Before we would move deep into transitioning, we shall hoover over some of our generic definitions and states.
One of the most commonly mentioned one is: Happy.
What do you think, how many times do we say happy in a day? The average person would mention this word at least 3 times. In different contexts. Happy, not happy both counts in this case. This idiom has such a vast meaning and so greatly overused, that it is becoming unoriginal and a cliché.
The word had lost a lot of its meaning yet we think it is the mean and the center of our life.
But do we know what we are keenly searching and looking for? What is the longed temporarily destination? Can we at all describe what it is to be delighted? How do we know if we feel it what we want to feel, if we don`t know how it feels?
Don’t worry, I am not after the one and only truth and will not try to answer this question which much smarter humans have been trying to determine for centuries.
I will take you on a private tour, on an experimental self-discovery walk.
Since happiness is such a sought-after state, let us better understand what we are after. What is that we are looking to experience when we say I want to be happy?
If you ask 1000 people, they will all give you a different answer. Each will have a single and unique monologue to tell what they feel, when they feel it and how they feel it. They will narrate thousand stories as examples when and how they were happy. There are common patterns and repeated words which holds us human, yet each anecdote is owned by the teller. You get their version of happy. Some are shallow and dependent on others, situations or things and some are just simple and thoughtfully owned.
You can also say that you are happy or you can deeply experience it. For the later, you first need to define what happy means for you?
Close your eyes and think of a moment when you felt happiness.
Take few deep breaths and now detach from the place, the circumstances, the things involved and the people whom you have shared these experiences with. Let all the details go and sit with the bare sensation. Allow yourself to focus, remember and feel what you have felt. Describe the raw and naked impression on you. Grab the first thoughts and words that come to you, don’t be shy whatever it might be. This is for you, not for showcasing. You will have to remember it and be able to recall it so you can write it down, record it or treasure it in any ways that’s best suits your expressing style.
Stay in that momentum and now observe how your body reacts. Every small bit from head to toes. Savor the details as your breath, your physique and all your moves. Note every possible thing what you can notice and you find ways to describe with your thoughts and actual words. You may use pictures to capture this state and what comes to your mind in the moment of happy.
The best if you can keep a stock of these ideas and keep chasing and tracking them.
Now, wait, my friend. Don’t stop and sit down there, this was just the warmup. Let us continue…
Now I will ask you to mark down any occurrence during your day when you catch yourself using the word happy. This will be the most challenging one. The expression is so desolate that it lurks into everything with a hope that any instant can be bettered. Still, make a push and run a week with a sharp agenda to hunt down all your happies. I see you really doing the quest. Looking good! This will serve you to understand in which ways and in which situations you desire to experience happy; and where you mean happiness or where you are using it on a negative context as you are sensing a lack of it.
Still no time to rest! Nobody said that happiness is easy to achieve. I surely make you work for it. You are doing great! ;O)
The things you have gathered and treasured, are your generous stock to pick from, to tingle your senses and enjoy happy over and over. Learn and practice happy from within. Replicate the moves, the thoughts, the pictures and the sensations when you are to experience happiness. Anytime, independent of the environment, the circumstances, the people. Find the sensation which is irrelevant of the place still you feel that it's exactly where you want to be. I don’t suggest to stay a spectator and artificially fabricate a Lalaland. Rather you should play along and blend in, be part of the exposures, yet live them your own way and let your mind be open to translate all the moments how you best experience them. Tear it down and peel it to its bare core.
Your happiness doesn’t need to be like the hype you feel when you laugh and sudden sparks are rushing through your mind. Your happy can be dormant, but still it is there. It’s silent, but it controls the way you lead your life.
Being happy is a choice you make every time you allow your mind to travel in one or the other direction. It is an exercise and self-discipline. The same way how you keep your house clean or safe from unwanted visitors, you are in charge of your inner game to welcome the pleasing thoughts and emotions just as you wish and how they best serve your well-being.
And for all that, please don’t sit! By no means the journey is over….your happy march can be starting here!
One (or four) for the road:
Wake up every morning with a thought that today is a good day to be happy and immerse in all those feelings and emotions on your treasure list.
Remember that your words are among your greatest tools to trigger your happy. You can have an outsize effect when making an effort to be both positive and sincere when choosing your words. (Some friends of Happy if you are bored to repeat the same old good expression: pleased, joyous, cheerful, amazing, euphoric, glad, elated, happy as a clam, tickled pink, over the moon, on cloud nine, head over heels, on top of the world, walking on air, make someone’s day, to be a happy camper, grin from ear to ear…etc).
Bring up a positive thing. You might not realize this but just a short loudly spoken sentence in which you bring up some of your most fun times, can lead you to feel joyful.
Stay true to yourself and keep adding to your happiness vault.
Photo credits to Ahmed Zayan, Tony Ross and Aleksadr Ledogorov in this order.