Posted by: Shanie Matthews | January 5, 2011

How to be Happy in 2011

I am pretty excited about this year. For one thing 11 is my absolute favorite number. Two, I am a fan of throwing the horns, which turns out to be a natural way of celebrating 2011.

So, as there are some favored factors already going on with the numerical component of 2011, I have decided that I am going to consciously and actively set out on making this my best-loved year yet!

In promoting this forward, I have been drawing together some of my preferred ways of making life happy. Here are five that I just love…

1. Start looking at the “negative” aspects in your personality as a positive. That sounds a bit backwards, and maybe not too in line with actively setting out to make this “the” best year so far…but in reality this is a huge key. I used to beat myself up for less-than-perfect parts to my persona. But as I grow I am beginning to understand that our personality blemishes are not a negative. They are not just the way we are and there is nothing that we can do about it. No, they are there to help us become better people. The trick is, is that we have to be very honest with ourselves about the dark aspects…responsible for how we act, and how our actions and words affect others. Just becoming responsible for our words and actions creates a lighter effect on the body, because we are being honest with ourselves. With this honesty, if we then choose to embrace this negative aspect, learn why it is there, and change the belief that is surrounded by it, we choose to make our lives happier and everyone else that we touch.

2. Be true to your inner self. Are there parts of you that you know are golden and good, but you are afraid to show this true part of your psyche for one reason or another? For me, the belief that there was a world beyond anger and fighting was something I always knew to be true. Deep down inside, my inner psyche whispered to me that there is a life without conflict, where people communicate in a positive, healthy way. So after multiple physically abusive relationships and a final, massive, scary domestic fight that broke the camels back, I decided to stop this cycle and move towards happiness. I changed my belief that anger and fighting was the only way in a relationship. I believed that it was my right to be happy, and no matter what I was going to figure out what that meant. Now 13 years later, I truly feel that my beliefs have changed, as well as my understanding of how my actions are a part of the cycle, and in response so has my life.

3. Put yourself in positive situations that support your dream. Sometimes I find myself fearful to embrace my dreams. What about if I do it wrong? What if someone gets upset with me because of what I am doing? What if people ridicule me? What if I can’t really do it? You may know those voices…the not-so-nice internal spokesperson that dampens the fire of highest potential. One great way to feel support for your dream is to put yourself in situations that have to do with it, in some, way, shape, or form. Putting us in these places may just give us the jolt or support that we need to believe in ourselves. For example, one of my dreams is to help others, but living in California I didn’t feel that I had much power to do so, at least not in Lake Tahoe. So, in a moment of feeling stagnant my husband and I decided to take a trip on the whim to look at property in a country 7,000 miles away from where we lived. This action was met with a lot of hesitancy and a belief that I couldn’t live in a foreign land at this stage in my life…wasn’t I supposed to be having kids and working a real job? But on the trip we came across a property that was so incredibly wonderful that we couldn’t pass it up. The purchase of this property led to us meeting a person that would change my life forever, Juan. He not only helped me to activate my dreams of really being able to help someone, he also taught me life lessons of love that I will take with me as I move forward on helping others achieve their greatest potential.

4. In love and light…I drop it. As I have developed in my daily practice with yoga, I have slowly come to experience the blissfulness of being able to quiet my mind. This ability to stop the negative chatter, the “you should of” chatter, the “do more” chatter, has been a major aspect in my personal path of happiness. One trick I have learned (from the National Best Seller “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert) is listening to the negative thought, and then saying to it out loud in the following sentence — whatever it may be — that, “I send love and light in all ways to _________. And I now drop all the negativity associated with it. Goodbye.” If my mind brings it up again, I patiently remind myself that in love and light I have dropped it. Sometimes it takes a few reminders, but eventually my stubborn, negative voice relents and positivity gets the upper hand.

5. Break up the dream. Sometimes activating a dream can seem incredibly overwhelming. There are times when I am moving forward on my dream of creating a Happy Path home for homeless children, and it just seems like way too much…that all of the components needed for it to happen are just too numerous and out of my reach. The same has been the case for my husband’s and my dream of creating a global ski area cooperative business model that makes more energy than it consumes. But now, a year and a half into the project, we are seeing it forming into reality. What once seemed like an overwhelmingly large job, and many people told us so, it has now become a vibrant business in the making due to breaking the concept down into mini-tasks and getting others on board that saw the dream.

What ways are you making your 2011 the best ever?



  1. This post is fabulous and inspiring! Thank you 🙂

    • Thanks Jaclyn! Happy 2011!


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