Day 4 – 09/04/2017 – feeling connected to strangers, my wife, my dog, nature…and more

connection 

3 simple questions: what surprised you today? what touched you heart today? what inspired you today? to rewire your brain over 90 days from blah to happy or so neuroscience says. I decided to find out and share this experiment hence this blog.

What surprised me today (going backwards in the day, from evening to morning)?

  • A cute beetle jumps on my shirt as I’m sitting outside looking at the stars and listening to the noises of the night (one of my favorites things to do).
  • My wife being nice to me. Her only presence around me is enough to make the evening special as it was the case that night. I’m a lucky guy to have such an amazing woman as my wife.
  • A great talk with my brother over the phone. We have very different philosophies on life so we usually don’t see eye to eye…which is a shame as I’d like to feel closer but I guess that is life. We are just born different and that is why our nice chat was a nice surprise.
  • A great seabream for dinner…hmmm….yes, I am a foodie 🙂
  • I was very productive as I was working on some administrative paperwork which is not usually my “forte”. What made it productive is that I had a limited time to accomplish a set of tasks so that helped me to be focused. Some people call this the Parkinson law and it seems to work very well.
  • I took time for myself and did things I enjoy instead of things I should be doing. It felt great not only to put myself first but also to step out of the routine, step out of pressure into pleasure.
  • I had an important meeting this morning with a client this morning. It got postponed and it was a blessing in disguise as I woke up highly stressed and had some face allergy. It may sound weird but I sometimes feel like the universe manages my agenda. 😉

What touched my heart today?

  • My dog barking. Usually it upsets me but this time I’m happy she does as it means she is fully recovered from her surgery.
  • I took my daugther to her first ballet lesson. She was so cute with her tutu skirt and she impressed me with her self-confidence. All Dads having a daughter will understand what I’m talking about here.
  • As I was waiting to pick up my kids from school, I had nice conversations with the other parents. It was not like usual, people seemed very happy to be here and happy to talk to me. It felt nice. For the second of the day (see below), I had a very nice connection with those people I’m not close with.
  • I went grocery shopping today and as I was waiting for my turn to check out I was watching a security guard being playful and smiling at a kid. He then saw me and smiled, I smiled back. This was a furtive and yet intense moment of complicity and connexion with a stranger. This is new to me. I really liked that.
  • When I returned home, my dog doing her happy dance as I walk in. You should see that: pure joy! She makes my day.

What inspired me today?

  • A sense of a deep connection with the present moment, with all the people driving around in their cars in the same direction as I do. It was as if I was looking from above at the situation and looking at the deeper meaning of the scenery. It is hard to put in words how it felt.
  • At some other time in the day, I felt very grateful for all these people around me whom I don’t know and yet who make the world a unique place to be and the human experience worth living. I surprised myself to think of the day where all of this will end and thinking that I will miss it; I will miss the magic of the magic of this world.

 

I’m four days into this experiment and this was a very surprising day on many levels for me. What describes it best is a sense of deep connection beyond the routine of the day. I’m not sure how this “3 questions ” experiment works in detail but there seems to be some changes inside of me at a deep level. It gives strength to go on and makes me curious about what is to come next!

Feel free to share what surprised you today, what touched your heart or what inspired you in the comments below to inspire others and spread happiness!

A special thank for all who started to follow this blog. I’m new to this so if you have any suggestion on how to improve this blog, I’d be happy to receive your suggestions.

 

Technic #1 for a new pair of eyes

What you focus on, grows…

Marcel Proust quote

 

Spend 10 minutes a night with your little notebook. Sit down with the book and reflect on your day going backwards:

  • I just had dinner
  • I was driving home
  • Before that I had a meeting with Mrs. X
  • Rewind your day as if it was a videotape until you reach the morning when you got out of bed in the morning.

Do this process three times

  1. the first time you are going to ask yourself: what surprised me today? As soon as you find anything that answers that question, anything at all, you write it down briefly in your little book.
  2. Then you start your review again from the back asking yourself: what touched my heart today? As soon as you find anything that answers that question you write it down.
  3. Then you start your review again and ask this time: what inspired me today? As soon as you find something that answers that question you write it down.

Then you are done for the day.

Suggestion: look back at your day as if you were a novelist, a journalist or even poet. You need to look for the stories.

Source: “the art of living every minute of your life” by M.S. Rachel Naomi Remen M.D.

Why “Shared Happiness”? How it all started?

The intention and purpose of this blog…

When I look on paper, I have everything to be happy: a loving wife, two amazing kids, a fulfilling job, a comfortable material life, a good health and yet deep down inside I am not happy. I read many personal development books, I worked on myself for the past 7 years, it helped on many levels and yet if I’m honest with myself I know I’m not happy.

I keep waking up most mornings with a big ball of anxiety in the stomach and in the shoulders which sets the tone for the day. My morning meditation helps a little bit but again it does not shift the baseline which is set in anxiety. I may occasionally have a good day and yet it feels like deep inside I’m missing out on something.

I came across a video a few weeks ago about “the art of living every minute of your life” which got me thinking because it offers a simple technic which promise is to transform your life. The technic is easy and requires only 10 minutes per day so why not test it out?

In a few words, the technic is about reviewing your day just before going to bed and ask yourself 3 questions:

  • what surprised you today?
  • what touched your heart today?
  • what inspired you today?

You then write your answers in your notebook. That’s it!

As I started this process, I came over two other simple technics which I added to the mix.

  • I added another question to that bedtime review: what are 3 things that I am proud of about myself? It can be anything: accomplishing some of your goals or just holding the door to someone.
  • I spend 3 minutes in silence in nature. I usually do this process in my garden at night after or before answering the questions in my notebook.

Now my plan is to test this process for 90 days at first and see the impact it has on my life. It is high time to move into action, walk the talk!

Why this blog? Well as I’m starting this new journey, I feel compelled to share the initial results which are very positive (I started on April, 6th 2017 – more than a week ago).  More importantly it is for me a way to share something authentic about myself and who knows maybe it will inspire some to start their own happiness process, to share their results or share their other “happiness” technics that worked for them.

Let’s share happiness!

Patrick

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