It's been six days on the road now - Michael and I have led four workshops together and already driven through five states. I feel myself sinking into more comfort as a teacher and a singer, gaining confidence in my own vision and voice as I teach others. Something both Michael and I have noticed since we left is that we are both really happy. There's a deep joy in our hearts as we travel from city to city. It made me wonder, "What's different now than before?"
I broke it down to what I think are six essential insights on happiness, and practical action steps you can take to find more happiness right now.
1. Seek out Community
We've been surrounded by loving, likeminded friends on every step of the journey. In each city on this trip we are being hosted by friends or friends of friends. We've had meaningful connections every step of the way. It's been different than my normal day-to-day working at home in my cottage, because I am actively seeking out and visiting my community.
Connection is an essential human need, and I can see, even as an introvert I have a large capacity for face time with people I love. It can be easy to get lost in my own world, connecting with others through the phone and the internet, but facetime with old and new friends is so key in continuing a feeling of happiness in my days.
2. Do a Random Act of Kindness
Before leaving San Francisco, Michael and I participated in the "Happiness Course" through The Art of Living. Our assignment one day was to do three random acts of kindness. It totally shifted my state of mind from thinking about myself to wondering how I could make someone else's day better. I asked, "Where can I find a homeless person to give money to?, "Where can I actively comment and engage on other people's blogs and social media?" and "Who can I tell that I really appreciate them?"
One of the other students came back one day to say, "I bought the person behind me in line breakfast and he said, 'I just moved from the East coast and heard about things like this happening in Berkeley, but didn't believe it really would!'"
While on the road, we are being mindful of where we can be more generous and kind. From picking up the bill with a friend, to giving someone one of Michael's CD's who didn't expect it, every act of kindness has brought so much joy to my heart.
Often we wait to be generous when we have more, or forget to be kind. What simple act could you do today to make someone else's day better? Then do it, and notice how this makes you feel afterward.
3. Look out for the magic
When you take steps outside of your comfort zone, especially while travelling, you begin to notice the magic that is all around you.
On my birthday this year, I pulled a card from my animal medicine tarot deck with the question, "What is my animal totem for the year?" It was the owl. Owl sees everything, even in the dark and is often the medicine of sorcerers and witches, those drawn to magical practices. The tarot deck said, "Pay attention to the signals and omens, owl will bring you messages through dreams and meditation."
For the last three nights, staying in the homes of three different people, there was a picture of an owl in the room.
Synchronicity is everywhere if you are on the lookout for it. Try using the affirmation, "I am awake to coincidences. I see them as messages from God."
When a synchronicity happens in my life, I immediately feel connected to the divine. I have more trust in the world around me and am able to let go of fears and sink into the joy of being guided.
4. Share your gifts
Knowing that I have workshops set up in every city I visit on this trip makes me so happy. To be in the act of service, and sharing our gifts is so satisfying. When I remember this trip isn't all about me, but that there are actually people we are here to help, I feel like I have a place in the bigger picture.
I've seen several people in tears during our workshops, touched by the music, and the space to open their voice and connect to avision for their lives and the world. We are offering an experience for others to connect to their heart by using our gifts and talents. We find that afterwards, no matter how many people showed up, we are so happy knowing we have done what we felt called to share.
5. Do what you love
Practicing yoga, teaching yoga, singing, being in the flow and visiting friends is essential to my happiness. When you give yourself permission to do what you love, everything else becomes more joyful.
When you priortize what makes you feel good, what makes you truly happy, life becomes a celebration.
What do you love? What makes you come alive? Is it the yoga class? A walk in nature? A tea date with a girlfriend? Go take action and do it.
No matter how beautiful a place you find yourself in, if you don't feel good in your body and mind, it doesn't really matter.Focus within first. When you make your internal space a beautiful sanctuary, your surroundings will begin to reflect that.
When you soften around the edges, create more spaciousness and compassion within yourself, you meet difficulties that arise in life with fresh eyes. You can handle whatever comes your way.
Michael and I have meditated together every morning on this trip. We encourage each other in our practices because we know if we find love within ourselves first, we will be more kind and loving to each other.
When you take the time to process your own emotions, to be devoted to yourself, and connect to a larger vision, every action in your day becomes more clear. Intuition heightens and you know what steps to take next.
SO what will you work on to bring more happiness in your life? Will it be an act of kindness, sharing your gifts, or seeking out community? Whatever it is, I hope you take action on it right away. If you want to be held accountable, make a comment below to let me know what you'll be working on.
Our next event is a kirtan singing workshop in Boulder, CO on Wednesday April 29. Next week I'll be writing from New Mexico and Arizona as we continue our travels...
Find me on instagram @meredithrom to follow the journey day by day, as I'm posting about photos with stories from the road.
With love, Meredith