Be Well Be Happy

I recently caught up with an old friend who received this (title of this column) gift of wisdom from a “medium” she consults from time to time. We laughed about it and then discussed how we have each come to realize how very true it is. We clarified that we weren’t talking about the fleeting happiness moments such as eating a favorite flavor of ice cream or slipping on a new pair of shoes or playing with a baby or anything that brings a smile to our faces, but rather the sustaining inner feeling of pure joy that is integral to life.

I have come to know that happiness is a feeling of being deeply satisfied or content.  Inner “satisfaction” comes from a calm mind and a compassionate heart, that is, a heart that softens to our own difficulties, a heart that feels another’s hardship, a heart that leaps to offer help in any form. How do we cultivate this inner sense of happiness or satisfaction? In my journey, I have found that by finding my way of being compassionate and practicing loving-kindness to myself, an opening or expansion happened—a light of happiness that is always there, a satisfying feeling that is always there, despite what unpleasant life things happen. 

It is almost like a pie crust: you can put whatever filling to create whatever life you want to live, but the base is what keeps it together. The base is what makes it whole. And the quality of that base flavors or colors what it is filled with, so if that base is pure sustainable joy cultivated by kindness and compassion, the filling—life—takes on these attributes. How do we make the pie crust? By going inside, contemplating, practicing compassion for yourself, for others, for all life forms. Seeing your world in a different way: not made up of things to get, people to connect with for personal gain, everything out there, but rather, setting your sights inward to find the place of inner peace and happiness. 

When you experience this for a period of time, you will notice that feeling of contentment that Helen was talking about in last week’s column. And when we feel contentment, accepting what is at this moment in time, whatever it may be, even in sickness or ill feelings, a path opens that may bring about a shift in perspective and/or change for the better. We are at this state at this moment for many reasons—many different things got us to this moment in time. Being content in this moment, being accepting of this moment eases tensions and allows for movement. Compassion and contentment are accessories to “happiness is an inside job!”

May you be happy. May you be free. May you be grateful. May you be compassionate.  May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace. 

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