Karla’s Korner: Choosing Happiness
Saturday morning 7:30 a.m. I find myself standing outside on my deck wearing a t-shirt, athletic shorts and barefoot. The rain is gently falling down around me splattering in the small puddles at my feet. Having been awaken by the heavy rains in the night I gather that the gentle drops falling now are the leftovers of the night’s storms leaving behind refreshed earth and all that lingers in the tree tops and bushes. Life at this point seems rather simple, mundane and possibly insignificant to some but for me as I allow the rain to embrace me in its wet blanket I find happiness. Or maybe, just maybe happiness found me; I wonder if sometimes I am lost to the happiness or that I allow what others portray to be happy cloud my vision? We are all guilty I think of losing focus and find ourselves not being able to see the forest for the trees. We also must realize that we can be happy even in the midst of struggle and difficulty. Several years ago had I been standing in the rain waiting for the dog to “do his business” I would have grumbled and been less than happy to be there, however, this time I chose to be happy because it’s a much better use of energy and in all honesty we need the rain; rain I believe is good for the soul.
In his book Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, ? Thích Nh?t H?nh, wrote “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” Allowing ourselves to be attentive to the present moment, banishing worry, fret and fear from our minds we are able to experience joy and happiness the way we are meant to. When we allow our minds to become clouded with others visions, ideas and negativity we rob ourselves of our own true happiness; we fail to feel joy in the everyday aspects of our lives. I believe it’s the everyday aspects that make life significant.
I have a friend who reminds me often that we each have our own level of happiness; our individual life events create happiness that is unique to our own lives. My happiness cannot belong to anyone; it can be shared, however. Choosing to be happy in the midst of a life that is often times chaotic and unbalanced may be difficult, however, when chosen, happiness will ultimately calm the chaos and bring life into balance. Happiness is not an achievement, or a goal that we strive to meet. Happiness is a conscious choice to embrace life, all of it including the tough stuff with a positive attitude and a heart that allows us to see the good in every situation. Much like the friend who reminded me once when I complained of a sore knee after a workout pointing out that I had two legs to stand on, run on and walk on that being sore was nothing more than a temporary inconvenience and that there are those without legs who would love to have a sore knee. I now look at sore knees a bit differently; I am thankful for those knees and the ability to run because running is not only good for my physical self but for my soul as well.
This week I encourage you to choose happiness. It’s a great choice! Believing that our Creator wants us to be happy, it is necessary to pay attention to the many blessings around us so that we will see that happiness. We must remember, however, that there will be difficult times as well but by keeping our focus we will acquire the happiness we desire and deserve. Life is about taking what we have and enjoying it fully. Life is full of choices from the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the jobs we do and the people we spend time with. Making the choice to be happy is a necessary duty we have for ourselves. American poet James Oppenheim wrote “The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.” Live. Love. Laugh. Choose. Be happy. Plant seeds of happiness in your heart and watch it grow….
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
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