Someone asked me what makes me happy. I wrote a partial list and realized it was not a list of what makes me happy. More accurately, it was a list moments or experiences that brought happiness out of me. As I wrote the list, I felt happy. Each item is an emotional tuning fork, a pure tone that clarifies for me, Yes, Happiness.
Happiness, like love, is part of our nature. At times we forget this. We think it’s something that comes from outside. We put conditions on it, I’ll be happy when. . .
Consider the possibility that happiness is inseparable from you. That you are happy, unconditionally. It’s always present, though perhaps under clouds or clutter. It may need to be nourished, cultivated, brought forth. But it’s there.
Notice what calls it out.
Notice the different flavors and textures of happiness. Be curious. Be intimate with happiness. It is vibrant and expansive. It uplifts. It opens and warms. It draws forth. Savor it.
Here is my partial list:
Chill fall and brisk winter, and being bundled warmly.
Walking in a garden.
How the air smells different in a forest, by the ocean, in the Paris Metro, in a lush garden.
The scent of those I love.
The time I came home to my Mom’s and my little cousins, age 4 and 7, visiting from Switzerland, ran to greet me and were jumping up and down with joy and love to see me.
Seeing my brother, alive, in the hospital after he was hit by a car.
A gaze. A smile. A touch. A sigh. A kiss.
Taking the TVG from Geneva to Paris.
Enjoying coffee and pastry while looking at the Alps in Switzerland.
Exploring the medina in Marrakesh.
Bookstores, stationery, and libraries.
Learning how to take public transit in a new city.
Meeting someone new and recognizing them as a friend, as love.
Fruit. Wine. Chocolate. A good cheeseburger.
Feeling alive in my body.
Walking with a friend and talking about life and love.
The Pacific Ocean: the California coastline; Poipu Beach.
Feeling good in sandals or heels, in yoga attire or a lovely dress — feeling good in my own skin.
Learning about people, and seeing different parts of the world.
Driving, and singing along to the radio.
If you made such a list, what would be on it? What are your emotional tuning forks, the ones that nourish your happiness and bring it forward?
I’m working hard on projects for October and November that I’m excited to share with you. I always announce new classes, programs, and events to my email list first. If you’d like to join, sign up here.