Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

My Project: Soul-Radiating Happiness~ Kristi

on August 28, 2013

Soul Happiness

Overall, I am a chipper person.  This is my natural disposition and it is how I was raised.  I look for the good in almost everything and I try to be grateful for what I have.  I choose to see the good in people and world rather than giving the negative undue time, energy, and attention.

Sometimes, my chipperness, optimism, and gratitude are inauthentic acts of affirmation.  By pretending that I am happy, I hope to attract happiness into my life rather than nourishing my spirit in order to cultivate true happiness.

So, I started a new project—fostering happiness that radiates from the depth of my soul.  The kind of happiness that is not affirmative in nature.  Instead, it is one of pure joy.

The journey to soul-radiating happiness started with given myself permission to quit being SO responsible and I allowed myself to do the little things that made me happy.  The pressures of responsibility and doing things the way others want me to muted my true happiness.  In order to do this, I didn’t quit my responsibilities as I am still good mother; I still pay my bills and clean my house; and I still work my two jobs.  But, as I handle my responsibilities, I ask myself, “What would make me happy in this moment?”   Once I receive my answer, I make it a point to complete it.

Sometimes it means turning off the TV and jumping into my bathtub and enjoying my favorite Pandora station by candlelight after my daughter goes to bed.  Sometimes it means putting on my running shoes and jogging behind the neighborhood kids on their bikes.  Sometimes it means going to Starbucks and savoring a skinny white chocolate frap because it was 90-degrees out without worrying about how I just “blew my diet.”  Sometimes it means cooking my favorite meal for my friends and enjoying the food, conversation, and laughs.  Sometimes it means having a 30-second dance party with my daughter as we got ready to go to school.  Sometimes it means going outside and having a water balloon fight with the neighborhood kids.

The origins of “My Project: Soul-Radiating Happiness” started with a dilemma surrounding a retreat in Vermont.  Last fall, I deeply desired a trip to Vermont to see the beautiful hues of the changing leaves   I envisioned me sitting on a bed and breakfast style balcony in the crisp fall air…  I was wearing jeans, a sweater, boots, and a scarf…  I was wrapped up in a blanket while reading a book and drinking a glass of Vermont wine.  This vision made my soul dance with glee, but “My Project: Save for the New House” brought me back to a reality of budgets and saving.

Earlier this year a yogini blogger and friend of a friend posted on Facebook that she was hosting a writing and yoga retreat in Vermont.  Hmmmmm, three of my loves… writing, yoga, and Vermont!  I longed to go, but my responsible side told me that the cost of the retreat, airline tickets, and rental car would be too much; that taking time off of work to go on a retreat is not the “right” thing to do; and that my daughter loves to travel too.  How could I take a trip without her?  I wrestled with the decision as I felt extremely selfish as the time and money could be spent in more reasonably ways.  I consulted Rae and she reminded me that it is not selfish.  It is an amazing opportunity for self-improvement and growth, especially in the areas of my two passions.  I decided to go and I just paid off the trip.  This trip makes me happy, like from the core of my being happy because it encompasses my passions: travel, writing, and yoga.  I am so excited for this adventure!

The lesson of “My Project: Soul-Radiating Happiness” was solidified with my quandary about teaching The Alchemist, my all-time favorite book.  Earlier in the late spring, my daughter and I were perusing the local Barnes and Noble on one of our mother-daughter dates.  I spotted The Alchemist on the “summer reading” table.  I knew if it was on that table, it meant that other local high school teachers were teaching that book.  Did I have the guts to take the canonized Lord of the Flies out of my Honors summer reading project and replace it with MY favorite book?  I grappled with this decision.  Students should read Lord of the Flies, but I really wanted to give my students the opportunity to read this very profound book that would lead into some great first weeks of school discussions and activities.  I chose for them to read The Alchemist and it completely changed the tone of my classroom.  It gave us this great working vocabulary for authentic, honest, and vulnerable classroom discussions.

“My Project: Soul-Radiating Happiness” is not a revolutionary idea, but it has revolutionized my life.  Playing martyr to life and its responsibilities does me no good.  The act of giving myself permission to choose me and my happiness has left a deep impact on my life and the ones closest around me.  I have become a better friend, mom, and teacher because I am happier than before.  And, it’s not that affirmative kind of happy crap.  It is that soul-radiating, pure joy kind of happy!


P.S.  I should probably pour over this post and make sure that I have caught all of my typos, but I am choosing to go do my happiness deed for the day—I would like to go hit my yoga mat.  My low back is calling for some downward dog and my heart center is crying for some upward dog.  So, please don’t hold my typos against me.  I will be more polished next time!  <3, Kristi

2 responses to “My Project: Soul-Radiating Happiness~ Kristi

  1. Stacy Dedeaux says:

    Great post! Happy about your trip.


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