Saturday, February 12, 2005

Underestimating happiness

How many people experience true happiness in their daily lives? Think about your life. When was the last time you were truly happy, full of joy, beaming a giant smile?
Next time you are busy rushing about your day, stop, and take a look around you and take notice of the expressions on the faces around you. Can you tell what they are feeling?
When I look around me, I see a range of expressions, mostly bored, hurried, frustrated.
In our constant hurry-up culture, people always seem to be thinking of the next thing, where they are headed, what they are late for, what to make for dinner. Very few of us actually reside in the current moment. I find myself in the same state, every day, and I'm working to change it.
Someone once told me that we can only find happiness in the present moment and I know this is true.
I had spent a large part of my younger life feeling that it was "cheesey" to be really happy, that it was dumb, or proved that I wasn't an intellectual. Boy, was I wrong and dumb at the same time! I was afraid to find happiness for the sake of happiness because I thought it would make me look shallow. Maybe there are others like me out there - I hope not. If I found out that only I had made that stupid, dumb mistake, then I'd be very happy!
I do wonder though if other people try to make a conscious effort to fit happiness into their day. I know what it's like to be swept away by waves of "should dos" and "have tos" and "can't be lates."
Maybe I was a late learner - but if there are other people out there who are being drowned by all
of these demands and expectations, I have one word of advice: breathe.
I have learned this through my yoga practice, and I've found it to be invaluable advice. Breathe, I mean it. Pay attention to your breath and nothing else. Don't change it, just let it flow as it normally does. You'd be amazed at how happiness will find you when you take yourself out of the rat race for a moment.
And if I'm cheesey and shallow for saying it, then so be it.


1 comment:

Sara said...

: ) Lovely post; I agree!