Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happiness: that elusive wonder

"To Eke out the most happiness from an experience, we must ANTICIPATE it, SAVOR it as it unfolds, EXPRESS happiness, and RECALL a happy memory" 
-Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

"One reason that challenge brings happiness is that it allows you to EXPAND your SELF-DEFINITION. You become LARGER. Research shows that the more elements that make up your identity, the less threatening it is when any one element is threathened. Also, a new identity brings you into contact with new people and new experiences, which are also powerful sources of happiness."
-Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

CONTROL. Let's face it, when we aren't in control, life seems to spin out in multiple directions. It seems to fracture and break apart and finding a way to put together a jigsaw puzzle is not the easiest task in the world. I've been struggling with control for a long time now. I recently read Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project in a sincere effort to find meaningful ways to seek out joy.

Rubin is funny and lighthearted and by no means the perfect picture of happiness, but she did realize, through writing, that happiness emerged most often from the active PURSUIT of pleasure. Happiness evolved over time when she put her thoughts and intentions on filling her life with things, both large (quitting her job to become a full time blogger) to small (taking a moment to sincerely listen to your partner and friends) that made her laugh and smile and feel. Her book helped me realize that happiness is elusive because we spend way too much time trying to define what happiness means to us, it puts a lot of pressure on the individual moments of happiness that happen everyday.

Today, I recommitted myself to feeling happy with all the small sources of joy in my life. I encountered so many lovely things in my life this week: finding time for my mat, finding a small little hello on the sidewalk, buying special gluten free cupcakes for a friend's birthday, holding my boyfriends hand while he watches his thirteenth episode of Game of Thrones, walking to the movie theater with my guy friends to see Fast 6, a text from a dear dear friend, and getting my first official teacher training email! These are the moments we miss when we are focused on the big HAPPINESS picture.

I know it can be difficult to see past the negative moment, especially if those define your life, but try spending one day at your best. I promise the whole world will look a whole lot brighter.

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