Guest Post: The Key to Happiness

In life us human beings have an end goal – to live a life filled with love, purpose, success, freedom, more time and happiness. But, before having love, purpose, success, freedom and more time we must first conquer happiness. We first need to find the happiness with what already is, what we already have right now, and what our circumstances are in the present moment.

In 24 years, I feel like I’ve hit the lottery because I’m living a life that most people are searching for. No I’m not a millionaire, I don’t have a big house or fancy car, and I don’t have my whole life figured out. But, I’m living life HAPPY, and I feel it every single day. With that I’m able to give love to myself and others. I know what my life purpose is, at least what it is right now. I can acknowledge and celebrate my successes so far. I don’t feel like time is not passing me by and I feel in complete control of my time.

My mission is to encourage people, young or older, to make their dreams happen and to spread happiness. I want to share with you the key to happiness, here are the 5 principles, which you’ll be able to read more about in my book “The Key to Happiness” being released September 21st.

FORGIVE

“Forgiving yourself and others will release you from the prison of the past.” – Louise Hay 

Forgiveness comes in many forms. By that I mean we must find it in ourselves to forgive others and forgive ourselves. Forgiveness is not something we give to others, we give it to ourselves. Holding onto negative emotions and pain does not allow us to move forward. It doesn’t allow us to be HAPPY. With an up and down relationship with my dad, it took me many years to forgive my dad for not being the dad I always wanted. Truth be told, had he been the dad I wanted I wouldn’t be the strong woman I am today. True forgiveness is not just in the words “I forgive you,” it is in letting go, and allowing the past remain in the past.  

AWARENESS

“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” – Andre Gide

Self-awareness is a HUGE piece we are missing as human beings. We make it difficult on ourselves to not be our authentic selves, speak our truth and simply to be alone to get to know ourselves. We should know ourselves backwards and forwards. Awareness is knowing when to slow down and take time for yourself. It is understanding that we have a choice, and choice allows us to create the reality we live in. It is not being afraid to make sacrifices so that we can live up to our potential. Awareness is knowing when to close a chapter or door on a person, environment or career that is no longer serving you. Awareness is knowing who you are – strengths, weaknesses, core values and all. Spending time alone, just with yourself is exactly how I managed to understand and know myself inside and out. And if you fear spending time alone, jump to the next principle and come back to this one after.

SELF-LOVE

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

At the age of 10 I was already struggling with body image and lack of self confidence. 10. Years. Old. And I struggled until I was about 20 years old. 10 years. I look back and see a completely different person. I think about the generations after me and am blown away that majority are in the exact same place. We are not taught how to love ourselves, we are forced to paint a picture that we do. At a young age, I knew my worth and that I had a lot of love to offer, I just couldn’t look in the mirror and give myself that same love. For me, it took a healthy lifestyle change, not to lose weight, to find that love. Loving myself took away a dark grey cloud that was stopping me from finding my purpose and belief in myself.

 

GRATITUDE

“One day you’ll wake up and there won’t be any more time left to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Do it now.” – Paulo Coelho

In elementary school, one of my best friends had lost her grandparents and I remember saying to myself, “that will never happen to me”. Death came and smacked me in the face when I lost my cousin who was 20 years old and I was 12 at the time. In 2015, I lost my grandmother quite suddenly in the span of 4 days from a stroke. It is then that I realized I needed to stop taking time for granted and start living. In giving back with special needs kids, that I am taught more about being resilience. It was in going to Nicaragua to volunteer that I realized how fortunate I am back in Toronto. It takes putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations to appreciate what we have, and not take our lives for granted.


 

CELEBRATION

“The more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” – Oprah Winfrey

After all is said and done, find things to celebrate in your life. Celebrate having breakfast with family. Celebrate going for a 5km hike. Celebrate your promotion at work. Celebrate something new you tried. Celebrate life, celebrate YOUR life! Life is way too short to not share our celebrations, share accomplishments, and share our stories.

  

Forgive + Awareness + Self-Love + Gratitude + Celebration = HAPPINESS

I’m not saying I have all the answers, but this is a start. This is the themes in my life that I realized have helped me find true happiness. So with that, I want to spread more happiness to you. I want you to find your happiness and live your life to it’s potential. This life has a lot to offer if we have our arms open to it! 

“You have one life, live it intensely, and search profoundly for happiness.” – Padre Fernando

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Note from Rachel: As my readers know I am pretty busy in my final (and full time) semester of student teaching. I am open to guest posts if I think the content is something my readers will like. If you want to contribute a post, email betterlivinblog@gmail.com. 

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