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Best Ever You 365
[Link Removed]Hamilton-Guarino & Dr. Katie Eastman
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From Elizabeth  

Your Happy O‘meter

Any change or resolution starts with an assessment.  Are you happy?  That is a loaded question.  Let us say it again.  Are you happy?  I'll bet, almost immediately, you responded with a head full of questions that may have started with something like "That question is too vague" or "Happy about what?"  or maybe even the overall blanket response most give "Yes".

I love it when people say "Yes" to this question. More often than not, the answer is really "NO", but they certainly aren't going to divulge their unhappiness secrets! Generally, that "YES" is for appearance's sake, or it's because it's really none of my business, or else they've focused in on a recent trouble or situation that conjures up unhappy thoughts.  

Let's try to shoot for an answer of "Yes, always!" and really mean it! When someone asks "are you happy?", or if you dare to ask yourself: "Am I happy?" say "yes" and not, "I'd be happier if I had...more money...a nicer house...a vacation spot...written my book...and so on." Those are excuses to not be happy at present.

To get to that happy place, however, it takes some work.

So, please grab that pencil or pen and that brain of yours and think about your overall happiness level.  Not specifics, like “I'm not happy right now because my dog just peed on the basement floor“, but the bigger picture. Think about your attitude, health, finances, fitness levels, appearance, living situation, relationships, work, leisure time, spirituality, your relationship with food, volunteering and your overall long term life visions.

Does any one category or a few categories stick out as needing room for improvement?  Maybe it isn't a total unhappiness, but you could be happier?

What makes you happy?

For me, the list is endless and the list of things that makes me unhappy is really short.  I'll explain more in a future blog.

For now, what makes you happy? How would you measure your happiness levels in life’s Happy O‘meter?

From Katie

Happines - A Great Goal

Hmm "Happy O‟Meter"...I am one of those people who struggle with the meaning of "happy" because I have known so many people, who, because of their life circumstances, can barely even comprehend what "happy" means. Their tragic stories warp my own viewpoint. Like all of you, I am working on this process as well, and am learning each day to challenge myself for the better.

I believe to unravel and tease out what we think about our own “happyometer” starts with an understanding our own “individual story“.  

How we see ourselves, and our response to the question: "What would I write if someone asked me to tell „my story'?"gives us a lot of information. What would we say? What challenges and gifts surface when we say who we really are?

A teen that I once worked with taught me a very valuable lesson. In my earlier years as a therapist I tried to be ‘polyanaish’ with an angry resentful young woman who kept trying to have me empathize with her pain, not fix it. Her story was one of abandonment in her eyes and instead of being willing to sit with the discomfort I felt in hearing and being present with her anger,  I tried too hard to release her from it and change her story of how she viewed her life.  

Today, if I were given the opportunity, I would sit with her pain allow her the time to identify her challenges and when she was ready, we would start to see the gifts that begin to appear within her story. What I learned is that we can’t change our stories. What we can do is identify the challenges and gifts within them.  

Allowing those themes to rise to the top, like cream,  helps us start to look at ourselves differently. For some a few ideas will surface, for others, a lot. And, for some contemplating their life as a story will be a major challenge. Wherever we are in the process it’s all good. To be happy is a great goal for all of us!  

All our Best,

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino and Dr. Katie Eastman

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