The Art of Happiness


The state of being happy: In philosophy, happiness translates the Greek concept of eudaimonia, and it refers to the good life, or flourishing, rather than simply an emotion. In psychology, happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being that can be defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states may reflect judgments by a person about their overall well-being.

We can’t have happiness if we are holding onto toxicity — the mixture isn’t possible, but I promise that the minute all the energy we give to our misery is set free, the lighter side of life naturally flows.

The one constant in happiness is the willingness to accept that our world in not rigid or absolute. It is very organic and it bends, ebbs and flows. With that fluidity comes transition, enabling us to meet the everyday problems with a cleaner foundation.

Happy people know and understand that nothing is solidified in truth — and with this knowledge comes liberation and compassion, because we find the source of a world gone mad lies directly in our being. We cannot control the chaos, but we can refine our emotions to it. In the famous words of Paulo Coelho, “Don’t take it personally.”

Some may argue that is insensitive, but the less we engage with volatile and loud people, the more we cultivate peace in our soul, taking us back to where we belong in serenity and love.

We can be kind and peaceful with a lot of strength — and as we gain momentum, we rise. Rising brings inner peace. It vibrates just above the mess with a smooth and gentle hand. It doesn’t have an agenda, or surface mater; it has tranquility, which translates to happiness.

But satisfaction, happiness and inner peace need a home inside our heart to survive; when we close the door on them through self-doubt, blame, and negativity, our life will hurt.

Laziness, expectation and entitlement become our bane when the simplicity of a committed heart, and full attention to action, would, in fact, bring everything we want and more. I call it, “The enemy mine,” that unfulfilled want that haunts our ego but won’t ever do the work to get it. But “want” has to come from the highest intention, so the marrow of our being has to be strong. This is done by holding a high standard for inner betterment (not our façade) because the rest of it is just fluff.

But we say, “I don’t know how to make it better.” We give up before we give change a chance. Instant gratification is so normal and expected that we have become immune to the work it actually takes to create a nice life.

We look at others longingly; we want their clothes, their style, their jobs and their car. But we never stop to think about how it would actually fit us, or what it takes to have those things. And all those things are just “things.”

However, when we take a long hard look at the reality of our habits, choices and desires and we are honest about it, they may reveal a very trite and trivial picture of a world we created. It can be an unimportant existence that covers the essence of the beautiful small things (that are actually huge) and why we are, in fact, so dissatisfied. It’s called gratitude — and perspective in this space is the key.

For example:

• If you don’t want to get out of bed, be thankful that your body has the ability to rise. There are many who cannot get up.

• If you don’t want to work, be thankful you have a job whether you like it or not (it is a choice).

• If you are stuck in traffic, be thankful you have a car, because you could be walking.

• If there is a line in the grocery store, be thankful you have the money to buy what you need, because many don’t.

Get my drift? Turning our thinking around to “have” instead of “have not” creates instant abundance. Pretty soon you hold more than you ever imagined and joy becomes your persona.

It doesn’t mean we are without problems. We are all human, but by finding a lighter side to our issues, a deeper introspective develops. We instill a grander reason for living that gives us purpose. We also define a more intelligent and soulful place that helps us solve our pain with some grace.

Forget comparisons, forget materialist goals, forget about money, forget the people, the places and the things that let you down. Show them the door. Unburden your mind, your house (your heart). Declutter. Simplify. Let it all go because anything that has a hold on you, or anything you cling to, suffocates our soul — and if we can’t breathe, we surely won’t be happy. Too much stress and poisonous energy causes our body to rebel; we get sick, tired and depressed.

Fact: Happy people have more energy for life, with less sickness. When we feel better, we look better and attract a better kind of people in our life. We raise the bar — and people respond, step up or they leave. It is a wonderful way to clean out closets, inside our house (mind, body and soul).

Living large is possible, for it brings joy and ease. Large doesn’t mean financially filled with a lot of “things.” It means inner happiness. Once we begin, there is no turning back and the rest falls into place. Everything after that…is a bonus.

Complications and conflicts will still try to enter — don’t let them. It is our choice — don’t get it twisted. But the more we practice our serenity, the easier it is to have a happy life. Soon it becomes our nature — it really doesn’t take long, and it will change everything, everything inside you.

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  1. I enjoyed your article, Debbie. Thanks for your insights into what happiness really is.
    I find myself in this life wondering why people can’t understand this when I give advice such as yours. I guess my advice may not be warranted, but I just hate when people talk about their aches, pains, or issues that I seem crazy in my responses. An attitude of gratitude will get people many, many places, but it is true that people are caught up in the instant gratification, such as “my computer is slow, omg” or my phone died (#firstworldproblems), or just that something technological is not working. I can understand the frustration, but goodness. It’s like we could still be writing on stone tablets, or not at all. Where is the gratitude? I may sound judgmental, but it’s just frustration and concern with the mindset that you described here:
    “We give up before we give change a chance. Instant gratification is so normal and expected that we have become immune to the work it actually takes to create a nice life.”
    And the work, as you said “living large,” is to be thankful for what we have. To practice this gratitude and take a moment to breathe. I just wish I could solve problems for people, that’s all. Or show them the simplicity in understanding this. Then again, it may be simple, but it is not that easy.

    In love and light,
    BA Aguirre


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