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5 Keys to Happiness

We all desire to be happy. I am happiest when I feel balanced, creative and true to myself.  I am happiest when I love myself, when I'm in love, or sharing my love with others.

It's not always so simple.  I was reading Bourdain's 5 keys to a happy life yesterday and thought I'd sum up my own.  While this year has been a struggle for me, I have also have had some incredible moments of happiness that make all the rest worth it.  The following has helped:

Love over fear

I am drawn to fear.  Fear of never being good enough, of things not working out, of failure and of how others see me.  My mind can be a spinning wheel of destructive thoughts but I am learning to choose love over fear.  I immediately tell myself "These thoughts are not serving you and they will not make anything better."  And I drop it.

My friend recently told me about a man who changed his life by repeating the mantra "I love myself" over and over in his head every day.  I've been coaching myself out of some difficult moments and deeply rooted insecurities successfully with this one and will continue to.  Funny how much a little self love can change your world completely.

Fear does not serve us, or anyone else.  Love sets us free.

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 It's all an adventure

My mother always told me that adaptability is a sign of intelligence.  She was right.  The definition of intelligence is the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations.

So when life changes, I try to adapt.  To embrace change.  And when the situation is really terrible or uncomfortable, I tell myself it's an adventure and will make a great story one day.  My mom and I have an ongoing joke that I'm the ideal travel partner because when things go wrong I smile and say "It's an adventure!"  

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Be present

This is so hard for me. I am constantly looking into the future and worrying or planning.  Lately I have gotten better at living in the moment.  The second I stop and look around me I feel grateful.  This is it.  Sometimes we all need to put down our phones and agendas and be present.

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Moderation

I joke that I'm an all or nothing girl.  But I know when I find that perfect balance I am at my best.  I once read that the perfect day involves time to yourself, time to socialize and play, time outside and time to work.  Anytime I have achieve this I feel so perfectly content.  Same goes for moderation in all of life's indulgences.

tumblr_mm2ampMKN81qzfrcco1_500Be passionate

Follow your passions.  Whether it's cooking, singing, dancing, writing or painting murals, make some time for it.  When I neglect my writing I neglect myself.  When I forget to go for long walks outside I neglect my body and my peace of mind.  When I forget to make time for art and creativity I feel stifled.  It's important to make your passion your priority once and a while.

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What makes you happy?  What are your keys to happiness?