Joy Secret Number 11: Cheerful Enthusiasm

09/11/2013 01:15 pm ET Updated Nov 09, 2013

It's Always Sunny Above the Clouds!

We had just taken off from some airport in the U.S. on a particularly stormy day -- it was bumpy and rough and a bit scary, but then we passed through the clouds, and it was the most gorgeous, sunny clear blue sky!

It suddenly dawned on me that it's ALWAYS sunny above the clouds! What a great metaphor for life. No matter what horrible circumstances we are going through, it's always sunny again some day!

Not that we can see it at the time. That's where cheerful enthusiasm as a joy secret comes in.

Too many people fall into the trap of hopelessness when things are dark and stormy. It seems like this drama will never end, life will never improve, and things will always be tough.

Never give up!

It's a choice whether we give into this head thinking or whether we go to the source of cheerful enthusiasm and faith -- the heart!

There is always help -- always.

Either from the physical planes or the spiritual. Seek that help and maintain that belief in your heart that things happen for a reason, that most of the time we will never understand the totality of that reason, and that things always improve if we maintain our faith and trust.

The easiest example of this is when a relationship breaks up. We are devastated. Life is over. How will we ever find anyone this good again to love? How will we live without this person? And so on. I have done this myself many times!

Yet, six months (or less) later we realize that this devastating break up was in fact a HUGE blessing! That we were saved from making an enormous mistake that would have negatively influenced us for many years. It was, in fact, a lucky escape!

Or losing a job. At the time, you are crushed and desperately worried. If you give in to that fear and angst, your creativity, resourcefulness, drive and motivation dive and your chances of exploring every avenue are limited.

Choose to think of these things as "forced" opportunities! And lessons in opening yourself up to new possibilities. What is out there that you have not been seeing before -- what path are you REALLY meant to be on? These experiences are potential signposts for you!

Can you think of other scenarios in your life where this has been the case -- where you can use the "benefit" of hindsight?

Use Hindsight Earlier!

Well, let's bring hindsight in earlier! Face everything that happens to you with cheerful enthusiasm and that you will understand one day soon why it happened and see it as a new, exciting exploration of yourself and life potential!

It's a choice! Based on a belief. Our beliefs create the stories we tell ourselves. We can change our beliefs and therefore our stories -- it takes work but we can do it. That's where the secrets of joy come in.

What is really causing your gloom?

Very often the things we think are causing us grief are not the real issue. If we are willing to do the work of diving into our fears and exploring them, it turns out that the misery we feel is not really because of someone else or something else.

I have had to work through this so many times myself -- I keep thinking I have dealt with something and then I realize I have only peeled back the superficial layers of needing to control everything (for example!).

Things that cause us grief and "steal" our joy are always things within us. They may manifest in external people or circumstances but our outer is a reflection of our inner -- no matter how hard that is to actually believe!

Often it's because we have a deep fear that we are not worthy or good enough or we are being abandoned or will lose security, or be unsafe in some way. These are usually the core issues of our gloom.

The fifth lesson in a Course of Miracles asks you to work with the idea that "I am never upset for the reason I think."

They give examples like: "I am not angry with/afraid of/upset with for the reason I think."

I think that's a great exercise! I have tried practicing it and find it most challenging when I am angry or upset with someone! And most of the time, it takes me a while to realize when I am upset or angry with someone or something, I am actually afraid!

My reaction is based on a fear. Usually that I am not worth loving or I am unsafe in some way. It takes some peeling of the onion layers of my psyche to get to that awareness -- but we can all do it.

Hopefully this series of blogs has short-circuited the process for you!

Just go straight to one of those three fears I mentioned earlier and decide which one you feel has gripped you at this time.

Once you have shone a light on that deep, dark fear, you can start to explore its true source. Is it still relevant? Is it true? Is it YOUR fear? On what is it based?

Soon you will find that this fear might have been embedded when you were little and didn't have the choices and resources you have now -- so now you can make an adult decision.

Life is easier when you address the REAL issue and not just the perception of what (or who) you think is the problem.

Victim or Student?

Many people fall into the trap of feeling a victim -- helpless and hopeless when things go wrong. They give up their personal responsibility and accountability. They rotate through thoughts like: "Why me? Poor me. This always happens to me. Life is unfair," etc.


It does not help you nor does it endear you to others!

Instead, choose to be an avid student! Learn from what has happened to you -- seek the lessons. There are always lessons -- that's usually why things happen!

Once you see yourself as an eager student and you learn your lessons, you can become a teacher and help others.

Thinking or feeling like this shifts your attention away from yourself -- and moves you towards serving others.

Serving others and connecting with your higher self, or God, Buddha, Allah, Source, The universe or whatever spiritual beliefs you hold is the fast track to joy!

Be an enthusiastic learner! Be cheerful as you learn and have the experiences that bring you wisdom and insight into yourself.

We get excited and enthusiastic about any other journey on which we embark -- if it's a holiday or trip to a new place -- we are enthusiastic about it!

Well -- life is all about your inner journey! To all sorts of unexplored places inside you.

Be your own "inner travel" agent -- you can plan the journey and experiences you want as much as possible. And then deal with those unexpected and unplanned events in the best way possible -- with cheerful enthusiasm.

If this all sounds a bit like Pollyanna to you, or unrealistically optimistic or nauseatingly upbeat, remember, your thoughts and feelings are always a choice!

For me, I choose to focus on the sunshine above the clouds and try to learn my lessons quickly and efficiently! So my "plane" takes off faster and bursts through the clouds more quickly.

I even try to en-JOY the scary, stormy parts. OK... I still have a way to go, but I am focused on that!

What we think we want is not always what is really best for us. Sometimes it takes time for us to see that!

Remember, miracles happen all the time -- we just don't always know it at the time!

Isn't that exciting?