Yesterday afternoon, I reheated a cup of coffee in the microwave. then did the same for the rice-husk filled heating pad that I bought at Walgreen’s a couple of years ago. Then I brought both items to the living room and placed the coffee mug onto a brass plated trunk that serves as an end-table. I settled into my aging swivel, recliner-rocker and positioned the heating pad at the small of my back. Then put my feet up onto the rocking ottoman. After a sip of coffee, I realized how content and happy I felt.
I had not bothered to turn on the stereo nor picked up anything to read. I simply sat in the chair with my feet up, enjoying the warmth on my back and the subtle sounds in the room–the tick, tick, tick of the quartz wall clock, and the whooshing of the HVAC system blowing warm air through the house. Those were a spontaneous few minutes of not thinking, not analyzing, only paying relaxed attention. Life feels good when that happens.
To enjoy warmed-over coffee and the heating pad are not routine, but they are rituals I often do mindlessly on days when I feel it’s time for an afternoon break. When mindfulness is added to the ritual, happiness is frequently the result. There is no need for anything extra. Just sitting and being present is OK.
It occurs to me that we humans are engaged in the pursuit of happiness during much of our lives. There are times when it is wise to stop pursuing it and simply allow happiness to wash over us. After all, the potential to be happy is ever-present in our minds. We simply need to pause awhile and allow it to be revealed. We might give it a little nudge with some gratitude, or a small dose of meditation.
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”–Albert Camus
We are blessed with minds that can think, create, and analyze. The downside is that we often over-think, create inauspicious self-fulfilling prophesies, and become consumed by analysis paralysis. We deem scenarios as being too complicated and risky. We mentally stew in dithering frustration. Even if we have every comfort and pleasure the Universe can provide–possessions, pleasure, power, and so forth–but do not have a peaceful heart, we cannot be happy. There comes the time when we finally realize that it’s good to just accept life for what it is and let it be.
At times, it’s good to settle into your favorite place and allow yourself to reveal the state of mind and inner quality that is true happiness. If your heart and mind are at peace, and gratitude is present, you can be happy and content, even if you have nothing else. Accept your quirks, flaws, and attributes. Gladly own who you are and with being exactly who you are at the moment.
The ingredients for the happy life are all within ourselves–in a manner of thinking.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes 20th century French filmmaker, playwright, and novelist, Marcel Pagnol. “The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”