Monday, and the week stretches invitingly as I open my daily journal. Nowhere to go except Ukulele practice - how lovely!!!
I breakfast, send messages, water pots and then come in to wander lazily through Facebook in case something momentous is happening that I should know about!!!!
Well, I came upon a picture of the Reverend Shane L. Bishop, a Sr. minister at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois, who was posting about "Twelve things I see happy people do (that unhappy people do not).
That caught my eye, - for two reasons. Fairview Heights is the name of the Veteran's project where Charles and I settled five years into our marriage, and where, in the next forty years we cleared sage brush, established a farm and brought up our children. Happy years.....
And it has long been my belief that despite genes and circumstances happiness "is a choice". The Rev. Bishop thinks so as well, so I read what he had to say about this topic....
of course, the bluebird of happiness. Make room on your windowsill!
His first advice is to FOCUS ON WHAT YOU HAVE AND NOT ON WHAT YOU DON'T.......
be thankful and aware of all the good things in our lives.
QUESTION THE SOURCES OF YOUR EXPECTATIONS,
are you trying to keep up with the Jones?
Have you fallen victim to an inviting ad for things that are beyond you,
- be realistic and content.
BE GENEROUS -
selfish people are miserable....happy people give of their time and resources.
HAPPINESS IS NOT A DESTINATION -
happiness is learning to enjoy the ride!!!
IF YOU DON'T LIKE YOUR LIFE CHANGE IT.
Don't daydream, - take control and replace dreaming with doing....
SLOW DOWN and smell the roses.
REALIZE THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS.
work hard, put in the hours, pursue your dreams...
STOP FEELING ENTITLED.
So relevant to today's era of handouts.
Make your life happen, independently.
THINK SIGNIFICANCE and leave the world better than you found it!
FORGIVE and be free of regrets -
especially forgive yourself!!
ATTITUDE - cultivate a good one.
Don't let your miseries control you, - look on the sunny side.
Choose words that uplift, encourage and bring positive energy into every situation.
The Rev. Bishop says 'people who speak life
are like human air fresheners!!!'
This happiness advice reminded me of a poem by May Sarton, -
oh, so many years since I have read her. At least twenty,
but I do remember her "House by the Sea" and "At Seventy"
as well as some of the poems she wrote.
One is called "The Work of Happiness". ( I had to look it up!)
I thought of happiness, how it is woven
Out of the silence in the empty house each day
And how it is not sudden and it is not given
But is creation itself like the growth of a tree.
No one has seen it happen, but inside the bark
Another circle is growing in the expanding ring.
No one has heard the root go deeper in the dark,
But the tree is lifted by this inward work
And its plumes shine, and its leaves are glittering.
So happiness is woven out of the peace of hours
And strikes its roots deep in the house alone:
The old chest in the corner, cool waxed floors,
White curtains softly and continually blown
As the free air moves quietly about the room
A shelf of books, a table, and the white-washed wall -
These are the dear familiar gods of home
And here the work of faith can best be done,
The growing tree is green and musical.
For what is happiness but growth in peace,
The timeless sense of time when furniture
Has stood a life's span in a single place,
And as the air moves, so the old dreams stir
The shining leaves of present happiness?
No one has heard thought or listened to a mind,
But where people have lived in inwardness
The air is charge with blessing and does bless;
Windows look out on mountains and the walls are kind.
May Sarton from Collected Poems 1930-1993
Now that the morning is half over I must go and do what makes me happy
and continue weaving the current colourful scarf that awaits me.
I must cultivate happiness, if not in the garden
then at the loom...