I’m sure all of us can honestly say that we are sincerely happy and grateful for our kids. When we look back on our lives with them, we remember all the “firsts” with such joy. I know this is true for me. Even though all my five kids are teenagers and young adults now, I can still remember the first time I found out I was pregnant, the first time I held each one of them in my arms, the first time they started crawling, their first day of preschool, their high school graduations, taking them to college, etc. Those moments were pretty much indescribably wonderful.

So why is it so hard to find those same good feelings on a day-to-day basis? Why can’t we stay in that place of overwhelming gratitude in between the milestones? One of the main reasons is that we associate positives states with things going our way or with achievement. If certain external conditions are met (like our kids behaving or accomplishing something) we are happy.  If they are not, we get upset or disappointed. Our happiness is the effect of outside circumstances rather than a cause of them.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There is a sure and easy way to harness happiness that has nothing to do with the external.

To give you a taste of what I am talking about, I invite you to take a minute and tune inward. Close your eyes. Smile. As you welcome a space of relaxation and allowing, a peaceful energy that naturally resides within you will emerge. It sounds simple or you might not feel it at first, but don’t give up. With a little practice, you will find it, because it is who you are at the essence of your being. It is your true self.

If you tune into this consciousness, before you go out, before you speak to others, and before you act or react, then it becomes the cause of what happens next, instead of the other way around. Since you are already “there,” you don’t need anything else from the outside to come or happen to satisfy you.  And it is not about “fake it till you make it.” There is very real energy that exists within each human being and is always available. When we connect to it first and foremost, then whatever follows is a bonus‐‐a cherry on top. What’s left is appreciation for anything good that shows up in our experience.

I have found this to be especially powerful dealing with my kids. When I wake up in the morning with a conscious decision to be happy and grateful, I am not waiting on them to do something to bring me there.  As a result, they naturally are more relaxed, because they don’t feel this underlying need to do or perform in order to please. The energy I hold is, “I am grateful for you just because you are,” and they feel it. (Kids are very intuitive and sensitive!) This simple shift alone has really taken our relationships to a whole different level.

Being happy is truly one of the greatest gifts we can impart to our kids. When our children see joy on our faces, they feel safe, loved, less anxious, and that life is manageable. When we feel strong, hopeful, and connected, our children can have the strength and positive energy they need to deal with life.  Does it mean that all our challenges, worries and fears will disappear? Of course not. But I have found that when I consistently make this inner connection, my life and my experience as a parent is much richer and more fulfilling.

To capture the power of happiness every day, return to the following four affirmations to create a joyful, light-filled home.

1 – My happiness comes from within. At my core, I am happy, joyful and free…even if my circumstances are causing me to feel otherwise.

2 – Happiness is the cause not the effect.  My internal happiness is the cause for the things that show up in my life to make me happy and not the other way around.

3 –  Happiness is one of the most powerful tools in my toolbox.  I can take it out and use it at any moment, just by turning inward. 

 4 – My internal connection creates the foundation for a happy home.