Like so many of you, it takes a lot for me to slow down, savor, and just enjoy life in each precious moment. Sadly, it’s not often that I stop to give thanks for the many blessings I do have and the many things that make me happy. I’m ashamed to admit that I have the tendency to hold on to negative emotions and personal encounters.
I have spent the past year reconnecting with the experiences in life that make me the happiest: dinners with friends and laughing until the wee hours of the morning, holding hands with Bryan while running Sunday errands, and making a toast to good health with my family on my parent’s porch. These tiny snapshots fill my heart with unimaginable joy and serenity. When my life is full, there is no other way but to pass it on. Often the smallest gestures have the greatest impact. Smiling at a stranger, making conversation in a store, and relieving a friend of a worry or burden are a few everyday nothings that can make a huge difference.
I had the chance to watch GaiamTV’s film Happy over the weekend and was captivated by the simple message that happiness exists in the little things we often take for granted. Take for instance the man in Louisiana who finds beauty in the wildlife of the swamps. Each day is different and he never knows who will show up to the party. Or the elderly surfer in Brazil who loves to teach his kids about his passion for the water sport. We see glimpses of a sweet rickshaw driver in India who braves monsoons and extreme heat to provide for his family. He lives in a tiny house with tarps for walls and yet he considers himself to be the happiest man in the world because he has the love of his family to return home to.
I was incredibly moved and inspired by this film because the pursuit of happiness has been a huge focus for me in the past year and a half. The mounting pressures of life tend to get the better of me and I have a hard time letting go of inconsequential trivialities. I have decided that in the new year, I will take a page out of the book from many of the interviewees in this documentary. Happiness for them comes in the form of a loving family and good friends. I am fortunate enough to find comfort from those things as well. While I enjoy rewarding myself with nice things every now and then, it should not be the source of my happiness. Additionally, it is time to let the everyday work stresses fall by the wayside to focus on bigger picture items in life.
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All opinions expressed herein are entirely my own. This post was sponsored by GaiamTV.