I’ve recently been pondering how much happiness comes from within me instead of derived from external sources.
I keep thinking about how to answer this. For me, I feel that happiness comes more from a state of flow and grace. I don’t picture it as the same as inner peace—I picture it more as inner harmony, regulation, and balance.
When I was younger, happiness was often external, but now that I am older and have seen more of life, I can see my happiness is always felt from a place within me.
I am also learning that being a happy person does not mean I always feel good. It means I can be guided by my negative emotions rather than paralysed by them. My daughter, Laine, reminded me of this.
Last week was a hard week for me.
Every night, Laine and I do our “I am grateful for todays,” and this is what we say:
“I am grateful for today. Namaste, Ich bin Dankbar für Heute Namaste. I am kind, smart, beautiful, courageous, unstoppable, helpful, compassionate, passionate, empathetic, not liked by everyone but loved by me—even when I get upset or do something that makes me upset, I focus on something else. Even when I hurt someone and it is not on purpose, I still say sorry. I am growing, learning, love, love, love.”
Then, we share two things we are grateful for during the day, followed by breathing or meditation before sleep.
When I was crying, she came to me and showed me a picture of a crying person on one side and a happy person on the other side. Then, she set up a meditation for me to do so I could feel better. Then she looked at me and said, “You taught me this so I can share it with you when you forget how.”
It was pure happiness.
I still wasn’t feeling great, but I was feeling the joy.
And this reminded me that the pursuit of happiness is why we do, basically, everything that we do—it’s the simplest choice of changing our state of mind, and at that moment, I had to change my mind.