6/21: Happiness comes in plenty

5239b1f3ffc0c937d79bbd7b5028907e6eby Suzanne L. Beenackers

I have tried to understand them and sympathize with them. Every time someone claimed that happiness came in small doses, that life was suffering, or that our era suffered from an obsession with happiness, I could see how this was true. In a way. And that even if it wasn’t, it was how they perceived reality, so that made it valid. Most moments are indeed not characterized by abundance, nor marked by remarkably witty things happening, nor will they be remembered for their immense pleasure. Rationally, happiness comes in small doses. Then how come I have always experienced it differently?

To eke out the most happiness from an experience, we must anticipate it, savor it as it unfolds, express happiness, and recall a happy memory
The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin

Aha! There you go: anticipate, savor, express, and recall. Four things I had been doing instinctively way before I read/spelled/declared to be holy, the book The Happiness Project from Gretchen Rubin.

Anticipate:
Plan ahead. Look forward to. One of the reason I m not fond of surprises is that you miss out on the anticipation phase. Why do you think kids like Christmas so much? Because they look forward to it for months and expect it to be nothing short of awesome.

Savor:
Absorb the energy, store it in every cell of your being. Enjoy it, use your senses: smell, taste, watch, feel, listen. Linger. This is the time to be present. This is where you want to be IN THE MOMENT.

Express:
To the ones you re with, to your diary, to yourself, call a friend and share: That was fun! I really enjoyed doing that! 

Recall:
Keep souvenirs. Retell stories. Cherish memories. Frame photos. Recalling is what you do afterwards, and I believe it is the secret ingredient a lot of us seem to miss out on….. it’s like we’re so busy going for our next kick that we forget our past experiences still have life in them.

Any single happy experience may be amplified or minimized,
depending on how much attention you give it.

The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin

Every time you recall a happy memory, and every time you retell it, you are giving it attention and therefor amplifying it. And it goes without saying that this also gives you a choice in how much attention you are prepared to give to your negative experiences. Life has its moments of despair, of loss, of sorrow, which are hard on all of us. Don’t make the mistake of dwelling on the hard times, and rushing your way past all the good life has to offer. Or of rationalizing yourself out of the best part of your life.

Agenda: Sunday March 8 the book reading club American Book Center Amsterdam is reading The Happiness Project. I anticipate it to be fun 😉

adriene 6week 6
I’m teaching from Yoga with Adriene for 21 weeks & provide her videos here for home practice. I ll be teaching a sequence by combining video 6 & the extra video.

week 6:
Six pack abs  (17 minutes)

Extra:
Flexible, Fearless and Fun (16 minutes)

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