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A Reason to Smile

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I found this article at the Daily Om today, It seemed appropriate and so I thought I'd share it as I am still putting the finishing touches on our gratitude project.

A Reason To Smile
Five Minutes To Happiness

It can be so easy to get caught up in the rigors of modern life that we tend to forget that happiness need not come with stipulations. Happiness becomes something we must schedule and strive for—a hard-won emotion—and then only when we have no worries to occupy our thoughts. In reality, overwhelming joy is not the exclusive province of those with unlimited time and no troubles to speak of. Many of the happiest people on earth are also those coping with the most serious challenges. They have learned to make time for those simple yet superb pleasures that can be enjoyed quickly and easily. Cultivating a happy heart takes no more than five minutes. The resultant delight will be neither complex nor complicated, but it will be profound and will serve as a reminder that there is always a reason to smile.

So much that is ecstasy-inducing can be accomplished in five minutes. Alone, we can enjoy an aromatic cup of our favorite tea, take a stroll through the garden we have created, write about the day's events in a journal, doodle while daydreaming, or breathe deeply while we listen to the silence around us. In the company of a good friend or treasured relative, we can share a few silly jokes, enjoy a waltz around the room, play a fast-paced hand of cards, or reconnect through lighthearted conversation. The key is to first identify what makes us dizzyingly happy. If we do only what we believe should bring us contentment, our five minutes will not be particularly satisfying. When we allow ourselves the freedom to do whatever brings us pleasure, five minutes out of 14 wakeful hours can brighten our lives immeasurably.

It is often when we have the least free time or energy to devote to joy that we need to unwind and enjoy ourselves the most. Making happiness a priority will help you find five minutes every day to indulge in the things that inspire elation within you. Eventually, your happiness breaks will become an established part of your routine. If you start by pursuing activities you already enjoy and then gradually think up new and different ways to fill your daily five minutes of happiness, you will never be without something to smile about.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

My sister read this post and it got her thinking about her own happiness, and what were the things that made her happy...

Then she emailed me and asked me what it was that made ME happy, here was my answer:

What makes me happy?
Ok, this is what makes me happy.... dizzyingly ecstatically happy...

Exploring streams, knee deep in water, looking for cool rocks and other neat stuff.

A day spent working in a garden that is lush and beautiful.. a garden that I planted.. with flowers and scents and birds and butterflies.

Playing with fire late into the night when even the frogs and crickets have gone to sleep.

In my car, with my dog, plenty of money in my checking account, and on my way - driving - to some new place, some great adventure.

Finishing a piece of art.

An ice cold beer on a really hot day.

Christmas morning with little kids and lots of presents.

When somebody says to me, "Shirley, you are awesome," and I know they mean it.

A hot cup of coffee, brought to me in bed, on mornings when I have to get up at the crack of dawn.

Doing what everyone else thinks is impossible.

Whenever I look at my dog Cinnamin, it's like a little explosion of happiness and love.

When a man fixes my plumbing (or anything else) and I don't have to have anything at all to do with it.

Doing magic spells with friends.

Watching kittens play.

So that was an interesting exercize. Some of those things "seem" impossible to me.. until I ask myself if that is really true... then I realize that it's all possible if only I would "make it so"....

How about you guys, what's your "happiness list"?

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