Hi friends 🙂
Lately I have noticed that I experience a new kind of happiness in my life. With some contemplation I have put together a list of a few things that I believe have helped create this happiness. I would love to hear from you. What makes you a happier person?
Surya Kriya and daily meditation
My daily practice of Surya Kriya and meditation have created a happiness within me that I never had access to before.
I wanted to see if meditation and spiritual practice can truly make me a happier person. There is so much pressure to believe that it should, but does it really? I wanted real proof. I wanted to see changes in myself.
And I have. And I can say that in my experience, my meditation practice, and more specifically, my practice of the powerful process of Surya Kriya has built a real, solid happiness within me and it is not just a wishy-washy fluffy concept of happiness.
There are times when I am sitting there and I can feel myself filling up and building up with happiness. You know the kind of happiness that you get when something really awesome is about to happen soon – like seeing a loved one after a long time, or finding out you just won something, or you are falling in love, or after getting some great news. But the crazy thing was that nothing was about to happen. I was just sitting there. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing great had happened shortly before or was planned to happen soon. Just pure, unsolicited happiness for no reason.
It made me realize that it is such a shame that I have lived in such a way where I felt that I could only have that intense happiness only when something great was about to happen, or had just happened; that ecstacy is fleeting, and as you grow up, it becomes rarer and rarer.
I am coming to learn that this is not true.
And that there are other ways to live.
Beginning each morning consciously
Each morning I wake up, I begin the day like this. I lay in bed, all cozy and toasty. I place one hand just below my ribs, at the location of my solar plexus. I breathe consciously, I feel myself breathing life into my body. I allow myself to fill with warmth and love.
I then sit on the edge of my bed and recite a beautiful intention by the Dalai Lama.
“Today I am fortunate to have woken up
I am alive.
I have a precious human life,
and I am not going to waste it.
I am going to use all of my energies to develop myself,
to expand my heart out to others,
and to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.
I am going to have kind thoughts towards others,
I am not going to get angry or think badly about others.
I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
A newer addition to my morning intention is taking a moment to reach my heart out to my husband. I close my eyes and silently feel these words:
May he be happy and healthy,
May he be safe from harm,
May he know peace
May I love him fully and and well.
These three things only take a a couple of minutes but I believe it has made me a happier person. I believe the intention I set in the morning leaks into my day, especially at times when I need it.
I believe that studying medicine has made me a happier person. I love going to the hospital every day.
It is a hugely rewarding experience. It is massively humbling to play a small part in someone’s journey through life. So many patients have touched my heart and I am so grateful that I have spent 6 years of my life accumulating the knowledge it takes to help someone in this way.
nATURE and Adventure
I believe that when I am outside in nature, I connect to an aspect of life that is so raw and refreshing. I re-energize, re-connect and re-sync when I am outside. Even my short walk to and from the hospital every day gives me a small slice of it. When outside, I think it is important to stop and smell the flowers, touch the leaves, let rain drops fall on my skin, walk barefoot when possible. These small acts keep me present, and help me interact with the earth in a different way than I usually do. It is an aspect of life that is missing when we live through a computer screen or a cell phone screen. It is an aspect of life that is missing from so many things I do in my daily life, but is an intrinsic part of who I am and my experience on earth.
Adventures make me happy and I take everything I do as an adventure. I try to be brave and face new possibilities of life, and this makes me happy. My husband and I are currently in the middle of planning our winter adventure!
At least in the beginning, it has really helped me to set boundaries when it comes to negativity or energy that just feels too harsh for me.
This is not from a moral high ground. I just realized that certain energies are too strong for me, and I have not yet learned how to handle myself with them.
I have come to understand that if I cannot think good thoughts about a person, that only poisons me, it has nothing to do with that person. And consciously choosing to poison myself less has been a big factor in making me a happier person.
It is a process of finding a healthy distance in relationships so that I can continue to have good thoughts about them.
Having a low threshold for joy
I know I have a low threshold for joy, which means that it takes very little to bring joy to my heart. A pink sky, a good joke, my favourite chocolate, fresh laundry, live music, jasmine incense, matching underwear, fresh flowers, drinking water form my favourite glass, fluffy socks, seeing small changes in my flexibility every day, taking photographs. Those are just some of things.
There is so much value in moving from being a person in whom the very smallest thing can annoy you, to being a person in whom the smallest thing can bring great joy.
If this does not come naturally for you, but you wish it would – try noticing the smallest thing that you find lovely, comforting, or pleasant and relish in it!
Find beauty everywhere
A part of having a low threshold for joy is in always noticing the beauty around me; in people, in conversations, in nature, in the weather, beautiful mundane moments.
I love to create beautiful atmospheres too; candles, flowers, simplicity, cozy blankets.
I think photography has been an outlet for me. It has been a way for my to document all the beauty I see around me – and there is so much!
Taking a moment to cherish all that is beautiful around me has been a saving grace. Even in the most difficult times, I am alive, and that is beautiful.
Even in the most difficult times, the sun rises and shines golden, and that is beautiful.
Even in the most difficult times, the moon glows, flowers bloom, rain falls blissfully, the wind caresses my cheek, the sky changes colours, my feet can walk on grass, my body moves, my friends laugh, a stranger smiles, the birds sing, stars sparkle, and that is beautiful.
I celebrate all the rituals in my day.
When people thing of ritual, then they think of routine, and they think of boredom and being trapped in the mundane.
They key to not becoming imprisoned by routine is by being conscious of them. That means every choice to do something is conscious.
Once everything is conscious, then we can, and should celebrate ritual. The sacred sequences of events that you use to live your day.
For example, every day I choose to make my bed. I could do it in a quick hurry. But when I am conscious of it, it becomes meaningful. I celebrate it. I believe that when you are conscious during something, it becomes a spiritual process in itself. Even something as simple as drinking a glass of water, I can take the time to choose a glass I love, add slice of lemon or a wedge of lime, pluck a few leaves off my mint plant, and drink up deliciously.
Making myself a happier person meant taking a look at all my routines and turning them into rituals. While “Routine” is about repetition, I believe that “Ritual” has a certain sense of sacredness and reverence to it. It meant looking at my routines and seeing how I could bring more consciousness, more care, more attention, more joy to them. And that has made all the difference.
I would love to hear from you. What makes you a happier person?
All my love to all of you,
I have had a bad year… I was going starting to become depressed and the reason was poor boundaries. I had poor boundaries in many of my relationships including my marriage. I would allow others to define me and acted on what others wanted and I began to feel resentful and hurt. I made a conscious effort to build up my sense of self and to be more assertive. I am still working on this but I already find myself much happier. Your articles have offered great insight!
I’m sorry to hear that you have had a difficult year 🙁 From my experience the difficult years offer so much possibility for a growth, as I am sure you are discovering. Boundaries are important and difficult to create at times. Especially when close relationships are involved.
So stay dedicated to your life and creating happiness and strength within yourself.
I can say one thing that has made me happier was my decision to improve and partake in my life. Truly believing that life is truly wonderful. I have started by trying to being fully present in the moment such as fully engaging and listening to my children. Their presence in my life has both inspired me and renewed my purpose. Sometimes I do regress and get distracted with the ‘white noise’ of life but then I re-focus and I am back mentally and emotionally with them.
This is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
I completely agree with you when it comes to deciding to improve and partake in life. It really is a decision we have to make. And our life can only be improved with care and attention. To noticing patterns and tendencies that are not working for us and choosing something different for ourselves. I don’t have children of my own yet, but I can only imagine the > hugeness < of living for another human being, on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. It is wonderful that you are taking care to look at your children like the gift they are.
I do have a question for you, how did you start to believe that "life is truly wonderful"?
I started to believe that life is truly wonderful by changing my mindset and purposefully being grateful. I not only say I am grateful but I think about why I am. I was such an ugly person on the inside : you name it I was it. I was obsessed with material ‘stuff’ (that’s all they were: just stuff), jealous of my sister, resentful of my mom, hating my job, serial gossiper and because of all this I was being weighed down by so much negativity that it paralysed me mentally.
So I hit rock bottom and everything I owned was gone. Home, car, clothes and husband – I was left with my children. They unknowingly gave me support through laughter and not being bothered by all the things I thought important such as fancy possessions and social status. So now I just appreciate everything and know that life is wonderful. The blue sky that I am able to see clearly and the lovely birds I am able to hear. I have a passion for being a better writer so I have everything I need and that’s why my life is wonderful because I am making the choice for it to be. It’s a long story but I’m just glad I’m here and alive. I believe that a Higher Being is guiding me to being a better me.
What an inspiring transformation you have been through. I have so much admiration for you. I would love to see you write a post on this topic.
Thank you so much!