Aside from my little “Consciousness Cleanse” project,
Which could also be labeled
“Find & live in a state of perpetual inner peace”
As difficult & far fetched in my mind
As achieving world peace.
Although in actuality,
If as individuals we could find peace,
World peace would eventually be a natural outcome…
Aside from that project…
Or perhaps in conjuncture to it
I’m re-evaluating the role happiness plays
In overall health.
It would be easy to assume
Happier people are healthier.
If not physically,
Then mentally & emotionally.
Happiness has become a buzzword.
It’s become it’s own field of research.
Want to be happy:
– Be grateful
– Perform acts of kindness
Easy enough, right?
Who among us doesn’t want more happiness in their lives?
As much as happiness is something we seek,
It’s also something we’re almost engrained
To push away.
Even for the best of reasons,
None of these brings health.
New interesting research has found
Our happiness is contagious.
Not just to people we are around.
Become happier and it affects
Everyone & everything in your surrounding environment too.
The question then becomes…
How can I become happier?
What am I doing that interferes with my ability
To joyfully live my life?
At least in my case
(Probably yours too)
If the answers were simple…
If the answers were straightforward or easy…
We wouldn’t need the answers in the first place.
I’ve always sadly had a tendency to link
Happiness with self indulgence
Even though I’ve known
(At least intellectually)
This is wrong.
Some people are self indulgent.
Some people focus solely on themselves.
Some people are selfish.
I often say,
“I live in a bubble.”
Day to day,
My interactions are good.
People are nice & courteous.
People are aware & kind.
For this, I am grateful
Because I know this is not the experience
Of many people in life.
I fear falling off a cliff of self indulgence,
Even though it is fundamentally
Counter to who I am.
I ask myself,
What if I become obsessed with my own happiness?
What if I become a hedonist?
Seeking only pleasure & joy.
But my fear stands in my way.
Because somewhere I have a hidden belief,
Pure happiness in spite of what the world holds
Would lead me to shame.
I know this is wrong.
I know my beliefs are warped.
Our happiness is the key to a life well-lived.
A life full of worth.
My normal tendency would be
To pick up a book.
What does science say will bring more happiness?
What do I need?
But, as hard as it is to admit,
As a lover of books…
My answer doesn’t lie within any pages.
My answer (just like yours)
Self care, well-being, health…
Demand I value myself.
They require I seek joy.
Joy isn’t found in dieting.
Joy isn’t found in restricting things we love.
Joy isn’t found in any kind of judgement.
We need to feel free.
And, so it’s this feeling…
This process I work to embrace
As I recommend you do
On my path to happy.
My happiness affects you.
Your happiness affects me.
What is good for one
Is good for everyone else too.