Tag Archives: Happiness

Sunday

14 May

The wind carries with it a salty perfume, and I sigh, knowing that the sea is oh-so-near.

Lunch will be on the terrace today: roast chicken and fresh salad.

I sit popping olives into my mouth and rub my cheek against our white laundry.

That’s probably the best smell on earth: cotton sheets drying in the afternoon sun.

 

Love, Happiness and Stillness

8 May

I don’t know about you, but I need an excuse before I can ‘allow myself’ to do nothing – a cold, a broken computer, a problem with the transport. Paradoxically, these problems transform themselves into miracles as I think “Wow, I can spend the whole day doing nothing; I can spend the whole day just reading!”

Like most Westerners, I fill my days with many tasks and activities. And, unfortunately, like many Westerners, I am active because I feel like I should be active. I prioritise what I believe I should do, and not what I would like to do (and please note that should is not equal to must). I am like a wind-up toy: I can be Superwoman for a week, only to lose my powers and go back to being a drained zombie thereafter. I used to feel bad for not being able to keep my energy up, yet it’s hardly surprising considering that my energy is spent on things that give me no joy or fulfillment in return.

I know that I am not the only one in this situation. Many Westerners overwork, give themselves task upon task to do and prioritise action above all else. We are all driven by different motives, but I believe that our main motive is the yearning for love. We all want to be loved, and society now says that to be loved you need to be successful, rich and important. So we spend our time and energy doing tasks that will earn us more money and therefore more status and more recognition, with the false idea that these will bring love and happiness into our lives.

But isn’t it ironic that we are too ashamed to admit openly that what we seek is love and happiness? We rarely get straight to the point by doing something that would directly and immediately create love and happiness.

A home-made meal for two, an afternoon on the sofa with a book, a walk in the woods, an evening playing Pictionary with family, a hand-made card, a bright dress, making collages with friends, redecorating the house, drinking wine on the balcony, dancing in your bedroom…

Our capitalist world has made us believe that love and happiness can only come about from wealth and success, and therefore, from hard-work. Yet wealth and success count little for love and happiness.

Love and happiness are right in front of us.

In order to notice them, all we need to do is stop moving, stop rushing, stop doing.

Through stillness we will come to understand that happiness and love are not goals or ends, but states of being – here and now.

“When you rest in quietness and your image of yourself fades, and your image of the world fades, and your ideas of others fade, what’s left? A brightness, a radiant emptiness that is simply what you are.” ~ Adyashanti

Thank You 2011

17 Jan

At the end of 2011, many people wrote and talked about the wonderful things that the past year had brought them. Today, I would like to do the same.

Thank You 2011 for:

Making one of my dreams come true.

Introducing me to a simpler way of life.

Clearing out and getting rid of many unnecessary elements in my life (clothes, possessions, people, ideas, habits).

Teaching me to listen to myself, rather than seeking other people’s opinions.

Giving me the courage to be more open, more honest and more natural.

Showing me that the life we dream of is a) never the way it is in our dreams, b) not necessarily the best life for us.

Showing me that we are the creators of our own happiness.

Making me lost, confused, doubtful and frustrated – I learnt a lot about myself through these emotions.

Helping me take a small, yet huge, step to making peace with my past and healing wounded relationships.

Showing me that we have to make the most of what we have, even if it’s not what we wanted to have.

Making me realise that what I thought was of colossal importance actually means very little in the grand scheme of things.

Showing me that love is the only thing that’s real.

Happiness Project – Week V

8 Dec

I once read somewhere (possibly in the Conversations With God series) that in order to know who we are, we must first know who we are not. Could the same theory work for happiness? During this past month of my Happiness Project, I have come to realise a few key things that make me unhappy.

I have written a list of these things below, with an accompanying reminder that could help me reverse my thought process and turn unhappiness into positivity.

 

Things that make me unhappy (and their antidote):

1)      Thinking about the future.

2)      Comparing myself to other people.

3)      Trying to live up to other people’s expectations.

4)      Focusing too much on myself.

5)      Being too busy.

6)      Spending too much energy on my job.

7)      Living by other people’s rules/beliefs/values.

8)      Judging myself – negatively.

9)   Losing faith and hope.

***

What kinds of things/thoughts bring negativity into your life?

In what way can you reverse these to create joy and fulfilment?

Happiness Project – Week III

24 Nov

Two weeks ago I realised that I was unhappy. I started a Happiness Project with a list of activities to introduce into my everyday life in order to bring positivity back into my life.

Thoughts on Week III of the Happiness Project:

1) It makes me happy to help or to bring joy into the lives those around me. A day seems almost unfulfilled if I haven’t made that little effort to do something for the people I love.

2) Helping someone – from the heart – and knowing that my action has made even the smallest difference fills me with positive emotions.

3) We cannot judge other people’s happiness and we cannot let other people by a judge of ours.

It makes me happy to look out of the window and watch the trees sway.

It makes me happy to take walks on dark cold evenings.

It makes me happy to live in a place where I cannot hear cars going past.

It makes me happy to not wear make-up every day.

It makes me happy to sing along to pop music as I work.

This is certainly not everyone’s idea of happiness, but if we listen to everyone’s idea, we can wave our happiness goodbye.

4) Being in contact with those less fortunate than ourselves can transform our outlook on life. It makes us realise how lucky we are to have all the basic things we take for granted: a home, a job/an income and regular meals. When we have these three things, what could stop us creating a life of happiness, peace and love? In most cases, only our thoughts.

 

 

Aims for Week IV:

Take one step towards making one dream come true.