happy john

This Very Moment… This Is It… Stop… Smell the Roses… Give Thanks.

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The love you make, well, that’s all there is.

Rhett Miller (lead singer of the Old 97’s)

Don’t miss out on ANY opportunities to tell the ones you love how much they mean to you. Do it right now. I’ll wait.

Today, I’m feeling my inner joy in a way that I feel it from the bottom tip of my spine to the top of my head. In terms of chakras and energy, I’m fully empowered and alive. Let’s pull apart the elements of happiness and see what moments of self-awareness have brought me to this moment. And this moment. And this one here.

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The Moment Passes Us By

Don’t wait to experience your greatest pleasure. Don’t write out bucket lists, start doing the things that make your heart sing. Not feeling love in your relationship? Change it or get a new one. Not feeling respected in your job? Get a new one. Want to climb Everest? Make the arrangement for next summer and start training. The point is, there is no time to waste.

The other point is, there is no hurry. You’ve got plenty of time. But, don’t waste a single second of it.

  • Don’t worry about what others think (even your mom or your best friend)
  • Don’t work at a job that is crushing your soul
  • Don’t long for things and money you don’t have, find pleasure in living at this moment
  • Don’t fantasize about writing a book, play, song, poem: simply begin creating
  • Don’t wait for anyone to give you permission
  • Don’t hold the unhappy anxiety and unhelpful expectations of your parents
  • Don’t ever give up
  • Don’t stop creating (evolve, play, pretend, keep going, change instruments or genres)
  • Don’t waste time on tv, trivial relationships, or getting high
  • Don’t love anyone who doesn’t love you back
  • Don’t lose touch with your kids, parents, or siblings

That’s a lot of DON’TS.

Okay, that’s fine, but what do you DO? What did I do to build my energy and moments into this very moment today, when I experienced an epiphany. What did I do differently? What can you do to change the course of your less-than-charming life?

Take Your Time Back

I give as much time as possible to my kids, my girlfriend, and my craft. And while my kids take priority, always, they are also somewhat entitled young adults who get back in touch with me when they need something. No worries. I’m the single dad to got erased from 70% of their life from a vindictive ex-wife who still tries to sew seeds of discontent. Guess what, it’s not working.

Time is really all we have. And if you are spending a lot of your time worrying, complaining, and praying for things to change, BUT not going out and making the necessary changes… Well, you’re part of your own problem. Here’s the truth: your mom and dad did not cause your lack of energy. Your kids are not the source of your purpose or happiness. A relationship, as loving and connected as it can be, is nothing if you’re not happy within yourself. But, how does that inner happiness get started? What’s the trick to happiness?

My Happiness Do-This List

  • Notice the important things in your life and give them time and energy
  • Ask your kids and lovers for their time, and give them many opportunities to connect
  • Let go of your expectations
  • Be in love with living your own life and spending time alone creating your dreams
  • Experience others fully (give attention to the busboy at the restaurant, be nice to the cashier at the organic grocery store)
  • Celebrate The Moment as often as you can
  • When you love someone, give them 110% of your heart, don’t hedge

Here We Are, We’ve Reached Another Perfect Moment

Perfect moments are yours to make. Today was not all that different from any other day. Except for my awareness and my mindfulness seem to be a bit more engaged than usual. It’s hot out. The Texas summer is beginning here in the early days of May. I don’t want to sit in my yard or on my screened-in porch. I have to run the AC a bit cooler than I like because the humidity is awful.

And I’m in the process (in this very second) of noticing how wonderful my life is at this instant.

That’s the key. You are what you think. So, if you’re spending most of your days worrying about others, fearing things that won’t ever happen, and holding back from saying what YOU want to do, today is the day to take a stand.

Today is the day. This is the moment when you can change your trajectory. You can make a difference in your own life just by noticing more of what ROCKS in your life. Giving moments (in prayer, meditation, or writing) to celebrate the NOW. Eckhart Tolle has given us the insight to NOW, don’t loose it, thinking about the PAST or hoping for the FUTURE.

Your future is now. You can make those plans now. You can start that project now. My young friend who talks about wanting to learn to play the piano… Well, what’s stopping you from learning a song right now?

If you can hold your YES moments in your mind, you can spend more time in happiness and feelings of integrity and strength. When you KNOW you are serving your highest purpose in life, you feel different. You feel connected and supported by the universe, or God, if you prefer.

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Don’t ask for permission. Don’t complain about your hard day, your short weekend, or your hangover. GET ON WITH EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.

This is not a carpe diem post. This is not about making stupid or impulsive decisions. But you MUST orient your life and activity to support your happiness at every opportunity. If you’re watching too much tv or smoking too much dope, you are anesthetizing yourself against the creative angst that is not being fed. TV is a tranquilizer, just like alcohol, prescription drugs, and pot.

No matter how you do unplug/checkout/cut loose, take care to keep your eye on the prize. If you stay cratered in your hole, smoking dope and laughing at reruns of Beevis and Butthead, you might be escaping your pain for a minute, but you are not moving your chess pieces forward in the game of life.

Always keep your goals in front of you. If you need a vision board or colored prayer flags from Nepal get them. Put dreams back in your life. Cut out the excess entertainment. Build a future that you’re not only proud of, but that energizes you every single day.

How You Show Up

In a recent job interview, the young man asked, “How do you keep so many projects going? What drives you with that much energy, every day?”

“I have a goal and a purpose and they are aligned.”

Stay in alignment with your goal. Make sure your goal is aligned with your purpose. And then notice when things are going right for you. Sure, it’s hot as fk outside. Sure, my current job has degraded since my manager lied to me.

STILL, RIGHT NOW: I’m as happy as I’ve ever been, right now, right here, typing these words.

That’s a state of mind I seek to cultivate and share.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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the little red book of mindfulness - john oakley mcelhenney

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