Reading time: 3 minutes
[success]The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.–Henry Ward Beecher[/success]
If you’ve read my ‘about’ page, you’ll know I’ve lived in many exotic places throughout the world. It was pretty cool, but even as a kid I recognized poverty when I saw it. Children with no shoes and bellies large from malnutrition can’t be hidden even from children with shoes and socks and chocolate mouse for dessert.
I wasn’t aware at the time of the true hardship and poverty that was endured by many, for whom the things I took for granted like clean running water and electricity were a luxury. Hey, be kind…I was a kid too.
But one thing I was aware of was that these children, with so little, still had bright smiles, still laughed, and played just like me.
They were happy.
And I knew, young as I was, that I had an amazingly abundantly life and that if these kids were happy, then I somehow had an obligation to be happy. I was going to be happy even if my big brother took the fanciest cake on the plate, even if my sister pinched my stuff, even if I was sent packing to my room for being cheeky. I’ll be the first to admit…that was a tough one…my inclination was to pout.
Many of you wonderful readers already know, I was pretty much born with a smile on my face…according to my Mum. But this was a defining moment. I knew I needed to do more than smile at the world, I needed to cultivate happiness and joy, regardless of the situation because it was the better option. Plus it looked a lot more fun than focusing on lack and limitation.
I was aware that these kids weren’t happy all the time. Who is? Not even smiling me.
But in this moment of play, they were happy. They were in the now. Not focused on not having enough to eat later, not focused on having sores on their body that were surrounded by flies, not focused on anything but this now moment.
They weren’t pursuing happiness, they were choosing it. Well okay…I didn’t get that exact concept as a kid…let’s count it as an add on.
The challenge of pursuing happiness is that so many things have to line up before we’re happy. Things have to work out exactly as we want them to or we won’t be happy. And even then, it’s fleeting and before we know it we’re on to the next thing that’ll make us happy.
Choosing happiness is more of a moment to moment experience. Something right now, feels good, looks good, or maybe it just tastes blooming good. Any mood, be it good or bad, if practiced on a consistent basis creates a momentum that’s hard to break. And then, guess what, if the mood is one of happiness, it’s easier to find more things to feel happy about. Don’t you just love the way consciousness works?
I knew even if I’d lost my job, even when my late husband was seriously ill, even if my love life was shot to pieces, even if my finances had gone to hell in a handbasket I could find a pleasurable moment in my day.
It’s a decision we make, to cultivate the habit of looking and feeling grateful for small things on a daily basis. Its a practice we commit to. Not every moment of our day will be happy, nor will every moment be unhappy. If we pay attention we’ll find happiness in our quiet time, the sounds and sights of nature, children’s laughter, blue sky, cloudy skies and rain, or a shared experience with a loved one. For some of us we’ll find happiness when we put our gluten challenges aside and eat a wonderful gluten filled meal. Woohoo. 🙂
What a cloudy, rainy day in Sydney can look like.
Why not stop pursuing a totally happy life, after all most of us, unless we’re totally super-conscious beings, will experience loss and sorrow or heartache, sickness, bewilderment or uncertainty…I know I have.
Instead we could simply chose to find happy moments in our day focusing on how blessed we truly are to live on this amazing planet.
Seek it and you will see it. How many happy experiences can you find in a day? How happy are you, right now? Yes, there are reasons for us all to be unhappy, but why focus on that when there are countless blessings throughout our day that we can truly be grateful for. However tiny.
Choosing happiness is a skill, an art we learn…it empowers and supports us, it draws health, love and success into our world, and everyone around benefits from the energy we’re focused on. The more we can see happiness in our moments, we more we add to the happiness consciousness of the world. And that’s a good thing for us all, including children like those I played with ‘lo those many years ago.
Take a moment and check in…got any complaints? Or can you choose to live a happy moment, right here and now?
What happy moments have you noticed today?
Encourage one another.
Images – thanks to: