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January 2, 2013

Happiness Is A Choice

By Sara Baker

hap●pi●ness (ha-pe-nis) noun  1. The state of well-being and contentment: joy

Back in October I attended a fitness conference.  I was very excited to see a lecture titled “The Pillars of Happiness.”   Though we have been delving into the mind body topic for quite some time at Jillfit, it was exciting to see a topic like this at a major fitness conference, showing that the industry is realizing that true ‘health’ goes much beyond nutrition and exercise.

This time of year is often filled with gratitude and reflection on the past year.  Though I completely agree on reflecting on the past year, I like to also start to look forward to the next year, setting my goals and planning for what I would like to accomplish.   As I sit here trying to think about 2013, I start to think about what would really make me happy.  Thought I have been extremely blessed with a pregnancy this year and will welcome my son in March of 2013, I also think about happiness with my physique, career, relationships and myself.

In this lecture, the 5 pillars of happiness that were discussed were acceptance, forgiveness, letting go, gratitude and letting love rule.  Below is a little insight on each of these pillars.

1) Acceptance.

First we must have acceptance of others.  This is easier said than done.  We cannot change others; we can only change our reaction to them.  Therefore, we eventually will have to accept how others treat us and respond to us.  We have a choice on how we respond to them.  Second, acceptance of life.   I love the idea that life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond to those events.   Lastly, and maybe the most important, acceptance of self.    You must have compassion for yourself to be truly happy.

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect.  It means that you have decided
to look beyond the imperfections.   

2) Forgiveness.

Again, you must forgive others and forgive yourself.  Being forgiving is not ability but a willingness.  Forgiveness is also the only way to truly live in the present.

3) Letting Go.

To be truly happy, we often must let go of stories, beliefs, attachments, expectations and disappointments.  Jill has blogged a lot about expectations and how they can often hold us down.  We must learn to let go.

4) Gratitude.

Another hot topic for us JillFit ladies.  We are often on this ‘hedonic treadmill’ and constantly searching for pleasure. Seeking pleasure is a natural act but sometimes, we need to stop and reflect on what we already currently have. Can you seek opportunity to be grateful in everyday life?

5) Letting Love Rule.

This is probably the simplest of the pillars, love others and love yourself.  If you can show love for yourself, you give permission for everyone else to do the same.

Happiness is a choice.

So as 2012 has come to a close and we move into 2013, take some time to think about your happiness.  Think about each of these 5 pillars and if there is any area you could focus on come the New Year.  Here is to a very healthy and happy new year!


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