When my husband, my daughter and I go on outings that my daughter isn’t particularly excited about, I always tell her she can pack whatever will bring her joy in her backpack.
Sometimes she crams her backpack full of markers and paper and fidget spinners and random doodads. Other times she grabs a single book or some music and her headphones. Every now and then she brings nothing at all and decides to try giving life a go without outside entertainment.
The point is that each time she asks herself what she needs, takes the time to pack it up, and then pulls it out at just the right moment. It’s her own little personal responsibility backpack of happiness and joy.
I believe that our happiness in life, our sense of satisfaction with ourselves, and our ability to feel whatever it is we want to feel in our minds and bodies are ultimately our own responsibility. No matter what hardship we endure (and I know we each have plenty of it we could list out), it’s up to each one of us to show up in life and feel the way we want to feel. And it’s up to us to pack our backpacks with exactly what we need to do just that.
This doesn’t mean we can’t invite teachers, friends and confidantes in our corner to guide us, encourage us, inspire us and challenge us along the way. As a teacher myself and a lifelong student, I completely believe in opening ourselves to receive the guidance and framework that will help us know how to pack that backpack even better and with more clarity. I’m almost a month into teaching a 12-week course all about connecting with the intuition and receiving messages from the unseen organizing intelligence of the Universe, and we’re in full-on training mode for how to best pack our backpacks.
But when push comes to shove, it’s your backpack. It’s your life.
You’re the only one hearing the tapes on repeat inside your mind, and you’re the only one that can press stop, hit rewind and record over those tapes with a new message.
In my life, meditation, mindfulness and self-awareness have been the tools to doing that. Every day I stuff personal mantras, elevated emotions, self-loving choices and feel-good meditations into my backpack with the intention of pulling them out just when I need them most. I don’t look to other people to make me happy anymore because I know that’s not where true happiness lives.
What are you putting in your personal responsibility backpack? Where have you been looking outside yourself for what’s right there on the inside?
I believe that happiness and satisfaction are always a choice, and it never hurts to have a well-stuffed backpack ready to back you up.