24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25, NOV
Sometimes I hear God the most when I buck convention. I want to be part of a good congregation so badly, but I also just want God to myself. I don’t think it’s suppose to work that way.
A friend once shared with me that we discuss the scriptures almost everything we are together, whether on the phone or in person. If God is part of almost every conversation, His word always discussed, have I forsaken the assembling together with other believers? I was raised incorporating church (building) attendance on the regular, but lately I haven’t been lead to attend any in my current town. No place is speaking to me. I’ve attended more services online for a churches a few hours or states away. I read my Bible daily and commune with God daily. I share God at work and when I go about my day. I even tried a local congregation for Wednesday night Bible study a few times.
Is that what it’s like when you love someone? You tell everyone about Him. My circle is small, but ever expanding. I believe the true church, the body of believers is that way too. Is there one building that can hold us all?
We’ve arrived at the final step in our “8 Steps to a Happier Life”, but this is just the beginning. Being happier isn’t a one-time occurrence, it’s a way of life. It’s something you choose to do, in spite of your circumstance. Being happier increases for us when we share it with others, and when we look within.
Step 8. Create a safe haven in your home environment. Even if all you have is a corner in a shared room, make that corner your happy place. Decorate it with positive words and images of the life you are working towards. Cultivate an environment that nurtures you, a place where you can be yourself and has reminders or where you are trying to go. Let it be a place where you nurture yourself and invest in your well-being. Let it also be a place where you can rest and recuperate. Be happy where you are, but be prepared to launch out into more places where your happiness can grow.
It is my sincere hope that you employ these 8 tips and find more happiness in your life. If you have tips to share, I’d love to hear from you!
I like a good round number like 8*. Those who know me, know I also like being happy and helping others find happiness. In honor of this new beginning for NatalieShavon.com, I’m posting a brief series on 8 Steps to a Happier Life. Over the next few weeks, you’ll find a new step every other business day.
(*7 is the number of completion, but 8 is the number of new beginnings, and isn’t life about new beginnings?)
Step 1. Make the decision to be happy; make it your intention to BE HAPPY regardless of your circumstances. What happens to you may not be entirely within your control; but what IS within your control is how you choose to react to it. Even in the toughest moments, you have the power to CHOOSE to be happy.
I know a thing or two about being stuck. Being free to move around within a confined space; not really realizing that you are indeed stuck; just that you can’t seem to move outside of a seemingly predestined sphere.
For some people, that sphere is a neighborhood, a company or a town. For others, it’s a relationship, socioeconomic status, their weight. You may have achieved a certain level of comfort, where you know the routine and how to navigate the waters. You stay under the radar when it counts and contribute when it matters. You may even get out, temporarily breathing in new air, but find yourself back in the same place all over again. The same type of bondage, just a different name or geographic coordinates; more money yet more bills to pay. “I’ve moved out” you say, “but why am I not moving forward?”
What is “forward” and how do we get there? Forward to me is always being in motion, moving a little more outside of my comfort zone each day. Perhaps you feel the same or differently. Forward means something unique to each person, but you know how moving forward makes you feel. A little uneasy, curious, intimidated, cautious. Fearful. The number one reason people don’t move forward is fear. What is it that we fear? It can’t be ending up where we are now, because we’ve been here our entire lives. Here is wherever we are. There is where we want to be.
What we fear are the new expectations once we move forward. Moving forward requires different actions; actions that prevent us from going backwards; actions that keep us moving forward. It doesn’t require much to keep us in our comfort zones. Just keep doing what you’re doing.
So how do we fight your natural tendency to keep doing what we’re doing? How do we move forward? We change one thing that we are doing. All it takes is one change. What can you change today that can change your tomorrow? How can this help you to move forward? I look forward to hearing your thoughts. (In another post, we will discuss how to build on this first step.)