The Secret to Happiness
I’m going to be completely up front. I don’t have all the answers.
For most of my life, I chased this seemingly arbitrary idea of “happiness“. My angsty teenage self believed it was an impossible state of being…I would forever be in this despondent rut. I had this sudden realization several years ago that I was truly happy. I remember the exact moment like it was yesterday. I was lying a park bench by myself I had stopped at in the middle of a long run, staring up at the cloudless blue sky, replaying a conversation I had with a friend the previous evening about how to be happy and it clicked…I was already there! I AM happy!
So how did I end up in this state of happiness? Again, I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the transformation. The transformation didn’t happen overnight. What I found I kept coming back to was gratitude. Thankfulness. Appreciation. Whatever you want to call it!
Yoga had unveiled to me the practice of finding the good in the bad, being positive, and knowing I always have my practice to come back to – a that would provide a safe home for my mind and soul. When I am grateful consistently, I am my happiest. When my body doesn’t feel like taking another step during a run, a habit that is SO important to me, I thank whatever greater being exists for having legs that allow me to run for miles and miles, and lungs that keep me breathing deep throughout. When I am awoken by my morning alarm and don’t feel like getting out of bed, I remember, at least I woke up, at least I am alive and well. When I’m annoyed because someone cuts me off driving, at least there wasn’t an accident. When my water isn’t the right temperature, at least I have clean water to drink and bathe in. When my recipe doesn’t turn out right, at least I have nourishing food to eat. A lot of people don’t have these things others are lucky to have. On days I forget to remind myself throughout the day, I finish my night in bed listing 3-5 things I am grateful for before falling asleep.
The regular recognition of gratitude keeps me calm and level. No need to get worked up over petty things when there is already so much suffering in the world. The world does not need more negativity. Be compassionate, to yourself and others. We are so much bigger than ourselves. Practice gratitude for all the wonderful things you have in your life – the things we usually take for granted.
On this holiday of Thanks, remember that. Remember to be thankful, not only today, but every day, multiple times, for all those wonderful things and people around you. Take your gratitude practice beyond the holiday, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find the steady state of euphoria. You deserve to feel light and giggly every day!
Happy THANKSgiving to you all!