I love hugs. My specialty is the wiggle hug, which is an enthusiastically active and slightly prolonged hug I reserve for the people I love the most in this world. It involves a tight grip, joyful wiggling and laughter. I also love the jump hug, the kola hug, the tickle hug, the bear hug and the snuggle hug. In my book, all hugs rock.
You would think that as a lover-of-hugs I would have learned to master the happiness hug sooner in my life than I did. The happiness hug is a heart that inclines itself with contented enthusiasm towards life and leans into joy with all its might.
You can experience happiness without knowing how to give happiness a hug. The difference is that once you know how to hug happiness, you are better able to delight in the presence of joy in your life. When you know how to hug happiness, you know that it will always be at your disposal – that it is a state of mind and that it is available no matter your circumstances – and you can then live with confidence that each day of life is a gift that becomes more and more beautiful.
I want a life that sparkles. I want the way I live life to be like a happiness hug – enthusiastically engaged, eagerly embracing and squeezing out joy. I want happiness to seep out of my pores in every hello I utter, every word I write and in every hug I give.
This morning I woke up to the sparkling horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. Settled into an Adirondack chair, coffee in my hand, my baby in my lap and the salty breeze tickling my face, I watched the sunrise from the balcony of our family condo. Vacation and mornings like this provide me a tangible reminder of how to hug life with happiness. Most people know how to hug happiness when on vacation because on vacation we know it’s appropriate to feel great joy, to relish in relaxation and to enjoy ourselves. The days are slow enough that we are able to notice and celebrate the small pleasures of life. Vacation beach days are filled with the smell of sunscreen, long walks in the surf, books on the deck, digging moats for sand castles, eating ice cream at night, the taste of salt on your skin, the grains of sand you find in your bathing suit at night and the sweet fatigue you feel after spending a day with the sun. Real life is not like vacation life, but real life does still boast of many of the small moments of happiness that happen in vacation life, it’s just that sometimes we are so busy that we don’t take the time to slow down and savor, or hug, the happiness.
Most people aren’t adept at the happiness hug because feeling good doesn’t always feel safe. Feeling good didn’t feel safe for me for years. I struggled to let contentment sit in my heart when I experienced joy or anything going well in life. Joy, and true happiness, would make me anxious. When all was going well – when I truly found it easy to be happy – I struggled to fully embrace it because I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I had learned from others to wait for something to go wrong and my attitude of negative anticipation made me unable to actually enjoy the moments of happiness themselves. There was something dangerous about feeling happy, not because being happy is dangerous, but because I hadn’t learned how to embrace it with a happiness hug. I thought happiness was merely a temporary luxury reserved for the lucky few. I thought it was fleeting. I didn’t know it was available to anyone and everyone and I certainly didn’t know that it could be something I could possess on a daily and consistent basis.
Happiness is a posture of the heart. It is a type of mental fitness that inclines itself to seeing the sparkle of life. It isn’t a destination, it isn’t a thing and it isn’t a moment. It is an attitude, and when we possess this perspective we are then able to literally hug and hold onto happiness.
I believe with confidence that our lives can sparkle if we choose to let them, and not just when we are on vacation. I believe that the sparkle of our hearts can explode into our attitudes and can make the life we live worthy of happiness hugs every day.
Get your happiness hug on by doing the following in your daily life – and know that you can hug happiness no matter where you are, what your circumstances are and how you feel….a happiness hug is an approach. It is a type of mental fitness.
- Find at least five things to be grateful for each morning.
- Be intentionally generous with your emotions and time with at least three people throughout the day.
- Look for the beauty in every situation by slowing down and savoring the little things about life that sparkle.
- Lean into every day with anticipation that it is going to be a great day – and that every day, no matter how it goes, is the opportunity to grow and learn in some way, which is something to be happy about.
Incline your heart towards happiness by remembering that God is for you and not against you. He loves you and He loves me and He has given us the ability to choose daily to hug our happiness. The world needs more hugs, and it can start with you.
PS: If you want to get more mentally fit with your levels and ability to hug happiness, then I am honored to invite you into the Emerge Experience, my 7-day online experience that is guaranteed to help elevate your personal joy and confidence so that you can emerge into living the live you’ve always imagined.