Did you know that we already have everything we need to be happy? Some days it is hard to believe but I am learning that it is true. It takes work and continual effort but it is possible to be happy today, at this moment.
As an example, today, I went out to my backyard and sat on my swing. I love that swing, I splurged last summer and got it as something for me. It was a little pricey but I adore it and have no buyers remorse.
When I first sat down my thoughts immediately turned to the fact that it would be nice to have someone to share my swing with. But then I reminded myself that I do not need someone else to be happy. So what I decided to do was to become more involved in the moment.
I laid down on my swing and pushed myself so I swayed gently. As I looked up I had a great view of branches and the blue, blue sky. A robin landed on one of the branches, sang a happy little tune and then flew off. Other birds landed on other branches and just hung around for a bit.
I did my best to really focus on what was happening during those moments. The swaying of the swing, the blueness of the sky, the sound of the birds. The 3-d effect you get when looking upwards through branches. I just soaked it all in. I didn’t think about the fact that I have no job, or that I am single or anything else for that matter. I just stayed in the moment and was aware of my surroundings.
Being aware of your body, sounds, sights and sensations can all help to keep you in the present moment. And in the present moment you can find happiness. I have to say that I was feeling a small moment of bliss in my very own backyard.
Now I know what you are saying, “Gwen you had the perfect conditions to be happy”. It’s true, I did. But I also had the perfect conditions to be unhappy if I so chose. What if I had stayed inside and brooded or what if I went outside and sat on my swing but chose to feel sorry for myself for being alone?
Or perhaps you are thinking, “but Gwen, what if it was raining, would you still have been happy?”. The answer is yes, I could still have been happy. I could have focused on the water droplets falling on the grass, or the fact that the grass is getting greener with every rainfall or that the rain is nourishing the earth and soon flowers will burst forth since they have been fed. Or I could have watched from the window and listened to the drumming of the rain and felt comfort that I was warm and dry on the inside of my house.
It is all about perspective and living in the present moment. I really learned a lot from reading “The Power of Now”. When I first started reading it I focused on the enlightenment part of the book which kind of seemed beyond my reach. But then I realized that the power of now is not just about some higher plane of enlightenment, it is also about happiness that anyone can access when they focus on the present. It made me realize that I have the power to affect my thoughts, emotions and perspective.
Now I don’t live every moment in happiness yet. I am a work in progress but I am getting better at catching my thoughts and directing them to the present. I am getting better at focusing on the joy of nature and sensations of breathing or muscles working or wind whistling in my ears. It takes practice and effort. But I already have everything I need to be happy right now and so do you.