Saturday, March 7, 2009

coincidence and happiness

Is it a coincidence that i just got one of my favorite magazines - Psychology Today (German edition) in the mail and the header is - path to happiness.... I havent read the articles but the editorial already sounded very interesting. Like my friend the Dalai Lama says The purpose of life is to be happy. Sounds very easy and can be very easy. Once I focus on making this very moment the very best moment the task is indeed easier. So, maybe the real purpose of life is to split it up in infinetely small particles of time and then just focus on feeling happy in these moments. Then, if I add all the particles up, I will be eternally happy. In the past, quite frankly I found it very hard to define happiness. I have been happy a lot of times without realizing it. Other times, the events were so big that I stored them in the happiness drawer right away (wedding, birth of children, 1st day of school for kids, kindergarden graduation, owning a house, finding a job.... ). I now try to remember those moments more often and feel them. Feel the warmth, the excitement, the contentment. Putting these in the forefront when life is grey or uneventful helps. I also found out that it helps me to become happier if I do something for others, especially my children. This has been the source of quite some discussions with my husband because he is convinced that one cannnot or should not feel happier just because one does something for others. I agree that if the sole source of happiness are others that is not going to work. But I strongly disagree that actions performed for others, cannot bring happiness. The Dalai Lama calls it compassion and I want to work on becoming more compassionate towards others, especially my children. They are the ones that are going to profit most from me being happy because this serves as a model for them now and later. Being compassionate doesnt have to be a huge deed, it could be just being a bit more lenient at bed time.... if i know that this is going to bring them happiness. By nature, I am a rather strict mother - too strict sometimes. So becoming more compassionate towards them means that i will deliberately be less strict. And believe me that is hard for me. But I want to try. Hope you are all having those happy particles in your life a lot....

1 comment:

  1. I have a beautiful book called "Everyday Blesssings" the inner work of Mindful Parenting by Jon Cabot Zinn. WOuld you like to borrow it?? It is a great reminder for me

    ALso, I often tell my students that my practice right now is parenting my children---:)

    also, been to the Zen Center in Wiesbaden? We should go together!