Happy. It is something we all want to be. If I asked you right now if you’re happy, what would you say? What does it really mean? What is happiness? How do you get it or become it?
There are entire research departments studying those questions. I’ll leave the definitive statistical science to them and just tell you what I know in my heart, mind and spirit. Happiness is a state a being, not just a feeling. A state of being supersedes momentary changes in emotion or circumstance. So for example, you can be a happy person and still be unhappy that you just got a flat tire and are now going to be late to your child’s soccer game. Your state of being is a holistic view of how you approach and receive the world. It is the forest and the trees of how you live in the world.
How do you make happiness your state of being? By actively pursuing happiness. The greatest activity that influences happiness is gratitude. Gratitude nurtures happiness. If you acknowledge and are grateful for all the good – even the silver linings you’re putting around dark clouds – it’s like watering, fertilizing and nurturing tiny seeds of happiness into big beautiful trees. Over time all your trees of happiness nurtured with gratitude will become your forest of a happy life…of being in a state of happiness. You will create an ecosystem of happiness in your life where only those things that add to your joy and benefit you will survive.
Like all living things however, if you don’t care for it your happiness can wither. If you’re not sure where your happy lies start with your body and be grateful for all that’s good. You’re breathing! That’s a good start. You’re likely able to walk, to get places, to use your arms to hug people and pets. Those are good too. You live or work in an environment that gives you access to this blog and you know how to read. Those are gifts. Think about the last thing you did, saw or heard that made you smile. Those are all seeds of happy just waiting to be nurtured with gratitude.
Happiness is a state of being. It comes from within and requires action on your part. If you want a happier more satisfying life I encourage you to start with gratitude. Begin a gratitude journal and write in it each morning and night…I am grateful… Or create a gratitude jar with colored papers that the whole family can use and drop in any time they want. I have one in the waiting area of Your Wellness Connection filled with notes of gratitude from clients and staff alike.
Whether your current state of happiness is the Amazon rain forest, or a few seedlings just setting their roots, keep planting, keep nurturing and your happiness will grow. And so it is.
Originally Posted July 11, 2014