Wednesday, November 11, 2015


I continue to work through  Looking at Mindfulness" by Christophe Andre  which I have written about a number of times here.  I am reading a chapter about happiness and the fear we feel when we are happy as we begin to worry about losing that happiness.  I think that this paragraph by Andre contains a lot of wisdom and is a reminder to turn our eyes towards more mature ideas of happiness.
Autobiographical lace made by Adelaide Hall, a patient in a mental asylum in Washington around 1916:
Autobiographical lace made by Adelaide Hall,
a patient in a mental asylum in Washington around 1916
"Why should happiness always be a matter of being carefree or unaware?  Why should it not also be found where it's needed, on the tragic side of life?  In mindfulness we train ourselves to notice everything, pains and pleasures alike, and to bear and make space for complicated, subtle, disconcerting experiences.  This is what real life is like - not the life we might dream of, but the one we inhabit, the one we cannot escape and which teaches us that our dreams are only dreams."

I grew up with a very dramatic person and life was to be great passions and deep despair.  The two could not intertwine nor find a middle ground.  I have worked hard to change my ideas of sadness away from this extreme, but I realize now that I have not done the same work on my ideas of happiness.  I don't have to wait for everything to be perfect before I am happy.  I can have it now.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. I have been doing a lot of work in this area myself in the past few years, and even just noticing when I am feeling happy, in those every day moments. When I run into people I haven't seen in a while and they ask how I'm doing, I tell them I'm great, really happy...but outside of "my kids are great, my husband is doing well, and I'm still at government and teaching yoga", I don't really have exciting stories to tell them - about exotic travels or new job opportunities, say. I am just plain happy with my everyday state of being, and that's pretty awesome.