Many people tend to view happiness as something external to them. As something that money, time, people, or things can offer. If only they had this, that or some other thing, then they'd be happy. OK, so these things may offer temporary happiness, once attained. However, what tends to happen once these things are obtained, then their "newness" wears off? Typically, we're off on yet another quest for happiness in the next thing, the next relationship, the next windfall. Welcome to a never-ending cycle!
True, lasting happiness. That's what I'm talking about, not just temporary, short-lived happiness. I've found through research, reading, experience and experimentation that it does no good to place your own personal happiness and wellbeing in the hands of another person, place or thing. Happiness MUST come from within. Happiness despite adversity, obstacles, flaws, things going awry, etc. Besides, what is happiness without the other side of the coin, sadness? There would be no happiness without sadness. Duality. Lao Tsu goes into great detail on this subject, within the Tao Te Ching. The point is not to have absolute perfect circumstances as a prerequisite for happiness. The point is to practice happiness (yes, practice!) in all situations, good, bad or indifferent. It's a personal choice, just like being angry, upset, depressed, sad or otherwise is a personal choice, believe it or not!
Just this morning, my day started off typically. I tend to drag booty most mornings in getting out of bed. Bed is just so comfortable! No different this morning. Got up, got ready for work as usual, and left for the day. On my drive to work, typical Tuesday blues started setting in. Thoughts start invading my mind as if they were prerecorded (which they may as well be, seeing as I've thought them into habit!): "It's only Tuesday. I hate being away from home all day/week long. Argh, here's to another long day at work." etc.
However, I wanted THIS Tuesday to be different. I could feel the difference in my body, my mindset, when I started in on the prerecorded thoughts. It just didn't feel GOOD. So, not particularly easy for me yet, but becoming easier with practice, I began systematically changing each thought as it came up into something positive. "It's only Tuesday." became "It's Tuesday and that means the Biggest Loser is on TV tonight. I love that show!" "I hate being away from home all day/week long." became "I love my family SO much I just cannot wait to get home to them and have a wonderful evening together." "Argh, here's to another long day at work." became "Wow, I get to take my brand new purse with me to work today; that was just SO nice of my aunt to think of me!" etc.
When I got to work, I decided I was in quite the reflective mood, so I put on my most "spiritual" music - Krishna Das (one of my favorites of his is Pilgrim Heart). Later, I may switch back to A Perfect Circle (Emotive). Music is always a HUGE mood enhancer for me.
Basically, I CHOOSE to be happy today. I could have chosen to stick with my crappy mood. I could have chosen to get up and be angry this morning. But, I choose happiness. It can take some work at times - I won't lie and say it's easy as pie (especially at first!), but with practice, it does get easier and easier.
I choose to stay as positive as possible despite the choices of others around me. What mood do YOU choose today? Good day and namaste!