Several months ago while I was having lunch at Juice4u in Chiang Mai , Thailand I met an American woman , Amy Miller. She was reading a book called ,”The Happiness Project ” by Gretchen Rubin.
She said,” I will give it to you tomorrow after I finish it”. Next day she did.
Reading the book got me thinking about happiness.
Upon returning to Toronto, I happen to be visiting my friend Keith , who manages ,”The Great Escape ” books store on Sundays when I came across the book ,”Happiness Now” by James Holden , a Ph.D. psychotherapist. Reading his book made me realize that in some way I had been taking my practice as a psychotherapist in the same direction. Reading his book gave me many insights and Eureka moments. In fact so much so that I am planning to take his ,”Happiness Coach ” program in the near future.
Gretchen Rubin’s book was all about how she could take steps to become happier. A rather personal adventure in contrast to Dr. Robert Holden’s book which explored why we will never be happy unless we satisfy to requirements – first, we must be happy with our selves otherwise we will never be happy with what we do, who we are with , what we have and where we are.
The two main premises of the book are Self-Acceptance and happiness is a choice.
Happiness is not outside ourselves but it is within our inner selves he maintains.
A wonderful home, nice car, nice clothing , delicious food, etc, encourages us to be happy but does not make us happy.
This is bad news for all those people lining up to buy lottery tickets every friday. If you are not happy ,money will not make you any happier. On the other hand , any thinking person agrees that poverty sucks. Researcher’s have shown that we only need a modest income to be happy and after that any more money will not increase our happiness in any manner.
One of the first thing that Gretchen Rubin did to increase her happiness was to boast her energy.
She did this by going to sleep earlier and exercising better.
The second thing she did was to De Clutter-toss , restore and organize.
This was followed by tackling nagging tasks and acting more energetic.
I was affected by both of those actions. Shortly after reading this message I joined a gym and worked out every morning at around 7 a.m. for 30 straight days. I felt great and people told me I looked great.
Upon returning to Toronto I began de cluttering and I continue to do so as the worst offenders are my precious books that I treat as children. I feel that I shall abandoned them, make them orphans if I store them away from the apartment in the basement library. Reluctantly, I must as, as I seem to find several new books every week that are begging me to bring them to my library collection to augment my consciousness.
At the moment , I’m reading a recent acquisition to my library, ,”The Force of Character And the Lasting LIfe ” by James Hillman. James is a Jungian therapist whose works I have enjoyed very much in the past.
He talks about two types of people -those that derive their happiness solely from their work and those who derive their happiness from their relationships. He quotes many writer’s and their preference for solitude in pursuit of their work.
Personally, I find I’m happier with my partners, friends and everyone when I’m creative and also I’m more creative when I am happier in my relationships.
My experience is that for many people the two feed each other but for some people it is an either or situation.
What do I feel contributes to my current happiness?
I’m retiring this year. After 33 years I will give up my professional license as a massage therapist unless there is a divine intervention.
Having an independent passive income -not having to work to earn a living and having the time, money and energy to pursue what I desire and choose to pursue.
A high level of wellness
The friendship, respect and company of many people around the globe.
My cozy apartment in Toronto and a home in a warm country soon.
The time and money to travel.
At the ripe young age of 66 I enjoy being me. Here I am world like or dislike me I shall be me.
Being a Scorpio sun sign I am curious about so many aspects of life. I will never get to know about everything so I can make choices and enjoy studying and learning about the things that interest me most NOW.
I never get tired of meeting new people and listening to their stories. I learn a lot about myself by being with others. This is the biggest joy of traveling. When on holidays people have time to relax ,chat and be themselves without worrying about rushing off to work or attending this situation or that fixing that problem. Modern life is very stressful on the nervous system for most people.
Moving about on my Brompton folding bike.
Having the leisure to read and write.
Living in the NOW.
Enjoying being a human being not a human doer.
Listening to classical music and attending concerts.
Being alone in solitude and quiet when the world invades our privacy and quietness.