March 20th is the United Nations International Day of Happiness and it was a wonderful experience to participate in the 1st World Happiness Summit this weekend.
Leading up to and since this, I have been contemplating thoughts on Happiness…some of which I share here…
The expectation of Happiness can create the opposite effect, like with holidays or special occasions. They are considered fun and joyful times, with story book tales. Yet, these can be stressful and disappointing, in part because of the comparison of how someone’s reality matches up with an ideal image or someone else’s expectations.
It’s OK. Happiness doesn’t mean being happy or smiling all the time. Living authentically includes acknowledging and experiencing a full range of human feelings, learning from experience, then recognizing that we have choices. Through such process, we can gain greater understanding, compassion, strength, and resilience. In darkness, we find and appreciate light.
Happiness is a journey and a state of being, as we discover more deeply what it means to us, along with other values, how we live it, and how we share this. Reading books, going to workshops, listening to teachers can increase our insights and tools, all of which are helpful. Beyond theory, Happiness is a practice which can be cultivated in small yet meaningful ways like gratitude…happiness happens in simple moments.