I started off this month talking about the pressures of December, and I’m going to end it simply with a post about happiness. I’ve asked every author I’ve interviewed what happiness means to them. They’ve offered answers as diverse as each of them is. So … what does it mean to me?
“Be happy” is a phrase I first learned about 25 years ago. No, I’m not referring to Bobby McFerrin’s song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, though I do have a copy of it.
I’m talking about when I completed my first meditation course – ten days of sitting in complete silence. I’d never meditated prior to that but was open to learning a new discipline. Though fear and doubt accompanied me going into the course, they left soon after I arrived.
I’ve done more courses since that time and estimate I’ve spent about 300 days in silence over the years. For some, the prospect of not talking for an extended amount of time sounds daunting. For me, it’s a relief. Silence from daily life is unheard of unless you seek it out. I don’t do it to stop my mind from thinking—that’s impossible. I do it to become more self-aware.
I’m not going to wax dogmatic, so no worries. Happiness is something I consider possible, but only with an understanding of the concept of “change.” Nothing stays the same, and ironically, the only constant in life is change. Though many of us choose to battle them—aging, death, unwanted things happening to us, wanted things not happening to us—these inevitable changes occur and can be a source of great unhappiness. How we deal with them is what makes all the difference.
What makes me happy is not ideological, religiously based, or rooted in external sources. I entitled this post “Be Happy” to emphasize that happiness is a conscious decision—at every stage of life. It’s something we choose, not something we stumble upon by accident.
As you springboard into 2012 with dreams for its endless possibilities, I hope you’ll take pleasure in every step of the way, and remember … to be happy.
All my very best to you, ♥