Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Happy Hour

The other day, I went to my daughter’s school and was watching the young children running around and laughing. They were so full of Joie de vie’ (jest for life) that it was uplifting just looking at them.
I sat around for about 45 minutes just looking at them laughing, playing, running, falling , pushing and helping each other. Time just seemed to have flown.
The same afternoon , I had a meeting with the Vice Principals of school as I was to share with them my research on happiness. As I sat there, I thought of having something like a “happy hour” in the school.
Happy hour is traditionally associated with alcohol induced happiness, where you can have two drinks for the price of one. The ultimate aim being that of forgetting your sorrows by dowsing them in cheap alcohol!!
How about starting a happiness movement in schools, corporate offices, shops, factories and other work places where everyone takes a few minutes to really seek happiness. Happiness need not be something on the outside; each person may have to dig within to find a place of happiness/contentment.
When we are born we have no idea about our future, we smile when someone smiles, we laugh when we feel like laughing and we cry when we feel uncomfortable. As we grow, our environment starts to shape us. We are after all products of our environment. We are bombarded with duties and expectations. We start living our parents/caregivers dreams and somewhere down the line forget our own dreams. We forget that life is meant to be simple and that happiness is our birthright. We start looking for outside pleasures and waiting for things and people to make us happy. We relegate responsibility of our happiness to forces and people outside of us.
In school it becomes achievements- sports, academic, musical, theatrical and so on that define our worth. In college, it could be achievements plus a beautiful partner that may define our happiness thresholds. In work it could be our status, our job, then it becomes the physical accoutrements like cars, houses, diamonds, watches, designers clothes, shoes, etc, a never ending list of possessions. But somehow we still remain disillusioned and dissatisfied.
I read somewhere that we are all beings of energy and that we all have the same energy flowing within us and the more positive energy we have, the more positivity we attract in our life. Positivity has a way of attracting abundance and abundance comes through gratitude.
How about having a thank you journal and writing in it three things everyday that you are thankful and grateful for? The universe/god apparently likes to hear us say thank you. The more we say thank you the more we are given reasons to say thank you. The more we complain the more reasons we will have to complain.
Our brain is a muscle that gets conditioned in the way we think, if we constantly have negative thoughts we will fail to see the positive in a situation even when it is staring at us in the face, similarly if we are conditioned to see the positive in a situation our brain gets conditioned towards optimism and positivity. Even in a perceived negative situation we can find something to be grateful about. It seems a rather difficult endeavour at that time , but if we were to really look at the situation in its entirety, there may be a hidden benefit.
We all have limited life spans. We all have a choice. We either see the glass half full or see it half empty. Go ahead, indulge yourself and enjoy the happy hour to the full. Make it a daily habit to spend at least a few minutes of that happy hour finding things that you are grateful and finding the little pleasures that make you happy.
Have a quick look at the following realities compiled by Christopher Westra
Light, Dark
Heat, Cold
Abundance, Poverty
Health, Sickness
Faith, Doubt
Love, Fear
Present, Past and Future
Good, Evil
Pleasure, Pain
God, Devil
Righteousness, Sin
Spirit, Ego
Joy, MiseryHope, DespairWants, Don't WantsAcceptance, ResistanceFlow, BlockageLife, DeathVirtue, ViceForgiveness, Judgment
You can choose the right side or the left, if you have one you can’t have the other. Our Brain for all its capacity, is still limited in its processing of data . What would you rather have?

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