Happiness is intangible. Like a Guerlain perfume or Chopin composition, the notes give the senses a lovely tickle. Aware that humans at their core like long soaks in feeling good, the United Nations designated March 20th the International Day of Happiness. Even if there are realities like rent, we can dedicate one day to enjoyment!
So, on Tuesday, March 20th, popular meditation instructor, Paul Kaye and communications expert, Anna Sugai explored The Way of Happiness at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens. The conversations to living with a sincere smile stretched beyond the confines of the property. People from 169 countries tuned in on the web. From Afghanistan to Argentina to Australia, we citizens of the world are eager to live with more joie de vivre. (France was online, too!)
Paul pointed out that we all have the tools for allowing in more sunny feelings. We have the power of choice. “[It’s] like sitting in a dark room, knowing where the light switch is.”
Ahhh, but some of us forget. Perhaps we drown for a time feeling responsible for the storm of scowls surrounding us. (No one I know, of course.)
The Way of Happiness provided marvelous keys for keeping the light on and our spirits high. Including dancing to Pharrell Williams’ billion YouTube hit song, "Happy." To "Shake it Off" with music and movement – thank you Taylor Swift – are fantabulous antidotes to the blues.
Anna spoke of the magic of self-talk. She told of traveling solo and lonely. On a stroll through the Louvre, she committed to a cheerier perspective and chat with herself. A European romance ensued. (Sorry, she didn’t elaborate.)
Serendipitously, Paul and Anna on their happiness research landed upon a Gandhi quote. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and do are in harmony.”
Whistling a happy tune while resisting British rule through non-violence might be a tad challenging for some of us. Yet, Mahatma Gandhi is an exquisite example of how circumstances do not define the bounds of happiness.
Tips and wise words about happiness also came from participants. “It is a rather crude analogy,” said one online visitor, “but I have always said it is possible to be joyous sitting on a manure pile and possible to be unhappy even with my greatest dreams realized.”
A divorcée hit with the doldrums shared about writing 3 daily gratitude items at bedtime for 3 months. Life shifted in a happy direction for her.
The Original Ted Talk – a stellar 90 second segment – from The Mary Tyler Moore Show was played. Watch it here. More than a "fake it until you make it" approach, Ted Baxter takes on a Nike “Just Do It” attitude.
To quote Muspoetographer, Lucy P. Dickinson, Happiness is, “Living in the rainbow of God’s Grace and blessings.”
Or maybe when we fling our hearts wide open, we are on the way to happiness.