Chasing Happiness

The Facebook milestone that temporarily threw me for a loop.
The Facebook milestone that temporarily threw me for a loop.

I have been dreaming of serving people through inspirational guidance and holistic healing for years. The week I launched my website and Facebook page for The Haven Shoppe was incredible – I was totally pumped. Finally, I had conquered my fears enough to share what I have to offer with the world. I had just been extended the opportunity to sell my Body & Soul Mists at NY Organic Hair Studio in Baldwinsville, NY.

Accolades from mentors, friends, and family members were rolling in. People were “liking” my Facebook page left and right – people I didn’t even know!

I was feeling so happy, blessed, and grateful that my little dream was finally manifesting into reality. Every day, I posted a positive message to my Facebook page, whether it was an Oracle card, positive affirmation, or spirit animal symbolism. Each topic was chosen intuitively, with the intent that everyone reading would receive a special message that would help them in some way.

Then something happened…

on day 4 The Haven Shoppe hit 68 Facebook “likes”…and stalled. I received one in the morning and not another all day. I must have refreshed that page 10 (OK, 50) times, trying to increase the number by sheer will. All I could see was Facebook’s “Hit a New Milestone!” message staring me in the face, mocking me. The happiness of the past few days slowly began to wither as anxiety and fear began to creep in. What will happen if this is it? What was I thinking launching this site to begin with? And, of course, the old familiar, what if I’m not good enough?

Before I totally succumbed to those negative thoughts, I forced myself to step back and remind myself of the simple truths I know in my heart to be real. The first thought that came to me was my firm belief that happiness comes from within. The idea that you’ll finally be satisfied once you sell that house, get that promotion or hit 1,000 Facebook followers is a sure fire way to ensure a pretty miserable existence. This is because once you get whatever it is that you want, the ego hops along to its next desire. This hamster wheel approach to achieving happiness keeps you so distracted checking off your wish list, that everything you already have goes by the wayside, unappreciated. Why is it so much easier to spend time lusting after our desires than counting our blessings? I live and breathe this stuff, yet here I was, obsessing over my numerically challenged Facebook following. Somehow I managed to lose sight of the fact that 68 beautiful, intelligent, busy, already-informationally-overloaded people had given me a chance to be part of their day, even if only for a few seconds while scrolling through an ocean of status updates, selfies, and talking dog videos.

Two lessons bubbled to the surface of my consciousness through this experience.

First, a lesson in faith. As I mentioned earlier, I start each day with a prayer to select a message that my audience needs. Of course this means that everyone meant to see my posts unavoidably will. I’m quite sure The Divine/God/Goddess/ Universe/Whatever-You-Want-To-Call-It doesn’t give a flying crap how many “likes” I have. We often pray for assistance without really trusting that in doing so, our situation is already in divinely capable hands. Instead we continue to worry, attempt to control, and end up as frazzled as ever. This is such a misuse of our precious energy.

Second, and this is a whopper, it is so important to appreciate exactly where we are, here and now. Of course we need goals, but acknowledging how far we’ve come is just as important. The present moment is all we really have, yet we spend so much of it mulling over the past and worrying about the future. Try this exercise while you’re lying in bed, before going to sleep: recap your entire day in as much detail as possible and see how many things you can think of to be grateful for. I’m talking about every tiny, beautiful blessing you can think of – from your morning coffee to your warm bed, and everything in between. It’s an illuminating and humbling experience, not to mention you’ll sleep like a rock.

What are your thoughts on this subject? I’d love to hear your stories and comments!

With Much Love,

Andrea

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