I invite you to consider this question and, as you do, notice what new awareness emerges from within you. And please remember to have FUN on that awareness adventure into the question, okay?

Happy exploring!

THE “ENERGY SOUP” REPORT: Since we’re inextricably interconnected to each other, our planet, and our universe, here are some of the energies we’re all swimming in together right now:

New Moon - Apr 7th 4:25 AM [Pacific Time]  ~ remember that New Moons are optimal times to reflect on where you are and what you want to create from here.

The Power Path ~ This [New Moon] is a good time to launch just about anything as the energy of this moon is one with a great deal of power. Watch the aggression. If it comes from another, do not take it personally.  Things could be a bit unstable and unsettled today so take some time to ground and center yourselves as well as to set some clear intentions. Whatever you put fuel into during this new moon time with take hold, grab some aggressive momentum, and unfold over the next weeks, months and even years. So be clear that what you are fueling is for you and not for someone else.

Stephanie Austin, EcoAstrology ~ While all new moons are optimal times to set new intentions and begin new projects, this one is extra charged, as it occurs in the first sign of the zodiac [Aries], conjuncts Uranus and Eris, squares Pluto, and is a SuperMoon as well. This potent combination signals that we are ready for a major change in at least one area of our life, which will test our convictions and courage to embody what is true for us now…Aries represents the starting point of a new journey, an initiation to the next level. We are going beyond what’s familiar, comfortable, or customary. We are trailblazing, discovering new pathways and possibilities as we go. This takes courage, which is an essential quality for Aries and its ruler, Mars, to develop. It has been said that courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act in spite of it. It’s natural to have trepidation when faced with the unknown. It’s difficult to go against our many years of programming and listen to our inner guidance rather than conventional wisdom. We have to take a leap of faith and remember that, ultimately, life is about experience, and that there is no failure — only consciousness exploring ever-expanding frontiers of creation…Adding even more celestial support for a big change, this is the second of six SuperMoons this year, where the Moon is both at perigee (its nearest approach to the Earth) and at syzygy (aligned as a New or Full Moon), intensifying lunar gravitational forces, which tug on tidal levels, tectonic plates, and our psyches as well. These are amazing and demanding times, requiring that we take extra good care of ourselves on all levels. Monitor your intentions and motivations. Are you choosing from love or fear? Keep checking the truth meter located in the center of your chest. Know that you are making a difference, that each kind thought, word, and deed tips the evolutionary scales.

Madeline Gerwick, Business Astrologer, Polaris Business Guides ~ [New Moon info not yet received at publication]

Cosmic*Intelligence*Agency ~ With the New Moon touching in on Uranus in Aries we are called to come home to our truth-  that which resides in our hearts and be the unique and authentic expression of that…Throughout this time, we have been called to break from previous forms and most importantly, previous conditions and conditioning. We have been challenged to the core, quite often feeling like we have been crushed, crucified and cracked wide open, till there were no conditions left except our deepest spiritual longing…especially when we thought we were alone, we have become more aware of ourselves, others, all living beings and cosmic consciousness. We have learned to empower ourselves through the feminine; learning to flow, trust, surrender and ‘let go’. Many times we have been called to take ‘leaps of faith’, each time breaking new ground on living more authentically. We have survived and hopefully thrived throughout many years of pressure to go even deeper into our essential nature and channel that light into the world.  At this New Moon don’t be surprised by who you are or who you are becoming, we are changing and with it the world is changing too!

Apr 4-May 1 is the “Galactic Moon [Month] of Manifestation” according to the Galactic Calendar - its energies are perfect-produce-manifest; its Totem Animal is Dog. “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you’, it will be enough.” ~ Meister Eckhart

April Theme - UNSETTLED - The Power Path - Lena & Jose Stevens - This month we are acutely aware that we are in transition. We have mental anxiety about what we might be forgetting or not keeping track of or not keeping up with. Our sleep is interrupted and light at best and non-existent at worst. We feel we might be missing something. It is hard to settle down and easy to get distracted. Even if we manage to cross everything off our to do list, there is a nagging feeling that something has been left undone.

This is the current state of affairs, necessary for change and evolution but extremely uncomfortable for many, especially for those with the “need to know” and a need for security. The Spring Equinox and the eclipses of March have left us in an unsettled place of asking, “what happens next?” We know it is not business as usual but we also cannot see around the bend or trust that what is showing up today will be the same as what shows up tomorrow. [Read more…]


Mars Retrograde –  Apr 17 2016  - Jun 29 2016 - Stephanie Austin, EcoAstrology - While retrograde in Sagittarius, Mars summons us to re-examine our most fundamental assumptions, question our strategies, and realign with our higher Self. Are we living our life purpose? Are we walking our talk? Where do we need to take a leap of faith?
Pluto Retrograde –  Apr 18 2016 - revealing what is holding us back. What do we need to face? Where do we need to move on, up, or out?

Saturn-Neptune Squares –  Jun 17 2016; and Sep 10 2016 - Stephanie Austin, EcoAstrology - This Saturn–Neptune square is part of a larger synodic cycle of 36 years. Squares mark important turning points; these are waning squares, considered by Dane Rudhyar ‘a crisis in consciousness,’ where we must re-orient ourselves and release forms which no longer support our growth…Saturn–Neptune squares challenge us to manifest from our essence rather than our ego, and to follow our intuition and inner guidance rather than external authority and convention. We are summoned to spiritual maturity, which entails letting go of martyrdom and victim mentality, blame and guilt, addictions and illusions. By making more time and space in our lives to connect with our higher self, we are able to see where we have been in denial, where we have abdicated our power, and how we can instead live with both integrity and vision, pragmatism and faith. As we engage more with nature, meditation, and the wisdom of our heart, we see through the fears and beliefs that block us from embodying our truth…

Some ways to work with this ongoing Saturn-Neptune square:

  • Simplify. Less can be more—more time, less hassle.
  • Prioritize. A powerful mantra: What is most important in this moment?
  • Set realistic goals. Make reminders of what is most important to you.
  • Listen to your body. Aches, pains, illness are are messages that we need to make a change.
  • Pay attention to your dreams. Both day and night dreams provide valuable pointers.
  • Give yourself daily soul time. Meditate, do art, play music, dance, journal, walk, etc.
  • Be completely honest. Tell the truth always, with compassion for all concerned.
  • “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” (Anne Herbert)
  • Be in gratitude. Thankfulness opens the heart and the way for more blessings to come.
  • And most importantly: “Practice responding to every emotion or thought of fear, anger, resistance, shame, judgement, excitement, or whatever with one word–“interesting”, asking yourselves; “What am I believing that is making me feel this way, is it true?

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