This is the Last Thing on Earth I Want to Write May 1 Sunrise—My Happiness Moment
it has been running
through the streets
trying to find you.
I so participate in my own oppression. There are moments and chunks of time in which I am dodging, wiggling, running, doing anything I can to avoid the happiness, the grace that is right there, waiting for me.
Happiness! What the heck? Do I really have to write about you? As I rediscovered this quote the other night, after feeling initially annoyed and irritated by its reminder, my internal response was a resounding: YES. WRITE. ABOUT. THIS.
Let me begin by saying that I am a zillion percent more alive, more present, more filled with positivity than I was yesterday. Each day is a teeny, incremental creep toward full living. I am healing. I am becoming more of who I am. And I am, as we are, a work in progress.
What a strange thing, this human dilemma, this wacky gig of being a divine being, living inside a body, while learning how to be human. Eckhart Tolle says you cannot be any closer to Grace than you already are in this moment. Let’s weave this idea into the realm of mindful happiness.
Let’s consider our relationship with happiness, that blessing that is hovering and available, behind any curtain of reality. This perspective is not to diminish any hurt, trauma, loss, heartbreak—and we have many—that may sever our reality and slash our hearts open. Let’s use happiness as simply a spiritual mirror, a practice, into which we can see ourselves, accept ourselves, and lean toward its reframe.
The practice of happiness is not a premature transcendence beyond the pain and the loss; the way to happiness is through the pain and the loss.
Let’s offer ourselves a Happiness Challenge for one week, beginning with this simple, compassionate inventory, how do we run from happiness? Here is my version—
How I Participate in My Own Oppression/How I Run from Happiness:
- Worrying about that which isn’t even real or hasn’t even happened
- Wanting people to be different than they are (good luck)
- Expecting myself to be more serene, more skillful, more evolved
- Not trusting life, despite data to the contrary
- Needing to see what’s going to happen before it happens
What about you? How do you run from happiness? How do you participate in your own oppression? With radical compassion, just notice, perhaps even make a simple list for yourself.
Now let’s switch it around, with agency and discernment. Let’s create a happiness practice. For one week, what are you willing to do? For one week, what simple thing are you going to offer yourself? Here is my personal challenge:
My Choosing-Happiness Challenge:
- For one week, in the mornings, before getting out of bed, I will offer myself one minute of Loving Kindness meditation (see below*)
- For one week, at night, I will acknowledge one Happiness Moment from that day and note it (my picture of sunrise was one)
- At the end of the week, I will assess this plan, tweak it as needed and recommit for the next week
There are many forms of loving-kindness meditation. Here is one that I have taught for years. I realize, in the writing of this blog, although I have offered it to many other people to practice, that I have deprived myself of its power. Yahoo—I’m taking it back! You can substitute any words that resonate for you. And down the road, as you choose, you substitute the “I” for “you” and offer this to a loved one or a not-so-loved one. Here is my version:
May I be happy.
May I ride the waves of my life.
May I live in peace, no matter what I’m given.
So dear friends, are you interested? Please join me in the Choosing-Happiness Challenge. What’s your inventory? How do you deprive yourself of happiness? What might a more mindful practice of happiness look like for you? Please consider and, as always, send on your ideas. I am firstname.lastname@example.org.
The snow tires of are off.
The lawn mower is tuned up.
The birds are celebrating. Let’s join them.