CHIC Journal: What I've learned about happiness!

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Once I discovered peace, happiness was no longer something I needed to achieve, but rather something that was already inside of me.

Taking a pause is hard in a selfie-centered, career-driven, goal-oriented world. There’s so many pressures to do more, be more, have more, and show more. Falling victim to these society pressures are extremely hard, precisely, when you’re trying to figure out who and what makes you happy. Happiness is a long journey, while many flaunt the idea of joy on social media encompassing taglines and statuses, I question how many of us are truly happy? Does “likes” make you feel valued, does accolades make you feel accomplished? If you strip yourself from titles, who are you at the core? 

I struggled with this question . One day with nowhere to go, no event to plan, children weren’t home, husband was away, I realized something very devastating, I had no idea what made me happy. Even more terrifying, I had no idea who I was when I wasn’t busy “doing” something. For so long, happiness meant doing, planning, and surrounding myself around people. If you took those things away, I’m afraid to admit, I had no real sense of peace. This realization was eye-opening, but horrifying to say the least. Something had to change. Peace became more important. The road to internal peace is yet discovered. But I learned a couple of things. Society has conditioned us to think that happiness is external. A new job, a better house, the right car, the perfect mate, a big family, equates to happiness. But what happens when you have all those things but you’re still unfulfilled? We all have happy moments; things and people that make us smile, but this is very different from peace. Peace is being content with the day-to-day sequences of life. We talk about happiness so much, but what the world is missing is something that’s much more profound than happiness, it’s peace. What happens if the one thing you were waiting on to make you happy, never happened? Are you content? Peace is being able to accept life when situations don’t meet your expectations.  You don’t quit, but you don’t lose your sense of peace. Happiness are moments that make you smile, laugh, and bring joy. Peace is loving your boring and mundane day-to-day life occurrences when no one is around cheering you on, and there’s no superficial “fan club” on social media. Peace is loving yourself and your life in your deepest darkness moments even in the midst of disappointment. I am learning to have peace by clinging on to my faith. It’s been a long journey, but for so long, I let society trick me into believing that happiness was the purpose, it was peace that I needed. Once I discovered peace, happiness was no longer something I needed to achieve, but rather something that was already inside me.

I have however, discovered moments of happiness that makes my soul smile. I encourage you to discover yours and make a list. Here's mine:

1. Being with my family without the need to share and post my every moment. Being intentionally in the moment. 

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2. Plants: I just recently realized that I like house plants. Something about waking up, watering and watch them grow speaks to my soul. 

3. Times spent alone:  Yes, I discovered so much peace in my alone time. Hello bath time, long trips in the car, listening to MY music, and solo vacations. 

4. Reading: I really really love reading. I just finished Boundaries. This book is pretty amazing and very eye-opening on setting boundaries in your own life. 

5. Girlfirend time: ok so I went on a hiatus with friends. At one point I got tired of making time for friends who never made time for me. So what did I do? I stopped! I realized something very quickly, people will make time for who and what they want to make time for. My real friends quickly revealed themselves during this period. Now I know its essential for my girlfriend time. Sometimes we have to plan our meet-ups months in advance but we when get together the feeling is so rejuvenating to my soul. 

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6. Date nights: I make this a big deal. I get dress like I'm going out with my high school crush and I try not to talk about the children on our nights out. I really try to re-live those moments that made us the fun, cool, and hip parents that we are. lol. We truly act like teenagers on our nights out and I love every moment of it. 

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7. Writing: I journal a lot! I love it, it allows me to freely express myself without any judgement. I especially like to re-read things just to see how much I've grown. It truly helps me keep things in perspective. 

8. CHICmom: I truly love being in the presence of other mamas! Growing and learning together is truly one of my life purposes. Talking and sharing our experiences in a transparent environment is Gold! 

 

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9. Clean house, music and the smell of candles: Yes, they all go hand in hand. Usually I'm cleaning with a candle lit, blasting music! When this happens, I'm in pure heaven... Aww the simplicity of small things.

10. Learning: I love to learn, its truly a part of my happiness. I learn by attending conferences and listening to podcast. A couple of my favorite podcast are:

~Oprah's Super Soul Sunday ,The Daily Hope with Rick Warren, and Myleik My Taught you 

I have tons more small moments but I won't bore you about me. This quest to peace has been so fulfilling. I challenge you to find those special moments that make you happy, make a list, print them out. It's your safety space when you feel a little sense of unhappiness. Remember peace is more essential. Peace is knowing that all things will work out just the way they were planned, this helps you to live in the moment and enjoy the day by day of life. Creating happy moments in life helps you come alive. 

My life changing moment:

**Being grateful: Waking up daily and finding something to be grateful for, even when I want more! Gratitude has changed my life!!

With love, 

Jessica