Welcome, Happy Activists! A Happy Activist is someone who, through kind words and intentional positive actions, strives to make the world a better place. Live Happy invites you to join our #HappyActs movement! On the 20th of each month, we encourage everyone to incorporate kindness into your daily lives by participating in each month’s planned activity. The more who join the #HappyActs movement, the more positive impact we'll all have on our homes, workplaces and communities. What you think and do matters!
October’s theme is mindfulness. Mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “In a sense, we don’t have time not to do mindfulness—it’s that important. On the other hand, it’s outside of time altogether. The present moment has very intense properties. The past is over, the future hasn’t come yet—so there’s only this moment. If you can learn how to live in this present moment, then mindfulness doesn’t take any time at all. You’re moving through life, surfing on your breath and handling whatever comes up as you need to.”
Our October Happy Act is to practice meditation. If you’ve never tried it, get started with our six steps below.
October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Meet our Happy Activist, Dana Donofree. After her personal experience with breast cancer at the age of 27, she founded the fashion brand AnaOno, a company that creates beautiful lingerie designed to fit post-reconstruction bodies. “For all the darkness of my cancer, there’s been five times more brightness that’s come out of it all….I know I’m making a difference.”
1. Get Comfortable
Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Ideally this would be a room in your house where you can be alone and at peace.
2. Get in position
You might try sitting cross-legged on a low cushion on the floor, or upright in a chair. Some people prefer to meditate lying down.
3. Get relaxed
Close your eyes, set a timer for five minutes if you are just starting out, and begin by taking a few deep, cleansing breaths. Breathe in deeply (but naturally) through your nose, and out through either your nose or mouth—whichever feels more comfortable to you. Let the breaths flow all the way down into your abdomen.
4. Focus on your breath
Become aware of the sound of your breath as you inhale and exhale. As you inhale, you breathe in all the peaceful and joyful things around you. As you exhale, you rid your mind and body of all the stress and toxins that have been bothering you. Let your mind become mesmerized by the rhythmic pattern of your breathing.
5. Bring your thoughts back to center
Your mind will wander. When you notice your thoughts wandering off from your breath, don't chastise yourself—it’s totally normal. Simply acknowledge it and bring your focus back to the center, back to your breaths.
6. Make a commitment
Like exercise, meditation takes practice. And the more we practice, the better we get and the stronger that mindfulness muscle becomes.