Saturday, 29 December 2012

The (Un)Certainty of Happiness

I often wonder where happiness comes from.  Is it from our external environment, our brain, our hearts, our faith or is it from the people that have touched our lives?  Where does it come from and where does it go when we feel lost?

I started thinking about the definition of happiness.  I quickly realized it is not an all-encompassing term.  It means different things to different people, and is brought on by wide array of events and opportunities that affect us each individually.  There is is no "one source" of happiness.  There is no one book that can permanently enlighten us to the way of happy.  There are chains of events that open up the sky and let you spin in the sun for that moment.  Find any excuse to find more of those's worth it!

The trouble with happiness, I believe, is this; We can never be truly happy until we are certain that there is nothing "better" than what we have.  But we can never PROVE that what we have is better or more valuable. The answer to happiness lies solely upon the faith that we are at our happiest now.  As humans, we are too smart for our own good.  We have the ability to ask ourselves "what if."  The difficult part in that question is that there is no answer - unless you act upon it.  However, that action may include a series of unfortunate events (kinda like that famous book title!) that make you regret ever asking "what if."  You see, happiness should not be based on hind sight (which, if you know anything about good vision is 20/20!).  Your joy should be present in the here and now - even in the face of disappointment.  Not an easy task.  For some reason it is easier to see what makes us unhappy, and harder to see what does bring joy.

Instead of being a grey dweller, spend your time as a Happy Hunter.  Look for the reasons to smile amidst the gloom.  See the joy that may appear to be wrapped in sadness or disappointment - and ask for happy.  Be vocal about what makes you happy, share it with others...ask those around you what makes them happy and make it so.  Sometimes the greatest joy comes from making someone elses' day.  Live with the intention of happy.

I can't believe it but...writing this post kind made me feel happier than I was feeling!

Your Fellow Happy Hunter,

Kathy Pettit

Monday, 10 December 2012

Sharing the Splendor

Totally NOT the bunny I saw but cute!
I recently shared this story with my colleagues, and wanted to pass it along to you.  It was a tiny moment, but I felt it deeply.
It was early morning, and before I headed downstairs into the morning zoo that is my family, I opened my bedroom drapes and looked outside.  In the brown, dirty remnants of grass in the fenced patch of land we call our backyard - a tiny, but significant moment was taking place.  Under the bird feeder in my backyard, a giant brown bunny was gobbling up the scattered seeds, surrounded by a flock of chickadees.  Side by side they scavenged the damp ground for the treasures from above.  They weren't at odds with each other, they weren't jockeying for a better position - they were co-existing in this beautiful world in utter harmony.  They recognized there was enough to go around.  They each could get their fill and be content.
Amongst the happy (and, let's be honest - at times disgruntled - noises perculating up from downstairs) I recognize how blessed I am to live a life of "plenty."  I have to learn to share more.  There are times when I feel like I don't have "enough."  I have to blink, shake my head and look around and realize I have what I NEED and much, much more!  That quiet moment in my backyard has reminded me that if we all could exist in an environment where we are MOST happy when we make another human being happy, then we have found true and pure joy. I believe all the fighting in the world could be diminished if people really treated others happiness as their own.  I need to share more. Do you have room to be happy making others happy? 

I can't believe it but...a bunny and some chickadees shared wisdom with me!

Happy sharing,
Kathy Pettit