A Recipe For Happiness
Oh what to blog about, what to blog about … there’s lots going on in the media… I could mourn the loss of Amy Winehouse (I do, actually – I was really waiting for her to get her act together and give us more of her beautiful voice to listen to. A young death is always sad, and a young talented death is a loss on at least two fronts). I’d have to entitle it ‘They Tried to Make Her Go to Rehab …’ but the tabloids probably did that title already, and anyway it seems a bit mean… I could comment on the awful occurrences in Norway but everyone’s chipping in with their tuppence worth, and there’s probably not a lot I could add… on a trivial front, in my own life at the moment I could even draw lessons from two of my children feeding a caterpillar to the third, and finding this hysterically funny (don’t leave three young children unattended even for two minutes, loo visits are not allowed … ? Don’t worry, a baby will always spit out a hairy caterpillar, especially if it wriggles…? A varied and FRESH diet is a good thing …?)
Or maybe not! Life throws all sorts of things our way doesn’t it? Whether it’s all the crazy news ‘out there’ in the wider world, or the day to day dramas that unfold ‘in here’ in our lives, there’s always something going on to shatter the peace. Are you one of those who wait for life to be perfect? Don’t hold your breath. When you face things head on you do eventually realise that even if you were able to get all your personal ducks neatly in a row all the time, you can’t manage the people around you, at least not forever and you certainly can’t manage the weather, or ‘world peace’…
So what’s the solution? Are we doomed to a life of anxious waiting for a perfection that will never be? Or are we to deaden ourselves to the despair, by running away to drugs, or shopping or anything else just to stop ourselves from ever feeling anything? If so, count me out.
There is another way. The small-minded way! Some people say ‘little things please little minds’, but I completely disagree. I think the people who are happiest in life are those who look for the small things to be happy about – there are so many. Is the sun shining right now? Do you have striped caterpillars in your garden that have escaped your children’s attentions? Do you have a little time to yourself right now where you can relax, and just be?
Even eating something as simple as an apple is an opportunity to set the world aside for a bit and just really experience –and enjoy! – exactly what it feels like to eat an apple. You think I’m joking? Try it. The next time you have an apple, take a moment to look at its beautiful skin, and notice the colour. Smell it – really smell it and take a little time to enjoy the aroma. When you take a bite, if you’re sitting down, allow your hands to rest in your lap for a moment and actually taste the bite of apple that you’re chewing. What does it taste like? What’s the balance between sweet and sour? What about it makes it taste like an apple instead of say a banana? How fantastic is it to be able to eat something so fresh and tasty? We’re all so busy rushing from one thing to the next and stressing about this or that, I’m willing to bet that no matter how many apples you recently ate, you haven’t actually tasted one in years!
If we can find joy in the little things, the bigger things will leave us feeling ecstatic. So that’s the homework I’m giving myself this week – to take joy in the little things. Feel free to join me, and let me know how it goes – have a great week!
Ps: Thank you so much to all those of you who sent me feedback about last weeks blog! All feedback is very, very welcome and it would be a great help to me if you could comment below in the ‘comments’ section. If you enjoyed the blog, go ahead and click the ‘like’ button and feel free to share it using the ‘Twitter’ and ‘Facebook’ buttons – this will help me gain a bigger readership and I’ll be very grateful!