My “Instant Happy” Happiness Tool

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How many self-help books have you purchased over the years?  How many audiobooks, meditation CDs and products have you tried to make your life happier, more successful or wise?   How much money have you spent looking for magic dust – that one key to unlock the door to your potential?  If you are like me, you have a whole shelf on your bookcase dedicated to self-help, have spent hours listening to audiobooks in the car or at the gym and still been left empty.  Why?

Your Wisest Guru Is Your Inner You.  I found this quote in Karen Salmonsohn’s Instant Happy book.  I read this quote and pondered it for a few days as I considered whether I truly am wise, a guru or a luminary.  I resisted the thought that I was a guru.  Doesn’t being a guru or expert, etc take special training?  Who am I to think that I have that?  I was told for years that creative pursuits were a waste of time and “not a real job” that added anything of value to the world.  Introspection is scary; sometimes scarier that the monster under the bed.  What is it about looking at ourselves with love and listening to the wizened soul that scares us so much?   So I made a list.

  • Do others look up to me?  Yes
  • Do others find my story inspiring? Yes
  • Do others tell me that my strength gives them strength?  Yes
  • Did I believe those things about myself?  The answer at first was no.  I believed that following my inner me meant that I was being arrogant.  It took some time, a deep bout of depression and near mental breakdown for me to decide that I needed to listen to the calling of my inner voice.

I already was a guru.  It was inside all along.  I knew what I needed, what represented the authentic me – I simply needed to do it. I began art journaling, a daily journaling practice, started sharing my work online and made photo walking my daily exercise routine.   I shared my vulnerabilities, doubts and concerns on social media and eventually on my blog.  That little voice keeps me honest.  By being vulnerable, I learned that I wasn’t alone.  What?  You don’t believe it could be that simple?  There is a voice that speaks to each of us.  That voice doesn’t shout – there is no neon sign, no infomercial or money to be made from our doubts and fears.

Want to write, paint, go back to school, start a business or care for you?  Take the first step.  .  . Your Wisest Guru Is Your Inner You.  ~ Karen Salmonsohn

What is your guru telling you?

This post was inspired by Karen Salmansohn’s INSTANT HAPPY book.  You can find more information about the book here:   www.notsalmon.com/instant-happy-book

 

The Value of Beginning

© 2012 Paulissa Kipp

© 2012 Paulissa Kipp

The Value of Beginning

To begin . . .to start, to commence, to undertake a task.  Beginnings can be exciting – a new job, a new marriage, college, parenthood or any other unfamiliar change can set our hearts aflutter and fill our minds with the promise of unlocked opportunity.  Yet beginnings can also unleash fear, feelings of incompetence, inadequacy and of being a fish out of water.

I have experienced this firsthand recently.  I left a job in a work environment that was draining and went back to school after 6 years of working full time and attending classes part time.  A huge change and a bold beginning.  Yet all kinds of fears have risen to the top:  How will I manage the homework for 3 classes, a home, a business and a marriage and how will I care for myself in the mix?  Add in a class in 2D design that assumes far more art knowledge than I possess and panic attack city, here I come. Beginnings can be scary.

But think of the way a child learns to walk:  he or she first crawls, then takes a tentative step while holding onto surfaces, takes a tumble a few times, gets bruises and bumps, practices, then walks without hanging on and eventually runs.

Learning in general is much the same way.  We often undervalue beginnings and want to jump right to expertise, assuming that mastery is easier.  Mastery may be more comfortable, but it doesn’t teach us as much. Beginnings teach us to humble ourselves, to be receptive, to listen and absorb, and to lean on others for help and support.  The greatest life lessons arrive wrapped in hard work and discomfort.  That, my friends, is when we learn about ourselves.  We learn what we are made of when we are pushed beyond our limitations.

What am I learning by being outside my comfort zone?  I am learning to push through my resistance at being a beginner.  I am learning to tell myself that even though I may be a beginner, I am not untalented.  I am learning the value of having a foundation to build upon.  I am learning to be open to receiving the gifts that learning through baby steps has to offer.  I am learning the value of beginning.

Remember, brave ones, that moving forward can be measured in many ways and that moving in any direction is OK as long as you are moving.  Baby steps. . .

Can you think of a time when beginning (even if you were beginning something you desperately desired) scared you?  How did you handle your fear to find joy in the change?

Your Mission:  write, create a piece of art or photography that shows what beginning looks like to you.