So I borrowed the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin from a friend, on a recommendation from a friend, and now I want to share it with a friend, because the idea of it rocked my world.
The overall idea that happiness is not something that people wake up feeling every single day, that it takes work, and effort, is the best news I have heard in a long time. Most days I can say I am happy, but there are days where I have to pull out every stop I know to put that smile on my face.
This year I began my own personal Happiness Project without knowing I had. I began making decisions to help steer the amount of joy I was feeling in all areas of my life. I would tell my husband that I wanted to make small changes around my relationships with my kids, my investment in work, my life planning, and then I would work towards implementing them.
For example, I made a New Years resolution to hug my step son more. I felt that after three years we needed a boost in our relationship and since I believe hugs are THE BEST THING EVER, it was only logical that we shared in more of them! I can say, seven months later, that we hug all the time, say we love each other, and share secret moments of awesome. It has not only changed our relationship, but has added a brand new incredible vibe to the house. Hugs change the world… in my opinion!
One of the parts of the book that really resonated with me, was in the beginning, when Gretchen was thinking about a set of standards that she would carry through the year she worked on The Happiness Project. She called them her 12 Commandments. I loved the idea of having some phrases and slogans that I could call upon in any situation to calm, motivate and drive me into becoming the best version of myself.
Obviously I want to share mine with you, hence this newsletter. Now, I want you to know that I only share one commandment with Gretchen. It is such a personalized thing, I could never imagine steering my ship in the same direction as anyone else, so I had to spend time really thinking about what made the cut. I found that there were already a few phrases I banked on to keep me motivated, then I had to fill the gaps in with new ones to change the wind in my sails.
Hold on tight, these are my own 12 Commandments for living a kick ass, awesome, no holds barred life.
1. Be Tamara – ok, this is the one I totally stole from Gretchen. I can’t imagine not saying this to myself, especially as I am creating relationships with people all over the world. Even as I type this paragraph, I am reminding myself that every word should sound just like it would if you were sitting at my kitchen table.
2. Start Before I am Ready – Can I get a heck ya!!! I have learned in the last year how utterly important this is, because, if you wait until you are ready, you will get no where! You don’t need special lights, equipment, computers, clothes, all you need is your passion and your soul. Done! Begin!
3. Step Outside my Comfort Zone – I believe that greatness occurs just outside my comfort zone. This does not mean choosing to sit in a sandbox to work, wearing three inch heels, or doing something extreme, to me, it means being willing to put myself out into the world, where normally I would not go.
4. Stop Complaining – This is super important to me because I often find myself saying I’m hungry and I’m tired. When we complain, we shut down receiving anything of value from the Universe and open ourselves up to staying exactly where we are or lower. It’s like pulling the emergency stop of life, hearing the screeching tires, and coming to a complete stand still. Boo I say, I want to keep rolling forward towards lightening speed.
5. Choose Love – For me there are only two choices, fear or love. Whenever I get to a decision or crossroads, I have to sit with myself and ask, does the answer I am feeling come from a place of fear, or from love. No matter how difficult it may seem, or how uncomfortable it might be, if the answer comes from love, I am all in! If the answer comes from fear, I need to sit with it, work through it, release it, and find my way back to love.
6. Be Creative – This one has become my new mantra since I found my inner child last year. She went so many years without having an outlet to be her truest self, and I won’t put her back into that place again. I was such a little creative when I was young, writing, drawing, singing, acting, and now that I am tapped in, I will work to stay so for the rest of my life.
7. Detach Myself Emotionally – this sounds way harsher than it is. I have had to, in my life, separate my feelings and emotions from what has needed to be done. I recommend every parent understand this concept. One of the things I have had to say is, if anyone else in the world did this to me, how would I respond. Our kids are not just anyone, but if what they are doing far exceeds how a child should treat their parent, I highly recommend this commandment. I also believe this will help me as I move into a place in my life where the haters gonna hate.
8. Detach From the Outcome – How many times have you thought about doing something, and then visualized all the terrible things that could happen. I have too!! That is why I no longer let myself get misdirected by an outcome that DOES NOT EXIST. It is impossible to know how everything is going to turn out, so instead I choose to live in the moment and appreciate the miracles in the now.
9. Trust Myself – I have become intuitive and psychic, so I need to really listen to the vibes I am getting. It has been a difficult journey to come out of the spiritual closet, one I did not see coming, but now that I am here, it is time to fully trust my gift and how I can help the world.
10. Blah – I learned this one from my Angel Card certification with Doreen Virtue. When I am tuning into my Angels, Guides and those who have passed for a reading, she taught me to blah, meaning, just say what I get. This has really helped me with sharing the images and feelings that come through, no matter what. Just because it doesn’t make sense to me, doesn’t mean it won’t to those who are getting the reading.
11. Break the Rules – No, I am not going to rob a bank, but I do need to lighten up a little. I am the one who won’t cross the road without going to the lights and pressing the button, which can often lead to wasting time and energy. My mission is to free myself from all the rules that have been placed on me over the years, and defining my own set.
12. Don’t Give Up – Perseverance and patience is the name of the game now. Having created my Colour to Create your Most Amazing Year, and my Intention Card deck, I have learned to keep going, no matter what, and so long as I don’t give up, magic can happen. Life is too short to stop doing something that brings me joy and can help so many people. I have accepted this as part of my soul contract.
Giving breath and meaning to my Commandments places me in a more mindful space, which in turn raises my vibration and allows me to create more joy and happiness in my life.
I want to reiterate that I am not always happy. Sometimes I am sad, overwhelmed, scared, insecure, and so many other things. I am just choosing to work hard to get out of those spaces.
Happiness may not be for everyone, and I know there are people who struggle with just getting out of bed everyday, and I am so proud of you for facing each new day, I know how hard that is. There are also people who argue with me that it is unrealistic to try to attain this level of joy, and it is unfair to present this to the world. I am ok with everyone having their own sense of the word happiness and striving to balance themselves in their own way. Every one of us is different, going through different things, and every one of us has a belief system that works for us.
My dirty little secret is that I choose happiness. I sometimes fight for it. Today, this day, while you are reading this newsletter, is so short and special, I just want to saturate myself in every precious detail.
I do recommend The Happiness Project by Grethchen Rubin, it creates a space of thinking within you. I also recommend thinking about the things that you tell yourself each day. Where your mind goes, so do your experiences.
If this newsletter was helpful and you feel it could inspire others, please help me share the love.
I love you all and have a magical day xo.