“Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.” ~Chuang-Tse
I don’t know when it all started, but for a very long time I was not a happy person…or should I say I could not maintain any sort of happy feeling for very long. My happiness was a barometer that measured how things were going in my life. It came and went with relationships, jobs, family issues, you name it. It was just beyond my grasp where I only felt it for brief moments. Happiness would slip away as quickly as it came, hidden, masked, covered up somewhere replaced with long periods of sadness.
What a horrible way to live…glass half empty and draining fast. Of course I numbed myself with many things especially sugar and carbs. I bought things that I thought would make me happy. I stayed super insanely busy so I didn’t have to deal with or feel life. All of this didn’t serve to make me happy, but added to my sadness. Until a very wise man and healer said to me six years ago, that I was killing myself and that I had the power to stop it.
But it can be impossible to stop a runaway train, once it has a head of steam and it is careening downhill. And that was how my life was feeling. My health began to unravel with the stress of work and life so I said enough, I am done. It was time for a change. Time to jump off and either get a new job or retire and start a new career. For me the decision was clear; it was time to retire. But knowing when it is the right time and getting up the courage to jump is the hardest part. There is a tremendous amount of doubt and fear with a change such as this.
So in these past several months of retirement, with time and the continual support of those closest to me, I began to see glimmers of light around the edges of my life. I was beginning to recover from the crazy ride. And now that I wasn’t speeding through life anymore, I suddenly saw my surroundings clearly. Life was front and center and I was breathing that slow steady breath that connects you to your deep core. A light suddenly switched on, and I had one of those big aha moments.
So what did I discover. Happiness is not something you can seek because you already have it. It is waiting inside of us. Waiting for us to connect to it. But what is the secret code for accessing this inner joy? The big shift came when I truly began feeling and expressing gratitude daily both in spoken and written word. And it was not until I began writing it down every day, that I had my lifeline. It sounds too simple, I know, but it isn’t. Not really. It does take a bit of time and practice. And some patience. But it is there waiting to be rediscovered. That sense that you can live your life from your inner happiness.
Now not every day is great, and I have my sad moments because lets face it that is life. But I no longer dwell in the sad places. And when I need to connect more to that light, I spend time with things that give me a boost….I read for pleasure, I watch nature right outside my window, I spend time among the flowers and veggies in my garden, I cook from scratch and try new recipes, I talk with loved ones who are so far away….so many things that keep me engaged with happiness. Each of us accesses happiness in our own way through our own life lines so the key is to find your access points.
Another boost for me is writing. I had been toying with the idea of writing another blog for a while now. But I kept thinking am I ready? Is this the right step? But I knew deep inside it was the right time and place to start anew when word came that Vision and Verb would be shutting down.
And here it is…the end of that lovely experience on Vision and Verb where my voice suddenly and clearly was present. It had found an outlet and it was not to be silenced. And now it will continue on this blog where it can grow and expand with me as I run, walk, skip, plod and sometimes crawl down this path. This blog is my conscious effort to open to the flow of happiness and share stories, conflicts, challenges and creativity with you as these have all led me to find my inner joy.
I hope you will join me here every Thursday as I share my stories, the stories of others through their blogs and books, and share how I am expanding my happiness through new outlets of creativity.
I leave you with a special saying and photo that I hope you will save and use.
Special Note: The yellow of the flowers means optimism, happiness, hope.
The heliopsis in the top picture are said to be the happiest of flowers, and in the language of flowers they symbolize loyalty and constancy.
All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014. Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.