Happiness is a funny thing. We all seek it, chase it, dream about it. But what really determines happiness and the feeling of contentment? I’ve been reflecting on this lately, and I am lucky enough that I can say honestly at this moment I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I have a job that I love and that fulfills me. I have family and friends that I cherish and value. And most of all I am head over heels in love. For the first time in my life I have a true partner. And I can’t say enough what a wonderful feeling that is.
That being said, I think that while overall we might be happy with our lives and grateful for our friends and family, we sometimes struggle with finding positivity in the day-to-day. It hit me this weekend when I was taking a yoga class at a local studio. I absolutely love the atmosphere of this yoga studio. It is bright and clean and the exposed wood and inviting decor make you feel welcomed and relaxed. Outside the windows of the studio is a beautiful private garden, a hidden treasure in downtown Savannah. The backyards of the studio and a few other homes are connected by brick pathways. The same brick that has been there for a few hundred years.
We had the doors open in the room during our practice to invite in the sunshine and amazing breeze from the outside. April and May are the months to enjoy fresh air in Savannah, before the heat and humidity sets in. In the middle of our sequence a car alarm went off outside in the distance. It was only on for a few minutes (but it had started to really irk me…) when our instructor commented, “Aren’t we extremely lucky to have the beautiful sound of birds singing today?”
It was so simple, and so unexpected. It caught me completely off guard. Here I was focusing on an annoying alarm going off, which really wasn’t that disturbing at all – it was almost out of earshot. I hadn’t even noticed the sound of the birds coming in through the open doors.
And that hit me a little.
An elementary idea, to appreciate the sounds of birds singing on a spring day. But it was exactly what I needed to remind myself. Listen for the sounds of the birds singing. See the positive in any situation. Take a moment on this stressful Monday to find a silver lining shining through. Aren’t we lucky for what we have? What does it take to find happiness in this moment, here and now?
For me on this day I am grateful to have a job that encourages my involvement in the community, my health as an individual and allows me some flexibility in my schedule. I’m looking forward to taking a quiet break this afternoon to enjoy a yoga class with my favorite instructor. Yoga makes me feel relaxed, it helps me feel centered, and it allows me to feel in control of my body. I do my best to make time for it each week, though we all know that sometimes with the best of intentions we deviate from those pledges. This week I make it my goal to take care of my own needs and find time for practice.