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Where Happiness Resides September 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Meditation, Mindfulness.

Happiness is never in things . . . it is in us.

Or, to paraphrase The Grinch:

Happiness does not come from a store.   Happiness means just a little bit more.

Happiness is a natural state of being which we can access Here and Now.

Let there be more joy and laughter in your living. ~ Eileen Caddy

Happiness arises as soon as we let go of all the monkey chatter running around our brains and smile . . . for any reason, or no reason at all.

Happiness arises as soon as we tell Ego to shut its yapper so that we can enjoy the bliss, stillness, and happiness within.

Happiness is not something that we need to “achieve.”

Happiness surfaces without effort when we return our attention to the present moment.

Happiness resides in the calm stillness that lies beyond all labels.

In the timeless present, you don’t need a reason to be happy . . . you just are.

My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right? ~ Charles Schulz

Happiness is not waiting for us at the end of the road.

It’s found here and now, by enjoying each step along the way!

♥ ♥ ♥

If you’re not already where you want to be . . .

* Swap out one negative thought a day for a more positive thought.

* Don’t expect others to cheer you up.   That’s not their job . . . it’s your job.

* Focus on what’s going right in your life.

* Create space in your life for what matters.

* Look for opportunities to laugh and smile.  Life improves with laughter.

We do not laugh because we are happy . . . we are happy because we laugh. ~ William James

Sometimes the smallest action pays the largest dividend.  Once we experience happiness “for no reason at all,” we realize how accessible it is.

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. ericjbaker - September 4, 2014

“Don’t expect others to cheer you up. That’s not their job . . . it’s your job.”

Yes, and the rest of us tire of dragging you back from the ledge over and over. 99.9% of the time, that ledge is only a 3-inch drop.

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

Yes!!! That’s really what PUBLIC pity parties are all about . . . the host hasn’t yet learned to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and start all over again. Instead of learning how to “fish”, they want us to “feed” their fragile egos.

The kindest thing we can do is say, “NMP!” (Not my problem).

2. Jill Weatherholt - September 4, 2014

“Happiness is not waiting for us at the end of the road.
It’s found here and now, by enjoying each step along the way!”
Love this, Nancy! It’s too bad more people don’t realize we are all in control of our happiness…it’s a choice we must make each day.

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

My theme this week has centered on Happiness because it is a Life Skill (like a well developed Sense of Humor) that pays dividends EVERY DAY . . . when we remember that WE hold the reins.

When we control our thoughts, we control our life and find it easier and easier to maneuver around the pot holes in our path.

3. NancyTex - September 4, 2014

“We do not laugh because we are happy . . . we are happy because we laugh. ~ William James” <– Absolutely!
Laugh on, NH!

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

I read somewhere that Steve Martin gets up every morning and laughs at his reflection in the mirror for 5 minutes.

What a GREAT way to start the day.

There is also a thing called Laughter Yoga . . . with the goal of mindfully laughing our asses off! 😎

NancyTex - September 4, 2014

I may have to look into that laughter yoga!

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

I typed in “Laughter” and “Laughter Yoga” popped up as an option . . . with TONS of links. Here’s one:

4. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - September 4, 2014

So very true! Happiness is a choice that we get to make in each and every single moment of our lives! Happiness isn’t waiting for us, it’s right there with us, we just have to select it!

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

I selected Happiness as a theme for the week because it is a skill well worth learning.

It’s not in things, it’s in us . . . or it’s not. Our choice.

5. jannatwrites - September 4, 2014

I agree with your happiness views. My husband tends to focus more on what he wants that we don’t have… I look more at the abundance of what we do have and avoid the trap of unfulfilled wants. I think I experience more happiness than he does.

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

I expect that you’re right ~ if we are waiting to “be happy” (until after unfulfilled wants materialize), we are postponing the happiness we could feel right here and now.

Especially since when one desire is satisfied, a new itch arises.

6. Val Boyko - September 4, 2014

I love this focus Nancy! It really shifted me into finding happiness in this moment 🙂
As you say, it doesn’t take much when we get attuned … but when I was younger it felt like a “struggle to find it” and “get there.”
Val x

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

Yay! If it feels like a struggle, it means we’re looking in all the wrong places. Once we let go of the struggle, happiness arises of its own accord.

7. elizabeth2560 - September 4, 2014

I hear what you are saying and I could not agree more, being a glass half full person myself – BUT – I believe that there are two depths to happiness. One is the ‘every day’ happiness, which is what this post is about. The second is the ‘big picture’ happiness. For the second, sometimes things get out of alignment. Of course, we can find within ourselves the courage to get back into alignment. However, in order to do that it usually takes a little bit of ‘unhappiness’ to fully understand that we are out of alignment in the first place.
What I am saying is that it takes much courage to admit that those methods you suggest (below the hearts) while doing wonders for everyday happiness, do not solve any underlying ‘out of alignment’ problems. To be really ‘big picture’ happy, sometimes requires BIG changes are required, and that is much much harder.

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

There is happiness for “a reason” (e.g., a new pair of shoes, or the applause, accolades, and approval of others) and happiness for “no reason” (a natural state of being which we can access Here and Now, without effort, when we return our attention to the present moment).

Once we learn how to access the latter, we have no need of the former.

If we’re “out of alignment,” it’s usually because our thoughts are getting in the way of our natural state of being. When we learn to quiet the “monkey chatter” . . . happiness arises of its own accord.

As far as “every day” vs. “big picture” happiness goes:

* We can only live happily-ever-after on a moment by moment basis.
* A bucket is filled drop by drop.

elizabeth2560 - September 7, 2014

By ‘out of alignment’, I was referring to catastrophes rather than simply being out of balance. In those instances sometimes big changes are required in one’s life, and this can take a lot more than quieting monkey chatter. Meditating, walking in nature, smiling, living in the present moment, does not get you out of an intolerable situation if one exists. While changes (the new bucket) can fill up drop by drop, one has to first realize that a new bucket is needed by facing the pain and sadness of the old bucket (to realize it has a hole).
I guess what I was getting out was that, while happiness is the ultimate goal, sadness sometimes has its place and should not be swept aside as being wrong.

nrhatch - September 7, 2014

I see what you mean, but “catastrophes” and “intolerable situations” often rise to that level due to the stories we are telling ourselves about what happened ~> the monkey chatter.

* If we say, “I’ll never get over this” ~> we turn hardship into misery (and may create a self-fulfilling prophecy).

* If we say, “This too shall pass” ~> we bounce back faster.

I didn’t write this post for people being tortured, or who have been kidnapped, or are being held prisoner against their will ~ I doubt those folks have access to the internet anyway.

I wrote it to remind those of us who are dealing with major or minor setbacks (such as the loss of a job, the loss of a spouse, or the loss of a home) that our reality is determined in large measure by the thoughts we think.

Sometimes people hang on to sadness far longer than necessary due to fear, guilt, etc. And when the sadness starts to lift, they chase after it and bring it back. Again and again and again. Yes. Their situation is intolerable ~ but it is caused by how they are choosing to view what happened.

How we relate to the issue IS the issue.

I’ve seen people lose everything and keep smiling. I’ve seen others in misery because they broke a beloved keepsake. I prefer to emulate the former. And to remind myself and others that that choice exists.

At no point did I say that sadness is wrong.

Moreover, the happiness that I’m describing exists even in the midst of sadness. I’ve accessed my calm center in the middle of a funeral with tears rolling down my face. And I was happy AND sad all at the same time.

nrhatch - September 7, 2014

Another thought:

Often sadness arises because Ego creates a picture of the way it wants the world to be and feels sad when Reality doesn’t mirror that image. We feel sad because our expectations are not being met.

When we let go of our expectations, and allow things to be as they are, we are happier. Even if nothing else changes.

8. colonialist - September 4, 2014

Say ‘Whoa’ to Woe!

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

“Hold your horses there, Cowboy!”

9. Silver in the Barn - September 4, 2014

One technique I use is simple and a form of mental discipline….I just don’t go there. That can be really hard sometimes, but I force myself not to indulge in self-pity or comparison. Call it denial but it is really acceptance of certain things which simply cannot be changed.

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

You won’t hear me calling it denial, Barbara. Acceptance of the “what is” is the cornerstone of peace and serenity ~> no matter how hard we “shake our fist at the sky,” we can’t stop the rain from falling.

Our vision is limited, grounded as it is in the present. When something seems negative, we want it to go away. We don’t want to deal with hardship or suffering. We recoil from pain and resist the “what is.”

But things are not always as they first appear:

* A basement flood might be an opportunity to clear clutter.
* A nasty comment tossed our way might be chance to practice compassion, patience, and forgiveness.
* A mistake might be a reminder to make peace with imperfection.

With expanded cognition, we find that the “negative events” we resisted benefited us on our journey. We learned something we needed to know. We received a nudge in the right direction ~ a shortcut to becoming who we were always intended to be.

Barn’s burnt down ~ now I can see the moon. Masahide (1657-1723)

Silver in the Barn - September 4, 2014

But there are those things that leave us flattened and even years afterward, we cannot begin to fathom the whys. Every word you wrote above is true and I very much try to live my life holding on to these concepts while waiting for clarity. Maybe sometimes we just will never understand “why.” And I guess that’s okay, too.

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

I agree. We don’t know all the “whys” of the world. But that doesn’t mean that we have to forego happiness until we have access to all the answers.

Happiness is a choice. Even in the face of uncertainty.

When we dwell on past hurts and frustrations, our thoughts and emotions are apt to be negative ~ sadness, anger, and resistance fill our world.

When we count our blessings and envision a positive future, our thoughts and emotions tend to follow suit, increasing the level of our happiness.

Lots of people say, “I want to be happy BUT I can’t be happy because of X, Y, or Z.” They could be happy . . . but they have not chosen to make happiness their first priority. Yet.

Happiness is a simple choice.


10. Three Well Beings - September 6, 2014

I find I’m happiest when I cultivate my interests, which in turn keeps me in the present moment. I do think seeking laughter and regularly stoking humor is an excellent way to access happiness even when life gets a little strained. One of my favorite boos is called, “Happiness is a Serious Problem,” by Dennis Prager. If you haven’t read it, I think you’d like it!

nrhatch - September 6, 2014

Thanks, Debra. I’ll check it out.

When I watched HAPPY (a documentary about happiness around the world), the thing that struck me most was how HAPPY a rickshaw driver was while living in a one room hovel with his wife and child ~ he exuded joy without double sinks, granite countertops, a walk-in closet, or all the other trappings of success to which so many aspire.

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