Alex asks 5 questions – When I first read those questions – I thought – - “piece of cake” I’ll write about this in a just a few minutes…..
Well that is what I thought – until I asked myself the questions….. What I found is – when I first read those questions – I felt they were “simple” – The committee members in my head – where doing the answering for me…..
But – - as I asked the questions To Me – - my gut – my inner voice took over – which are much different answers than my head supplies…..
#1) How do you define happiness?
Geez – How do you? I’m thinking Can You? Can this state of being have a definition? I can go to the dictionary and look up a definition for happiness – but that would be Mr. Webster’s definition of happiness – not mine….
When I look deeper into it – I realize I have answered the question by calling it a “state of being” … but … Is it really a state of being or is it my core. Is happiness my core and other states I experience a deviation of my coreness? I know that is not a real word – but that is the word that comes as I speak of this….
Isn’t Happiness / Joy – my authentic self? Isn’t Happiness / Joy – Life? Any deviation from it is an experience – a perspective – an interpretation of what is going on….
That is my answer to this question – Happiness – IS – - – - It is the essence of life – it is all that there truly is – everything else is a perspective – a reaction….
#2) On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your happiness now, versus when you were a child?
Well since I have defined happiness as IS – I would have to say that my happiness was a 10+ as a child and it is a 10+ now.
Come on Ellie – did you and do you still live in la-la land? OK I understand that question… and truthfully – years ago had you told me your life was a 10+ in happiness – I would ask you what kind of drugs you were taking and would you share them with me?!
But I have come beyond my head with these questions – and here is what my inner voice says….
When I look back at my childhood – I could certainly tell you times of woe. I could even tell you stories of what could be considered drama/trauma — When I look beyond the experiences of that child – I can see the essence of that being. The child that went out into the day with the expectation of a journey filled with joy!
When I look at children today – I can see that essence within them – they Are Happiness – they Are Joy….. Even within their bickering or their temper tantrums – they are that happiness. Indeed it is that knowing of who they are within them – that incites those tantrums – As they instinctively know they are supposed to be happiness!
And today Ellie – you would say your happiness is a 10+? Yes – though I promise you people who know me might not agree! Some would say – I saw you the other day – that face you had on certainly didn’t look like happiness to me!
I agree! I don’t always allow the happiness of who I am to run my day… I get caught up in judgment – I can believe in lack – I can believe in injustice – - BUT – - I can always come back to my authentic self. Just knowing that – just knowing that I have the power to perceive life anyway I choose – that is happiness!
When Gale suddenly transitioned – I experienced grief, sadness, loss beyond description….. Never in the then 47 years of my life did I ever feel like this! I felt this grief from the absolute tips of my toenails to the tips of every hair on my head – it permeated my entire body!
But…. Here is what I discovered – If I took my attention away from what was going on I could find relief.
In the morning I found her lying on the living room floor….. gone – the day was a whirlwind of feelings and shock. That evening I was with friends – and there were times I was laughing. I was truly laughing! Here in the midst of the most dramatic and saddest time of my life and I was laughing!
Even in the darkest hour – I could connect with joy. How could that be? I believe it is because we are indeed always that Joy – but as we experience life through this human body and analyzing mind – we lose sight of who we really are.
So…. for me, anything less than a 10+ means I am reacting to life – not living it…. it means I am in another moment – not the now of life.
#3) What do you do on a daily basis that brings you happiness? (and how consistent is the feeling of happiness throughout your day)
For me this question becomes – What do I do on a daily basis that connects me with this happiness that is my Authentic Self?
Ohhhh some days I don’t do diddly squat! You know those days – I think my doing actions are much more important than my being actions. And here is the amazing part – even when I don’t think about my connection to all that is – even on those days that I have thoughts of lack and judgment – there is still happiness in my life and I never feel totally disconnected from it – though I can feel far away from it!
And I can at any moment of that day – decide to see life through the eyes of my authentic self – I can decide to stop reacting to life – to external conditions – and proclaim my oneness with all there is.
Am I a consistent 10+ every moment of everyday? Well I AM – but I absolutely don’t experience that!
The days I am more aware of my authentic self are the days I meditate for a few minutes in the morning… I declare my intention for the day which is to feel good – I claim my power and I claim my love….. Those days have less dips in them.
Many years ago I made a decision – I was never again going to have a “bad day”. I have stuck to that decision and it has been life changing for me. I can have a day with a gazillion bad moments – - but never will I declare that a day was bad!
#4) What things take away from your happiness? What can be done to lessen their impact or remove them from your life?
It is my reaction to life that increases of decreases the feeling of happiness. It is never about anyone or anything else – it is always about my perception of what is going on in life that determines how I am feeling.
If there was anything I needed to remove from life – it was my old thought patterns. I had to learn, and continue to learn, how to think from my inner voice not my head.
#5) What do you plan on doing in the future that will bring you even more happiness?
My intention everyday is to Feel Good! The more I am aware that happiness is my core of being – the more I can connect with it.
When I know who I truly am – the I AM – - there is no past or future – there is only Now. When I go back and think about what I should or shouldn’t have done – - I am bringing that into and living it in the Now…. Likewise if I think about what I should or shouldn’t be doing in the future – - I am again bringing that and living that in the Now.
So always (all ways) Now is truly all there IS – and all there IS
I can choose to live that at 10+ or -10 … it is all my choice………
These “simple” questions made me sit back – take notice of my beliefs – my feelings – my connection to me. This Happiness Project did not take me just a few short minutes…. I found great joy answering these questions because I took the time to engage my inner voice – and answered from my authentic self. So… a Big Thank You to Alex Shalman for such thought provoking “simple” questions!
“There are No Mistakes….. Only Discoveries!” ~ Ellie Walsh