CENTERS’ PIECE: What does happiness mean to you?

This idea may be difficult to define as it takes some thinking and evaluation of self. Our society seems to be so busy working, staying busy, rushing, setting goals, juggling all of the affairs of a day, dealing with children, the elderly, volunteer jobs and meeting deadlines that we do not have time to be aware of our surroundings. The seasons of the year, the colors of the leaves of the trees, clouds, rain, the cool wind in the evening, the laughter of children, the smiles of someone on the street, music, children’s art projects from school, time for self are being aware of our surroundings.
Catching ants in a jar, listening to the songs of birds, the bark of a dog, the sound of a train horn and the laughter of children are all parts of our lives, but do we take the time to observe and internalize these wonders of our world? Probably not, until we are made aware that it is OK to stop and just be. Our society rewards production, work, activity and achievement. We need permission to just BE. We do not have to be busy all the time. Think of the meaningful things we are missing.
Every person sees his world differently. Your vision of your world comes from your experiences. This uniqueness is what makes people different and interesting. Our definitions for happiness will differ as well. Happiness comes into our lives when we take the time to let it enter. Happiness comes from within and from the giving of ourselves to others. Happiness is powerful energy that is meant to be shared with others. Sometimes the smallest changes in your attitude and focus can make the greatest difference. To truly find happiness and contentment, you must be willing to take the time to just BE and to consider what happiness means to you. The idea will develop over time. Be patient and let it develop.
Awareness will aid in determining your own particular definition of happiness.
Reassess your life and reflect on which areas are being neglected by your hurried life style. Decide what you want to achieve; re-evaluate your goals. A priority might be a look at your mental and physical health. The body and the mind are connected, and what affects one affects the other. Believe in yourself and your ability to make positive changes in your life. Take action; every change takes action. Change cannot be developed on the mental level alone. Get up and make a plan and take the first step toward happiness.
One cannot buy happiness from the store; it is a choice. You have to be aware of what happiness is as it can come from your heart and can appear when you least expect it. Positive words and thoughts will enable the change toward happiness. You are what you speak and think. Be kind to yourself and others. Kindness and happiness go together in order to be functional. Good luck in your search.