You Are What You Think

DSCN7942It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about. ~ Dale Carnegie




It has been almost a year since I started this blog…well 10 months really.  And in that time I have been on a journey to reconnect to my inner happiness.  It lies within me, within us all…all the time…available.  We just have to tap into it….to allow it to come into our lives.



Seems simple really, but it has been a bumpy road filled with so much learning, knowing, joy and some sadness that had to be wiped away occasionally.  When I read this quote by Dale Carnegie recently, it really stuck with me.  Simple and not so simple sometimes.  Just change your thoughts…



But in reality, it takes time to change our thought patterns…and we need patience DSCN7941with ourselves.  If we have been in a worrying frame of mind….my legacy given to me by my mom and my aunt who raised her….forever worrying about every little thing, thought, detail….we won’t just stop worrying at the drop of a hat.  Or maybe in a negative cycle where we think everything is going to go wrong…nothing ever works out….we just aren’t meant to be happy or to have nice things….well you get the picture.  I remember hearing some of this too growing up.  Part of a generation plagued by a Depression and war.



And when you have been exposed to or been part of these limiting thoughts for so long, they become you.  There is a fear in letting them go because they have been part of your identity.  Long engrained habitual thinking.  And there is the thought….If I stop the worry, what will I replace it with?   We even have long-held social interactions with family and friends around the worry…the negative.  Now how do I or who do I talk with if I give it all up?



I know this may sound crazy, but the fear and not wanting to let it all go can be real.  And it can completely change who and how we interact with those closest to us….some friendships may even slip away because the negativity is too much for us once we begin to change.



I have been dealing with changing thought patterns for a long time around family.  You DSCN7938can easily get sucked back in, as I did early on years ago as I began this change.  Especially when family doesn’t want to change.  But now I think about what I want for myself.  How I want to feel.  I think about the happiness always there for me….something I choose to tap into as often as possible.



And I want to enjoy my life…connect with people over mutual interests and celebrate the achievements we all are making.  So I continue to be a role model for some family and friends turning conversations to the positive….talking about the good things happening.  Changing the perspective, seeing the gifts laid before me each moment.



The flowers blooming and shifting, the cries of laughter of children playing outside my window, the birds…new ones visiting daily with new songs to witness.  The flowers are springing up all over dotting the landscape with a rainbow of colors….oh the heavenly perfume.  These wonders keep me connected to my inner bliss.



DSCN7939Will there be sad times…the loss of loved ones….the worry when a loved one is sick?  Absolutely.  That is just part of life.  But I try not to dwell there for long….I look for the gifts always around me, and lift up those who may be in pain with kindnesses….a bouquet of flowers or just a smile.  Trying to always see the magic, the tingly joyful times before me.






Special Note:   The flowers pictured here are columbines, specifically Aquilegia Vulgaris Nora Barlow Pink’.  In The Language of Flowers, columbines represent being anxious and trembling.  Such a lovely flower to have such worries, but I will dwell on their beauty not their meaning.








I leave you with more thoughts about the power of positive thinking.  Feel free to download this photo and share.

think positive

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

The Worry-Go-Round


“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

Corrie ten Boom


I come from a long line of worriers.  My world was steeped in their distress.  Maybe they worried because of the events of their time… living in poverty, experiencing many wars.  Losing loved ones and friends to sickness.  Survival was their mantra.


But as they grew it seemed their worries only grew, never diminishing.  And that was the world I knew.  If I was sick, the worry was would I survive….of course I was sickly as a young child, born with asthma and almost died of pneumonia when I was one.  And I began to worry at an early age, as children listen and take in the feelings around them.


The daily messages were life sucks, nothing ever goes right, we can’t catch a break…the not-so-positive messages that were not always in your face, but presented more subtly.  So we were raised with that subliminal message to think the worst would always happen.  Maybe it was a survival technique.  If you didn’t raise your hopes, then they couldn’t be dashed too harshly.


But in living with these negative messages of circumstance all the time, I would never think to aim too high…I was afraid of the long fall.  And life was predetermined so just suck it up and live with the misery.  As I look back on it, I realized how sad some of those worriers were.  They did not have much of a life because they would never dare to strive for it.  And I seemed to always be settling for what was thrust upon me having no hope to make it better.



DSCN1240I am not sure when the shift happened….it was a slow turn where I would work at worrying less.  But I’d get only so far away from the Worry Road, and then something would happen.  The worry would suck me in dropping me back on the Worry-Go-Round until I was dizzy with it again.


But I can tell you when I was freed from the endless, needless cycle or worry.  It began when I started to slow, to just be with myself.  It continued with daily practices of meditation, leaning in to emotions and then letting them go.  When I dropped self-judgment and immersed myself in doing what I loved, I found happiness surrounded me, a beacon shining from deep within.  


Currently I find any worries have been pushed into my subconscious and show up in my dreams from time to time.  So when I catch these worries, I am gentle with myself as I acknowledge there is nothing to fear and then I bid it adieu.  I am not perfect with this…nor will I ever be.  It is a process to lessen the worries that will show up from time to time.  But they cannot last long as each dawn that beacon chases away any darkness that wants to linger.



As a side note….I have recently come across many readings about worry.  It was also one of the lessons I worked through during Sandra Pawula’s Mini-Mindfulness Challenge.  I liked the gentle way she approached diminishing worry.  If you have a chance check out her blog, and this wonderful set of lessons.






Special Note:  Queen Anne’s Lace signifies haven, home, comfort; antidotes for worry.



The picture below is my gift to you this week.  Please download it and use it to spread light.




All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.