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Grandmama Zen: I find happiness
Grandmama Zen is a series dedicated to raising the vibration of an old, lonely Grandmother and anyone else who wishes to climb out of the doldrums.
Today's study wrapped around taking responsibility for one's happiness. Happiness comes from within. Blaming family members, the government, or karma for what ails us is a temporary fix; it does not offer deep happiness.
Thich Nhat Hanh once said we become mindful when we find happiness all around us. I would like to become mindful. Toward that end, I paid attention upon waking.
This photo essay illustrates only a small portion of the happiness I discovered in and around my home today.
I find happiness witnessing the morning sunshine.
When you awoke, did you immediately hop in the shower, throw on professional clothing and rush out the door in order to make it to work on time? Did you take a moment to stare out your window to discover what the wonders may be revealed?
I find happiness in savoring home-brewed espresso.
Is there a special mug you drink from at home or at work? A mug containing more than coffee, A mug wrapped in the camaraderie of a friend, a lover, a local? Does the warmth of that friendship, goodness, fun time carry you into the day?
I find happiness in quenching my plant's thirst.
Is there a living, breathing object in your home or office that depends on you for its daily water? Do you find satisfaction in watching it grow, thrive, or simply exist?
I find happiness in pulling on homemade wool socks.
Has a crafty, artistic friend or family member spent precious moments shaping a special, even practical gift for you? A sweater? A pottery bowl? A work of art that brightens up a corner in your room?
I find happiness in stained glass windows.
Does color burst from your walls, inspiring creative energy? Do you prefer calming tones? Do you hang objects in your windows that expand the light? Hang crystals like Pollyanna?
I find happiness in washing a shut-in's dishes.
Is it more blessed to give than to receive? Or is it nice to experience both aspects on a daily basis? Do you feel drained when doing dishes or is it fun to play in the suds?
I find happiness in a cuddly lap kitten.
Quiet enough for a kitten to sleep in your lap? Or frenzied, without a moment to waste on such simple joys?
I find happiness in receiving a photo of my granddaughter.
Have you witnessed the first smile of a child, your own child, your grandchild? Have you witnessed the smile of a grateful friend, a tearful relative, an overcome coworker?
I find happiness in transforming water molecules.
Have you talked to water today?
Having spent the day immersed in happiness, I found it interesting to discover that the happiest people on earth are happy due to their individual character and values. According to the "World Happiness Report 2013," described following the photo essay, Scandinavians tip the scale.
Americans rank 17th on the world scale of happiness.
The Danish weigh in as happiest in the world.
Norwegians come in second on the happiness scale.
The Swiss are third.
The Dutch are fourth.
Swedes rank fifth.
Canadians rank sixth.
Finns rank seventh.
Austrians rank eighth.
Icelanders rank ninth.
Australians rank tenth.
Make yours a happy day!
The ratings above are based on the World Happiness Report 2013, which explains its existence in this way:
"In July 2011 the UN General Assembly passed a historic resolution. It invited member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use this to help guide their public policies... OECD Guidelines setting an international standard for the measurement of well-being.
part of a life evaluation, giving us considerable evidence about the nature and causes of happiness in both its major senses."
This report finds mental health to be the leading indicator of happiness. One's individual values and character are "major determinants of the individual’s happiness with life as a whole."
If you have time, skim the report linked in the first paragraph above. It is quite fascinating.