After my last post (Happiness), I received some very lovely and thought – provoking comments. I would like to share some of the highlights throughout this post. Thank you all for your beautiful, thoughtful responses.
The pictures may seem random, but in the end you will see why they are in this post.
When I turned 60, I created a DecadesWalk for myself. My cousin Jessica,
from New Zealand (who helped make it a ceremony), my cousin Mike, and my husband Bill witnessed my story and my commitments to self for my 70th decade. The main theme of the decade for me, is Happiness.
Throughout my life, I have experienced many bouts of happiness, but to be mindful of Happiness as a state of being is another thing altogether. I used to depend on happiness triggers to be happy. I thought there had to be something that would make me happy. Now I know this is not so.
There seem to be many levels to happiness.
I enjoy the FEELINGS of happiness that happen because of certain events like photographing cloud reflections in pools, but Happiness as a state of being involves choice, as inspired by the Dalai Lama’s words quoted in my last post. In this post, when referring to the State of Happiness, I will use a capital “H”, but not for the feeling of happiness.
Michele, in the comments wrote, “Everyone seems to have their own north star to get to the place of happiness within.” She then speaks wisely about the choice, and ways to stay in it. She also acknowledges that “whatever we can accomplish here is a real miracle, given the complexity of our lives,” and she ends with,” Happiness is a really big deal!”
It really is a big deal! It seems so simple, and it is, but hard to stay centered and balanced in the world today. I think we – or I will speak for myself – I need the “happy becauses” to juice or boost my inner peace, and I am, of course, susceptible to the “unhappy or upset becauses,” which disturb my peace as well. These upsets, I can heal with love and self compassion as they appear.
I know that for myself, saying “I am” and being aware of my breath can bring me back to the present moment and in touch with my Happiness. Tai chi, meditation and prayer help me immensely, as does mindful walking in nature. I am healing those things that mess with my Happiness, like fears that we won’t have enough water this year to keep the beavers alive, or about all the species that have disappeared because of climate change, or horrific events in the world.
I do know that the more inner peace, bliss and love I have in the silence within, the Happier my Being is.
Kris said, “Thank you for pointing out the relationship between mindfulness in the moment and happiness, and for pointing out that happiness is not about _____. Happiness is.”
I was melancholy for a lot of my life, due to circumstances and my unconscious belief that I was a victim of them. I did have many bouts of happiness during those periods, and I think even during periods of depression I would have told anyone who asked, that I was happy. I think even back then, I felt Happiness within that was beyond “because.” I didn’t realize at the time that staying in that place was a conscious choice.
Jessica wrote about a time she saw the Dalai Lama. He came onto the stage and sat down, and just started to chuckle. The audience followed suit. Then he started really laughing, which started everyone else laughing. They all laughed harder and harder, until he just got up and left. Jessica loved that message of happiness. She also talked about seeing the beauty in people and being totally immersed and present in their beauty in the moment.
I believe that the outer world is a reflection of inner reality, so to me, Jessica – you have that beauty in your own heart, or you wouldn’t see it in others. You see your inner beauty and Happiness reflected in their beautiful eyes, like a “Namaste” moment.
Randy said, “sharing time with friends manifests happiness. My key, or path to happiness is a deep gratitude for the smallest, simplest expressions of life, nature, kindness, sunrises, rain, tears, laughter, life.”
What you said, Randy very much resonates with me too.
What stood out for Sam was the Dalai Lama saying, “Right now! This is my happiest moment.”
The last comment I want to mention is from Nancy. “I treasure the memory of 2 little girls walking in the woods together playing in the stream, being in the moment with the nature around us.”
That other little girl was me, and my Happiness within started then, as a child being present in nature.
When you engage in the vibration of Happiness, it attracts more happiness. Alignment with Soul Happiness equals love and peace. Fear and attachment is the antithesis of love and peace.
Seeking Happiness is a sacred pathway to Soul purpose. As the Dalai Lama says, “Happiness is the purpose of life.”
I love the happiness triggers, but have a deeper Love for the inner State of Happiness, as it is more lasting and dependable, even though paradoxically harder in which to be aware, mindful and present.
A few of my happiness triggers that remind me to be more present in Happiness are these:
- Being in Nature
- Laughing ducks – well it sounds like laughter
- Duck butts, and their little webbed feet kicking beside them
- Dolphin squeaks, whirrs and clicks
- Whale songs
- Goose music
- Water sounds – crashing waves, lapping waves, trickling streams, loud waterfalls, roaring rivers
- Beauty – nature beauty, music, art, dance, peoples’ inner beauty
- The ability to feel deeply even though sometimes it hurts so much, it is hard to bear.
- Kindness – interspecies rescue and relationship, as well as random acts of kindness – witnessing and participating
- Singing at the top of my lungs in my car alone with the windows rolled up
- Singing with friends
- Laughing so hard and out of control with friends that it hurts (no need for further abdominal exercise that day!)
- Sharing tears; ones of sadness and ones of joy
- Appreciating simple things, like bubble patterns on water or a grasshopper on a blade of grass, or the patterns in an oak leaf.
- Mindful walking
- Seeing wildlife of any kind
- Focusing on gratitude
- Purple mountain majesty
- Breathing deeply
- The pair of mallards on the pond right now
- Feeling music so much in my body that I have to dance
- The smell of this jasmine tea right now and eating Fig Newtons with it, and thinking about how Bill’s step son called them “big new ones” when he was little.
- Rising before the sunrise to watch the day begin – first light on the pond
- Hiking alone, with a loved one and/or with Mattie.
- Spending time with friends, old and new.
- Seeing people happy, especially those I love (though not attached to that!).
This list is endless, for which I am grateful. The more my inner state is Happy, the more I get to experience the “happy becauses.”
What is your North Star for finding Happiness within?