Week One - - - Day Six
Enlightenment as Happiness
Pursuit of Happiness
Happiness as an Alarm Clock/ Bell weather
Who you really are?
This is where it’s time to admit it, or not:
Do you think that one reason you are on earth is to be happy?
And not just me/me/me happiness, but to bring a smile to people around you.
(While you have a smile on your face.)
((And in your heart.))
To welcome people into your space.
To smile when you see someone or pass them on the street or on the bike path.
You do walk or ride on a bike path, don’t you? Or in the woods? Or along the water/ creek/ ocean/ backtrail?
You want to be healthy and preferably are healthy, right?
Healthy and happy: is that what you are meant to be?
My guess is yes.
And let’s start with happiness.
Happiness Exercise #1: Write five
Write five short sentences about things you love that make you happy.
You know the song: brown paper packages, tied up with strings?
Or you don’t.
Just write, in (gasp) a standalone page in your gratitude journal, five things that you love and that make you happy.
“I love to walk outside and look up at the clouds for awhile.”
“I love to make love with Carol.”
“I love to go slowly in this writing and let it evolve as it wants to.”
“I don’t coming back to the present and feeling the aliveness of me in my body.”
“I love the rain just now, as I write this, a very full and wholesome rain.”
I didn’t use the word happiness.
And writing each phrase reminded me of the happiness that is me.
When I pay attention to now or to gratitude or to solving a problem without effecting or to moving slowly with awareness or to being present, I feel like I am happy.
When are you happy.
Happiness Exercise #2:
Make this a background assignment though out the day: notice when you are happy.
If you are reading this late in the day, make the assignment carry over for all of tomorrow.
Notice the little things that make you happy.
Especially pay attention to the little things that have nothing to do with accomplishment or “getting your way.”
Such as a leaf blowing in a breeze.
Such as your feet walking you down the hall.
Such as the idea of being aware of happiness.
Such as the vitality of being in the present.
Such as writing slowly in a gratitude journal.
Happiness is simple.
And we often, way too often make ourselves unhappy with our thinking, and believing that thinking.
So, anyone can think: “I wish I’d had a nicer mother.” Or, “ I should have had a nicer mother.”
And they can believe that and feel bad.
Or, they can balance that with: “Well, there were times when she was pretty great.”
Or, “She did the best she could.”
Or, the turn around: “She was grumpy. I am too, sometimes.” “She was mean. I am too, sometimes.”
Or, we can look around the room and see what is here now, and feel our arms and legs now and be grateful to be alive and let the past be passed.
That’s a weirdly huge part of the little bit of enlightenment I have hold of: The past is over.
Wanting the past to have been different never changes the past.
Being present is always possible.
Here’s a huge part of happiness and the beginner’s enlightenment I can pass along:
Happiness Exercise #3: Wherever you are.
Take a deep breath
Sense your finger and toes
Put a smile on your face
Realize that in the present you have choices.
Realize that in the past, you have no choice.
Realize that now you are alive.
Chose gratitude and awareness of being alive right now.
See what that does for you.
Check this out.
This is not positive thinking, “I am happy, I am happy, I am happy.”
This is peaceful non-thinking.
Why waste time wanting the past to be different, one of the impossible tasks in this world?
Why waste time demanding that you are in some other present?
You can stand up. You can walk to another room. You can go outside for a walk.
And right now: you are where you are.
Pay attention to “Now I am aware…” and see if that does not provide relief, if not happiness.
The happiness I’m proposing is a bit like contentment, except that if you really embrace this moment, and the people and nature and “stuff” around you, the whole world can be like an ongoing Christmas morning.
I don’t know.
Happiness Exercise #4
Look around you
Realize that you aren’t dead
Have no thoughts in your head
Don’t believe any you have ( more on this tomorrow)
See everything as a present of Life Right Now
What’s that like?
Suggestion: stand up
Suggestion: do something that you would consider an “energy” exercise, the involves slowly moving your arms above your head and back down
Make it elegant
Squat a little and shift your weight
What’s that like?
And I realize that “energy exercise” is jumping ahead a little.
We have energy in our bodies. We are bundles of energy. It’s often clogged up.
How could you move in a way to loosen it up?
Happiness Exercise #5
Be like a little kid for awhile
See what happens