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Happiness. Revisited.

How to be happy.

The inspiration is just not hitting. And I don’t like anything I’m writing.

You know how sometimes you’re just in the creative flow and sometimes you’re just not? And when you’re not, trying to be creative is like trying to drag a 13 year old to a city hall meeting. It’s boring. And you hate it. And you want to throw a tantrum. And leave. And flip your parents the bird and be like “I’m outta here!”

As I write this I feel like that 13 year old. Kind of over it. Kind of irritable. Definitely ready for a nap or to watch TV and just do something else other than sit here and write.

And then I remember that I made a commitment to you five weeks back. A commitment that promised that I would write to you every week. That not only was that important for me to be connected to you again, but it was important for me to be connected to my creative self again, after taking what felt like a forever-long hiatus.

And then I remember something I learned in Kundalini Teacher Training, which is that commitment is the first first step to happiness.

And then I remember how resistant I’ve always been to that word, as though commitment meant shackles and tying me down to something I can’t get out of. Being stuck without options. Or…just stuck in general.

And then I remember all the times in my life where I broke my commitments, or never did things where I had to actually stay committed. Things like turning down the lead in Wizard of Oz (Dorothy, yes) after I worked so hard to get the roll. Or turning down the only girl spot in a very special hand-selected mentorship in writing one summer in high school. Or how I said yes to the Master’s program at Cal Poly in marriage and family therapy (after spending over 8 months trying to get in) only to then say no so I could pursue coaching.

And how those things always gave me such pride. As though I was taking the road less traveled. Which is true in some senses, but in my life, the road less traveled would actually be the one in which I honor the commitments to myself and others.(For the record I’m happy with the choices in my life thus far.)

And so I sit here, writing to you even though I feel like a 13 year old, who doesn’t feel like it. Humbled from it being day 23 of a 40 day commitment I made to myself to do a specific Kundalini yoga set and meditation every day. And feeling happiness because I’m doing what I said I would do.

There is something to be said to keeping your word. To being in integrity with the decisions that you make to yourself and other people. And maybe, just maybe my Kundalini teachers are right that commitment is the first step to happiness.

There’s a certain amount of freedom within structure. 

I definitely feel happier typing these very last words to you than I did 15 minutes before when I was ready to throw my computer in the pool while thinking to myself “they probably won’t notice if I don’t write this week. I’m sure it’s fine.”

But it’s not fine.

Do what you say you’re going to do. Be in integrity with your commitments to yourself and others. Experience happiness. (TWEET THIS!)

Note to self.

How about you? Have you had a rocky relationship with the word commitment? Have you been able to find happiness within your own commitments to yourself and others?

If so I want to hear about it in the comments below. Answer these questions:

“My relationship with commitment is _________” and then “One thing I want to commit to this week is ________.”

And if you know someone who needs to hear this message, please “like” and “share” it with your friends by clicking the little buttons on the sidebar above. (You rock, thank you.)

Your sister in happiness (and commitment),


P.s. One of the next things I’m committing to is virtual online Kundalini yoga classes. It’s gonna be rad. Promise. Get on this list to make sure you’re in the loop when that goes live.

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16 Responses to Happiness. Revisited.

  1. Dani Buckley says:

    Oh boy – this is one I’ve been dealing with for awhile. At a retreat I went to last year, someone put it into the perspective of how good a friend you are to yourself. I always follow through with my friends, if I say I’m going to do something I do it, I’m honest and reliable.

    Yet, with myself, I’m not nearly as good as a friend. I avoid commitments and I definitely break them. What you said resonated so much, because I do the exact same thing and oftentimes tell myself I’m making the wiser, or freer, choice. And sometimes it was the right choice – but sometimes it was just me not wanting to feel tied down or forced to do something.


    My relationship with commitment is a rocky and confusing one right now. One thing I’m going to commit to RIGHT NOW is a better morning routine that includes writing/meditation and healthy, nourishing food choices to start my day.

    Thanks, love!

    • Sally Hope says:

      Dani…YES. YESSSSSSS. I resonated with SO much of what you said. Especially in keeping commitments to others but not so much to yourself.

      I also really resonated with feeling like not honoring commitments can be the “freer” or the more “wildheart” choice (as I see it) and like you, often times it is, but lately I’ve been wondering more about how that way of thinking gets in the way of some happinesses.

      Just an exploration. Thank you so much for your comment and for your commitment to your morning routine.

      Anything specific you want to commit to with it?? (amount of time, activities, etc) Or is just committing to doing it the point?


  2. Gina says:

    Sally, I have totally struggled with commitment all my life. On May 1st I committed to posting a video a day for 30 days. It has not been eau, but I knew that the boss lady in me does what she says she will do and so far, I’m 12/12!?. I took the challenge to grow and expand and see if I could step into the shoes of someone who takes her commitments seriously.

    And I think there is happiness in commitment.

    • Sally Hope says:

      Congrats Gina!!! Tht is a big deal and that is how we do it. Get back on the horse every day.

      I agree with you. I think there is happiness in commitment too. So happy to have you on this path with me. :)

  3. Jenna says:

    100% agree that the road less traveled is different for all. I applaud you for the courage to be a rebel in this new way! We all know that the brain is maleable; the new pathways you create will likely make sticking to your commitments less and less arduous in the future.

    You know what this post brought up for me? The difficulty of interpretation. When a strong urge arises we often take it as intuition. But sometimes it’s reaction. (But sometimes it’s not!)

    My relationship to commitment has evolved, starting with the time I plunked my nomadic butt down and forced myself to stay in the same place for – count ’em – Six. Whole. Years. This was prior to Pico Iyer’s beautiful book, The Art of Stillness.

    You’ve inspired me to recommit to my yoga practice this week. No pre-dawn wake-ups for this girl, but yes, some regularity would be welcome.

    Thanks, Sally!

    • Sally Hope says:

      Hey Jenna! Oh my gosh I resonated SO much with your discussion about intuition vs. reaction. I think that is such an important topic.

      And dang girl…SIX WHOLE YEARS!!?? I don’t think I’ve done that since I went away to college (which sort of doesn’t count because 4 of my 7 years were set for me while in school).

      So so glad you’ve recommitted to your yoga practice. WOOT WOOT! Tell me how it’s going midweek will ya??

  4. Sarah Love says:

    Oh Sally! This is right on the money honey!
    Thank you for pushing through the resistance and rocking it with your heart.
    Love you sister!

  5. Olya says:

    Oh you described my feelings to commitment!
    Yes I gave up on a few things that I’ve been pursuing for a while. My relationship with commitment is… Better than before but still not where I think it should be. But I know if I commit I get great results. Some areas of my life is easier for me in terms of commitment. Like exercising for example. My commitment for this week is to write every day for at least 15 minutes.
    The strangest thing is that I enjoy writing, so why I am feel resistant to doing it?

    • Sally Hope says:

      AHHHH! I know what you mean about writing lady! I made that commitment to myself about 5 weeks ago. That I was going to freewrite, for fun (not for blogging, not for my journal, not for business etc) every day and I’ll tell you what! It has really sparked my creativity!

  6. Oh, Sally, this one! I find that I do great when I make public commitments, either because I write them somewhere other people can read them, or I share them with a friend.

    I struggle when the commitment is an inner promise, especially when I want to cut back on something that isn’t serving me. like, say, spending more time than is healthy on Facebook.

    I’m committing to keeping a log of my facebook time for next week and writing down how I feel afterwards. I think tracking it will help me see where the balance is between participation and addiction.

    • Sally Hope says:

      I know what you mean about those inner commitments! I think sometimes it’s easier to commit to things outside of ourselves, then those little voices inside that tell us what we sometimes don’t want to here. Love your Facebook commitment! I’m curious to see what you discover!

  7. Kimberly says:

    Hi Sally,

    Oh how I love your blogs. When you feel like you have nothing to say, you end up saying a lot. For me, my relationship with commitment is so-so. I do well in certain aspects of my life, but suck in others. I think I need work on commitment to my health. Over the past couple of years I’ve allowed myself to become unhealthy. It’s time to get back to where I was a few years ago. So, I commitment to exercising more this week. Thanks for kicking my butt and making me realize I need to have a better commitment to myself.

    • Sally Hope says:

      Hey Kimberly!

      Oh how I love having you here reading them and chatting with me! Thank you so much for your comment. And I hear you about health stuff. Our relationship to oursevles and our bodies is the longest relationship we’ll ever have! So it’s a good one to be committed to. :) Let me know how it goes!

  8. Jamie says:

    Wow, very different in this……I will commit to the fullest even when it doesn’t justify the commitment any longer. What I need to learn is to do just the opposite l, in some cases, and know that if the commitment isn’t serving me any longer, to figure out to let go of it

    • Sally Hope says:

      Hey Jamie!

      I LOVE what you said because sometimes I think that the best commitment we can make it to honor ourselves and our deepest thruths, which can also mean that sometimes we have to let go. Love that you brought this up. And thank you for your comment and for reading and for being awesome! :)

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