Two weeks ago I received an email from an aquintance. He shared an experience with me that during yoga class he had been asked to think during the meditation part of that class about a moment of experienced happiness in the past week or weeks. He told me that nothing had come up in his mind. It made him very sad.
I told him in my reply that our environment and marketing have taught us to believe what and how happiness moments should be. I too many years ago, before my accident and during the long-term process of dealing with my burn-out, did not see happiness any more. The last years I discovered - and now I know -, on a daily base I just passed by this wonderful free gifts and actually was standing on top of them. I learned, driven by my environment and my own thought process and mindset, not to see them anymore.
Happiness does not make our economy happy because you cannot earn money on it. Creating unhappiness feelings make people buy. Out of my recovery process and also because of living here in Thailand I am aware that there are dozens of moments of happiness during a day and it is just a matter of picking them up.
Just to give you an idea of some of those moments of happiness that many times appear during my day?
Waking up in the morning and when I look outside, I sleep with open curtains, the beautiful daily different reflections of the light and sun in the clouds and the sky. The soft and wonderful smile on my girlfriend's tinted face. The wagging tail of my always happy dog when I come downstairs. Ready to jump on the scooter to go to the forest in search of new discoveries such as the beautiful feather we found this morning (see photo). It made me happy. The cheerful fantastic sounds of birds that awaken, night sounds that fade away and the new day sounds that become louder to serve the daytime.
Or the mirror lesson of a 'normal' tree that shows me the seasons of life with being willing to give and receive. Showing the natural cycle of flowering, harvest and especially the necessary rest to support this yearly process. 'Simply' (?) the experience of being able to see, feel and breathe. The sleepy greeting of my neighbor who gives our street dog and her cats food in the morning. The waving school children in their van on their way to school. The rice farmer, up to his knees in the mud in the field, raising his arm to say good morning from a distance to me seeing me with my dog on the scooter in the early morning. Singing in the church. The joyful reaction to a given small tip after the refueling of my scooter by a boy or girl from the Caltex petrol station. The kindly and with a big swing opened glass door of the Krungsri bank by the guard and his playful 'Good to see you again' with a big smile. The man who is always on the corner at the traffic light in front of his 'Silly Pietje' shop always saying something friendly when I have to stop in front of the traffic light. The almost daily reunion with my two kids on Skype.
An e-mail from a former guest with a sincere ‘thank you’ for listening and / or paying attention to him or her. The weekly 'Hello my good friend' of the ‘chicken selling lady’ on the Friday market. The for Dutch concepts 'crazy' and colorful clothing that I sometimes wear and in which I feel myself. Just being myself without worrying about what others (whoever) might think of it anymore ... I can go on for hours. And ... this kind of happiness does not cost anything at all?
Open your eyes and daily increase your awareness of the free available moments of happiness you are standing on top of. It is just a matter of mindset.
Gangey Gruma (Frans Captijn)