Monday’s Meditation: On The Art of Being Happy

July 1, 2013

I spent yesterday on an island North West of Seattle, laying on the beach, skipping stones, searching for the purple shells, feeling especially pleased to actually be making use of my hat I’d cradled all the way from Michigan, and admiring the perfection of life and this universe. And it hit me: it doesn’t take a lot to be happy.

We have created such a contorted relationship to happiness in our culture. Indeed it has become such a rare and elusive state of being that scientists now study it, like some endangered species. It seems a far-off notion, in the midst of first-world stressors and speed, this thing we think we have a vague recollection of, from childhood, at which point it fizzles into the obscurity of our memories.

But anyone who has had an entirely contented day, a time of feeling as though they needed nothing they didn’t already have, knows that happiness is at hand, and moreover, that it takes very little to achieve it.

The trick, I think, is to solidify what does it for you, and then fill your life up with those things, absent the judgment of others, careful to decipher what truly brings you fulfillment, and what you’ve tried to convince yourself does, for one reason or another.

Follow those things. Repeat and repeat. Let your life be bountiful with the simple things that cause you to feel indescribable, illogical, effortless happiness.

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