Today we're pleased to have a guest blog post from Molly Terry, author of 100 Way to Be Happy Now. This workbook is an innovative, interesting resource for people who are interested in self-reflection and self-discovery. I've read it and explored its ideas myself, and I appreciate the new perspective it has given me on how to be calm, self-assured, and positive. Many thanks to Molly for her insights!

Everyone yearns for happiness. My name is Molly Terry, author of 100 Ways to Be Happy Now, an action based workbook that guides readers through simple, happiness-promoting exercises to implement anytime and anywhere. Readers will learn to ground themselves in the present moment and view themselves and others with more compassion. You can find the workbook here and become reacquainted with the simple joys of everyday life.

I write for a blog entitled Go Spread The Good. Through its reach, I hope to inspire people to accept themselves, appreciate others, and do their part to improve the world, wherever that may be. 100 Ways began through a brainstorming session, as the 2 other blog authors (and sisters :)) and I deliberated on our personal statements for the sake of giving direction to the blog. Mine evolved from a simple statement into a philosophy on how to become happier and then into simple steps for helping others to create happy moments in their own lives. From there 100 Ways was born.

In 2011 I began experiencing chronic anxiety - from panic attacks to withdrawing from school, to living back at home with my parents as a newlywed. But the greatest withdrawal had been in the works for many years - a withdrawal from myself. Until then, so much time was spent living for others’ expectations, second-guessing my own nature, and searching for happiness outside of myself. When the chance came to sink or swim, the enormous challenge transformed into a new way of life.  Many truths emerged from these experiences, and one of the greatest is that we overcomplicate happiness. Joy is simplicity. This simplicity echoes through each page of 100 Ways, reminding us that happiness need not be complicated nor situational.

If you want to seize happiness, this book is for you. There truly is something for everyone. As you
Author Molly Terry
experiment with each exercise, you will find that such simple gestures recenter you on what is most important, empower you to take your happiness into your own hands, and change the way you view yourself and others. Some exercises may come easily and others may take focus and diligence. I believe key components of happiness are empowerment, compassion, hope, creativity, and the ability to be still. You will spend time developing each of these characteristics throughout the book. Happiness is not only what you do but also who you are.

The workbook is separated into 4 chapters: Do It, Think About It, Change It Up, and Just Be. Each then contains an introduction, individual exercises, a reflection page, and takeaways pages. The introduction gives focus to your experience, stating the purpose of the consequent exercises. As stated above, the exercises themselves are simple and can be done anywhere. “Do It” focuses on just that - doing - it may be as simple as “write down the first 5 happy things that come to mind”. Conversely “Think About It” requires no action, simply reflection, posing thoughts to shift your paradigm about life, yourself, or those around you. “Change It Up” invites you to break through the mundane in everyday life as you make simple changes. And lastly, “Just Be” contains easy meditations which allow you the freedom to live  connected with your own body and mind. How do such simple things work? Through making happiness intentional and present.

100 Ways is most effective when paired with honest reflection. As you honestly face and reflect on your own hibitions, you can overcome and thrive. The first time you go through the book, do a whole chapter at a time from beginning to end. Start with whichever chapter you’d like to. Go at your own pace and explore yourself as you do so. As you slowly work through each exercise, write down any thoughts, feelings, and inspirations on the “Takeaways” page. When you’ve come to the end of each chapter, spend a generous amount of time on “Reflections”. In my experience, this is where the magic happens - where happiness becomes part of who you are. After you’ve finished the entire book, then use it as a toolkit. I still every few days pull out the book when I need a pick-me-up or when I need to recenter or shift perspective.

The closing page contains a poem I wrote for the book entitled “Each Is A Pilgrim.” Truly we are - we are walking through the peaks and valleys of life searching for joy and connection with those around us. We cling to the peaks through the valleys and make the most of our circumstances. Happiness is not the destination but the very essence of the journey.

As the poem states:

Despite where each traveler has come from,
our journey is measured by who we’ve become.
As the road comes to an end the greatest prize,
is how well we created joy in our lives.

May this book, and journey, enrich your life as much as it has mine!

~Molly Terry


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