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A few posts back, I talked about how I gave my first speech in Toastmasters back in December. This month, I completed my 4th speech! I’ve decided to focus each of my speeches on something that helps people find happiness in their lives, as I truly do feel like it’s my mission in life to help others find happiness. Maybe at the end of my 10 speeches (that’s how many you have to do in order to complete the Competent Communicator series), I’ll have my material all set for my first book. Wouldn’t that be cool?!

This latest speech was titled, “Don’t Be So Serious!” It focused on getting across the message that when embarrassing things happen to you, or you make a mistake, do what you can to roll with it and not dwell on it. Because if you dwell on things, you’ll be miserable. Look for the lesson in the situation, and learn from it…and you’re on your way to finding your happiness.

I started off my speech with a clip from the movie Sixteen Candles. If you’ve seen the movie (from WAY back in 1984), you probably remember the scene where Sam’s grandparents see her for the first time in awhile and notice she’s “gotten her boobies” (tee hee hee!). Here’s the clip in case you don’t remember, or haven’t seen the movie…you only need to watch the first 1:10 of the clip.

After watching the clip, I launched into my OWN embarrassing story, which had the room cracking up (which was EXACTLY what I was hoping they’d do, by the way). Here’s the story I shared:

It was about 10 years ago. My husband, daughters and I were at the grocery store to get some items we needed for a party we were hosting the next night. We had a lot of things to get, so I gave half the list to my husband and older daughter, while my younger daughter and I took the other half of the list.

We were zipping through the aisles, putting the necessary items into the cart, checking off the list…things were going SPLENDIDLY! And then…I turned down the pasta aisle.

As I was strolling along, I saw my husband up ahead, so I figured I’d catch up to him and see where he was on his half of the list. As I got up behind him, I “passed gas”. It was SUPER loud and quite stinky. My husband HATES when I do stuff like that (it happens more often than I’d care to admit), so I figured I’d make light of the situation by saying, “That was a good one, wasn’t it?”

He turned around and said, “It sure was lady!”

O.M.G.!!! This wasn’t my husband! It was some random guy with a similar build in a similar outfit, but he was not MY husband!

Yes, I think you could say I was embarrassed. But, in true “Melanie” fashion, I decided to laugh it off. I looked at the man, smiled, and said, “Looks like my job here is done!” Then I kept strolling down the aisle in search of my REAL husband, so we could skidaddle!

William Arthur Ward said, “To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.” After that incident in the store, I’d like to think I am a bit more mature now! 🙂

If you have a hard time laughing things up…if you constantly dwell on the mistakes you think you’ve made…then now is the time to make a change.

Yesterday, I came across the following article. I am always in search of exercises that can help people tap into their happiness, and I absolutely think this article is a must read for anyone who wants to be happier in their life.

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/6-exercises-positive-psychology-boost-happiness/

The article contains 6 different exercises that can help you in finding happiness, but the first exercise is one that really jumped out at me, because it totally validated everything I said in my speech. Here’s the exercise:

Exercise #1: Three funny things

Write down three funny things you experienced in a given day, and why those things happened. For example, was this something you were directly involved in, something you observed, or something spontaneous?

When you can laugh at yourself and your circumstances, it means that you don’t take life too seriously. Best of all, laughing is contagious!

So…what are you waiting for? Invest some time in yourself because guess what? You deserve happiness! We all do, so don’t let it pass you by.

And, if you feel so inspired, I’d love for you to share the things you came up with in the exercise above. You never know how sharing your experiences might end up helping someone else.

Namaste,

Melanie

You can ask yourself, “What’s it like to be me?” You know, the only way we’ll ever know what it’s like to be you is if you work your best at being you as often as you can, and keep reminding yourself: That’s where home is. — Bill Murray

The above quote is Bill Murray’s response to the question “How does it feel to be you?”, which he fielded during a press conference at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival after the screening of his film St. Vincent. The resulting speech he gave has been dubbed the “Bill Murray Dharma Talk”, and I really enjoyed listening to it. You can listen to it yourself by clicking here, and it also has the speech typed out if you don’t want to watch the video.

I happened to come across this “dharma talk” right at the end of March, and I thought it was such perfect timing, as my focus in my yoga classes for March was dharma. I’d felt like it was challenging for me throughout the month to really get across the message that I wanted to my students…and then I happened across this wonderful little speech by Bill Murray and I felt it really helped tie things up rather nicely.

Dharma can mean many different things, depending on the religion or philosophy you subscribe to. Check out Wikipedia for an example of what I mean. But to me, the way dharma is described in the Bhagavad Gita is the one that has always resonated with me the most. In chapter 18.47, it says, “It’s better to do your own dharma imperfectly than another’s perfectly.” Dharma here means “life purpose”. If you’re truly doing what you’re meant to be doing, then everything else in life falls into place naturally. If you’re doing things that are helping you work toward meeting your dharma, then it’s all good, no matter the outcome!

I definitely feel like I am working towards my own dharma…FINALLY! I’ve tried lots of different things in an attempt to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing and what makes me tick. These last couple of years have definitely brought me a long way. And I think it’s because I finally stopped to listen to my own heart, rather than trying to copy what others are doing. Also, I figured out that a person’s dharma changes along their life’s journey. We have stages in our lives, after all, so it’s only fitting that our dharma may need to change in order to meet us where we are at that particular stage in our lives.

It’s been hard for me in many ways. I’m typically a Type A “have to have a plan” kind of person. But that way of thinking was totally stressing me out and making me miserable. Now, I still have a plan, but it’s just not so rigid. If something doesn’t feel right, I try and figure out why and make the necessary changes. This means I have to be a bit more of a “go with the flow” kind of person, and that was an uncomfortable feeling for me at first. But it’s getting easier every day, because I can see a difference in myself. I feel happier. I feel more sure of  myself. I feel more at peace. And I definitely feel like I am more “at home” with myself now, more confident.

So. What’s it like to be YOU? Do you know what your life purpose is? If you’re not sure, I urge you to take the steps to figure it out. You won’t be sorry, because once you figure it out, there will be no stopping you. And once you’re able to truly be YOU, you’ll finally be home.

Namaste,

Melanie

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