09/30/2014 11:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Alphabet of Happiness: 'Q'

Have you ever longed for more happiness? One thing that just makes sense is that the more ways you know to access happiness, the more of it you will experience. We're not just talking about the laugh-till-you-cry extreme; we're including the subtle ways to bring more joy into your life, no matter the external circumstances. Small shifts can lead to big changes. Today, let's jump into the letter "Q" and explore how questioning, quiet and quality relationships can ignite, deepen and enhance your adventure, starting right now...


"The common question that gets asked in business is, 'Why?' That's a good question, but an equally valid question is, 'Why not?'"
-- Jeff Bezoz

What is the best question that someone ever asked you? What is the best question that you have ever asked yourself? Joseph Campbell has a good one: "The big question is whether you are going to be able to say yes to your adventure."

The good thing about questioning is that it allows us to emerge from running on autopilot, and step into a more conscious life. By asking questions such as, "Does my past define my future?" we can look at the beliefs that have shaped us and discern if they serve us now. By questioning "How self-compassionate can I be to myself?" we can cultivate a new level of kindness, which then shapes our interactions with others.

By asking the question "Who am I at my core essential self?" we can notice if our circumstances support that expression, and if they do not, we can ask, "What can I change within myself to ease the journey?" By questioning, "What do I want in this life, what am I willing to commit myself to, and who can I help along the way?" there's no limit to the awesomeness that we open up to. And by asking "How can this be even better?" we allow space for synchronicity to surface, for magic to manifest and for grace to dance through our lives. What question are you ready to ask?

"The best cure for the body is a quiet mind." -- Napoleon Bonaparte

In the hectic pace of day-to-day life, are you overwhelmed by a never-ending to-do list that doesn't let you finish what you have in front of you, not to mention carve out any time for yourself? Who isn't constantly being bombarded by external demands, the latest shocking news story or checking devices till all hours? Then, there are all the internal stories and the mind chatter that run rampant inside of our heads. Is there any wonder why so many feel so scattered? It's increasingly so important to "collect" ourselves; and experiencing quiet is one of the fastest ways to get there.

Whether it is through being in nature, doing some mindfulness meditation or just shutting off the phone, we all need the opportunity to tune out the stimuli and stress, and tune into the deeper, calm and peaceful aspects of our nature. If you want to catch the whispers of inspiration, your mind has to be quiet enough to hear them. If you want to get some answers from your inner guidance system, you need to access that part of you. To refresh your body, quiet the chatter in your mind. Try to shut off all buzzing sounds and blinking lights -- you will sleep better too.

By entering the stillness inside, you will cut through the static, mental movies or whatever else is playing inside your head. In the stillness, all the answers reside.

So take a few deep breaths, listening for the silence between the inhale and the exhale. Make an appointment with yourself for quiet time -- it will enliven all the other hours of the day.

Quality Relationships
"You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life."
-- Joel Osteen

It is said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Make sure to surround yourself with people who celebrate your successes rather than those who would keep you small. There is a story that talks about two buckets: One is full of crabs, the other full of frogs -- and both want to get free. While the frogs work together, even piling themselves up to help one another find a way out of the bucket, the crabs are different. As even one crab starts to climb out, the others will grab its leg and pull it down. So instead of hanging out with "crabs," spend time with those who inspire you to leap forward and help others do the same. Positivity is contagious and so much more fun.

Choose friends you trust to support your dreams. Doing that for one another defines a "quality relationship." Enjoy the joy that positive relationships create. You deserve nothing less.

What Qs add to your happiness? How do you find quiet amidst the noise?

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