Choosing Happiness

FROM BECKY: This past weekend I was in Virginia on a Son-Rise Program In-Home Outreach, working with a wonderful family and their child with autism. On Sunday I was travelling home on a 6:45 pm flight getting me into Albany, NY around 10:30pm.

Near my home there was freezing rain, snow and an ice storm that had messed up a lot of the and flight schedules and my first flight was cancelled and re-routed to go down to Charlotte, SC and then back up to Albany where I would get home around midnight. That flight was then delayed by two hours, meaning I would miss my connection. At that point it was 8pm and I ended up staying in a hotel for the night to get a flight early in the morning.

I got up at 5am to get on a 7am flight that would get me in around noon. That way I would be able to make it back to work for Monday afternoon. Once again, the drama continued, they re-routed me to go up to Boston, MA and then back home. I finally got to Boston around 8am where I sat and waited, not knowing when I would get out of there.

I waited in Boston airport all day! I was finally getting ready to board my last plane at 6:30pm. By this time they had overbooked the airplane and now we had to wait for someone to volunteer to stay behind. Also, the flight was too heavy with all the checked luggage that had come from re-routed flights. As I boarded the plane, I called my husband, who informed me we had no power. Not only had I been on the road for 30 hours but I was coming home to a dark, unheated, waterless house in near freezing temperatures. I finally got home at 10:30pm.

During this time, eventful as it was, I managed to remain calm, content and actually happy. I really was able to choose happiness in each situation and reflected back on what I had learnt from reading the book Happiness is a Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman. I used these simple Shortcuts to Happiness and they kept me going throughout the day.

1) Make Happiness the Priority! I knew that even though things weren’t going the way I would have chosen, there is nothing more important that my happiness. Really getting behind this is such a beautiful and empowering feeling!

2) Personal Authenticity! I checked in with how I was feeling throughout the time I waited and, really allowed myself to feel frustrated, uncomfortable if I wanted to. Giving myself permission to do this actually prevented me from getting uncomfortable.

3) Letting go of judgements! At one time I remember feeling judgmental of the girl behind the airline desk for the airline not to announce that one of the flights was cancelled and to leave me hanging on. When I let the judgment go, I could then have some compassion for how hard she must be working at a time where things were constantly being changed.

4) Being Present! This was something I did on goingly throughout the 30 hours. Walking around the airport, sitting reading my book or relaxing and drinking a cup of tea. Not obsessing over the fact that “I could be home by now” or “What if the next flight gets cancelled?”.

5) Being Grateful! This was probably the biggest thing that kept me going. Each hour that went by, I would find something to be grateful for. Thank god I wasn’t flying during the time the storm had happened, luckily I am stranded in a safe placed with plenty of people, food, etc. I am so glad I can charge my phone whenever I need to in the airport.

Although life can throw us many curve balls, try using these elements when you are having a challenging time to get back to feeling good.

Lots of love xxx

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