Present Tense

Define Happiness

Happiness is elusive to me.  What is it? How do you recognize it?  How do you nurture it?  It appears that the more we get, the less happy we are.  Read the numerous happiness surveys that are published every year.  The land of milk and honey is full of the fat and UNhappy.

My understanding of happiness is beginning to evolve, which is a good thing, since I’ve spent the last few years feeling like I’d never grasp it.  I think I was was fairly happy as a kid; most of my memories are of good times.  I think I was happy in college and I was happy when I met and married my husband.  Obviously, there were times of unhappiness and disappointment in my life, but that’s normal, right?  I’m currently in a phase where I’m feeling restless, but not necessarily unhappy.

What fascinates me are people who unequivocally say, “yeah, I’m happy”.  Period.  No buts, disclaimers, back-peddling or guilt.   Women in particular, seem to have trouble embracing the concept of  happiness or contentment.  Admitting or submitting to that, means we’re not working on ourselves and EVERYONE has work to do on themselves, don’t they?  Nobody is perfect and to proclaim your happiness means that you are somehow better than your imperfect sister friends.  Or maybe that’s just my bias.

We did a quick segment on our radio show, asking people to tell us their favorite way to waste time.  One woman called and said, taking a nap.  I replied that in my opinion, if you’re tired, you should sleep.  She replied “well, my mother always said napping is a waste of time.  Think of all the other more productive things you could be doing”.

Ah, yes…..the “my mother said” syndrome.  We’ve all fallen back on that one, haven’t we ladies? The idea that ‘productive’ overrides filling your soul or doing something just because you want to.   Happiness isn’t an all or nothing proposition.  It’s a series of little epiphanies; of living in the moment.

It’s recognizing what you’re feeling, while you’re feeling it.  That feeling could be joy, it could be contentment, it could be orgasmic, it could be surrender, or clarity but in that moment, what you’re feeling is happiness.  Feel it, remember it, catalog it and internalize it.  Happiness doesn’t necessarily explode, but rather, it seeps and sprinkles.

Work on being open to it.  A nice nap is a great start.

July 25, 2011 Posted by | Musings | , , , | 7 Comments


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