“Maybe starting a happiness jar is not such a bad idea” I thought.
I found an empty glass jar, and cut myself some paper notes. Happiness Jar is a jar / box where in you drop a small note at the end of each day stating what made you most happy that day. Then, at the end of the year (or when having a bad moment) you can read back your happy moments and feel your spirits uplift again.
Or, you can truly realize that happiness really is in the small things.
Pushing for happiness
In life we tend to push, pull, strive and try to achieve. We try to go forward and grow. Whatever we do, the goal is basically always the same: we want to be happy. We tend to think that the NEXT thing (feeling, object, job, relationship) will finally bring us happiness, so we invest all of our psychic energy into achieving that thing. This may take years, and once we finally arrive, we realize that the darn slippery happiness has eluded us again.
So we come up with the NEXT thing, and we push forward again.
Cutting out the middle man
Not that it’s wrong to go forward and grow. Growth is what we do here, we learn, we move and we develop. It’s a natural process of a human being, but there can be very many ways in which we do this.
I recently realized with clarity the very basic principle of any spiritual practice. What if I just cut out the middle man, the pushing and the striving, and decided right now, right here that I was already happy. Since the power lies within me and my thoughts to decide what makes me happy, so why not be completely happy now?
That would be a relief!
No more crazy achievements with the cost of my soul, no more ego-driven attempts to secure my place on this planet. I would already be happy, so it would not matter what I do!
Tricky, don’t you agree. Because when happiness is here and now, where do we go? Do I give up all of my ambitions and just start staring at the ocean? Do I become lazy, poor and an underachiever in life, an outcast of society?
The human mind is strange. It often pushes us to do things that we know will make us unhappy! We know that some job or a certain position in a company does not bring us happiness, but we still want it. As if our ego wants this glamour and fame, although our heart is shouting for something else. The heart often loses this battle, and we push ahead.
The cat’s whiskers
Lately I have realized how simple happiness truly is. I have found myself almost blissfully happy in the mornings reading my book and watching the cats play around me. Watching them play in the sand, watching the line of sunshine getting closer and closer as the morning goes on, seeing the wind playing in the fur of the cats and watching the cats whiskers sway in the gentle breeze of the morning.
If life is so simple, why am I often pushing to achieve something I have decided I ought to achieve? If the meaning of life is to find a meaning to our experiences, and if it’s up to me to figure out this meaning (unless I want to choose one of the pre-chewed meanings our culture has to offer) what is stopping me from fully and wholeheartedly deciding that I am already happy, and whatever I do -or don’t- makes really no difference.
It sounds so simple, but it isn’t.
It’s a daily practice, it’s a daily reminder. It’s a daily check of what really matters, and maybe this new happiness jar with it’s 1st grade look of heart stickers and pink ribbons will help me with it.