Do you practice happiness?
You know, consciously cultivate that space within that no matter what is happening in the world ‘out there’, within you, your heart is at ease, your mind peaceful, your body content?
It’s important to practice happiness.
According to the Mayor Clinic, we have to Practice. Practice. Practice. For some of us, happiness levels are naturally set at a higher level. Regardless of where your happiness level is set, you can up it by consciously cultivating an attitude of gratitude, deep appreciation of all things and people in your life, maintaining an optimistic point-of-view, finding and living your purpose and living in the moment.
People who have wealth, beauty or less stress are not happier on average than those who don’t enjoy those things. The happiest people are those who practice the cultivation of choices, thoughts and actions that lead to contentment, gratitude and joy. People who practice happiness, no matter their circumstances, are happier. It’s all about your life choices.
This weekend, I practiced happiness through the pursuit of gratitude and compassion, which, according to Dr. Amit Sood of the Global Centre for Resiliency and Well-being and StressFree.org, is the path to happiness.
One of the easiest places for me to practice gratitude and compassion, and thus happiness, is at the park with Beaumont, our two year old Sheepadoodle. His antics, his pure joy never cease to cause me to laugh and to feel light of heart. And consciously picking up his bio-deposits as well as those I come across that others have missed, creates a sense of compassion for the world and my environment. Bonus points on the path to happiness!
For me, another place where gratitude and compassion infuse my entire being with a sense of joy and peace is in the kitchen preparing a meal for guests. On Sunday, I spent the day preparing a meal for family and friends, while C.C. and my youngest daughter, her partner and his father, were at the Shaw Charity Classic Golf Tournament. It was double/double doses of gratitude and compassion. I got to spend the day doing something I love, preparing dinner and setting the table in preparation for guests, all the while knowing my beloved was doing something he loves, watching golf with people he loves. Later, as ten of us sat around the dining room table laughing and sharing stories, I felt the pure sweet nectar of joy filling my heart.
And yesterday, I spent time in my other happy place, my art studio. I painted and listened to music, danced around and laughed as Beaumont kept trying to climb up into my lap whenever I took a break in the easy chair in the corner or sat down in the pink chair to draw at the table.
On my gratitude list last night I wrote, 10 Things I am grateful for this weekend:
- Spending time with my dear friend KP chatting about life and the creative process over a delicious meal she had prepared.
- Date night with my beloved.
- Walks in the park with Beaumont and C.C.
- Beautiful weather.
- Spending time in the kitchen cooking for family and friends.
- Gathering around a table set with candles — because it gets darker earlier I get to use twinkly lights and candles!
- Chatting at length with my eldest daughter on the phone. I love our heartfelt conversations.
- Creating. Creating. Creating. Time in the studio.
- Standing at the ridge above the river and taking in the beauty and the view.
- Ending each day in bed beside my beloved.