The challenge of happiness

The challenge of happiness

Do you really believe? In happiness? In yourself? 

Are there challenges and obstacles that thwart your full enjoyment of life? 

Do you question your abilities? Whether or not you really deserve to be happy and/or to enjoy specific activities? 

Many of us could answer yes to one or ALL of these questions and if you're one of these then keep reading this thought provoking article by Maura Sweeney from the Huffington Post…

Recently, I was invited to speak at The Challenge of Happiness Conference. The annual event is sponsored by the Juvenile Justice Board in Tampa Bay and designed to acknowledge and encourage social workers, lawyers and others dedicated to ensuring positive development and well-being of families in the area. As closing speaker, I was to tie a proverbial bow on the day's events.

Before I spoke, a behavioral scientist from Boston provided clinical proof that we only see what we believe. Apparently, the key to sight is found in the caverns of our subconscious. This Ph.D. reversed Doubting Thomas' familiar phrase I'll believe it when I see it to I'll see it when I believe it. A subconscious mind that doesn't believe something will block images from our life experience and continue to hold us captive. These expert findings resonated with me and provided a great segue for what was to come.

Unlike previous speakers who approached the conference from clinical and academic backgrounds, my approach was personal. Drawing upon experiences that included my most recent travels through Montenegro, Albania, Turkey and Greece, I shared personal stories involving the challenge of happiness.

I've always loved stories, whether I played listener or teller. Unlike facts and training that address our conscious mind, stories pass through our predetermined mindsets and prejudices. They draw us to a place where we unwittingly open up to new paradigms and possibilities. Listening to someone else's story helps us revisit and reassess those of our own. Inspiring tales often ignite hope for what's languishing in our souls, hidden from our own awareness.

In one story, I told the tale of my learning how to dance, something that didn't happen till I was nearly 50. While many in the audience would have found dancing natural and perhaps no challenge at all, I invited them to relate to my story as an "I can't" tale. We all have at least one "I can't" story in life that challenges our happiness.

In my case, a half century of patterning had created a nearly impossible chasm. My subconscious mind, probably the size of a titanic glacier, was convinced that I could never learn to dance. My heart wished for this ultimate elixir: communal celebration, joy of movement, and an atmosphere where people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities could celebrate together. My desire called me to freedom, but a lifetime of patterning to the contrary had me totally stuck…

…keep reading the full article HERE