where the writers are
This book is for everyone who has ever experienced a moment of stress

"I hope you're happy now!"

"Happiness is the best medicine."

Happiness is, perhaps, one of the most misunderstood concepts of the human condition.   If you google the word you'll find all kinds of so called "enlightened" definitions and quotations.  The dictionary defines happiness as the state of well being and contentment.   Many envision the state of being happy as being glad, cheerful, carefree, pleasant, lighthearted, or joyful.  We see being happy as a smiling face with no worries.  Is this true happiness?  Is it that simple?   Smile and be happy?   What happens when we try to be happy?

Is happiness something to persue with a smile and positive attitude?  Is happiness the joy of giving, good health, or success?  Does happiness mean different things for different people?  Where does it come from and what is it, really?

Can happiness be attained or learned?  Is it a state of mind to reach ?  Is it inherent within us all?  Is happiness a concept that changes with perspective?  If we let go and accept all that is have we reached a state of bliss? 

Is happiness a state of gratefulness or grace?  What is it for you?  What is it for me?

I am happiest and closest to a state of bliss when I am calm, meditative, and appreciative of the little things that come in small moments of ephinany or everyday life.   My list of grateful, happy moments could be endless-and I do beleive that happiness is meant to come in moments and not a constant state of being.  The little things that put a smile on our faces and fill us with wonder and gratefulness-that is happiness to me.  Some of the things that Julie Andrews sings about in Favorite Things is an excellent example (...warm, wollen mittens....can you hear the song playing in your head now?).

Some of the things that fill me with gratefulness and happiness are:

when someone thinks of me in a special way of appreciation for who I am

a hot cup of tea as I gaze out the window at freshly fallen snow

moments of true creativity

the feeling of weightlessness while immersed in warm water in a swimming pool

the pitter-patter of the dog's feet across the wood floor

the laughter of children

I think that what is most misunderstood about happiness is that it must fall within a given definition.  To me, it is a true state of graceful gratefulness that reveals itself in moments of wonder.  Bliss is the awareness, acceptance and appreciation of these moments.

What is it for you?