Friday, July 2, 2010

Revisiting Happiness

Albert Einstein once said, "You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew."

Having been thinking for a couple weeks about exactly what makes me happy - and boy, do I have an amazing list! - I recognize Truth in his statement.  Look at the world the way you've always looked at the world, and, well, it will always look the same.

Considering what things make me happy made me look at my little corner of the world anew.  It's a delightful corner.
It makes me happy...
  • to watch things grow - babies into people, seeds into food, little green things into big green things.
  • to nurture life both inside my body and from the earth.
  • to maintain friendships with people who are smart and strong and funny and friends of my marriage.
  • to learn and grow in the practice and execution of my faith.
  • to share my best talents with others freely and without expectation of return.
  • to sit in the grass with the happyt doggies.
  • to rest in the arms of the man I love.
  • to care for those incabable of caring for themselves for whatever reason.
  • to make music by myself or with people who have the same goals as I do.
  • to prepare food for people who enjoy eating it.
  • to work with women completing nurturing tasks.
  • to plan and organize and execute events or projects.
  • to forgive while not forgetting.
  • to be in the midst of people.
I went to my therapist armed with a healthy list of things that make me well and truly happy.  She didn't recall asking the question, thinking it may have been part of a larger conversation, but she did find the answers interesting.  Even more interesting, probably, was that I thought about it for a couple weeks.

I wondered what the next question might be, what my new focus would be.

She didn't really answer that until the end of the session.  Mid-conversation, she said, "That's your next task!  You need to find out why you're here, what your purpose is, what you want to do for the rest of your life." 

No, she did not mean I needed to find out why I was there sitting in her office.  Her and I have discussed that and have concluded it's a healthy exercise at this time in my life.

She meant I need to look beneath all the layers of me, and find out what mission I long to fulfill with my life.  Apparently many, many women my age - largely done with the business of starting and raising a family, mostly settled in marriage and friendships and routines, less stressed with financial burdens of the twenty-somethings - experience this journey.

I have an inkling that I may be thinking about this one longer than two weeks.

I wonder what new vision of the world it will bring.

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