What is your last memory of being really happy? Joyful? Laughing until your stomach hurt?
My guess is it had nothing to do with possessions.
It may have been a family celebration. A graduation. A healthy diagnosis. Some good news after an accident. Watching your loved one shine.
If we are waiting to be happy until we pay off the house or meet the right person or get a better job or lose ten pounds, we will be waiting for a very long time.
As novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
The happiness has always been with us. It’s there in the darkness and sadness and mundane days. It’s there when everything is crumbling down around us. We just have to switch our perspective and look through a gratitude lens. Remember what we do have. Cherish all that we should be thankful for.
Mythologist Joseph Campbell said, “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
The life that is waiting for us is the one that will make us happy. If we let it. The only person who can let that happiness in is the one looking back from the mirror.
The thing about art is it reminds you who you are. The reason you laugh or cry or think is because it stirs something inside you that you recognize. And it pulls a reaction from you. Continue reading
Last week we moved for the fourth time in four years. I must admit, I was in denial the last few weeks before the big day. The schedule was full of appointments and events and dance competitions. The packing and purging loomed before me. Our elementary school was having a book bonanza so I ended up donating about 12 bags of books to the cause. It looked like I had robbed a library.
Three days before the move, just before dinner, my cell phone rang. It was my 13-year-old son’s friend saying, “Your son has been hit by a car on his bike. You should come!”
Every mother’s nightmare. I dropped what I was doing and ran. Thankfully after riding to the hospital by ambulance and getting all the tests done, he walked away with a few bruises. This reminded me that no matter where we lay our heads at night, the most important thing is being with the ones you love.
Author Tim Ferriss talks about something called fear setting instead of goal setting. A few times a year he makes a list of all the things he is scared of. Then he follows through with what would happen should that fear come true. He has even fasted or lived on oatmeal for a period of time to see if he could survive on very little. And of course he did. So then he wipes that fear off the list. And he can take action without worrying that he won’t survive the consequences.
Once the boxes were unpacked and the cupboards and shelves were full of books and plates and clothes after our move, I looked around and thought, “What was I so scared of?” As U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
So make the move, take the interview, meet the new person. Once you do it, you will realize you were being held back by the story in your head. And you can re-write that story any time you choose.
The Toronto Raptors played game two of the championships last night. It is the first time the team got to this level. They are playing against the Golden State Warriors who have won the championships five times. Three times in the last four years. Continue reading