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Reflections: When Are You Happiest…?

04/11/2011
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“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” Iris Murdoch

Reflections: When Are You Happiest...? Being my unfettered self... Being Me.

♥ Being Myself

When are you happiest? The question is NOT what makes you happy? I have been on a journey lately… It is not one that has taken me to a new or exotic land. Instead, every day, for several days, I, like many others,  gather with a dynamic group of contemplative  souls; counselors, healers, teachers, artists, every day folk, and we study, meditate, elevate each other, and have intimate conversations about the true nature of mankind… our true nature is pure, basically good and inherently happy. We are exploring the workings of the radiant mind. What is the radiant mind? The heart is the radiant mind. The heart is the doorway to the radiant mind. It never leads us astray and when we are attentive, it reminds us that we are happiest, first and foremost, when we are being ourselves… our unfiltered self. our unfettered mind. Me being Me. You being just You.

“The only joy in the world is to begin.” Cesare Pavese

Reflections: When Are You Happiest...? Exercising and having fun

♥ Exercising and having fun

♥ Spending time with family
♥ In prayerful communication with the Creator
♥ Listening to beautiful music
♥ Practicing Yoga and Meditation
One of the exercises we explored in the workshop with our guide, Dr Robert Holden, was to reflect on the question posed above; When are you happiest? It is quite different from the question: What makes you happy? Why? Because when you think about it, happiness is a state we already have, nothing can make us… others and events can contribute to our innate joy and happiness but not make us become happy. Think about it…

“I wake up every morning with a great desire to live joyfully.” — Anna Howard Shaw

Reflections: When Are You Happiest...? Writing and being creative...

♥ writing and being creative

♥ Being with friends, enjoying humor and a good laugh
♥ Traveling to others places, seeing both the world and the cultures/people who inhabit it.
♥ Reading a great book
♥ Knowing our children are happy
♥ Being at peace with self
Hm mm. The exercise was/is excellent because we have to go to that place in our bodies, the place that holds our memories, our feelings of joyful and sad experiences, and connect with the memories that spoke to us; the sensations that confirmed our recollections of when we were/are happiest. When are you happiest? Relax in a comfortable chair and go to those happy memories. What were they? What are they? Above and below are 25 more to consider. What would you add? When are you happiest? There is always More Below. 😉

“The pleasure which we most rarely experience gives us greatest delight.” —Epictetus

Reflections: When Are You Happiest...? in communication with loved ones, extended family, beloved pets

Communicating with and caring for loved ones, extended family, beloved pets
♥ Enjoying a fantastic meal with others
♥ Taking long walks on the Croton Aqueduct
♥ Waking from a restful, good night’s sleep
♥ Expressing gratitude for all in life
♥ Serving others in need; at food shelters, at camps, in hospitals, and more
If we are at our happiest when we are being our authentic selves, then why are so many people unhappy? If happiness is our nature, why is there so much misery in the world? Why does evil thrive? If we accept our own joy, does that mean only good things will happen to us? We all know that bad things can happen to good people and vise versa. However, our happiness is not dependent on predictable outcomes but on an understanding that we all have access to that feeling of joy and goodwill and that we can connect with it if/when we choose. When we develop a spirit of gratitude for our lives and the lives of others, our outer conditions might remain same, but our inner condition changes to one of contentment and a peaceful joy.

“It is only possible to live happily ever after on a daily basis.” —Margaret Bonanno

Reflections: When Are You Happiest...? Enjoying the company of positive, supportive people...

♥ Enjoying the company of positive friends and supportive people
♥ Teaching and learning
♥ Doing healing Reiki work
♥ Completing a writing project and enjoying great workshops
♥ Staring clear of conflict and offering solutions to conflict
♥ Reading/hearing news stories about people helping others in dire need
♥ Knowing we have performed the best possible job.
If we are by nature happy, then why are so many so sad? Have they forgotten their true nature? Accepting ourselves and being joyful doesn’t preclude unpleasant events from touching our lives. However, we are able to shift gears and move forward.  Our optimism helps us regroup and see the good even in the difficult. These are some of the conversations we are having… Add your views and voice as these are also explorations for us all to reflect on. What about you? What are your thoughts? What does happiest mean to you? Do you remember being at your happiest? What led you there? How did it make you feel? Do share! Thank you. 🙂

This post was inspired by a Happiness Workshop…

Positive Motivation Tip: Happiness requires no sacrifice, only self-acceptance… Affirm your joy.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos  happy people via Wikipedia  Happy cat by Mastino, Glorious bridge by M Reza Faisal, happy photocopy by ohskylab, happy dog by Muffet, via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

26 Comments leave one →
  1. 04/11/2011 11:05 pm

    beautiful post.
    vento

  2. 05/11/2011 12:31 am

    Spending time with my family is best to be happy. 🙂

  3. 05/11/2011 2:26 am

    Great article and perfect pics!

  4. 05/11/2011 2:30 am

    This beautiful post is in perfect timing with what I have been noticing lately. I was telling my s/o tonight that I feel a constant energy of gratitude in me and its been going for a long time . It’s not that I get down on my knees and yell “thank you!”, it’s a soft feeling and openeness in my heart. It’s an appreciation for the blessings in life.

    I remember when I was in NY and in a very emotionally abusive union with the ex , how I would notice when he wasn’t around, I could feel warmth and a simple gratitude in having a delicious breakfast by myself in a restaurant while looking out the window, or taking a walk in the park. Even then I had an a vague awareness that the “real” me wasn’t in a constant state of turmoil

  5. 05/11/2011 5:03 am

    Great workshop and a good conversation to have. I am, by nature, a happy person. I was even voted in high school as: Most Happy-Go Lucky. (ps my sister-in-law does Reiki workshops for U of P)

  6. 05/11/2011 5:56 am

    Wonderful and inspiring thoughts on happiness my friend. I’m happiest when I’m with my family and spending our little treat of a minivacation. We are to meet some dolphins today….can’t wait! God bless you always!

  7. 05/11/2011 6:08 am

    I Love cat and dogs too nice sharing,thank you

  8. 05/11/2011 7:21 am

    Family and pets bring out my happiest side.
    Nice post Eliz!
    b

  9. Bree permalink
    05/11/2011 7:56 am

    This is inspired and has me thinking about the quality of life, I have and how I measure my joy. I’m happiest when I’m at peace and content with myself. 😉
    B

  10. 05/11/2011 10:46 am

    I agree. I am happiest when I am just being myself!

    Great thoughts to reflect upon, Elizabeth.

  11. 05/11/2011 12:49 pm

    I would have to say I am happiest when my baby grandaughter greets me with a lovely smile! She lives in France and I am afraid she will not remember us…

  12. 05/11/2011 2:08 pm

    this post makes me think….and makes me smile!

  13. 05/11/2011 2:36 pm

    When I silence the mind, happiness surfaces of its own accord. All I have to do is get my thoughts out of the way. 😀

  14. 05/11/2011 3:28 pm

    Love these shots!

  15. 05/11/2011 3:58 pm

    I’m happiest when I quit comparing my insides to other people’s outsides

  16. 05/11/2011 5:19 pm

    I have two happiest places: one is when I’m with the people I love, laughing and sharing food; second is when I’m all alone with myself in nature, laughing and sharing food. What a good positive post! Thanks!

  17. 05/11/2011 8:10 pm

    I am happiest when I feel in control of my life. Right now, things are chaotic and I find myself becoming increasingly unhappy. Luckily school is almost over and I can get back to a calmer life.

  18. 05/11/2011 8:26 pm

    Wonderful post, and I realize you are happiest doing a lot of things I am happiest doing. Watching the birds in my garden, spending a quiet evening at home with my husband, and doing something creative are all very happy things for me. Also, I am finding, helping others in little ways does make me happy!

  19. 06/11/2011 6:41 am

    What a lovely post! You live such a fulfilling and fun life, Elizabeth. I would love to follow you around for a day as long as I’ve had my vitamins so I could keep up with you! You do things that I would never even think of doing -like this workshop and the Oprah series that you posted about and you seem to have such fun and then come back and share it here.

    I guess I’m happiest whenever I’m cuddling my son and definitely whenever I feel peaceful. Peace just lets in all the good stuff and allows me to focus on the “happiest” stuff – and I notice that not a single soul here has found that it was something “material” that made them the happiest… Funny, that, eh? 😉

  20. 06/11/2011 8:00 am

    Ironic that I came across this blog. I just spent yesterday making a list. I struggled with what makes me happy. I changed the words to “What brings me joy?”
    Reading to my son – I haven’t done this for awhile, as he is 18 now and I read alot of lyrical stories to him. I thought it was too junior, but when I see the smile on his face, when he gets to choose a book, I know it’s right. I’ve recommitted to doing this.
    Holding hands with my husband while we walk – I’ve always admired older couples who still hold hands. It touchs my heart each and every time. I guess I am older now (just celebrated 50) and I love the feeling of connection when we hold hands.
    Helping others – I hired a life coach. It was through her, that almost everything I do, is to help others. It’s me who gets the satisfaction from it. Whether sitting on a Parent Council for school, providing informative posts on disability websites, or recently starting my own blog regarding the transition from child services to adult services for those with disabilites, I love giving of information. I read a quote recently “they say that people teach what they need to learn”, and that has inspired me.
    Great sex – Enough said!
    Family dinners – With a merged family of what was then teenage boys, the fact they wanted to sit down for dinner at the table, brings me joy. We have had some amazing conversations, heated debates and sometimes tears, but the day will come when those dinners will be fewer and further between. Four boys 18-22, it won’t be long before they have moved on with their lives and I know now, as frustrating and heartbreaking some moments have been, I will miss them greatly.
    There is my mini-list.

  21. 06/11/2011 8:03 am

    One more thing that is important that brings me joy.
    My two dogs, Bishop (red-headed golden retriever) and Vegas (border collie/newfoundlander mix). I have only ever had a budgie as a pet. Just shy of two years ago, it was decided we would bring a dog into our new family. My husband had always had a cat or dog and this was the longest he had gone without one. I never knew how much joy a pet could bring into my life. Bishop, who is just a big old clumsy doofus to Vegas, who is cheeky and sneaky but absolutely adorable. They slow down my heart rate and make chaos obsolete. (Except for when Vegas chooses to chew another pair of my expensive leather shoes, and not my $1.00 Giant Tiger crocs).

  22. 06/11/2011 8:23 am

    Lovely post! Simple things make me happy. Like my dog, family and being creative in different ways. But what really makes me happy is that I nowadays actually know what I need to do to feel happy. 🙂

  23. 07/11/2011 10:22 am

    Happiness
    requires only
    self-acceptance

  24. 08/11/2011 1:13 pm

    Doing something I love, being with those I love, watching a beautiful sunset /sunrise, looking at beautiful things, etc., etc. Lovely post, as usual, Elizabeth!

Trackbacks

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