Last summer I was standing next to a carousel as it spun around and around. An observer to the core, I held my young son and watched as riders went up and down slowly on their carousel horses while it circled. And I found something to be incredibly strange. No one on the carousel was smiling. Not one person. This carousel is about a ninety second walk to the shores of Lake Michigan. Typical carousel music was playing. The sun was out. I was struck. If people aren't smiling HERE, on a beach-side carousel in the sun, where the heck are they smiling? (It's worth noting I'm a touch biased here because I stinkin' love carousels. Love.)
I think about this scene a lot when I think about happiness. I've also found myself asking friends and family recently, how many people do you know who are really happy? Like they're glowy with happiness? Most people can name one person or none. I find this, honestly, quite sad. I think part of our purpose here is to feel happiness and joy. And it's very much within our reach.
Just yesterday I was talking to someone I love dearly about how some times in life are happier than others and he went on to share that he was happiest when... His specifics are his to share or hold close, but the point here is he could identify them. And he knew what he needed to do to get to that sweet spot of happiness again.
Most of us know what makes us happy, brings us joy, the times we feel happy and at ease. I think if you dig a teensy bit you can identify your happiness moments, too. In the spirit of my own personal development, which is ever growing right along side you, I got out my journal and pen after my convo with a loved one yesterday. I jotted down the things I know bring me happiness. I didn't have to write them down to know them, they were in my head, but writing them down was a firm reminder to do what brings joy and happiness. (It also reminded me that I want to get back to Disneyland sooner rather than later. I love that place.) I like seeing on paper the things that I can easily do each day to feel happy, feel good vibes, and spread all that goodness to those around me.
What's on my list? I'll share a few of them with you...
an early morning walk
meaningful, positive connections with friends and family
quiet mornings with my journal
nutritious food and bevvies (e.g., kombucha, kale, cacao)
doing puzzles with my babies
Disneyland and carousels (I'm not kidding.)
Your happiness can be big, small, personal, with a group of people, free, elaborate, whatever... but be true to yourself. What fills you up and brings joy? Do those things. Do them as much as you can. What's on your list? Please tell me, I honestly and truly want to know...