For the first week I felt like a spiritual guru. That I had reached enlightenment and nothing could touch me. This was obviously fleeting and the realities of life returned. But this was also a nice experience because it reminded me – *happiness is a daily, effortful practice!* It is not about removing or even adding one thing. It’s about a series of choices that take discipline and awareness. Many people ask me how to be happy, looking for a quick fix. But what I find makes me happy is deep knowledge of myself. This is not selfish. This knowledge helps me be more generous to others, respond better in stressful situations making me a better coworker and partner, and connects me with my passions making me a better person for my community.
And it was actually this quest for self-knowledge that spurred my plan to remove social media. So has it worked? Do I know myself more? Am I happy?
More than just knowledge, I found love. I’ve always known what my body looks like. Or that I prefer to stay in on a Friday night. Or that I treat my dog like my child. But finally I felt more accepting of these parts of myself. It seemed more “ok” to not wear makeup or spend my afternoon cleaning or maybe doing nothing at all. These are all things that I was programmed to think weren’t “ok”. But now I care less. Not to say I don’t do anything or think about anything, quite the opposite. I actually think and do more! And I do it from a place of love. More of my truth and less about my programming. And I think if you are really honest with yourself about what it is you really want to do at this moment you will find relief and inspiration.
We are fearful of falling behind, doing the “wrong” thing, or disappointing others. But whose standards are we living up to? How do the images and information we consume impact these standards?
For me, Instagram was my biggest source of chatter. But find where YOUR chatter is coming from. Where are you being overly influenced? And how can you connect with your deepest self?
Maybe you would benefit from having silence?
Maybe you would enjoy starting a new hobby?
Maybe you would find clarity if you distanced yourself from a certain person?
I believe that we know what will make us happy. And the part of us that is depressed, anxious, unregulated, stressed, jealous, etc. is being fed through external programming. The structures around us that tell us how to look, how to be cool, how to be successful, are all wrong because they are not YOU.
So to finally answer, am I happy?
I am better than happy, I am stable. I have found a way to be the wave and not the surfer. I have found that I am the source. And so are you! Now go listen to yourself.
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